How To Keep an Acoustic Guitar in Good Condition

How To Keep an Acoustic Guitar in Good Condition

Maintaining the acoustic guitar is essential if you want it to serve for the longest time. However, other more advantages come with good maintenance. One of them is that you will enjoy the best sound quality and learn how to keep an acoustic guitar in good condition.

Many people have come up with measures whose aim is to keep the acoustic guitar in good condition. However, they have not still achieved the objective because guitars still experience damages. Therefore, we have come up with methods that will make the acoustic guitar maintain the best standards.

Our methods are a result of research and real-life testing. We will also highlight the advantages that come along with good care.

Importance of keeping the guitar in good condition

When you apply the measures to keep the acoustic guitar is in good condition, the end result is always good. Some of the outcomes that it comes along with including the following.

Long-term service

A guitar that has enjoyed proper care will serve for a very long time. The chances of having it getting damaged are very low because there are precautions to keep it safe. In case you identify anything that is not working in order, you will quickly do rectification.

Part of maintenance involves removing the components that are not in proper order. You will have a chance to change the strings and other parts hence making them ever suitable. The result is that the components that damage the guitar get eliminated.

Improved performance

The performance of the guitar improves significantly when you keep the acoustic guitar in good condition. Part of maintenance involves adjusting the various parts, including the strings. Having the whole instrument under proper adjustment makes the performance enhanced.

Tuning becomes part of the process hence making the sound production maintain better quality. Moreover, you will have the process of noise identification quicker hence creating fast solutions for the sound whenever you feel things are not working.


The guitar that has undergone proper maintenance is reliable. When you need to do some guitar recording or attend a live performance, you will use the guitar.  It will perform as you expect because the condition facilitates better performance.

You will not expect any disappointment when you get to the stage or the studio. The sound will maintain quality and the chances of having any part getting broken during the play are minimal.


The maintenance of a guitar is essential as it lowers the cost of acquiring a new instrument. Chances of having significant repairs that are likely to break the bank become minimal. You will save a lot of money when you have routine maintenance.

You will also have an opportunity to plan when to have the repair works and set a budget. Then, you can have the assurance that the guitar will last until you do the next repair.


The acoustic guitar remains very clean when you do proper maintenance. The strings and the fretboard remain clean hence ensuring that at all times you have better sound quality. Dirty strings produce a bad sound as opposed to those that undergo proper cleaning.

Chances of having damages also lower as the rate of impurities lower. Rust will not develop hence leaving the status of the guitar better. This calls one to learn how To Keep an Acoustic Guitar in Good Condition.

16 tips to keep an acoustic guitar in good condition

Keeping your acoustic guitar in good condition is very simple. We have come up with the 16 best tips that will make you enjoy the proper care.

Clean hands before you play

The first simple thing you will do is clean your hands every time you start playing the guitar. Playing the guitar with dirty hands promotes the spread of sweat, dirt, and grime to the strings. One thing you may not be so much aware of is that your hands become acidic every time you sweat.

You end up damaging the fretboard and the strings when you use acidic hands for playing. An alternative is to get solutions that will deal with acidic hands. Some people will even prefer to have gloves not to have direct contact with parts of the guitar.

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Acidity eats up the strings, while dirt will make the whole instrument dirty.

Embrace the use of strap locks

Strap locks are good because they prevent the guitar from sliding and falling. Using them lowers the chances of having the guitar falling and getting damaged. The standard guitar that does not have straps is exposed to damage, falls, and will probably not serve for long.

Most instruments will come without straps hence making it your responsibility to get them. The good news is that there are many strap locks available in the markets. You can get many from low budgets to high-end ones.

Remove the straps after your play

It is also crucial to remove the straps immediately after you finish your playing session. If you have vinyl and synthetic solvents, then you have to know that they are solvents. This means that they are likely to affect the finish layers of the guitar.

You will have better protection if you are using leather straps. But they will eventually damage the guitar. So you need to ensure that you carry the straps away and then put the guitar on the case.  If you have to put them together, then they will need some separation to avoid direct contact.

