To Clean or Not to Clean?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tplyons, Jul 5, 2003.

  1. Keep it shiny!

    19 vote(s)
  2. Only black guitars should shine!

    2 vote(s)
  3. Shine it only when you string it!

    22 vote(s)
  4. If it doesn't smell loved, it isn't loved!

    7 vote(s)
  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I personally think basses that are perfectly clean look unplayed and rather unloved. Also, playing metal gigs, I tend to sweat a lot over the bass and haven't cleaned my Stingray in days. Starting to smell loved :D

    Do you guys clean your basses constantly, or wait until they need it, or just never clean it?
  2. Pfft, if you're playing metal gigs don't bother cleaning it. In fact, next time you're barbequeing, take some fresh pig/cow/sheep blood and pour it on the bass. Then tell the crowd it's the blood of your enemies that you slayed in glorious battle!! :mad:

    *cough* Sorry. Listening to Manowar. :D :ninja:

    Yeah, anyway. Dirt adds character. But I only say that because I have cheap basses. I'm sure if I had something worth more than my car I'd baby it too :D
  3. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    I rarely clean it.....but it never seems to get dirty. Usually I let it be, but generally when I restring it I clean it, so I chose that. I don't make a habit of changing strings often, so that factors into it. if a string breaks, it gets cleaned.

    Usually it's getting gunk out from aound the pickups and pickup routes.....I occasionally eat stuff over it while playing on the couch.... and my house is filled with dust... so that kind of stuff gets all over it sometimes. It has a good, thick, glossy finish on the body and it's glossy on the back of the neck, so sweat doesn't do that much to it.

    I think if it has no wear marks, dents, cracks and chips of any kind it is a lot less loved than if it is just clean.... my bass has plenty, and I love the damn thing.
  4. Rarely clean it. Has a nice ingrained smell of ciggies and beer. ;)

    But i clean it when i change the strings.. and the cost of strings means i rarely clean it. lol.


  5. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    my collection is just for show. i clean them everyday.


  6. furiously funky

    furiously funky Guest

    Dec 28, 2002
    i clean my fingerboard when i change strings, thats about it. maybe a little polish on the bass now and then. my db on the other hand, needs a cleaning!! it's getting sick.
  7. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    When I open the case if it looks like $#@!, I clean it. I try to wipe down the neck after every gig. Sweat is not good for electronics. I sing, so sometimes a little spit spray ends up on it. Gross! :spit: My father always told me to clean up my tools after use. I think this applies to music instruments also. YMMV
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Respect your instrument, respect your music.

    I'm fastidious. I treated my pre-CBS Precis like a $2-whore in my punk days of the 70's. Than I lost it in a plane crash and have been remorseful ever since.

    It really is a "respect" issue to me. A bass full of slime, wearing clothes full of dirt and microscopic bugs to a gig, and using a slimy bass, comes through in the music.

    C'mon, how much trouble is it, really?!?! At least when you re-sell it, your care will translate into mo' money.
  9. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    There's nothing more tacky looking than a bass with a shiny finish that's covered with fingerprints, etc.
    My Precision is very shiny and gets wiped down after every time I play it. My satin Wal & tungoil Jazz aren't shiny so I usually just wipe the strings and back of the neck down after every play and just wipe the bodies every few days or so.
    I've never used any cleaners or wax, only a clean soft polishing cloth.
  10. XxBassmanxX


    Nov 21, 2001
    Rosman NC
    I clean my bass practically every day. Its 12 years old and still looks new. I play hours a day and i would NEVER let one of my basses show it. Its nice to know I can still get my money back out of them, but thats not why i clean them. I may have a well worn bass someday, but it wont be from neglect! Alot of the old fenders and stuff didnt have the finish quality of newer basses. Sure a 60s Jazz with hardly any paint has a serious vibe to it, but when i see people with a newer Modulus than mine that looks like it was in a hurricane I get a little erked. The previous owner did a great job with this bass, and im very greatful for it. Take care of your basses!

  11. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I stopped cleaning my basses a couple years ago. I used to be anal about keeping them clean, but then I realized how much I like basses with "character" so i stopped cleaning my basses. I don't buy basses with the intent of selling them so I don't worry about resale value.
  12. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    My hands tend to sweat quite a lot when playing, so I give my bass a quick wipedown during and after each rehearsal or gig.

    I usually clean 'em up a bit better when I change the strings, though.

  13. I agree completely! As James Jamerson once said to his son, "The dirt keeps the funk in!".

  14. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I voted for the shine it when i change strings option thing. The reason is-for the most part i don't shine/clean it. During marching band, jazz band, and show band times i just play it and if there's a fingerprint it'll be there till i break a string or need it restrung and then the whole body gets gone over w/the EB polishing cloth that came with it. The exception to this is during show choir season. I shine it before every performance for about 20-30mins. This is mainly to go along with the image, reputation, and tradition of the group. It's great having fellow bassists go up to the keyboardist ,who carries your bass so that you can push the cart since she's wearing a dress, and say nice things about it and that sort of thing. :D
    Back to the topic-so yeah, i only clean it during show choir season and when i break a string. That's all
  15. Zon Bass

    Zon Bass

    Jan 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    I usually wipe them down after playing them but I only polish them when I change strings or if they really need it.
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Also those were the words of a guy who died a broken-hearted alcoholic. Alky's are hardly the cleanest people, interferes with the drinking/hangover.
  17. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I clean as needed. After a long, sweaty show where I can literally see the sweat running down the front of the bass and it's got the back of the neck floating, it get cleaned.

    Other than that sort of thing, I clean them maybe once a month or so, if that. It's mostly just dust particles on the neck sides of the pickups and bridge (they hang vertically when not in use) and wiping off finger prints.

    And I never wipe/ clean the strings. I like 'em dead and thumpy.

  18. And what about Keith Richards, who I'm sure has done more than just alcohol, in your profile? Sure, he hasn't died yet, but everyone has their weaknesses. Overlook that and get to what they played/said/did that made them great.
  19. Basho

    Basho Guest

    Keep it shiny! :D
  20. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas

    Respect yourself and your bass. Keep it clean. I wouldn't go to the hospital with dirty underwear or go to a gig with a dirty bass. :D