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will sweat destroy my bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thehangingmist, May 18, 2011.


  1. its really really hot and humid around here and everytime i start playing i start dripping sweat onto the bass :eek: :atoz:
    so should i stop playing until it gets cooler or its okay and a little sweat wont damage my bass?
     
  2. Aspidites

    Aspidites

    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    Just make sure to wipe it down after use. If it is natural wood oil it frequently and if it is a poly finish wiping it down is all that is necessary.
     
  3. get a cool bandana or headband
     
  4. am worried about the ibanez sr505 which is natural soft wood finish and has active electronics. the fender has solid finish even on the maple neck so i guess it will hold better and maybe only the strings will be effected? but am still pretty worried :(
     
  5. If really worried, get a full haz-mat suit.
     
  6. In nearly a half century of playing I have probably wiped basses 3 or 4 times if something was spilled on them including 4-5K basses.

    More to the point yes your basses will be dust if you don't wipe them in about three to four CENTURIES !!
     
  7. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    A little perspiration/moisture is one thing, but then there's full-on sweat pouring off of your head onto-into the bass. It's not a bad idea to wipe-off excess moisture, remove the drenched strap and not seal either up in a case or bag until they've air dried a bit. If you play a lot and sweat excessively the moisture can creep down into the pots and pick-up mounting hardware and cause oxidation to happen sooner. It's not anything to get alarmed about, just something to be aware of and keep an eye on.

    A saxophonist I know was touring India and had a couple days off. When he got his horn out of the case after the lay-over there were maggots writhing away in his mouthpiece. Humidity can be a pain sometimes.
     
  8. :eek:
     
  9. i like the grime. have one finish halfway melted off from sweat and general abuse, and a maple fretboard that has a nice new color. love a worked in feel
     
  10. gricko

    gricko

    Mar 29, 2004
    'a little sweat' will not damage your bass. 'a lot' might fry electronics in time.
    wipe it during/after gig and keep it aired [eg. while packing cables, amp etc] before puting in gigbag/case.
     
  11. Yeah, no one wants a stinky bass, which I would imagine being one of the more immediate threats.
     
  12. nocontrols

    nocontrols

    Apr 2, 2011
    With a horn, it's different. Horns are made of metal and are going to rust if you allow them to get damp. Plus, India? That's one of the absolute hottest and most humid places on earth. That's an apples to oranges comparison.

    To the OP - don't worry about sweating on your bass. Unless you're sweating so much that it's the equivalent of dumping buckets of water on your instrument, just go ahead and wipe it down after a show and you're fine.

    I think a bigger problem with wood instruments here in the northern hemisphere is them becoming dry and cold and the wood cracking. I had it explained to me thusly: your guitar is made out of wood, which is essentially plant tissue. Your guitar still thinks it's a tree. It wants just a bit of warmth and a tiny bit of moisture to keep it supple so that it's not so dried out that it's cracking. Remember that.
     
  13. according to his profile, op is from India too...
     
  14. nocontrols

    nocontrols

    Apr 2, 2011
    Then I would recommend checking with a LOCAL guitar tech or a reliable teacher who can tailor advice specifically to climate conditions in that part of the world. I apologize if my advice isn't applicable to the humidity levels of India, I wasn't aware the OP was from that region.

    Again, I've never heard of moisture from sweat damaging a bass, other than the possibility of the metal parts becoming rusted over a period of many years, but I have never lived in that climate zone.
     
  15. GRAHAM SG1

    GRAHAM SG1

    May 3, 2010
    Sometimes sweat can be very damaging to a guitars finish, remember the late great Rory Gallacher`s Stratocaster which had almost all the finish eaten away by his acidic sweat, he did sadly have an illness that caused this though .
     
  16. It'll remove a nitro finish ( see Rory Gallagher above) but shouldn't have any effect on a Poly finish - if it's a natural wood finish, apply Beeswax regularly.
     
  17. The only problem I have ever had with sweat on my basses is on my Modulus. The sweat from my fat gut rusted my neck bolts.
     
  18. GRAHAM SG1

    GRAHAM SG1

    May 3, 2010
    I agree Geoff, modern finishes are very resilient thankfully, years ago I had a Les Paul guitar and was advised to wrap a piece of cotton around the rubber on my guitar stand to stop the finish being marked, I once used a guitar polish on it that was supposed to be ok on all guitar finishes and even that left a mark, nitro cellulose is too sensitive for me :D
     
  19. Legattabass

    Legattabass

    Oct 21, 2010
    Maryland
    IIRC, my SR505 has a polyurethane finish on the body. It's thin and soft, but not absorbant. The neck, on mine anyway, is unfinished jatoba and bubinga, but I was under the impression that unfinished oily wood necks LIKED sweat...
     
  20. If your sweat is very salty or or acidic it could corrode the bridge and hardware. When I was a guitar tech i had a customer that brought his guitars to me about every 3 to 6 months to replace the bridge (it was beyond salvaging). The guy's sweat must have been like battery acid or something.
     

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