Tips For Caring For Your Guitar

Tips For Caring For Your Guitar

Ahh, spring cleaning. Few things feel better than a shiny electric guitar, a fresh set of strings, and a cranked amp. 

If you want to prolong the luster and appearance of your guitar, a few simple guitar care practices will go a long way. We chatted with our PTC (Paul Reed Smith Tech Center) employees to come up with a few quick tips that will guide you in caring for that special guitar in your life. 

First and foremost, a great way to consistently care for your guitar is to simply wipe it down with a microsuede or microfiber cloth after each use. This will prevent the natural oils on your hands from slowly eating away at the finish over time. 

Another great practice is to keep your guitar in its case when it’s not being played. If you live in a part of the world were temperature and humidity fluctuate often, keeping your instrument in its case when you’re not rocking out will provide a more consistent temperature environment.

Now, if it has been a while since you’ve wiped down your guitar or pampered it, you may be ready for some deeper cleaning. This is where the guitar care products come in. 

Fretboard Conditioner


PRS Fretboard Conditioner restores the sheen and luster of your fingerboard. We recommended using it for dark unfinished natural woods (rosewood, ebony, cocobolo, etc).

We do NOT recommend using fretboard conditioner on maple fingerboards -  applying fretboard conditioner will darken light colored fretboards. Instead, a simple guitar cleaner will work well on maple fingerboards.

First remove the strings from your guitar. Apply a small amount of fretboard conditioner to a microsude cloth (a few drops will be perfect) rub the cloth over the fingerboard and frets. Flip your cloth around to a dry side and rub off the excess conditioner. 

You should use fretboard conditioner about every 6 months. If you live in a harsher / dryer climate, consider conditioning your fretboard more often as the fretboard can dry out more quickly. You will not harm the fretboard by over conditioning - as long as you wipe off the excess.

If your guitar has a natural rosewood neck it should be conditioned lightly about once a year. Try to avoid rubbing the conditioner over logos and signatures as it can eat away at them over time.

Guitar Cleaner


For the body of your guitar, PRS Guitar Cleaner is a great treatment.

“We’ve seen a lot of sweaty, funky, guitars in our days working at the PTC” says Len Johnson, PTC employee. “Consistent use of a guitar cleaner is a great way to preserve the finish on your instrument and maintain its original appearance.”

Spray a few spritzes onto a microsuede cleaning rag and rub it on the top, back, and sides of your guitar’s body.

PRS Guitar Cleaner also works well to clean your nickel or gold pickups. If your nickel pickups have already started to tarnish, try using a metal polisher, but pay attention to the individual polisher’s instructions. Do not use metal polish on gold pickups.

Guitar Polish


Finally, PRS Guitar Polish gives the guitar a nice sheen and can be used as needed. We recommend polishing about every 6 months. Avoid using polish on guitars with satin finishes. 

“A little goes polish goes a long way,” says PTC employee James 'Skitchy' Zimmers, “be careful not to get polish in the crevices of your guitar: under pickups, under your tremolo, inside the backplate edges, if it builds up there it can look unsightly.”

Put a few drops of guitar polish onto your microsuede cloth and rub it onto your guitar’s top, back, and sides. Wipe off any excess polish, and hopefully your guitar looks like it did the day it left the factory!

Check out the PRS accessories store to buy our Guitar Care Kit and start your spring cleaning!

Click here to contact the PTC if your guitar is ready for a setup or overhaul!


Comments (22)

