The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Other Stringed Instruments

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-19-2017, 04:22 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,099
Default Best way to clean a dirty old mandolin

I got this Ibanez m511 mandolin in 1973. Played it for a couple of years, but since then it's just been hanging around. So now it's pretty darn dirty.



Now I want to clean it up, but I don't want to mess it up. What would be the best way to get all the gunk and grime off of this nice old mandolin?

Quote:

Last edited by Kerbie; 11-19-2017 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Removed details
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-19-2017, 04:27 PM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 488
Default

Get to know what the finish was made of. Then you can use whatever cleaning product you use to clean your guitar, if it is safe.

I personally would get rid of those strings, give the headplate and the body a nice clean, and the fretboard a nice scrub.
Might have to re-lube the tuners too
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-19-2017, 04:28 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Toowoomba, Australia
Posts: 1,990
Default

I use baby wet wipes for that kind of thing, domestic wipes if is very stubborn.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-19-2017, 04:45 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,099
Default

Yes, I have no idea what kind of finish. Strings have to go and I'll get new ones. I'll have to clean and polish the tailpiece and tuners and make sure the tuners work. And somehow I have to clean that dirty case.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-19-2017, 05:00 PM
Brucebubs's Avatar
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eden, Australia
Posts: 9,575
Default

Try wiping down the case first - I like Tony's suggestion, never tried that.

I got a dirty Taylor hard case looking more presentable by melting a tin of black shoe polish over a candle then dipping a clean rag into the liquid polish and applying it to the case - buff it off with another clean rag or two - really comes up black.

That mando and case should clean up nicely.
__________________
Brucebubs

1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2001 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - RAS kit #3 Dreadnought
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2016 - RAS kit #4 Small Jumbo 'Nashville Tuned'
2017 - Crimson SBG378HH bass.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-19-2017, 05:55 PM
JakeStone JakeStone is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: NC
Posts: 2,391
Default

My opinion, Get some nice clean soft cotton cloth (I buy them from auto parts store). Rinse the cloth in warmish water and ring out real good. Start cleanin'.... Dry with a clean dry cloth.

Will not hurt the finish and will typically get all the gunk off... Then you can polish with appropriate guitar cleaner. I use Gibson "Orange label" Pump Polish. Spray on the cloth.. not on the instrument.

I sometimes use Naptha occasionally, (before using guitar polish/cleaner) if there is something really icky.. But again IMO.

Hope this helps.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-19-2017, 06:01 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 21,533
Default

Lowrider, I'd be hesitant to use prepackaged baby wipes for this task, simply because I don't know what's in them. I doubt they'd be harmful, especially, but they might leave some sort of residue.

What's easiest is to just use some mild soap and warm water, both very sparingly applied. A drop or two of Ivory Liquid in a quart of warm water, mixed well and then applied gently on a clean cotton cloth should work fine. Old 100% cotton tee shirts and old cloth diapers are good for this. Then take the dry end of the tee shirt or diaper and wipe up any moisture left behind.

Something you should take care with is to make sure the movable bridge is in the right position once you string up the mandolin again. After thirty or forty years of neglect the original bridge position might no longer be correct, so take your time dialing this in with an electronic tuner, making sure you get it right. If a potential buyer picks up the mandolin, hits a chord and it's sour and not in tune with itself, that could kill a sale right there.

So making certain you've got the bridge intonated correctly should be a high priority for you.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-19-2017, 06:10 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3,961
Default

I'd probably ArmorAll the case and moisten a soft cloth to clean up the instrument. Get a soft toothbrush and scrub alongside the fretwires to degunk them. Dust it with a soft bristle 1-inch paint brush. The natural hair disposable bushes are under a buck at any DIY store. Otherwise, the moistened cloth should get the bulk of the surface area clean and then, once dry, some instrument polish might be the last step to bring out the luster, if any. The brightwork might have to be removed to properly clean and polish it. Mother's is a fairly inexpensive metal polish available at most auto parts supplies.
__________________
https://www.fisherhouse.org/

-----------------
"Think as a winner and act as a winner. You’ll be quite likely to achieve your goal."

Enzo Ferrari
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-19-2017, 06:13 PM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Western New York
Posts: 6,200
Default

only water and a 100% cotton cloth
__________________
wood things with strings on them !
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-19-2017, 07:09 PM
Ed-in-Ohio's Avatar
Ed-in-Ohio Ed-in-Ohio is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Northeast Ohio, USA, Planet Earth
Posts: 3,463
Default

Stew-Mac's Preservation Polish and a soft, all-cotton, flannel or microfiber cloth.
__________________
2016 Taylor 120e Mahogany Top Prototype - FOR SALE

2017 Alvarez Artist AJ80CE Maple Jumbo - Marilyn
2002 Martin D-15 - Shawnee
c.1966 Regal Sovereign R235 Jumbo - Old Dollar
2009 Martin 000-15 - Brown Bella
2016 Alvarez Artist AF610EBK Folk - Mister Crow
1977 Gibson MK-35 - Apollo
Think Hippie Thoughts...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-19-2017, 07:18 PM
Brucebubs's Avatar
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eden, Australia
Posts: 9,575
Default

I recently discovered Music Nomad F-One oil for fretboards.



Easy to use and works incredibly well.



Should do a great job on that fretboard and bridge.
__________________
Brucebubs

1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2001 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - RAS kit #3 Dreadnought
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2016 - RAS kit #4 Small Jumbo 'Nashville Tuned'
2017 - Crimson SBG378HH bass.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-19-2017, 08:55 PM
jaybones jaybones is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Kelleys Island
Posts: 1,680
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed-in-Ohio View Post
Stew-Mac's Preservation Polish and a soft, all-cotton, flannel or microfiber cloth.
That's what I use!!
__________________
~1994 Gibson-Epiphone PR7ERS solid TB&S maple
Yamaha FG 12 string, & classical guitar
1976 Fender Stratocaster natural hardtail
~1970 Epiphone Rivoli
Partsbass J copy
~1993 Sammick partscaster
Epiphone strat silverburst (project)
Fender Stratocaster "Blackie" clone
Squier Stratocaster, blacked out w/ blacktop pups
Betamann dark blue strat (project)
Betamann burgundy tele (project)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-19-2017, 09:01 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,181
Default

I thought this might be the makings of a song.
__________________
Fred
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-20-2017, 06:16 AM
Jim_G Jim_G is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Central Massachusetts
Posts: 1,058
Default

I'd just use a rag dipped in a drop of dawn and warm water, and wrung out good. I can't imagine an instrument like that is going to sell for much more than $100, so I wouldn't bother buying some commercial product to clean it.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-20-2017, 06:30 AM
renoslim renoslim is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: North Florida
Posts: 196
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed-in-Ohio View Post
Stew-Mac's Preservation Polish and a soft, all-cotton, flannel or microfiber cloth.
My favorite. I also use their fretboard conditioner finish.
__________________
in alphabetical order, (so none of them gets jealous)
Breedlove, Eastman, Epiphone, Fender, Gibson, Godin, Guild, Gurian, Larrivee, Loar, Martin, Recording King, Taylor, Voyage Air, Webber, Yamaha ...
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Other Stringed Instruments

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=