Care and cleaning of basses/guitars

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rhythm, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. rhythm


    Dec 4, 2005

    I currently own a very basic P-bass copy.

    However soon I hope to upgrade to more expensive instuments, and will obviously want to take particular care of them. I visit the Ed Roman website quite a bit, and came across this very interesting article about Microfiber Cloths (Scroll about half way down the page):

    Does anyone use them?

    Also, what other tips would you recommend to keep an instrument in 'as new' condition?

  2. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    I use the Fender Cleaning kit and am very pleased with it. Fender's "Ultimate" Cloth is a microfiber cloth, and the everyday spray and the polish that come with the kit are quite good IME. No experience with the scratch remover.

    I end up using the spray about twice a month or so, and the polish on each bass a little more than quarterly.

    My opinion on care is to keep your bass in the case as much as possible and wear your belt buckle on the side when playing.
  3. Winston TK

    Winston TK Hairpiece Adventurer

    Oct 8, 2001
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    Ah, a topic after my own heart. (Just look at my sig.)

    Keeping the bass in its case when not in use is definitely good advice. Also, try to get in the habit of giving the instrument a quick rub down after each use. It's not hard to do. You don't even need to use a super high quality cloth. Then, try to get in the habit of giving the bass a good thorough once-over every time you change strings. (You can gain access to every single nook and cranny this way. Heh heh.) Using a better quality cloth, like the microfiber ones mentioned here, is a great idea.

    And, kudos to kjones for the belt buckle suggestion. I avoid belt buckles entirely now when playing, but this is a great bit of advice. Watch out for zippers and conspicously hazardous looking shirt buttons, too.

    Of course, simply buying something used and already a little beaten up is another great way to go.
  4. Lewi_wilko


    Mar 24, 2004
    Id say just clean it about once every few days or so (or just when ever it looks mankey) give it a good rub down with a high quality or a lint free cloth. Also every few months or when ever you change your strings clean your fretboard and frets and all the other little places you cant reach with your strings on. Thats what i do
  5. Jason Brown

    Jason Brown

    May 1, 2000
    SLC, UT
    I use microfiber cloths and 3M Finesse-it II finishing material.

    All of my basses still look absolutely brand new.
  6. westland

    westland Supporting Member

    I'm obsessive about cleaning. The microfibre cloth is great. I just get mine from the store (JusCo here, but Target or WalMart in the states should have them). I use the Dunlop Cleaning kit ... a good investment.
  7. audiotom


    May 31, 2005
    new orleans
    James Jamerson never cleaned his bass and rarely changed strings

    his quote - "the funk is in the gunk"
  8. westland

    westland Supporting Member

    I think you can afford to do that when you are James Jamerson -- it adds to your 'character'. For the rest of us, it's more likely to be perceived as poor hygiene
  9. XIbanez4lifeX


    Nov 15, 2005
    for frets use Q-tips and lemon oil
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Rhythm, there are tons of websites to tell you in detail how to care for your bass. However, all you really have to do is wipe it down with a clean cloth and a shot of some non-wax furniture polish like Endust. This takes care of 99% of the dire you will get on it.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Hygiene? How could that be perceived as poor hygiene? Does that mean if you don't clean your bass, you will get body odor and butt cheese as a result?
  12. Oh man, that's gross! :p
  13. Dare say it depends how dirty it gets, just like if you play with a dirty woman, your gonna get a burn :p
  14. I wipe the bass down after each time i have played it. I also rub the strings every time, this will make your strings last much longer. For added protection of my bass I regularly wax it with an old carwax paste "Simoniz" which works fabulous it also says on the can "good for furniture.. ..etc" I guess it goes for the bass too. :p The oil rubbed finish at the back of my MM neck has almost not darkened one bit since I started playing it in 1999 I guess it has to do with the waxing ceremony.

    For the body of the bass which has got polyester coating I guess any good car wax will do, like "Turtle extreme" which I used for my MIA Jazz. I would not use it on my almost natural MM neck though.

    The rosewood finger board is taken care of with a damp cloth, and oiled afterwards with a good furniture polish like MP-52 (maybe a local Swedish product?).
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I think we can all agree that Ed Roman is full of crap about most things...

    ...but he's right about microfiber polishing cloths...they're really the best for bass cleaning. I have 5 of them.
  16. Micolao


    Sep 7, 2005
    yes I use them, the best way to clean all the bass.
    on the neck and the strings everytime I stop playng.
    is the best way to make the strings long lasting. ;)
  17. 1: I wash my hands before I play my bass. (Don't laugh - it's true). :D

    2: I have a Dunlop finish cloth. I wipe my bass down with it after playing.

    3: When I change my strings I hit the fingerboard with Lemon oil, and polish the body with a little Kitten car polish.

    My bass is around 18 months old, and apart from some marks in the finish where my thumb rests near the pup, it still looks like new.
  18. Micolao


    Sep 7, 2005
    I think the best for the fingerboard is boiled silseeds oil, a little bit less aggressive than lemon oil.