Cleaning the back of my neck

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by icanjam, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. icanjam


    Dec 8, 2013
    Manitowoc, WI
    I bought my bass about 2 or 3 months ago and the neck for the most part is still buttery smooth, except for a few places from sweat where it's kind of...stickier and blackish. Instead of waiting for it to get really bad I wouldn't mind taking the time every couple months to keep it clean but what do I clean it with?
    I think I could probably run it with a soft polish cloth but I'd want to do a more thorough cleaning. I was thinking isopropanol wipes but that leaves such a smell, so maybe something like denatured alcohol?
  2. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member


    After cleaning the "sticky/blackish"(?) areas, (and letting them dry), you might want to lightly sand the neck with 1000 or (better yet), 1500 grit sandpaper. This grit # is used in the automotive paint/finishing industry and will nicely polish the neck - it won't remove any "wood". I've done this for 20+ years, (every few months), with consistent results.
  3. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    sticky black stuff sounds more like the finish is coming off. if you play w/really dirty, sweaty hands that is another problem. I prefer to not have finish on the back of the neck and I play w/really clean hands. fine grit sandpaper will clog easily. you can use steel wool, or scrape the finish off followed by light sanding. a bare wood neck doesn't get sticky
  4. mmoehring


    Jun 25, 2012
    East Texas

    Does the back of your neck look to have a finish on it? Is it bare wood? Does it have a layer of varnish that is close to the varnish of the instrument? As always pictures wood help. There are many things you could do for each of these situations. Please respond for more details
  5. LowBC

    LowBC Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2008
    Builder, chief cook and bottle washer: / store manager at Music Go Round (Denver)
    Naptha and a soft cloth will will almost certainly get the goo off that neck. it will leave a little bit of a haze but that will come off with a quick polish and you'll be good to go.

    good luck!
  6. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    If your neck is finished in nitro-cellulose lacquer, do not use alcohol! Naptha, (lighter fluid), is safe for nitro.
    Nitro is susceptible to damage from human perspiration. Some people have more of an affect than others. Polyurethane is resistant to many cleaning solvents. Acetone would probably damage poly.
    Micro-mesh abrasive pads are excellent for use on instrument finishes. If you have a damaged nitro finish, it might be best to use the coarsest micro-mesh pad to remove most of the surface finish, to reduce the likelihood of ongoing stickyness.