How To Take Care of an Acoustic Guitar (8 Expert Tips)

Beautiful girl enjoying nature

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I’ve grown up loving guitars. My mum knew that and promised to buy me one if I topped our class. It got me working extra hard to earn myself a guitar.

After a couple of attempts, I finally topped my class, and true to her words, she bought me a pretty pink acoustic guitar. I can vividly recall how excited I was. 

Taking care of it has been the most crucial part of owning it. There is nothing as good as well taken care of the guitar. Below is a guideline on how to take care of your acoustic guitar.

How to Take Care of an Acoustic Guitar

Here are tried and tested ways to help you maintain your acoustic guitar to remain in pristine condition and last longer. 

1. Keep your Guitar away from Direct Sunlight

Acoustic guitar 5

Sunlight has UV rays which will destroy the guitar strings. Avoid exposing your acoustic guitar to direct sunlight as it results in the aging of the guitar; direct sunlight on a humid guitar will result in rusting of the string. Consider placing your guitar in a guitar case to protect it from direct sunlight.

2. Wipe your Strings after Playing

Our hands have dirt and grease. It is important to wipe your strings after use to avoid the build-up of dirt destroying your strings. Wipe using a clean microfiber, paying attention to the neck and fretboard.

3. Clean and Polish the Guitar after Every Use

Girl playing guitar in the sunlight

Clean the top and back of your guitar. Do this after every use. It will help maintain a new look. A well-maintained acoustic guitar improves the resell value if you want to sell it.

Polish the guitar as per the manufactures instructions. Polishing the guitar gives it a good look and preserves its original look.

4. Protect the Guitar from Humidity

A humid environment creates a conducive environment for rust to develop. Always store your guitar in a cool and dry place. 

Use a hygrometer that will detect any slight changes in humidity. The ideal humidity range is between 40 and 55%. Extended exposure to humidity leads to damage to the guitar.

5. Store it Away from Quick Temperature Changes

Acoustic guitars are made of wood, thus delicate to sudden temperature changes. Sudden temperature changes distort their shape and sound. Extremely cold temperatures during winter lead to cracking of the guitar, neck warping, and twisting.

On the other hand, exposure to extreme heat leads to the melting of the glue. Melting of the wood glue results in loosening of the strings, and therefore, the sound production is distorted. In extreme cases, the guitar parts may begin to separate, resulting in permanent damage to the guitar.

To protect your guitar from sudden temperature changes, you can have a thermometer that will help you monitor the temperatures. Maintain the 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius) temperatures.

6. Change Your Strings Regularly

A man playing an acoustic guitar

Change your guitar strings every three months to ensure good sound quality. Continuous use of your guitar leads to wear and tear. 

To change the guitar strings, you will need the following:

  • Wire cutters
  • Spray cleaner
  • Lemon oil
  • A turner
  • String winder
  • Two cloths
  • New strings

7. Store Your Guitar in the Right Environment

Proper storage is one of the ways of taking care of your guitar. You ought to handle your guitar with utmost care for it to serve you. I am sure you had to save up some money for such an investment. 

Here are some of the ways you can safely store your guitar-

Get Yourself a Good Guitar Case                  

A good guitar case will protect your guitar from harsh weather and scratches. Therefore, a guitar case is an important investment to make, as it will enable you to have your guitar for a longer period. Agitar case is portable; therefore, no inconveniences are expected during transportation.

Protect the Guitar Strings

Protect the strings from too much tension. The strings are very delicate. Avoid placing your guitar near metals that can destroy the string during storage or pull it.

Keep Checking on your Guitar

Even as you store your guitar, keep checking on it to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight and a humid environment.

8. Clean and Condition the Fretboard

Clean frets once or twice a year; when six months or 12 months reach after you bought the guitar, consider cleaning the frets. The best time to clean the frets is when you change the strings.

Different frets require different products of cleaning. Go up and down the fretboard with the wood oil soap. After that, wipe the wood soap with a microfibre cloth.

Use lemon oil and complete the conditioning of the frets to give them a fresh new look.

Finally, use the dry part of the cloth to buff and give it a good shine.

What Are the Don’ts when Handling an Acoustic Guitar? 

  • Don’t clean your guitar with any products that have ammonia. Use polishes that are manufacturer specific. 
  • Do not leave your guitar in places of high temperatures, such as in your car on a sunny day.
  • Do not leave your guitar on near the window for long hours. It will predispose the guitar to either very low or very high temperatures.

Summing Up

A guitar is an important investment, especially for us who love music. You have to handle it with extra care to give you good service. It will also help increase the period that the guitar will serve you. 

Guitar care gives you lifelong service and makes your music production sweet to listen to. Consider taking your guitar servicing at the manufacturers. You enjoy music, and your audience will appreciate your good music.

Constant use of the guitar predisposes it to wear and tear. Do not worry if your guitar requires repair once in a while during your usage. Follow the manufactures instructions to change the strings, and your problems are solved.

Jim Henneberry

Jim Henneberry

I love playing my guitar, and my kids got hooked along with me.
This is a family thing now - why don't you join the family fun? :)