One of the best and easiest ways to take care of your guitar is merely keeping it clean. Dirt, dust, sweat, skin oil, spilled beverages, smoke, and other gunk can prematurely age your guitar's finish and hardware.
- Wash your hands – It’s obvious, but it’s also the most important thing! Your hands are home to several components that can prematurely age your guitar.
- Remove the strings – This will make cleaning the body and fretboard far easier.
- Clean the fretboard – Use fine steel wool to remove stubborn gunk from Rosewood/Ebony/Pau Ferro fretboards, and apply Lemon Oil to re-hydrate. Use a damp cloth to clean Maple fretboards.
- Polish the guitar body – For Poly-finished (gloss) guitars, spray guitar polish onto a soft cloth and wipe down. Use a dry part to buff out the polish. For Matte/Satin/Nitro-finished guitars, use only a dry cloth.
- Refresh the hardware – If you want your hardware to shine, use a soft cloth and a tiny amount of guitar polish to remove dirt or dried sweat. WD-40 can be used to remove thicker grime or rust.