Maintaining Your Guitar: A Few Tips and Tricks

Maintaining your guitar will keep you from having to make costly repairs down the line. It’s almost as important as buying your guitar from the right source. Go to a reputable instrument shop, dealer, or trusted musician to purchase a guitar. You should be able to play it before you bring it home. That way you can tell if it is properly equipped and has been cared for.


Guitars can take a fair amount of wear and tear but that doesn’t mean maintenance should be skipped. Here’s how you can take care of your guitar.


Cleaning Your Guitar.


After Each Use

If you just bought a new guitar you saw at, You may not know how to clean it yet. Cleaning your guitar after each use will help it last longer and hold its sound.


Use canned air to remove any dust.


Wipe off frets and strings with a microfiber cloth. The oils from your fingers can actually change the way the guitar sounds. Get some of them off before they can get built up.


Use a string cleaner to remove gunk between restringing.


Place your guitar on a stand to prevent it from being scratched or dinged. In fact, never try to rest a guitar against the wall or an amp. I have seen too many beautiful setups destroyed while someone is just going to grab a glass of water.


It’s even better to keep your guitar in it’s case when you aren’t using it. A guitar on the wall or in a stand can still be knocked over or bumped into. Hard cases offer the best protection. A soft case will do the trick, just put it in a safe place away from foot traffic.


Keep your guitar tools handy in your case. Use them to tighten screws before you put your instrument away. The vibrations cause the screws to loosen. You don’t want to lose one!




Some of these steps should be done every time you restring your guitar. You can perform others more frequently if you choose.


Spray guitar with canned air to remove loose dust.


Lightly dampen a cloth. Don’t use any chemicals, because they can damage the finish. You can also damage your guitar by using too much water. Don’t use a spray bottle! You should not see any water droplets on your guitar when you clean it.  


Use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean the tight spaces. Hit the bridge, frets, and any other nooks where skin cells build up. Do not use the toothbrush to clean the strings. You can save this job for when you have the strings removed.


Use lemon oil to condition your fretboard. This will keep it clean longer. The wood on the fretboard is different than the rest of the wood. It shouldn’t be treated with the same product. That can change the sound of your guitar.

If you didn’t get an acoustic, like these on, you probably need to clean more metal parts. You can actually use glass cleaner to make these parts shine. Don’t spray the cleaner directly on the guitar. Use a different microfiber cloth and a small amount of cleaner.


Use a guitar polish, only if your guitar needs it. Be sure to buy a polish designed for your guitar. The wrong polish, or just using furniture polish will ruin the finish of your guitar. You should also make sure you get a polish with a matching finish to your guitar. You want to keep it looking shiny as long as possible! Use another new cloth, so you don’t get the wrong product on the wrong part of the guitar.


Remove gunk from the guitar’s nut with floss. You don’t need to use any cleaning solution. Just use the floss to pull out any dirt or skin cells that crept in during play.


Other Tips:


Wash your hands before playing. The less oil on your hand, the less ends up on the guitar.

Don’t leave your guitar in excessively hot or cold places for a long time.

Restring your guitar two at a time from the bottom up. This keeps the neck from losing tension over time. That’s an expensive fix.


Now you can keep your guitar in shape and continue to reap the benefits of listening to music.