Knowledge-->Maintenance Cleaning

Change the strings


Over time, your strings will accumulate oils from your fingers that will cause them to corrode and lose brilliance. Corroded and rusty strings can damage the neck of your guitar, so it is important to put new strings on from time to time. The frequency in which you will need to change strings usually correlates to how often you play your guitar. A quick way to determine if you need to change strings is to pinch a string between your thumb and finger, and slide your hand down the neck. If it feels rough or your fingers turn black or rust-colored, it is probably time for new strings. You can extend the life of a set of strings by cleaning them regularly.

 

Keep it clean


Using a soft cloth and some guitar polish can help maintain and restore the finish on a guitar’s body and neck. Clean the strings by sliding a cloth with some cleaner down the length of each string, gently pulling each string away from the neck. (Not that this may cause the guitar to be slightly out of tune after cleaning). Changing strings gives you an opportunity to clean areas that are difficult to access while strings are on the guitar. Go over each fret and the space between frets with a cloth before re- stringing. Not only will it look better, it will play better.
Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners with high alcohol content as it may damage the wood or finish. Also use care not to get liquid cleaner directly in any of the electronic components, including the pickups.


Store it properly


Ideally, the guitar would be put back into a protective case when not in use. Some people find
that they play their guitar more when it’s readily available on a wall hanger or stand. This is acceptable, just remember to wipe it down regularly to get the dust off. Leaning a guitar against the wall is not recommended; it will eventually cause the neck to warp and negatively affect playability.