For musicians and guitar lovers, one of our most prized possessions is our instruments. Because of this, we always make sure that it’s always in tip-top shape. By keeping and maintaining our instruments in good condition, we can practice our craft more and save money as a bonus. Instruments aren’t exactly cheap.
Your guitar is an investment, and like any investment, you want to take care of it. With a little bit of regular cleaning and maintenance, your guitar will stay in good condition for years to come and continues to play and sound its best. Here are some tips on how to clean your guitar:
How to keep your guitar in good condition
Wash Your Hands
You must keep your accoustic guitars clean, even if you use it that much. The more you don’t play it, the more you should clean it. Why? This is because grime and dust can accumulate in your guitar’s strings, damaging them and eventually driving them out of tune. However, before cleaning it, ensure you’ve washed your hands first.
Ensure that our hands are also free from dirt and grime. Before touching your guitar, you can wash or scrub your hands with soap or sanitizer. This is also the same, even if you’re playing it.
Wipe the Strings Down
To piggyback on the last point, you must thoroughly wipe down the strings after playing your guitar. This is even if you took the time to clean your hands first before playing. Take the time to wipe them down with a soft and clean cloth. You can use a dish towel or a cotton cloth for your strings. All you have to do is gently wrap the cloth around one string and move it up and down, and then you can move on to the following string.
To be thorough, you can use a string cleaner and a string lubricant to keep your strings in good condition. This is especially true if a lot of dirt and grime has accumulated on the strings. Luckily, they are commonly found in a guitar store as they also have maintenance tools.
However, string cleaners aren’t that necessary, especially if you regularly clean your strings. Also, if you want a cleaner, use a string cleaner, not an all-purpose one, since it can damage the strings. Finally, if these don’t work, you might want to replace your strings altogether.
Change Your Strings Regularly
Apart from wiping down your strings regularly, over time, it’s inevitable for the strings to wear down. Of course, when they do wear down, they go out of tune. That said, whether you clean them regularly or not, you should change them after at least a few months. With that in mind, do them one after the other when taking off your strings.
It’s not recommended to take them out all at once since this can loosen up the tension of your guitar, which can result in a bent neck. Note that a bent guitar neck will keep your guitar out of tune forever. It’s not fixable, so you should be careful.
Instead, when you change your strings, start with the thinnest string to the next. Also, ensure that after you remove all of the strings, you clean the fret and the fretboards by wiping them down with oil.
Keep Your Guitar in Its Case
Having a guitar stand is excellent if you show off your guitar to people or decorate your studio. However, it can do more harm than good since it exposes your guitar to its environment. In addition, dust and grime will eventually accumulate, which is very bad for your guitar.
Nevertheless, if you still have the guitar case, you might want to use it since it limits the exposure your guitar will get. As a bonus, the guitar case will protect the guitar if it accidentally falls from your hands.
Keep Your Guitar Away from Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight exposure for an extended period will permanently damage your guitar. UV rays can cause premature aging to your guitar’s wood, pickguard, and finish. Also, any wood that has prolonged exposure to sunlight will have distortions over time, including your guitar.
Of course, when your guitar is distorted, its sound will be affected, and remember, this is irreversible. That said, the best thing you can do to avoid these situations is to keep your guitar in its hard case when not in use.
A guitarist, their guitars are their most prized possession. If you’re a new guitarist, you should take steps to keep your guitar in good condition. If you’re new to this topic, you might want to follow the steps we discussed above. These tips are some of the basic things you can do to keep your guitar in good condition. Make sure to follow these tips, and you’ll keep on playing with your guitar for many years.