How to Clean an Acoustic Guitar Like A Pro

Cleaning your guitar is one thing that should be taken very seriously. Many pros liken their guitars to beautiful ladies whose beauty would wane without the correct maintenance. You have to know it’s in your best interest for the acoustic guitar in your care to be adequately catered for. 

When you intend is to get the best acoustic guitar, you may not enjoy your purchase as you’d want to if you don’t maintain it. Think about blasting away those tunes you like, and your piece suddenly develops issues from poor maintenance. It’ll be a heart-racing and disappointing moment. 

Keeping your guitar clean isn’t as costly as you may think, as there are secure methods you can use. These techniques will ensure your guitar is sparkling clean and producing at the highest level. 

Don’t think cleaning the outer board and the strings are where you have to stop, much more needs to be done. When all the tips you’ll get privy to are followed to the letter, a proper clean is what your acoustic guitar will get all the time.

Steps to Clean Your Acoustic Guitar

Get a guitar conditioner 

For you to properly clean your guitar, using the right stuff is handy. Make sure you get a guitar conditioner before embarking on any cleaning effort. This will help you clean your guitar and give the finish a good look every time. 

Some people make use of lemon oil and other oil products. Still, the conditioner is the item you’ll likely get quickly.

Guitar Conditioner

Get a toothbrush or steel wool

Getting the oil is the first step, and understanding what to apply the oil with is another thing entirely. Some guitarists make use of steel wool when cleaning their guitars. Steel wool has a thick make-up that’ll give your fretboard and the neck of your guitar a distinctive shine.

Also, if you have second thoughts about using steel wool in cleaning your guitar, then you can get a soft toothbrush to do the job. With a soft toothbrush, it’s possible to reach the hidden areas of the guitar and polish off all that grime accumulated.  

Steel Wool

Remove and clean the strings

The strings are the most used part of your acoustic guitar, so they need the most cleaning attention as a result. If your lines are due for a change, getting a new one won’t be so bad. But if you feel the strings can still serve you well, remove them from your guitar carefully and wipe them down.

You can use a dry, soft cloth or opt to use a fabric with a little oil. When this is done, your strings will be free from any dirt and will sound better overall.

Clean the fretboard

The fretboard of your guitar is the part beneath the strings that give better sound to your acoustic guitar. This part of your acoustic guitar could be made with rosewood or ebony, as they are the best materials for refracting sounds.

After the strings are removed, use your brush and oil/conditioner to brush off all dirt lingering beneath your guitar. 

Clean the string holes

The holes where you removed the strings shouldn’t be forgotten. Allowing dirt to gather in this part of your guitar may affect the sounds you produce. 

Clean the outer board of the guitar

The final part of the guitar that needs to be cleaned is the exterior finish. The surface finish is the most visible part of the acoustic guitar, and not cleaning it could lay the guitar to waste.

It’s a good idea to get a good shine on your outer board with some guitar polish. It’ll nourish the wood and prevent damage while maintaining its shine. 

Tips on How to Maintain Your Acoustic Guitar

Knowing how to clean your guitar isn’t enough. To make sure your investment in the guitar doesn’t go to waste, you’ve got to have proper maintenance culture. These tips will help you get your guitar at an optimum level at all times:

Get regular string changes

When your strings have been in use for months on end, it’s a good idea to get them replaced. Even if you think the sound is still good, taking the initiative to replace, the liners on your acoustic guitar will keep the guitar performing at its maximum. 

One reason why cleaning your old strings isn’t an option is due to the dirt accumulated over time. Most guitarists use oils when they play with their fingers, and the residue of these oils pack up dirt. 

Let’s not forget that constant hitting away at those notes leaves some dead skin cells from your fingers on the strings. With all this filth, your lines are a natural transfer point of dirt to the fretboard of your guitar.

Wipe down at every opportunity

When you have the opportunity to clean your strings and guitar overall, please do. It’s most important to clean your guitar at every opportunity when your guitar doesn’t have a casing. If your acoustic guitar is left to pack up dust, it may develop issues in the long run.

Ensure you use a cloth that’s made of viscose material. This fabric is ideal when you intend to clean your strings without having any residue on your guitar. That’ll promote better sounds and give your guitar a clean look every time.  

Keep your guitar away from the elements

When you have a guitar that doesn’t have a casing, ensure you try to get one ASAP. Your acoustic guitar’s board is mostly made from raw wood that may twist or peel if exposed to harsh sunlight or wet conditions. 

The reason why a guitar case is ideal is that the inner part of the case is made with materials that keep the guitar pristine. For the best storage of your guitar, there’s no better option than getting a case.


Now that you’ve seen all you need to know, your guitar’s always going to look brand new. And not just that, it’ll produce lasting sounds and be with you for years to come.