How to Clean an Acoustic Guitar


Upa asked: How do I clean my acoustic guitar? It’s a cherry, red colored, acoustic guitar which has a lot of fingerprints on it. How do I clean it?

Acoustic guitars provide beautiful music and their classic look is unforgettable. These instruments are constructed from thin pieces of wood held together by glue. Though well constructed, they are not built to withstand large temperature and humidity changes. The glossy finish requires care and maintenance to maintain the brilliant shine. Fortunately, all that is needed is some time and TLC.

You Will Need:

  • Soft cloth
  • Water
  • Guitar polish
  • Polishing cloth

Steps to Clean the Guitar:

  1. Moisten a soft cloth with water.
  2. Squeeze it out completely so the cloth is only slightly damp.
  3. Wipe the surface of the guitar to remove dust, dirt, fingerprints, etc.
  4. Place a small amount of guitar polish on the polishing cloth.
  5. Apply the polish to the surface of the guitar using circular motions.
  6. Continue over the entire surface of the guitar. Remember to polish the bridge and bridge pins.
  7. Polish to the desired shine.
  8. Buff with a clean, dry, soft cloth.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Store your guitar in an area that maintains a consistent temperature and humidity level. Changes in these two factors can lead to cracking and damage to the guitar.
  • Only use guitar polish on guitars as furniture polishes can be heavy and muffle the sound.
  • There are special polishes available for the fingerboards to keep them slippery and easier to play.
  • Perspiration and body oils can damage the guitar. Keep the surfaces dry and clean them often after heavy use.


  1. Emma the guitar lord says:

    For me, it is way easier. Just a wet paper towel will work, then dry it off with a dry paper towel. (Guitar polish will also work after the paper towel part.)

  2. Hmm… soft cloth/paper towel; similar things, except I think a soft cloth would be better, especially for guitars that needs a good clean – haha – like mine.
    Thanks for the guide.

  3. Please be aware that paper products may scratch a guitar’s finish. An old cloth t-shirt or other cotton cloth is a better choice.

  4. Do you have to use guitar polish after you clean it or can you just clean the guitar with a damp soft cloth?

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