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Taking Care of Your Guitar

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Music

Buying an expensive guitar is not an end in itself. You have to take good care of your instrument to ensure that you consistently get good sound from your guitar for an extended period of time. You can not use the guitar without getting itself dirty. On the other hand, go for a little cleaning everyday and you are able to evade a lot of possible problems in future. Read on the article below to know about some simple steps to keep your guitar neat and clean even after a long days of practice.

If you want to see you guitar well maintained over along stretch of time then train yourself in the art of wiping, because it is the key to keep your guitar clean each time after playing it.

A soft cotton rag is precisely the thing you should use for polishing and cleaning your guitar. If you prefer to use commercial products, you can use a special guitar polishing cloth. These clothes are made of flannel and are available in any music stores. Not only the guitar, these specialized clothes can be used to wipe out dirt from any of your musical instrument.

All of us have in our wardrobe at least a couple of discarded cotton T-shirts that have been discolored for many sessions of washing. Do not throw them away; they make a perfect guitar cleaner and guitar wiping tool as several laundering history have left them virtually free from lint and with these types of cotton clothes you do not have any risk of making scratches on the polish of the instrument. But generally avoid the printed clothes as they may create scratch marks on its delicate finish.

For the same reason, never wipe the guitars with paper towels, especially if your guitar has a lacquer or shellac French polish. If disposability is the point of your concern, then go for shop towels instead of paper towels. As the formers will never bring scratch marks on your guitar.

Also remember to use more than one piece of cloth for wiping out the oils from the surface of the instrument. If the instrument is smeared with lot of oily or misty substance, a repeated use of one piece of cloth will bring back the haze in its previous place. So you have to use a number of pieces of clothes to remove the layers of haze from the surface of the guitar.

Each time you wipe your guitar, you actually perform a polishing job and if you maintain this habit lifelong, your guitar will also look new for life long. Do not avoid cleaning of such areas as the areas under the strings just because they are difficult to reach. Extend the corner of your cloth under the strings to make sure that the surface does not gather dust.

Also do not forget to polish the strings robustly after each playing. You have to get hold the string with piece of your cloth and rub the strings along its length. This sustains the tonal life of the strings for a longer stretch of time. The experts are even of the opinion that you should wipe the strings a number of times during a performance.

On a closer scrutiny of the top and back of the instrument you will come to find a number of nagging spots of oil, smudge, fingerprints and so on. To get rid of such marks you have to introduce a little hint of moisture. You might have seen some people have the habit of cleaning their spectacles by 'huff'ing on their lenses. The similar way you can breathe out on the affected area to wipe out the marks from it.

Cleaning of the surface can be done by commercial cleaners that are mainly of three types; oils, water based cleaners and water based but thicker solution mixed with light abrasives. In the absence of commercial cleaners, you can simply use the detergent -mixed water which should be sprayed on the cloth and not on the surface of the instrument.

These were some easy tips which will help you to learn about the daily care of your guitar. But sometimes the instrument acquires some marks as well as scratches or damages which are beyond repairing by home remedies. In that case you have to take the help of a professional to get back the original finish.