Cleaning the guitar requires one main thing if nothing else: a good cleaning cloth. It is important to ensure that we have a CLEAN cloth to clean our instrument, as dirty ones will leave marks and do more damage than good.
All the different guitars out there will require this one thing in common. Make sure to buy a non-lint/lint free cloth. These are labeled usually as a ‘Polishing Cloth’, ‘Non-Lint Cloth’ also known to be ‘Micro Fiber’ cloths or the ‘Cotton’ cloths. Most guitar stores will call it a Polishing Cloth.
I recommend a cotton cloth for its proven reliability, which can also be stolen from old cotton sheets! The car cleaning section of your local hardware store should carry some nice ones for cheaper than the Fender brand also.
The idea with lint free is that we want to make sure that its not going to lint all over our guitar after we spend time to clean it, which is little tiny balls of the cloth coming off; very annoying.
One of the worst thing is to wipe clean a guitar only to find that in the process you have induced swirls all over the guitar from a dirty or improper cloth.
DO NOT USE MOM’S DIRTY DISH RAG! It will leave swirl marks on your guitar and even scratch it. You will do more damage than good.
You can however use an old 100% cotton t-shirt. The more times it has been washed the better! Just try and get one that you haven’t used to mop up an oil spill with already….
For our disposable variety, DO NOT USE PAPER TOWEL. Non woven shop towels are very soft and wont break down when it gets wet, but to be honest, I’d avoid this type at all costs.
Also note a little tip, a can of compressed air can really come in handy as well for the tricky spots like the bridge.