How to Clean an Acoustic Guitar

For a guitar player, the instrument is considered as an extension of their soul. Therefore, they will want to show their instrument nice and cleaning. By keeping your guitar clean, you can extend its life.

Furthermore, this also offers you a slight confidence boost when playing. If you don’t how to clean your acoustic guitar, you’re the right place. In this article, we will give you all the things you need to know about it.

Removing Dust

Gather materials

In order to clean your guitar, you will need a few things that can help you do this effectively. In fact, you will need to gather two soft cloths, lemon oil, a spray bottle with a bit of detergent and water, something pointy, and guitar polish. 

Unstring the guitar

Rotate the tuning heads backward in order to loosen the guitar strings. Then, remove the pin out of your bridge. For a string-winding tool, you can get underneath the pin with the edge. Next, pull out the guitar string. Do this again for all six strings. After removing the strings, you can clean them. 

Dust your guitar

You need to prepare soft cloths. They can help to remove dust from the neck and body parts. It’s important to wipe down all sides of the guitar.

Remember to do this gently. It’s best to perform this every time you replace your strings. Normally, we will need to change the strings every 3 months if you play a lot.

Wipe off the tuning keys

Use a soft cloth to wipe off each of your tuning keys. Remember to do this gently. If you notice your tuning keys are dirty or oily, it’s better to spray a bit of detergent water. Use it to wipe off your tuning keys. Besides, you can also use a bit of window cleaner for this.

Cleaning Deeply

Deep clean along frets

Use a soft cloth. Then, wrap it around the pointy items like a pen or open needle-nose pliers. You can remove stubborn dirt from each fret’s edge by using this covered sharp edge. We recommend you to clean your guitar deeply at least twice a week for the best result.

Oil your fretboard

For this, you will need one more soft cloth. Also, you need lemon oil as well. It’s better to apply a few drops of lemon oil to clean your guitar. Then, start oiling the fretboard in a circular movement. Start it next to the headstock. It’s best to do this task at least a couple of times every year. 

Oil your bridge

Use the same cloth. Also, don’t forget to apply a few drops of lemon oil to your cloth. Similarly to the previous step, you need to use a circular movement. Make sure the oil can absorb right into your guitar wood. 

If you see any excess oil in the bridge, you can wipe it off by using another side of your cloth.

Clean with detergent

If you see your guitar becomes dirty, you will want to use a bit of soap to clean, right? Consider grabbing your spray bottle filled with detergent in water.

Next, moisten the dusting cloth. However, avoid spraying your guitar directly. It’s best to use as little water as possible for this. Then, you can wash off any dirt from your acoustic. 

Polish the body

Nowadays, there is a wide range of choices when it comes to guitar polishes available on the market. Actually, they are divided into three major types, including screamy cleaners, water-based cleaners, and oils. 

You can choose any type to apply to your soft cloth. Next, use the cloth in a circular movement, and oil your guitar gently. Remember to do this on the front, sides, and back. Try to let it absorb into the wood. 

We advise you to search for and learn about your number online so you can get the best product for your guitar. 

Finish with a buff cloth

If there is a matte finish in your guitar, you just need to use a soft cloth to wipe down. This step purposes to help absorb any excess oil. However, if it comes with a shiny finish, you should follow up with a buff cloth. Do this in a circular movement. 

Restringing and Finishing Up

Insert the new string

You need to slide the ball end of your new string into the right hole in the bridge. Next, it’s time to put a pin into the hole. The ball shouldn’t end on the tip of the pin in order to prevent it from working itself loose. 

Thread the string

The other end of your string needs to be thread into the right slot on the tuning post. It’s best to keep the string around 3 inches through the post. Then, tighten it. You should pull the string in the direction of the bridge. 

Wind the string

You need to start to wind the string with your twist the tuning key. It’s ideal for 4-5 neat winding s on the post without overlaps. Do the same for other strings. 

Tune your guitar

You need to tighten your strings until you notice it is playing the right note. To do this, you will need the help of an electronic tuner. After that, you can make sure that the guitar is ready to play for the next time. 

Put your guitar away

You may want to keep your guitar out on display. However, it’s best to put your guitar away in a hard case in order to keep it clean. By this way, you can extend its life as well as its vitality for a long time. 


As a guitar player, one of the most important tasks is to care for your instrument properly. In this article, we have walked through the best ways of cleaning your acoustic guitar. You just simply need to follow up on our guide.

Then, you can keep your instrument clean with ease. Last, I want to advise you to wipe down your instrument after each playing. Be a smart player!  

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