This is a question that many guitarists ask themselves and it must be said that the answers that we find on the Internet sometimes startle.
Cleaning the handle of your Acoustic Electric Guitar is strongly recommended at least once a year.
It is our favorite luthier, Joel Gremillet, who gives us some advice.
Know the wood of the handle: rosewood and Ebony.
Before you launch it is imperative to know the wood of your sleeve. Contrary to what we can read on the Web, the technique of cleaning the handle of a guitar will differ depending on the wood. Also, depending on whether this wood is varnished or not.
In this article we will focus on the palisandre and Ebony handles, both of which are the same cleaning technique.
This method will not apply to Maple handles.
Remove the strings and prepare your Acoustic Electric guitar.
To begin with, you must remove the strings from your guitar.
It’s quite rare to do so, but to clean your sleeve, you must remove all the ropes at all costs. Remember that in cases where you change your strings, you only remove one string after another: never all the strings at the same time.
Then, if you have a microphone integrated into your electroacoustic Acoustic Electric Guitar, it is strongly advised to put tape on your rosette to prevent anything from coming to stay inside your guitar.
Iron straw and oil.
On guitars with an ebony or rosewood handle, you must use iron straw to remove all the deposit that has gotten between the frets.
Your fingers will leave an accumulation of dirt on the key, it can be seen very quickly. The Iron straw you need to use is a type 000 iron straw. The finest we can find.
With the Iron straw you rub gently, in the direction of the wood (you can see it by looking at it closely), without scratching the key. It is a gentle manipulation for which we must take the time to do well. You will see that the filth will leave without any problem.
Some use (before the Iron straw stage) a micro-fiber cloth soaked with a little lighter fluid. But that’s not really necessary.
After passing the Iron straw and removing all the dirt and once your handle is completely clean, you will have to coat it with a little oil to feed the wood. Make it with a micro-fiber cloth. This will allow you to feed the wood.
Traditionally we use the lemon oil that you will find in any luthier. If you don’t have oil, the fast-Freight will do. Let the oil in for a few minutes (2 to 3 minutes) and use a dry cloth to remove the excess.
Your sleeve is now clean and well nourished.
The maintenance of frets.
Before you pull up your ropes, linger a little longer on your frets. It’s the perfect time since your sleeve is naked.
You will see that at the junction between the freight and the wood, there may be some Deposit left. Remember to remove it well with the cloth, or even scratch a little with your nails so that this junction is very clean.
Then, to make a beauty out of your frets, take a little piece of iron straw or a piece of Emeri grain style 600 cloth and take a light hit on the freight itself. It’ll clean her up and give her a good shiny. No need for polish or anything. A round trip with the Iron straw or the Emeri cloth and the trick is done.
Also consider checking the grooves on the millet to see if they are clean.
A little bit of sewing machine oil on your mechanics if the heart tells you, and your sleeve is ready.
Before pulling up the strings, swab the body, the head of the Acoustic Electric Guitar and the back of the handle. This will allow you to remove the last sweat and dust spots.
All you have to do is pull up your new strings and your Acoustic Electric Guitar is as good as new!
But we really advise you to avoid cleaning your sleeve yourself, we can only recommend you to turn to a luthier to avoid irreparable damage.