Clean the strings after playing

Most people start by wiping the strings before they get to play. Some will even clean their hands before they start their sessions. It is, however, excellent to ensure that you also do the cleaning after playing the guitar.

You will notice that most instruments have a wound coil. The coil is very good at dirt collection. Other things that are likely to remain on the strings are sweat, grime, moisture, and oils.

Wiping is essential because it prevents the dirt already on the strings from getting to the fretboard. Unfortunately, such a challenge is very common with the fretboards that have not got any initial treatment. Some good examples are ebony and rosewood material.

One thing you may not know is that regular cleaning also lowers the rate of oxidation. Therefore, you will have the strings serving for a more extended period. Some people will say that choosing the coated string is the best thing. However, the sound quality of a coated string is slightly lower.

Clean the neck after playing

Things are getting more serious here. After cleaning the strings, you will also clean the neck. Again, you will use the soft lint-free cloth to do the cleaning because of its absorption power. It does so well that it even removes the oils that stick on the fretboard.

Do not forget to clean the back of the neck as it is fond of oil accumulation. Leaving behind the oils on the fretboard will lead to accumulation hence affecting the finish. It is also possible that the neck will begin to affect the strings again because of the dirt accumulation.

Keep of scratches and dings

Now you need to avoid using things that will cause damage to the guitar. Such things include metals, belt buckles, zipper straps, and some wood materials. They are notorious for causing dings and scratches, which make the guitar look bad.

When storing the guitar, removing it, and playing, you need to keep off such tools. However, some care and attention are needed every time you play the guitar.

Placing the guitar on the stand when pausing is essential as it keeps it safer. However, most people get a guitar strap that prevents it from falling when you place it on the sofa or any other place.

Make use of the case

You also need to make good use of the case. You need to keep the guitar inside the case any time it is not in use. There are many reasons why you need to keep the guitar inside its case.

It helps to control humidity and also keep it off from falling. The guitar case is one of the essentials that a guitarist must always have. It helps protect the guitar and makes it simple to carry it from one place to another.

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Guitar strips come along with the handles that will probably make it easier to carry along. However, comparing damage to buying the case, then it is better to have a case.

Check on maintaining humidity

Another thing that needs a close eye on is the maintenance of humidity. The guitar and humidity are enemies hence the need to avoid. Humidity keeps fluctuating and will end up creating a microclimate for the guitar.

One of the best and proven methods to care for the guitar is to store it inside the case. You need an excellent hygrometer that will maintain the humidity inside the case hence offering proper protection. A humidity range of 45-55% is suitable as anything lower or higher than that is dangerous to your instrument.

Protect the guitar from direct sunlight

You also need to ensure that the guitar is not exposed to direct sunlight. When the guitar gets exposed to direct sunlight for more extended periods or longer duration, it deteriorates despite the time it stays in a single moment.  UV rays cause premature damage that affects the case and lowers the quality of the strings.

For one time, you can expose the guitar to light for around 2 hours. However, keeping the guitar in a hard case will prevent the sunlight from penetrating, ensuring that the guitar is generally safe. In addition, a good case blocks the light from getting inside the guitar and prevents heat distribution on the guitar.

Proper care during storage is essential because it improves performance. Too much sunlight and heat will make the strings produce a poor sound. String expansion as a result of heat has a direct effect on lowering the quality.

Check on the quick changes in temperature

Another thing that is likely to affect the guitar and its performance is the temperature changes. Sudden temperature changes will make the strings expand when they increase. On lowering, the strings contract making the effect more extreme.

If the temperatures are very high and then all of a sudden, they lower, you will notice some serious contraction. The contraction is effective and may even cut off the strings. However, when sudden changes occur from time to time, they will lower the performance’s quality drastically.

The only way you can manage the sudden changes is by keeping the guitar in its case. Once you remove it and there are high or very low temperatures, you have to keep it aside for around 15 minutes to adapt to the environment first.

