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Proper way to clean/polish Gibson Les Pauls??

#1 User is offline   Stephen5 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:12 PM

So I was cleaning my LP today with Dunlop spray polish and a microfiber cloth and noticed that I have hairline scratches on my finish. I've heard that this can be because I am "dragging" the tiny pieces of dirt across the finish as I wipe the guitar with the cloth. I've always sprayed the polish onto the guitar then wiped it with the cloth. Should I spray onto the cloth THEN wipe the guitar? help!

#2 User is offline   S t e v e 

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 04:58 AM

View PostStephen5, on 23 August 2010 - 11:12 PM, said:

So I was cleaning my LP today with Dunlop spray polish and a microfiber cloth and noticed that I have hairline scratches on my finish. I've heard that this can be because I am "dragging" the tiny pieces of dirt across the finish as I wipe the guitar with the cloth. I've always sprayed the polish onto the guitar then wiped it with the cloth. Should I spray onto the cloth THEN wipe the guitar? help!


get yourself some of this [thumbup]

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#3 User is offline   jmg257 

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:16 AM

You need to use a light touch, and a constantly clean soft cloth (like your micro-fiber). There is really no way to avoid swirl in nitro marks it seems, just try to minimize them. I end up polishing, using Gibson Polish (putting it on the guitar), in straight lines now just to avoid the swirls. I also try not to wipe with a dry cloth, if I do, I again use a light touch.

If/When those minute scratches get too noticable, I will use virtuoso on occasion - it is especially good on used guitars with minor flaws, or Stew mac Swirl remover, but now I usually reach for Zymol Car Cleaner/Wax which seems to remove the fine scratches & imperfections best, and smells good too!.
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#4 User is offline   craigh 

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 07:04 AM

The instructions for Gibson pump polish says to spray the cloth.

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#5 User is offline   Stephen5 

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:50 PM

Thanks for all of your help!

#6 User is offline   LPguitarman 

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 03:35 PM

I have been told by the technician who tweaks my guitars to use Viva Paper Towels. They are as close to cloth as you can get in a disposable "cloth". Microfiber cloths just take the dirt and grime and spread it around on the finish because they eventually soak in so much. Keep turning the Viva and when it gets too worn out, throw it away and use a new one.
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#7 User is offline   DOGGONE 

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 10:02 PM

Be sure to run it through the car wash first, just kidding! You can get an auto finish anti-swirl product that works good and is very gentle. I also use an auto detailer spray after playing a gig to keep the finger prints and other nasties off the finish before putting it away for the night.

#8 User is offline   Amplify 

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 03:55 AM

View Poststevejoshlay1, on 24 August 2010 - 04:58 AM, said:

get yourself some of this [thumbup]

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#9 User is offline   T Bone 

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 08:43 AM

View Poststevejoshlay1, on 24 August 2010 - 04:58 AM, said:

get yourself some of this [thumbup]

My link

A note for those with faded finish guitars, this is NOT what you want to use, unless you want to change your finish. Reading on their site, it states that it will give a gloss to a matte finish, not desirable if you like the original look.

That said, I've read great things about this stuff, hope it's as good as I've heard. Picked up some of the polish and the cleaner yesterday at GC. 60% of my collection is high gloss, it should work great on them.
Regards, T Bone.

Guitars:
2007 Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique
2009 Gibson Robot Les Paul Jr. Special
2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute Honey Burst (Pre-Flood)
2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute Gold Top
2011 Gibson 1960s Tribute SG Special
2008 Fender Stratocaster American Vintage '62
2007 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2007 Fender Eric Clapton Signature Series Stratocaster
2012 Fender Classic 60s Player Stratocaster
2011 Fender Classic 50s Player Stratocaster
2008 Fender Road Worn 60s Stratocaster
2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
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2012 Fender Road Worn 50s Telecaster
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#10 User is offline   sparky scott 29 

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 03:59 PM

View PostT Bone, on 26 September 2010 - 08:43 AM, said:

A note for those with faded finish guitars, this is NOT what you want to use, unless you want to change your finish. Reading on their site, it states that it will give a gloss to a matte finish, not desirable if you like the original look.

