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Best way to thuroughly clean a bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ojthesimpson, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. ojthesimpson


    Jul 21, 2003
    Draper, UT
    I just bought a 25 year old bass and was wondering the best way to go about giving the "works"
    It's dusty and looks like it hasnt been playing for years.
    It's a Fender P-Bass special from the 80s
    any advice on giving this bass a make over?
  2. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Eventually you're going to need to clean out like the pickups and the neck pocket and the crpa tha tbuilds up on frets...

    May not be a good idea, but I just used a generic cloth that I've got for dust and stuff.

    Problem is, I wasn't worried about usin it on my Ibanez or my SX as well, in the case that anything did go wrong, well they were cheap....
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wipe everything off with furniture polish and a rag first, then make an assessment about it. If you have rusty parts, try naval jelly on them (after 25 years, they will no doubt have suffered pitting,but maybe you could at least remove the rust), but don't use naval jelly on pickups. If you have any noisy knobs or switches, use contact cleaner inside them and they should clear up. Use 4-0000 steel wool on the frets to remove any built-up gunk and make them shiny. Don't replace any parts with aftermarket parts unless they're missing. Fenders have a funny way of appreciating over the years and people get quite anal about aftermarket parts.

    But don't expect miracles. It's a 25 year old bass and shouldn't look like brand new anyway.
  4. Dr. Bobo

    Dr. Bobo

    Aug 17, 2005
    If it's painted glossy, anything to restore automotive paint is good. Cymbol cleaner is good on the frets too. MAG Aluminum/ Magnesium pollish works good on most of the metal parts, just test it in an inconspicus place first, it's not good for gold plating. It'll take the gold right off.
  5. It's really not a big deal to take the entire bass apart. I've found that I really can't get into all of the nooks and cranny's with anything unless the parts are all off the body. Dust can be wiped off but a bass that old gets a "coating" of gunk that doesn't wipe off easy. It usually takes some Windex to break up the greasy/smoky/dirty film. Then I take all of the metal parts and drop them into a can of naptha and let them soak. After soaking, I take each piece and wipe it down with a chamois to avoid fingerprints and grease from getting back on the parts. If the tuners are particularly bad, I'll even disassemble them and soak them seperately before reassembly. I do this for all of my full setups on older instruments and it really does help bring them back to life.