Geoff May 11, 2019 - 9:46pm
My 2006 Santana 2 finish has become milky and dull, especially around the edge of the face. Any tips to get it back to it's original condition? Thanks.
Paschalis Antoniou April 29, 2019 - 3:58pm
Hello I have an SE 245 2017 lineup. Unfortunately i do not have a PRS fretboard conditioner, but i have a Dunlop lemon oil, which the local dealer suggested. Please tell me if i can use this, as i cannot find a PRS conditioner in the market. I live in a quite environment.... Best regards
GQ January 01, 2019 - 11:58pm
I have a satin grey black CE 24 with maple fretboard What do I clean it with to keep it from getting shiny? What do I clean the maple fretboard with also? Thanks
Chris J June 15, 2018 - 6:41pm
Hi have just bought a gorgeous charcoal burst 594 with nitro satin finish. Love it! Any advice on what products to use to clean this finish. And once the satin starts to gloss a bit in the areas of contact, any way to even out the gloss (ie gloss up the rest of the body to match those areas?) Thanks
Peter Wu March 16, 2018 - 10:17am
May I ask advice for cleaning from finish of Dragon 2002 single cut? Also how do know if our PRS guitars are nitro finish or not? And what is the different process of cleaning between Nitro n Non Nitro Prs guitar? Thanks , Peter Wu
[email protected] March 09, 2018 - 11:38am
Hey Joe, here is a link to the string set that ships on most DGT models: [url=][/url] You should be okay moving down in gauge. We don't have any recommendations on repair shops, however you can check our dealer list to see authorized PRS dealers in your area that may perform repairs!
Joe March 07, 2018 - 9:18am
I just purchased a 2015 Dave Grissom private stock DC245, was wondering what gauge strings came with it originally? This one feels like 10s. I normally play 9s. Would prefer it, are there any concerns or changes to go with 9s? Thank you for your time,I live in Toronto Ontario Canada, would love to know a reputable PRS repair/mod shop in the area if there is one?
[email protected] January 30, 2018 - 3:47pm
Hey Liam, reach out to our customer service folks for advice! .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Darius January 28, 2018 - 10:54am
Yes , this is important to clean and oil you fret board. I'm doing this every 2 months. Fret board always look "healthy". Other pros...applying fret board cleaner removing dirt .
Liam Sexton January 19, 2018 - 12:25pm
Hello, I have a '94 CE22, and the side markers are worn and barely visible. Any tips for cleaning or possibly even replacing these markers? I can no longer see where they are in low light conditions. Any help would be super useful. Thanks, and keep up the good work!!
Ronny Tucker July 26, 2017 - 11:28am
Providing the right care for your guitar will ensure that it plays true for a long time to come. If you find the task cumbersome, you can always take it to the guitar shop for regular maintenance.
[email protected] July 12, 2017 - 12:13pm
Hey Greg, different models ship with different string gauges, so your best bet would be to contact our customer service for advice on your model! You can reach them at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Greg July 07, 2017 - 10:45pm
What strings are installed on PRS Guitars at the factory? Can they be bought in retail stores?
Caio T Brandao April 16, 2017 - 6:59pm
Are any of the PRS guitar care products 100% natural, no chemicals at all? The product pictures do not show the back, with ingredient info, etc.
John T April 14, 2017 - 4:13am
Hi! You don't say anything about the neck. I have a custom24 and 513 both with maple necks. Is it ok to use PRS polish on these? Thanks Cheers John
Billy Anderson April 14, 2017 - 1:32am
Thanks for the "spring cleaning" tips.
Naomi April 13, 2017 - 8:50pm
So for the unfinished maple neck of an Experience 2012 guitar, just the cleaner?
Jay April 13, 2017 - 8:44pm
I live in Hawaii and my McCarty lives in almost perfect humidity year round. I use some of the mentioned products but most important it seems to me is the micro suede or micro cloth. Using those, you barely ever need to use liquid products. My Mc hasn't seen a case in 14 yrs. It has the tank of a case PRS puts them in, but they are strangers...;-)
Steve April 13, 2017 - 8:15pm
Good to know that companies and people still care about taking care of their instruments. I have guitars I have played for 20 years still not "relic'd"...because I take care of them. And yes.....some have solid dings and happens. I still try my best to take care of them.
Dave April 13, 2017 - 7:46pm
My problem is not the guitar body, but the pickups on my PRS Swamp Ash Special. They are dull-looking and I can't get them shiny. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Bobby gunnop April 13, 2017 - 6:07pm
Where can i buy original strings for my Prs (paul guitar 2013). In quebec city Canada. Grate guitar.
RichieRICH April 06, 2017 - 8:32pm
Awesome tips!! Thanks for all the info!!

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