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Acoustic Guitar Maintenance Tips

Updated on April 23, 2013

Regardless of whether or not your acoustic guitar is of an elite breed or not, you need to diligently maintain it. The truth is that your acoustic guitar can last as long as you by practicing simple tips.

Carrying & Storage ~ It is always better to carry your guitar in a case - whether soft or hard. However, a hard case is better because it will provide for your guitar maximum protection from bumps, temperature and fluids.

At times, putting your guitar into its case may be inconvenient to you, but laying it around or leaning it against the wall can be a set-up for accidents. A good invention that solves this, by providing support for your guitar and easy access for you is a guitar stand.

Planet Waves Acoustic Guitar Humidifier System
Planet Waves Acoustic Guitar Humidifier System

Temperature & Humidity ~ Enemies of your guitar are extremes in temperature and humidity including when they change rapidly. Shifted necks, cracked finishes, slackened glued joints are all examples of damages that can happen to an acoustic guitar due to environmental changes and conditions.

A stable environment of controlled humidity and temperature is ideally what your guitar needs. A humidifier is an effective device that can be placed in the sound-hole of your guitar that can be set to maintain humidity at a particular level. An acceptable level of humidity for guitars is 40% - 60%. Humidifiers won't interfere any at all with your playing.

When carrying your acoustic steeled string guitar on a flight, it is advisable to slacken the strings as the lower temperature may cause the strings to contract (i.e. tighten) and place too much force on the neck of your guitar. Too much force on the neck may cause it to be displaced.

Illustration by TrapdoorMedia (visit
Illustration by TrapdoorMedia (visit

String Care ~ Wipe your guitar strings with a cloth to get rid of deposits of dust, dirt and oils from your fingers. Use a string lubricant if you have metal strings to keep them shiny, light and bright.

Before playing, you can clean your hands with a small amount of hand sanitizer and wipe them in a cloth. The natural oils from your hands will transfer to the strings and bog them down, so you will have to avoid this.

Cleaning ~ Your guitar is quite easy to clean. Guitars are not high maintenance, so what you will need to do is to wipe your guitar with a damp cloth to get rid of smudges, elbow grease and dust. Wipe the body, neck and fretboard.

Occasionally polish your guitar. Many Guitarists abuse their guitar by over polishing, lubricating and waxing. Some experienced guitarists suggest that keeping the wood of your guitar dry is great for the increase in quality of sound. The deposits of products used on the guitar can change the natural resonance of the wood, and reduce the sound quality over time.

You can vacuum the inside of your guitar via the sound-hole to get rid of dust and other unwanted particles.

Additional Miscellaneous Tips ~

  • Avoid over-tightening your guitar strings, as this can cause excessive strain on the neck.
  • Be extra careful when walking around with your guitar from room to room to avoid bounces and scratches.


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    • theblackedition profile image

      Shane Brown-Daniels 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Good advice. Thanks for the addition... So true, isn't it! @Used Acoustic Gui

    • Used Acoustic Gui profile image

      Used Acoustic Gui 7 years ago from New Zealand

      I agree, you need a case to transport your instrument and to store it when you are not playing it!