How To Clean A Guitar Neck
A guitar can come under attack from a number of vectors. If it is left alone for too long it can easily accumulate dust on the strings and tuning keys, causing it to go out of tune. If it is played often then it needs to worry about sweat and oils from its user, which can cause damage to the lacquer and fretboard, as well as cause the guitar to gain a grayish appearance over time. By knowing how to clean guitar neck you help to ensure that this damage is limited and may even be able to stop it before it becomes an issue.
Preparing For the Cleaning
Before you begin, make sure that you have everything that you need. This means not only have a couple of rags to wipe everything down but also having all of the correct cleaning supplies; not only do you want lubricant for your strings but also some sort of oil for the fretboard. Make sure that you have the right cleaning supplies; different necks have different cleaning needs. You will also want a 0000-grade steel wool pad, as well as some guitar polish. You should also be doing this in a well-lit area so as to make finding any potential issues that much easier.
The Cleaning Itself
You will want to start with the strings first and move to the fretboard. The strings should be gently cleaned and then lubricated; this eliminates any debris on them as well as making them ready for play. With the neck itself, it depends on if you need a light cleaning or a more thorough cleaning. For a light cleaning, you can use a slightly damp cloth to eliminate most issues. You may want to apply oil as well, depending on the wood; maple wood guitar necks, for example, turn duller with the application of oil.
For more strenuous cleaning, however, steel wool may be needed. Make sure that you use masking tape on any pick-ups to avoid steel wool fragments from sticking to them. Make sure that you also target the problem and not the wood; while some woods do well with polishing, others tend to lose their gloss with too much polishing. Take care and you should be fine.
Of course, you need to make sure that your guitar is properly maintained between cleaning. Make sure that you wash before playing; this limits the oils from your hand coming into contact with the guitar. Your guitar should have its own case; this limits exposure to the elements as well as dust and other particles from accruing on your guitar and causing their own problems. Lastly, make sure that you look over the guitar for damage caused by wear and that all of the parts are working correctly; replacing strings regularly helps extend the life of the guitar. By maintaining your guitar and keeping it clean you can have not only a beautiful piece of work but something that is as ready to play as you are.