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View Full Version : Car Waxing guitar gloss finish?


Antz_Marchin
12-31-2006, 02:23 AM
Just wondering if anybody knows of any car waxes that can be used on a gloss guitar (specifically Taylor) finish? I use Meguiars NXT on my car and it's the smoothest most reflective finish I've ever seen and would love to use it on my guitars. I've heard of car wax on guitars just wondering if anybody know which are ok and which aren't. Thanks

flaggerphil
12-31-2006, 02:43 AM
The Taylor techs who travel doing the guitar "tune ups" around the country use Turtle Wax Express. They say that's what they also use at the factory. They used it on my 610 and 510 and it was amazing.

But it has to be Turtle Wax EXPRESS. That's the only kind that doesn't leave a residue.

mdunn
12-31-2006, 06:42 AM
I personally watched a brand new undelivered R Taylor get Turtle Wax'd in the R Taylor build room in the Taylor Building on Gillespie Way. Do you need a better endorsement than that.:cool:

JohnZ
12-31-2006, 10:44 AM
You'll find most show quality car owners using Meguiars' products. For guitars I'll usually use their cleaner/wax in paste form for it's the most versitile and easy to use. There is a three step set you can get as well of cleaner/polish/wax that works very well also as you lower levels of abrasiveness. Most all waxes have some degree of abrasives in them except pure carnauba, which is getting harder to find.

For the most part guitar finishes aren't that hard to deal with and easy on / easy off products like Turtle Wax Express will work fine....and a lot more bang for the buck compared to waxes and polishes sold as guitar products.

smorgdonkey
12-31-2006, 12:53 PM
You'll find most show quality car owners using Meguiars' products.

If there's WAX in it then you do not want to use it on solid wood parts of a guitar. The wax fills in pores in the wood and will change the way it vibrates.

Rule #1 - NEVER use any wax on a guitar.

andrewrg
12-31-2006, 01:02 PM
I agree; the only cleaning your guitar might need is an occasional wipe down with a barely damp soft cotton cloth, if at all.
The finish of the guitar doesn't need any further protection. If Taylor are waxing their guitars you can be pretty sure it's just to make them look nice and shiny on the store wall.
Car wax will kill the tone of your guitar stone dead.

JohnZ
12-31-2006, 01:35 PM
I couldn't possibly disagree more. We're dealing with finishes here, not wood.
Good grief, what's it gonna do? Sneak through the finish and get to the wood and kill the tone?

I'll stick by what I stated earlier and what I learned from Gene Loringer at World of Strings in Long Beach Ca. over 40 years ago.

The only thing I'd agree with is that if you keep a guitar clean and maintained by wiping it with a damp cloth, it requires very little other attention to the finish. Though you should never use wax or polish on the fretboard, some manufactures reccomend the use of paste wax on unfinished necks if you don't want natural oils to take over.

Antz_Marchin
12-31-2006, 03:24 PM
As for the wax filling the pores and changing the tone, not gonna happen especially dealing with a gloss Taylor finish. They use the stuff in the factory on R. Taylors even. Plus new car waxes are applied in mircon thin layers. 10 Coats wouldnt have an effect on tone based on weight or hindering natural vibration. This being said:

I have never been a fan of Turtle wax products finish on my car so I was itching today to make my guitars shine and this I did, shine with a depth and clarity that I have never seen on a guitar....I honestly couldn't believe the difference as my guitars are always spotless to begin with.

I went with my favourite most durable combo for my car. Spray a little bit of Mothers Cali Gold polish onto a cloth and wipe fingerprints, etc off the guitar. Then onto my trusty Meguiars NXT nano liguid/creme wax. UNBELIEVEABLE. I started on my KOA Washburn as a test and WOW, I though I always kept my guitars clean but after this treatment the KOA back just shimmered with an incredible reflective depth. My Cobalt Blue (like the T5 colour) Epiphone Mandolin finish looks like you could swim in it...... Onto the top of my 314. The Sitka looks like a mirror. Then the real test.....the '06 914 LTD. The Coco grain looks like it's about an inch deep into the finish if that makes any sense, the Engelmann shows every single ripple in an almost holographic quality. I won't be doing it very often but semi-annually/annually , I am certain that there is no better combo for an ultimate guitar cleanup....Oh and no residue at all.....it wouldn't be show-car quality stuff if it did leave any. Just be sure not to get it on anything non-gloss, I'm certain you'll get residue there.

Acousticado
12-31-2006, 05:09 PM
Bob Taylor himself posted on this very site a couple of years ago that Turtle Wax is what Taylor uses on gloss finish guitars. It's the gloss that's being shined and does not penetrate to the wood.

smorgdonkey
12-31-2006, 08:46 PM
Well...
From Turtle Wax's site:
Q: What is the difference between a wax and a polish?
A: The terms wax and polish are used interchangeably today. Most waxes and polishes contain some mild cleaning agents (safe for clear coat finishes) which remove old wax, minor scratches and everyday oxidation. All polish and wax products clean, shine and protect, unless otherwise stated on the label. A colour restorer or rubbing compound will clean and shine only. As always recommended, test a small inconspicuous area and always follow the back label instructions.

