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  #1  
Old 01-04-2014, 09:32 AM
chickenoverlord chickenoverlord is offline
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Default Cleaning guitar with pledge?

Well, my child was rather dirty (I don't think it's been cleaned since its previous owner died seven yeas ago) so I googled "cleaning acoustic guitar" and promptly got told to use lemon oil. Problem is, I have NO clue what lemon oil is (I'm guessing it's exactly what it says it is but ya never know ) so I got an old, super soft hospital sock, sprayed some lemon pledge on it and went to town. Wiped the entire exterior of the guitar. It doesn't feel greasy or sound different or appear to be damaged, so is pledge safe to use?
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:38 AM
Gasworker Gasworker is offline
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I think once is fine. You may just want to use a damp rag and soft cloth in the future.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:47 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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Looked at the MSDS for Pledge and it looks fairly safe. In the future, you may want to seek a specialty cleaners formulated to be safe with the finish on the guitar. Nitro and Poly do react differently so best to make sure. Unlikely a guitar cleaner will have silicon while many household products will.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:57 AM
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I think consensus here at the forums is that the best way to clean your guitar is with a cotton cloth and a tiny amount of water. I've seen Lemon Pledge recommended at a couple of guitar manufacturer websites, but I would be afraid of buildup after a while. On my gloss guitars (an old Ibanez and my current Epi EJ) I use a touch of dishwashing liquid in the water occasionally. On the Nitro (Gibson) just water, but only very very little - like the mist from your breath.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:24 AM
stringjunky stringjunky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Stone View Post
I think consensus here at the forums is that the best way to clean your guitar is with a cotton cloth and a tiny amount of water. I've seen Lemon Pledge recommended at a couple of guitar manufacturer websites, but I would be afraid of buildup after a while. On my gloss guitars (an old Ibanez and my current Epi EJ) I use a touch of dishwashing liquid in the water occasionally. On the Nitro (Gibson) just water, but only very very little - like the mist from your breath.
On sound poly finishes and nitro I think a couple of drops of washing up liquid in the water, as you say, before you damp the cloth helps lift the skin oils instead of smearing it around all over the guitar with plain water. Think about what your dishes would be like if you just washed up or washed your hair n just water...the oils need emulsifying to shift them properly. I think nitro is a lot more resilient than people with guitars give it credit...it's not French polish.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:25 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Years ago, I used it to shine guitars. EDIT: It appears from its current composition is should be avoided.

Oh, and DONT use oil - such as lemon oil - on a surface finish such as lacquer, shellac, urethane... At best, it'll just sit on the surface and be oily. At worst, it'll penetrate the finish and wood beneath.

Last edited by charles Tauber; 01-04-2014 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenoverlord View Post
Well, my child was rather dirty (I don't think it's been cleaned since its previous owner died seven yeas ago) so I googled "cleaning acoustic guitar" and promptly got told to use lemon oil. Problem is, I have NO clue what lemon oil is (I'm guessing it's exactly what it says it is but ya never know ) so I got an old, super soft hospital sock, sprayed some lemon pledge on it and went to town. Wiped the entire exterior of the guitar. It doesn't feel greasy or sound different or appear to be damaged, so is pledge safe to use?
Hi col...

Putting wax or polish on a dirty surface seals the dirt in.

My process starts with soft rag (cotton or microfiber) and if that won't clean it adequately, then I add (in order):
  • Breath
  • Saliva
  • Naptha (lighter fluid)

These are all solvents which are guitar finish friendly (except for Naptha on Varnish…) Very few guitars are varnished, and if yours is, you paid extra for it & would know.

Cleaning is different than polishing. I do the floors at our house and if I ever waxed a floor before cleaning it, & threw wax or polish on it expecting it to act as a cleaner, my wife would be having words with me.


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Old 01-04-2014, 10:41 AM
chickenoverlord chickenoverlord is offline
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If you can't tell I'm EXTREMELY new to this. I have no clue what kind of finish is on the guitar, I inherited it. Is there any way to tell?
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2014, 10:42 AM
Troisnoir Troisnoir is offline
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Lemon oil would normally be used on bare wood, such as fingerboards or bridges. I'm not advocating it, I'm just saying you wouldn't use it on finished surfaces.

Regarding silicone products, I think everyone here knows this, but I'm going to say it:

The problem with silicones isn't as much that they eat into the finish or anything, the problem is they seep into cracks, scratches, nicks, and any bare wood, and YOU CAN'T GET IT OUT. When you go to have your guitar repaired and your tech needs to glue something or refinish anything, most likely the glue or finish will not stick to the wood, because of the silicone. That's why you don't want to use those products. It's a repair nightmare.

Otherwise, ditto to all that's posted above...
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:53 AM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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The largest part of the sound of a guitar is radiated off of the top surface. Changing the surface of the guitar changes the quality of sound it radiates. Wax is very challenging to completely remove once it is applied.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenoverlord View Post
If you can't tell I'm EXTREMELY new to this. I have no clue what kind of finish is on the guitar, I inherited it. Is there any way to tell?
Hi col...

What brand and model is it?


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  #12  
Old 01-04-2014, 11:20 AM
chickenoverlord chickenoverlord is offline
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It's a Yamaha fg300 Nippon gakki (the label is dark red). I feel like I have committed a great atrocity lol. Someone said it was made in '72, but the cereal number was very poorly stamped.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2014, 11:53 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Pledge is chock full of silicone oils and should never be used on a guitar. It will make refinishing or finish touchup difficult, even many years later.

That said, it hardly matters to an old Yamaha.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2014, 11:57 AM
chickenoverlord chickenoverlord is offline
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It should also be mention that I did wipe it down before I pledged it and I only used a TINY amount of pledge.
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2014, 12:07 PM
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When I was a kid I used Pledge on my guitars all time with no damage that I could ever see. That said, I don't use it anymore. Get a small bottle of Gibson or Dunlop polish, use it sparingly, and save the Pledge for your furniture.
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