Cleaning Problem

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kd_rome, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. kd_rome


    Aug 23, 2004
    Hi guys!
    I'm having a problem cleaning my vintage basses.
    I tried to read all the post on this forum about it but I still can't find a good product.
    I bought a couple products for the wood but they all leave this blury effect on the body.
    I see on the parts where I didn't pass it that the color is still bright.
    So I tried just to clean it with some light handsoap but the result is the same.
    I also bought...the Fender Meguiar's box ( i know it wasn't a good idea...) but still the same problem.
    What do you think?
  2. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    Wood cleaning products won't work because your bass is finished with either a nitrocellulose lacquer or a catalyzed polymer, both of which seal the wood and your wood products never get to the wood.

    I use a mixture of 90% distilled water and 10% rubbing alcohol. I use a very small amount to just barely dampen a soft cloth and wipe my bass down to clean off the oils and haze and then go back over with a dry cloth to shine. Nine times of ten the plain dry cloth is all it needs.
  3. kd_rome


    Aug 23, 2004
    Thanks Glann, the lacquer is nitrocellulose, and they are vintage Gibson basses.
    I used to use a little bit of alcohol too on my Fender Jazzbass('98) and it always worked good, but with these guys the result is different.
    I keep having this opaque layer that doesn't go away.
    What do you think is it?
  4. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    Not sure. but I know that PVC will destroy a NC lacquer finish. The chloride eats right through the lacquer when in contact. You don't have a PVC lining or covering inside your case do you?

    There's a great pictorial on finishes and how to care for them at

    Frank is a repair luthier and has everything he can posted on his site about set ups, finishes, repairs, tips, etc. He'll even answer your e-mail questions.
  5. kd_rome


    Aug 23, 2004
    I think the problem I'm having is that the layers of wax are dissolving with the cleaning product.
    Infact there is a little part of the body where I've been more consistent that is back to shine.
    I was reading on this website ( that this guy uses naphta to clean the instrument.
    What do you think about it?
  6. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    Naptha should cut through any filmy residue, but be very careful as it can also dissolve the finish like the alcohol if you use too much or leave it wet very long. Use small amounts and wipe it dry right away.
  7. picknslap


    Sep 9, 2004
    Have you tried Dr. Ducks Axe Wax? It's a simple product. But it does the job good.