...and if there was no residue why would they need this there too?
Q: How do I remove the wax residue from black trim?
A: Use Turtle Wax® Trim Clean. Alternatively you can use undiluted detergent and a nail brush. Regular application of a Trim protectant, such as Turtle Wax® Dry Touch will minimise White marks on trim

Of course there is NO BUILD-UP...that's why they have this on their site too...
Q: What causes loss of beading?
A: If water beading disappears only after washing the car, don't worry, the wax is still there. Normal loss of beading on a car is temporarily "suppressed" by a car wash product. Apply a new layer of wax when rain and/or morning dew no longer bead. Also a finish in poor condition can shorten wax life. The condition of the finish plays a big part in car wax longevity.

Note the "don't worry, the wax is still there" part.
Believe what you choose to believe but it would take a long time to wear off wax from a guitar...and many shiny finishes still 'breathe' but they won't with wax in the pores. As for micron thin layers...a porous surface would absorb much of whatever one put on it unless there was something to get into the pores to make that finish 'micron thin'. It's the same with silicone...it doesn't seem like there's anything there...but that's the same thing that PETRIFIES organic matter...not by contact of course but you should have the point. Note that one poster mentioned that it was a SPECIFIC Turtle Wax product...then another poster says "hey if Taylor uses it...It's ok" but just because it says 'Turtle' on it doesn't mean that it is the same product. Yeah hand me some of that 'Turtle Wheelbarrow Wax & Axle Grease' I'm going to use it on my guitar.

I will continue to believe that NO WAX on a guitar is better. Wax applies a coating. Enough said.

Antz_Marchin
01-01-2007, 09:01 PM
How do the pores not get filled by the UV-cured gloss finish? Does this finish which is easily 10+ times thicker than a properly applied coat of wax just go around them and leave these "wood pores" exposed? Why is it so smooth with all these little holes in it? I'm just confused how a perfectly smooth factory UV-cured finish is porous that's all, this isn't a cellular mambrane ion channel they are applying here, it's a hard protective layer.

John Curnew
01-02-2007, 03:30 PM
I have no personal experience with car wax on the guitar finish. A couple of years ago I sent an e-mail to Frank Ford (Frets.com) asking this question. I thought it would be a great idea. However, Frank replied, No, he didn't recommend it. Just polish with a soft cloth. He said why he didn't recommend it but I'm not able to quote that now.

I recall also a while ago someone saying to simply blow on the finish like you were cleaning your eye glasses and then simply polish.

That's all I can add right now . . .

smorgdonkey
01-02-2007, 06:32 PM
How do the pores not get filled by the UV-cured gloss finish? Does this finish which is easily 10+ times thicker than a properly applied coat of wax just go around them and leave these "wood pores" exposed? Why is it so smooth with all these little holes in it? I'm just confused how a perfectly smooth factory UV-cured finish is porous that's all, this isn't a cellular mambrane ion channel they are applying here, it's a hard protective layer.

Well...I guess if it's a clear coat acrylic like a car then get at it...
I guess if Taylor themselves say ONLY the type that doesn't leave a residue then it doesn't mean anything and there must be no pores.
Heck if they use UV to cure it why not leave it out in the direct sunlight so it can get MORE UV?
Suffice to say that 'perfectly smooth' to the naked eye is not without pores.
Maybe page two of this document may interest you...
http://www.enerfab.com/pdf/facts/EFAB014TankLiningsLabSheet.pdf

I henceforth drop out of this discussion. It has been the opinion of every guitar maker and player I've ever met to not use any wax or silicone on a guitar. Scientific proof-I have none. Opinion-everyone has one. I guess this is why one should contact the manufacturer and not ask an important question on a message board.

JohnZ
01-02-2007, 08:07 PM
As for the wax filling the pores and changing the tone, not gonna happen especially dealing with a gloss Taylor finish. They use the stuff in the factory on R. Taylors even. Plus new car waxes are applied in mircon thin layers. 10 Coats wouldnt have an effect on tone based on weight or hindering natural vibration. This being said:

I have never been a fan of Turtle wax products finish on my car so I was itching today to make my guitars shine and this I did, shine with a depth and clarity that I have never seen on a guitar....I honestly couldn't believe the difference as my guitars are always spotless to begin with.

I went with my favourite most durable combo for my car. Spray a little bit of Mothers Cali Gold polish onto a cloth and wipe fingerprints, etc off the guitar. Then onto my trusty Meguiars NXT nano liguid/creme wax. UNBELIEVEABLE. I started on my KOA Washburn as a test and WOW, I though I always kept my guitars clean but after this treatment the KOA back just shimmered with an incredible reflective depth. My Cobalt Blue (like the T5 colour) Epiphone Mandolin finish looks like you could swim in it...... Onto the top of my 314. The Sitka looks like a mirror. Then the real test.....the '06 914 LTD. The Coco grain looks like it's about an inch deep into the finish if that makes any sense, the Engelmann shows every single ripple in an almost holographic quality. I won't be doing it very often but semi-annually/annually , I am certain that there is no better combo for an ultimate guitar cleanup....Oh and no residue at all.....it wouldn't be show-car quality stuff if it did leave any. Just be sure not to get it on anything non-gloss, I'm certain you'll get residue there.