Clean and polish the guitar’s body

The body cleaning involves managing the back and the sides of the guitar. You need to clean and treat the parts to look nice and are less exposed to damage. By doing some regular and routine cleaning, you will have the guitar maintaining a good performance and look.

Some of the things you need to look at when cleaning and polishing include closely;

  • Avoid the use of wax during the cleaning. If you use wax products, they will accumulate, and there are high chances that you will experience the effect after some time.
  • Do not apply anything or polish the fretboard. You need a cloth to clean up the part because it comes already polished.
  • Do not spray directly on the guitar. Spraying is likely to cause some form of damage when you apply it directly to the guitar. Instead, apply whatever you need to use directly to a cloth and then apply it to the guitar.
  • Go through the user manual to understand what you can use on the guitar and what not to. The beauty of manufacturers is that they have their maintenance guides that tell you the best practices.

Maintain the fingerboard

The process of maintaining the fingerboard involves cleaning and conditioning. It works best when you do it at least twice every year. For example, when changing the guitar strings, you need to clean and condition the part because it is the best moment to have the work correctly done.

Another challenge that comes along with such cleaning is that you have to look at the fretboard. There are specific woods that will not work with specific conditioners. On the other hand, some such as ebony and rosewood come already treated and will not need any form of treatment.

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If your guitar has an untreated fretboard, you will need to use a slightly different criterion. You will use wood oil soap, microfiber cloth, lemon oil, or steel wool to do the cleaning. Avoiding corrosion of the guitar parts when cleaning is essential for the best performances.

For treated fretboard, you will use the microfiber cloth or pump polish to do the cleaning. Then, you can comfortably manage the rest of the work with a dry cloth.

Polish the guitar frets

You also need to do some polishing on the guitar frets. You can choose to do it every day or after some time. The basic thing is to ensure that you do the cleaning before 6 months exceed. Regular cleaning takes place so long as you always play the guitar.

The more you play, the more polishing you need for the guitar. After cleaning and conditioning the guitar, you can do the polishing. One of the essential parts that you must do the polishing is on the frets. You have to use the manuals to understand how you will polish the treated and the untreated frets.

Guitar setup

Another thing that you must always do is the guitar setup.  Immediately you buy the guitar; you must set it up. This happens mostly when you have bought a cost-friendly guitar because they come without any form of setting. Part of the set includes regular tests to check on the functionality.

After 6 months of use, it is always good to check on the settings of the guitar. Unfortunately, what happens is that after some time of use, the performance deteriorates, and you may not know it.

This happens for the best-maintained guitars because they are less exposed to any form of damage. But, of course, you, therefore, need to adjust the guitar.

Change the parts of the guitar

You also need to make changes to the guitar parts. Some of the parts you need to change are the strings, tuning pegs, and adjustable parts. You can change them if you feel that they are not functioning as you expect.

For the strings making the changes becomes mandatory. After some time, you have to do it so that it does not have to lose much on the performance. Changing the strings involves working in the rod and the bridge adjustment, nut height, and assessing the electronics.

You also need to oil the electronics and then polish the frets. Once you do all this, you have to check on the intonation. Tuning is necessary after some time and more so after making changes.

Play the guitar regularly

The final point involves playing the guitar regularly. Such playing is essential because it helps to boost the performance of the model. In addition, when you pluck the strings day by day, they improve the sounding.

A guitar that you play regularly will have a better performance. Chances of experiencing damages and results of dormancy such as oxidation will lower. Another thing that happens on the positive side is that you will notice the parts that need immediate attention and probably work on them.

Store the guitar properly

It is also important to store the guitar properly if you want the guitar to last. This ensures all the facets discussed above are applied in use and also in storage.

Therefore, if you want to keep the acoustic guitar in good condition, you have to ensure that it is stored as recommended.


To Maintain and keep an acoustic guitar in good condition is an adorable thing. The process is also simple and delivers the best outcomes. We have done thorough checks on the parts that you need to look at.

Adhering to our recommendations will make everything suitable for your instrument. But, of course, the best thing is to ensure that you regularly play the instrument.