What to Clean Your Electric Guitar With?


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If you have an electric guitar, you can clean it with a cloth or a cotton swab. However, you should not use paper towels because they tend to leave fibers behind. To clean your electric guitar’s neck, spray the included cleaning solution on the cloth and wipe down the fretboard, which is metal.

In this article, I’ll go over some effective ways to clean your electric guitar and what you’ll need to do it.

So without further ado, let’s just get right into it.

Cleaning your Electric Guitar With a Cloth or Cotton Swab

When cleaning the body of your electric guitar, you should use either a cloth or cotton swab to wipe down all accessible parts on its surface (i.e. the metal fretboard on the neck part for most electric guitars).

You can choose to spray a cleaning solution on the cloth or directly onto the guitar, whichever you feel more comfortable with.

Just make sure that you don’t go overboard and use too much liquid as it might end up seeping inside the electric guitar and cause damage.

Cleaning your Electric Guitar’s Neck With a Cleaning Solution

The fretboard on an electric guitar neck is usually made of metal, so it’s important to clean it using a specialized cleaning solution meant for that material.

You can either spray the solution onto a cloth and then wipe down the fretboard, or you can spray it directly onto the fretboard and let it sit for a minute or two before wiping off any residue.

Whichever way you choose, just make sure that you get all the dirt and grime off the fretboard to keep it looking good as new.

Cleaning your Electric Guitar’s Strings

The strings on your electric guitar will also need to be cleaned on occasion, and you can do this by using a wire brush.

Simply take the brush and run it up and down the length of each string a few times to remove any build-up of dirt.

Make sure that you don’t press too hard when doing this though, or you might end up damaging the strings.

Cleaning your Electric Guitar’s Frets

The frets on an electric guitar are tiny metal bars that are located between the neck and the body.

They help to provide traction for your fingers when playing, and it’s important to keep them clean as well.

You can use a fretboard cleaner solution for this purpose.

After spraying the solution on the fretboard, wait a minute or two for any residue from the cleaning agent to dissipate before wiping off any excess liquid with a cloth.

Cleaning your Electric Guitar’s Strings Nut Sockets

The strings nut is located at either end of the electric guitar neck where all six strings are connected.

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t need to clean it very often if ever, but try doing so once in a while just in case there’s grime build-up that you’re not aware of.

You’ll need some rubbing alcohol or soap water (not too much!) and a cloth to clean it.

First, wipe down the strings nut with either rubbing alcohol or soap water, then wait a minute for any residue from the cleaning agent to dissipate before wiping off any excess liquid with a clean cloth.

Cleaning your Electric Guitar’s Pickup Covers

The pickups on some electric guitars are covered by thin pieces of plastic that need to be removed before you can properly clean them.

You should remove those covers once in a while as well to make sure they don’t get too dirty inside.

To do this, just push up on one corner of each plastic cover and pull it out of its slot.

Once you’ve done this, spray the inside with some electronics cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it down with a cloth.

Cleaning your Electric Guitar’s Pickups

Since the pickups on an electric guitar are very sensitive, make sure to use extra care when cleaning them.

The best way to clean them is by using a solution that’s meant specifically for that purpose, which you can then either spray onto a cloth or directly onto the pickup.

Then take your cleaner-saturated cloth and wipe down the entire surface of the pickup as well as its surrounding areas.

Don’t apply too much pressure while doing this because it might damage the pickup.

FAQ About Cleaning Your Electric Guitar

Q: What household items can I use to clean my electric guitar?

A: You can use a variety of items to clean your electric guitar, including a cleaning solution, wire brush, rubbing alcohol, and soap water. Just make sure that you’re using the right materials for each task and that you’re taking care not to damage any of the guitar’s components.

Q: How often should I clean my electric guitar?

A: It’s best not to clean your electric guitar too often, as this can potentially do more harm than good. Try once every few months or so, or whenever you notice that it’s starting to get dirty.

Q: Can I use water to clean my electric guitar?

A: You can use water to clean some parts of your electric guitar, but make sure that you aren’t using it on any of the components that are sensitive to moisture.

And as with all other cleaning agents, make sure that you’re not applying too much pressure when wiping off excess liquid.

Q: What’s the best way to clean an electric guitar’s pickups?

A: The best and safest way to clean your electric guitar’s pickups is by using a specialized cleaning solution. However, if you don’t have any available, you can use rubbing alcohol or soap water instead, but be extra careful to avoid damaging the pickup when doing so.

Q: Can I use a vacuum cleaner to clean my electric guitar?

A: You should never use a vacuum cleaner to clean your electric guitar, as this can potentially cause damage to its components. Use a damp cloth instead to wipe down any dirt and grime.

Q: Do I have to remove the strings from my electric guitar before cleaning it?

A: No, you don’t have to remove your electric guitar’s strings first, but many people find that doing so makes cleaning each component on the fretboard easier.

If you want to clean underneath them without having to take them off, just be extra careful not to bump into them with any of your materials or tools while working on other parts of the neck.

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