Cleanliness is the other name of godliness. Some people just avoid the cleaning process while using a bass guitar. But if you take care of your bass guitar, you will be able to prolong the life of your favorite instrument thus you will get the best return of your investment. Cleaning bass guitar is not a difficult task to do actually. If you know the proper method and you have the right products to clean it, you can do it at your home without any professional help or without investing lots of money.
- Steel wool – use the finest one in the market “0000”
- Cotton swab – use it for hard to reach areas
- A piece of cloth – an old sweatshirt, t-shirt will do the work
- Guitar polish
- Different types of oil- lemon, orange, almond, and even olive oil
Table of Contents
Things to Keep in Mind When Cleaning Bass Guitar:
To clean the hardware, you need to start with all the metal parts that include tuning heads, strap locks, and bridge. These parts need to keep clean. You can use a soft cloth to remove all the dirt and keep them clean and polished looking. If there are more build-ups, you can use mild metal polish.
When cleaning up the BODY of your bass guitar, you need to use a soft cloth and the polish material that specially designed for the bass and guitar applications. Don’t use the everyday furniture polish that contains solvents and wax. It can be harmful on your guitar.
The NECK of your guitar should be cleaned in a similar manner as the body of the guitar in most cases. Just be careful not to get any of the polish on to the fretboard.
When cleaning the BODY of your guitar, you should always use a soft cloth and a polish specific for guitar and bass applications. I would not recommend using everyday furniture polish as they may contain wax and solvents that may be harmful to the type of finish you have on your guitar. The NECK should also be cleaned in the same manner as the body of the guitar in most cases. Just be careful not to get any of the polish on to the fretboard.
Cleaning up the neck and the fretboard is a major part of bass guitar maintenance it needs to be done in a while. If the back of the neck comes with a lacquered finish, you need to clean it up with good guitar polish. Just spray a little on a soft cloth and rub down the neck of the bass guitar. If it is not lacquered an application of beeswax or similar products. It will keep it in good condition.
The fretboard is another very important part of your bass guitar, so take care of it. Here is a tip, if you run into what they call fret buzz when playing certain notes you are in need of a neck adjustment. But don’t try it yourself. An experienced guitar repairman can help you with this.
You need to pay more attention to the fretboard. If the fretboard of your bass is filthy, first remove the strings and scrub gently the fretboard by using a soft brush. This will help you to remove most of the loose dirt. Be very careful if you are cleaning up acoustic bass when you are removing all the strings at once. Don’t mess up the pick-up under the bridge. If the frets are tarnished they can be cleaned with any good quality metal cleaner, but be careful not to get any of the cleaners on the fretboard. Repeat for all the frets. I do not recommend using fine steel wool because the little particles tend to want to settle in the grooves next to the frets. It is a time-consuming job, but will not take too long, and it will increase the life of your investment.
If your bass fretboard is not lacquered you can treat it with a little amount of lemon oil. But don’t use too much lemon oil and don’t forget to wipe out the excess oil.
If you try the method without removing the strings, it will be difficult for you to prevent the oil from getting on the strings. Another solution is to use wipes or even you can use the baby wipes. There are many polishes and cleaners available in the market that will also work well. How often you need to clean the bass fretboard will depend on how often you play the bass guitar. But it is good to clean it two or three times a year. To clean up the fretboard, you need to remove it properly, gently rum microfiber cloths or steel wool.
You can use a damp cloth with alcohol to clean up the strings. But keep away the woods from alcohol. You can try a baking soda solution also. Coil the guitar strings together and put them into a pan. Pour two or three tablespoons of baking soda into it and a good amount of water to cover up the strings. Let it boil and prepare a cold water solution. Let it sit to be cold. Clean it with dry cloths.
Ideal Time for Cleaning a Bass Guitar
The ideal time of your bass guitar is every time you change the strings. It can be on every three or four weeks. Don’t forget to keep some string cleaner with you to keep your strings free from the oil build up from your fingers. You need to store your bass guitar properly to avoid such issues. A room’s humidity can affect the guitar area. Spray the guitar polish on the body before rubbing it with a dry cloth in a circular motion.
You can use the polish with a toothbrush. You can buy a good polish or cleaner from the market and clean it throughout with proper way. If you are not aware of the process, you can search the internet to find out the right method.