How to clean a guitar and the strings?

How to clean your guitar?

To ensure its longevity, your guitar will need to be well maintained. It will then have to be cleaned regularly, at least once a year, but not haphazardly or with just anything!

10 Tips presents the best tips, advice and products to properly clean your guitar.

1. Guitar cleaning steps

To properly maintain your guitar, you will need to follow a few steps that will make your job easier. Have a guitar maintenance kit handy that includes a few products, including string polish, but also methylated spirit, linseed oil or beeswax, and clean rags and lint-free or cotton swabs.

Here are the steps to clean the guitar in detail:

  1. Begin by dismantling the strings of the guitar, to facilitate access to all parts of the guitar.
  2. Next, clean the fingerboard (or neck) of the guitar. If it is not varnished, you can use a cloth and cotton swabs soaked in rubbing alcohol.
  3. To restore luster to the fingerboard, apply beeswax or linseed oil to it using a paper towel. Then, using a lint-free cloth, rub well to make the wood of the fingerboard shine.
  4. Now it’s time to clean the body of the guitar. You can use either a polish or a clean, damp cloth. Thoroughly clean the tuners, head and body.
  5. Service the tuning keys and bridge, using a screwdriver to tighten them securely.
  6. Put the guitar strings back in place, and tune.

2. Lemon oil to clean a guitar

Lemon oil is used regularly for the maintenance of wooden furniture. It can therefore also be used to clean your guitar and should be part of your guitar maintenance kit.

This lemon oil will help clean the wood and restore your guitar neck to its former glory.

Apply the lemon oil using a clean cloth and rub the guitar fingerboard. In addition to cleaning the wood of the guitar, lemon oil will protect it against stains and moisture by acting as a sealant.

Lemon fingerboard oil

Lemon fingerboard oil

  • Removes stains and dirt from guitar fretboard
  • To keep a clean touch
  • Deep cleans

It is normal to see rust spots appear on the strings of your guitar. This is caused by oxidation, sweat from your hands, etc.

To extend the life of guitar strings, it will be important to regularly remove rust stains.

Here are some natural products to clean guitar strings:

clean guitar strings with vinegar:

  • Bring 1 liter of water and 25 cl of pure white vinegar to the boil.
  • Immerse the strings in it and leave them for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Then remove them and wipe well with a clean cloth.

Clean the strings with milk:

  • Bring some milk to a boil, and soak your strings in it for ten minutes.
  • Then remove the strings and wipe them with a cloth.

Rub the strings with rubbing alcohol:

  • To help prolong the use of strings that are already worn out, clean them with a little rubbing alcohol applied with a rag.

4. The string cleaner, a gadget to have!

To remove rust from guitar strings, but also to clean them easily and quickly, the string cleaner is undoubtedly the solution!

So before you start cleaning your guitar, make sure you have the right tools on hand. The string cleaner is one of those essential accessories to have in your guitar care kit for quick and efficient maintenance. In addition, this cleaning tool will significantly extend the life of your guitar strings.

Simply slide the string cleaner over the guitar strings to clean them both below and above. offers you a string cleaner much appreciated by amateur and pro guitarists, at the best price:

string cleaner

string cleaner

  • Effectively and quickly cleans the ropes
  • Cleans below and above the ropes
  • Made of anti-scratch microfiber

5. Perform regular maintenance on your guitar

To prolong the life of your guitar and to optimize its use, take care to follow these few tips:

  • Wipe your guitar after each use with a clean cloth to remove sweat and residue left by your fingers.
  • Change your strings at least once a month, to prevent them from damaging the fingerboard and the frets.
  • At each change of strings, take the opportunity to apply some lemon oil on your guitar. This will remove dirt and protect the wood of the guitar. Let it dry before putting the strings back on.
  • To avoid excessive oxidation of your strings, get into the habit of wash hands before playing.
  • To prolong the life of your guitar, be sure to alwaysstore verticallypreferably in a cover to protect it from humidity and light.

6. Guitar String Polish

To continue with maintenance tips and advice, did you know that it was possible to apply a varnish or rather a lubricant to the strings of a guitar?

Indeed, once your strings have been thoroughly cleaned, you will want to apply this lubricating product which will not only protect your strings, but also allow your fingers to slide better on them.

String lubricator

String lubricator

  • Cleans and degreases the strings
  • For soft and flowing strings
  • Extends string life

Some guitars with a metallic finish require products specifically designed for them, in order to protect and shine the chrome. But which product to use?

Many professionals turn to products designed for the maintenance of chrome and other precious metals, including Ouator. This product eliminates micro-scratches, rust pitting and traces of oxidation and leaves a protective film afterwards.

Clean a guitar, you may also like:

How to clean wooden furniture? Whether it’s for the wooden neck of a guitar or for an antique piece of furniture, come and discover our tips for cleaning wooden furniture.

How to remove a white stain from wooden furniture? An ugly white stain on your beautiful wooden furniture to remove? Here are our tips for removing it quickly.

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