Excellent! Yes, a good cleaning once a year or so is all most my guitars ever need.....except a couple of Gibson nitro finishes that get tacky and and require a little more maintence in warmer weather.

Yeah, I'm not much of a Turtle Wax fan either...I think Taylor uses the spray on Turtle Wax cause it's quick and saves time.

flaggerphil
01-02-2007, 09:48 PM
...I think Taylor uses the spray on Turtle Wax cause it's quick and saves time.


And works...

K.E.P.
01-02-2007, 10:22 PM
I use a very light coat of Zymol cleaner wax once a year or so depending on how much I play.

When applied properly, it's amazing how good the stuff looks.

I haven't studied the bottle, but I believe Zymol is all natural without all the harsh chemicals others have. Have used it sparingly on my taylor, goodall and prs with excellent results and no build up.

It also works great on cars:)

Antz_Marchin
01-02-2007, 10:57 PM
I use a very light coat of Zymol cleaner wax once a year or so depending on how much I play.

When applied properly, it's amazing how good the stuff looks.

I haven't studied the bottle, but I believe Zymol is all natural without all the harsh chemicals others have. Have used it sparingly on my taylor, goodall and prs with excellent results and no build up.

It also works great on cars:)

Hmmmm, Zymol......now I'm curious what it goes on that has wheels ;)

ianLP59
01-03-2007, 03:13 AM
I have two Collings, here's what Collings say :

Finish Care
Collings guitars are finished with multiple coats of high-grade lacquer, hand-sanded between applications to bring out a deep shine. The resultant finish is thin, durable and acoustically compatible. The best way to preserve this finish is to keep it clean – wiping off perspiration and fingerprints with a soft, damp (not wet) cloth. Old, soft cotton baby diapers make excellent guitar cleaning cloths. While there are many commercial guitar cleaners available, we feel that a rag slightly dampened with plain tap water and thoroughly wrung out will remove most dirt. Then buff with dry clean cloth. If you must use commercial products, avoid those with solvents, silicones or abrasives. Remember: polishing is not cleaning. Polishes remove finish along with dirt. Fingerboards can occasionally dry out, but require only a very small amount of boiled linseed oil (thoroughly buffed) to restore. Less is always best.

JohnZ
01-03-2007, 09:21 AM
I have two Collings, here's what Collings say :

Finish Care
Collings guitars are finished with multiple coats of high-grade lacquer, hand-sanded between applications to bring out a deep shine. The resultant finish is thin, durable and acoustically compatible. The best way to preserve this finish is to keep it clean – wiping off perspiration and fingerprints with a soft, damp (not wet) cloth. Old, soft cotton baby diapers make excellent guitar cleaning cloths. While there are many commercial guitar cleaners available, we feel that a rag slightly dampened with plain tap water and thoroughly wrung out will remove most dirt. Then buff with dry clean cloth. If you must use commercial products, avoid those with solvents, silicones or abrasives. Remember: polishing is not cleaning. Polishes remove finish along with dirt. Fingerboards can occasionally dry out, but require only a very small amount of boiled linseed oil (thoroughly buffed) to restore. Less is always best.

Godd advice. I would add a step to the boiled linseed oil process on fingerboards of waiting an hour or so after applying it and wipeing off the excess, to wipe it throughly again with a damp cloth, for it bleeds out some.

Collings is correct in stating that just about everything out there has some degree of abrasives in it, with polishes having more than cleaner/waxes or waxes. The exception is pure caranuba. The logic behind that in the waxing process is to absorb the previous coat in the application and avoid any buildup over extended time. The industrial lacquer finishes on most production guitars are in my opinion completely compatable with just about any automotive wax out there, and are easier to deal with than cars.

Unless you're trying to soften pickguard scratches or the like, I wouldn't not reccomend the long term use of polishes on a guitar. Or any of the popular household cleaners like Pledge or Endust for that matter.

In the ever increasing competition to extract maximum tone, some builders like Eastman offer the option of a finish with no lacquer at all, just hand rubbed varnish. If that's the case, contact the builder for proper care.

Bluelew
01-03-2007, 10:00 AM
Last Christmas I was given the Fender/Meguier guitar care kit, I forget 5 or 6 products, all made by Meguiers(SP?) probably a lot like their car care products. They all work great.

Fredmando
01-03-2007, 10:24 AM
I think that Santa Cruz uses Turtle Wax at their headquarters, but I am not sure which type. I know there are some car waxes you shouldn't use. I usually use Dunlop's if anything. But, on my Riegel mandolin, I was told to just wipe it off with a good microfiber cloth and avoid any wax.
I would check with the maker of your particular guitar.
It scares me when I see people pull out the Pledge for their guitars!

Wayne R
01-05-2007, 03:34 PM
You might try some Virtuoso Polish. I have vintage and newer Nitro-finished as well as modern Urethane-finished instruments. This product takes care of them all very well.

http://www.virtuosopolish.com/

Wayne