Useful tips on how to look after your guitar

For most of us guitar players, our trusty ‘axe’ is precious, and we’d be bereft if anything terrible happened to it. With this in mind, here are some useful tips on how to look after your guitar.

Blast it

Before you attack your axe with cleaning products, give it a blast of compressed air. Doing this blows away any dust or loose particles. Compressed air is often used to clean computer keyboards, and you can get hold of a can from hardware and office supply stores.

Wipe it

Don’t spray liquid on your guitar. You’ll damage the wood, and chemicals can wreck its finish. Instead, wipe your instrument down with a warm, damp cloth. Be sure to wring out the cloth well so that you don’t leave any liquid on the surface. It also pays to wipe down your guitar when you have finished playing. An old t-shirt will do the trick nicely.

Check out this video about how to maintain your guitar:

(Disclosure: I may be compensated through the links in the post below, but the opinions are my own.)

Learn & Master Guitar Setup & Maintenance

Brush it

Here’s an idea for cleaning your guitar’s frets and bridge: use an old toothbrush. You’ll find it easier when your guitar has no strings.  Also, remember it’s not a good idea to get liquid on the surface of your guitar, so don’t make the toothbrush too wet.

Condition it

You know, conditioner isn’t just for hair. You can also condition your fretboard. How? Well, wipe it with lemon oil. This will bring it back to a new condition and protect it from damage.

Do you have an old, broken guitar? Before you chuck it away, strip it of anything that is salvageable, like its tuning pegs, nut, saddle and pickups, and keep them as spare parts.

Polish it

If you want, you can polish your guitar. Make sure you use guitar polish that matches the finish of your instrument, though. Also NEVER use furniture polish; it can wreak havoc on your guitar’s finish. For metal parts, like the tuning pegs, use glass cleaner. Don’t spray onto your guitar directly, and spray the cleaner onto a cloth first.

Scrape it

The build-up of dead skin cells and dust in the nut of your guitar affects its sound and playability. So, whenever you change your strings, give the nut a scrape—dental floss works well for this.

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Other post you might enjoy:

How to sing and play guitar at the same time

How to strengthen your hands for playing guitar

How to make faster progress when learning the guitar

Andrew Healey

Editor

Andrew is an Auckland-based writer and musician.

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