5 Ways To Treat Your Guitar Better, So It Lasts Longer And Shows Less Signs Of Wear Out
by Michael Korte

General tips:

Don’t leave it in a bag

Your guitar is made of wood. It needs to breath. When you always have your guitar stored in your gigbag or hardcase, it will only get in contact with the same air, which over a longer period of time can harm your guitar.

Do not let it stand near the radiator

Big temperature differences around the guitar can cause your neck to bend.

It does not matter if your guitar changes from a cold area to a warm area, as long as that area is of equal temperature all around.
But avoid having one part of the guitar in a warmer area than the other. That is what you likely will get near a radiator.

Do not let it get wet

The wood will take big damage, if you drop your guitar in the water (duh).
A little bit of rain will not hurt it, if you rub it dry with a towel afterwards.

After you played your guitar, it is a good idea to wipe of the strings to remove at least some of the grease that is left on your strings coming from your fingers, which will prevent your strings from oxidation, so your strings will feel fresh for longer time.

Clean the fretboard regularly

Every guitar player knows and craves that feeling of a new guitar in your hands, right? And if you are one of them, I am sure you wished you could buy a new guitar again and again, or have your guitars freshly of the shelve again.

Unfortunately, most of us cannot afford to buy a new guitar every other week.

But here is some good news! You can get the exact same feeling with your guitars you already have! And all you need, are tools and things you can have in your household or find them in practically any guitar store.

Just follow this simple process step by step and do it regularly.

Item list:

String Cutter

Soft Paper Towels

Standard washing-up liquid

Lemon Oil


Fresh strings

Toothbrush (Wait… What??)

1. Remove the strings
You can achieve this by cutting them through with a cable cutter or get a special tool for this.

It should look something like this:

2. Get a few a paper towels and the washing-up liquid

What you need to do now is, put a little bit of the washing-up liquid on a paper towel (just a few drops) and clean the fretboard with it. It will not hurt your fretboard. Maybe you can use a few drops of water, too. Rub it all over the fretboard. Now take a fresh paper towel and rub over the fretboard again, so you catch the remains of the washing-up liquid.

3. Now it is time to apply the lemon oil (alternatively wood polish can do the job).

Get a fresh paper towel and put a few drops on it and spread it over an area of about 3 cm².

Do not put too much on the fretboard. It is sufficient to spread it quite thin, else you could cause remains of the oil be stuck inside of the wood and by expansion cause the fretboard to become uneven. Don’t forget to rub off the guitar neck with a fresh paper towel again after you are done.

4. Does your fretboard look all shiny and smell really good? Awesome! Then what you need now is… a toothbrush!

Because now you have the great opportunity to dust off all the little trenches and hidden edges that you cannot reach when the guitar is equipped with strings. Try to get away as much dust as possible.

5. The last step is to simply put new strings on your guitar…

…et voilà!

You have a new guitar!

If that is not an awesome feeling, I do not know what is. Is there something better for a guitarist than to play on a freshly cleaned guitar with fresh strings?

Last but not least: DON’T BUMP INTO ANYTHING!

I wish it would be different, but I learned it the hard way. I tend to my very clumsy sometimes and want to reach out for stuff while I still have my guitar around my neck and when I am in an awkward position. Instead just putting the guitar down, grab what I need to get and continue… but that would be too easy, right?

About the author: Michael Korte delivers musical results on the guitar for young and old guitar players at his guitar school (www.gitarrenakademie-hagen.de) in Hagen/Germany. If you are in his area, be sure to not miss out his offer for a free introductory lesson. Maybe you will experience, that there is much more to get out of you, than you initially thought.