Proper electric guitar maintenance can ensure years of top condition and a high resale value. Even if your guitar sits in its case for most of the time, certain factors such as humidity, molds and rust can affect the performance of your guitar. Poor maintenance of an electric guitar can lead to undesirable consequences such as discoloration, cracks in the finish, cracks in the wood, rusted strings and metal parts, malfunction of tuning keys, bending of the neck, separation of the bracing or joints, and ripping loose of the bridge. All these may lead to expensive repairs, degraded appearance (and thus low resale value), and destruction of the guitar. These factors could have been prevented with basic guitar maintenance.
Below are a few preventive maintenance tips, or things you should never do to or with your guitar:
Never subject your electric guitar to extreme environmental conditions such as extreme cold and heat, as well as very dry or moist air. Moisture and heat can loosen the glue and joints of the guitar and warp the wood or material. Dry air and too much cold can crack the guitar’s wood or finish. Typical places where extreme environmental conditions can occur include the beach, the attic, a car trunk, cargo area of buses and airplanes, direct sunlight and near cooling or heating vents. If you must place your guitar in the trunk, make sure that you only have to do so for under an hour and keep it inside a case. An ideal condition for storing your guitar is room temperature, between 68 to 77 degrees and with a 45-55% relative humidity.
Keep your guitar away from cleaning solutions and other caustic substances, sharp objects, and hard objects that can scratch the surface of your guitar. Don’t allow liquids that are harmful to your skin to make contact with your guitar.
And here are some things you should do:
Every time you use your guitar, natural oils, soaps, lotions and dead skin cells transfer from your skin to your instrument. The chemicals and fine particles in the air coming from aerosols, air fresheners, cooking, hair spray, deodorants also adhere to the strings and the surface of the guitar’s body and can ruin the finish of your guitar. You don’t necessarily have to be anal-retentive when you bring the guitar out of the case and into the world. A good idea is to form the guitar maintenance habit of washing your hands and keeping them dry before playing and wiping the strings and the guitar with a clean soft cloth after using it.
I repeat, proper electric guitar maintenance will ensure years of top condition and a high resale value.