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.
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.
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.
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!