Cleaning a guitar is a daunting task sometimes, which can lead to procrastination like nothing else, trust me, I’ve been there! But fear not, it’s really not that tricky.
I hope to outline here a few easy steps that can be taken to ensure that your guitar is kept clean consistently and effortlessly making you feel good about it, and people respecting your battle axe!
First off, it is important to keep nice strings on your guitar. This may be more of a cosmetic thing, for some artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan used to use as old as strings as possible on his guitars. One of the main reasons is to be nice to your fingers! Older the string, the less string oil it has in it, and the more dirty the strings are, and the rougher it is on your fingers.
Products for string cleaning are available on the market, which helps sustain the life and sound of the strings. As routine maintenance, it’s often a good idea to use this little string cleaner to keep the guitar sounding great.
To remove the strings, there are string removal tools that are very useful in removing strings that I don’t do a service without. One is shown above (the black handle thing on the peg).
For new guitarists who have never removed guitar strings, you may want to read up on the tutorial I’ve created, that should step you through the whole process and make the new guitarist very comfortable with the process of taking the old strings off.
What should also be focused on, while removing the guitar strings, is that the fretboard should be cleaned as well. Cleaning the fret board or fingerboard while the strings are off allows you to clean the frets without having strings in the way, and also avoids getting any oils or products on the strings, which will severely shorten the life of the strings.
As regular guitar maintenance, I suggest at least wiping the guitar body down with a guitar cleaning cloth, which can be done with very little water, or guitar cleaning products. Once again, be careful with how much you touch the strings or wooden parts with any products, for it will shorten the life of the strings.
If you do use a product, make sure that you read the package to make sure it can be used on the piece of the guitar you’re working on. A wax shouldn’t be used on an exposed wood surface, and an oil shouldn’t be used on the high gloss finish of the body.
Doing these things will help ensure that the guitar stays looking new, and sounding, as far as tonal quality goes, like a dream.
There are more major things such as repairing broken guitar headstocks, redressing or repairing guitar frets, or replacing guitar tuning pegs, guitar pickups, or the guitar toggle switches that we will not get into at this time, as they are complicated procedures and should only be attempted by professionals with training and proper equipment. Attempting something like this without training can seriously ruin a guitar, which we don’t want!