That said, I've read great things about this stuff, hope it's as good as I've heard. Picked up some of the polish and the cleaner yesterday at GC. 60% of my collection is high gloss, it should work great on them.


So with a faded guitar, what are we suppose to use then, if different than the shiny finishes?
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#11 User is offline   T Bone 

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:19 PM

View Postsparky scott 29, on 26 September 2010 - 03:59 PM, said:

So with a faded guitar, what are we suppose to use then, if different than the shiny finishes?

Gibson has stated their polish is safe for the faded finsih. I have some on order for mine [thumbup]
Regards, T Bone.

Guitars:
2007 Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique
2009 Gibson Robot Les Paul Jr. Special
2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute Honey Burst (Pre-Flood)
2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute Gold Top
2011 Gibson 1960s Tribute SG Special
2008 Fender Stratocaster American Vintage '62
2007 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2007 Fender Eric Clapton Signature Series Stratocaster
2012 Fender Classic 60s Player Stratocaster
2011 Fender Classic 50s Player Stratocaster
2008 Fender Road Worn 60s Stratocaster
2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2008 Fender Classic Series 50s Stratocaster
2012 Fender Road Worn 50s Telecaster
2010 Eastwood Airline Map Guitar
1990 Martin J40M BK
1935 National Duolian

#12 User is offline   sparky scott 29 

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 11:46 AM

Thanks T..I always hear about glossy, but never the nitro cleaners.Posted Image
Gibson Les Paul 50's Tribute Cherry Burst
Gibson Les Paul 50's Tribute Honey
Gibson SG
1971 Double Black Fender Strat.
1969 Fender Strat Tobacco
1984 Fender re-issue of '57 Stratocaster candy apple red
2007 Fender Strat Standard
2011 Fender American Standard Black, Black pickguard
Epi. 1275 Double neck
Epi. Nighthawk custom Re-issue
Epi. Les Paul ( Korea )
Cort Earth 70 1/2 12 string acoustic
Ovation Celebrity CC 44 acoustic
Fender Frontman 212R
Line 6 Spider Jam Amp.
Marshall 35 Watt Amp.
Digitech Whammy
Cry Baby 535Q

#13 User is offline   T Bone 

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 12:16 PM

View Postsparky scott 29, on 27 September 2010 - 11:46 AM, said:

Thanks T..I always hear about glossy, but never the nitro cleaners.Posted Image

Just in case there's some confusion here... the gloss finishes on Gibsons are Nitrocellulose (Nitro) too. And so are some of the Fenders (while others are Poly). The faded is just a much lighter, less done Nitro finish.
Regards, T Bone.

Guitars:
2007 Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique
2009 Gibson Robot Les Paul Jr. Special
2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute Honey Burst (Pre-Flood)
2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute Gold Top
2011 Gibson 1960s Tribute SG Special
2008 Fender Stratocaster American Vintage '62
2007 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2007 Fender Eric Clapton Signature Series Stratocaster
2012 Fender Classic 60s Player Stratocaster
2011 Fender Classic 50s Player Stratocaster
2008 Fender Road Worn 60s Stratocaster
2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2008 Fender Classic Series 50s Stratocaster
2012 Fender Road Worn 50s Telecaster
2010 Eastwood Airline Map Guitar
1990 Martin J40M BK
1935 National Duolian

#14 User is offline   skingy 

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 08:28 AM

i have a VOS finish, and inquired with gibson on how to clean/treat that type of finish. they said that because the finish is intended to look aged, to just use a clean cotton cloth and wipe it down from time to time. they also recommended only Gibson Pump Polish.
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#15 User is offline   rlconklin 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:45 AM

View PostLPguitarman, on 25 August 2010 - 03:35 PM, said:

I have been told by the technician who tweaks my guitars to use Viva Paper Towels. They are as close to cloth as you can get in a disposable "cloth". Microfiber cloths just take the dirt and grime and spread it around on the finish because they eventually soak in so much. Keep turning the Viva and when it gets too worn out, throw it away and use a new one.


I'm no expert on polishing guitars, but as a note about using paper towels, I've been told by my Optician, that I should never clean my glasses with a paper towel, because they have a lot of impurities and will leave scratches. I can only assume that the same would apply to cleaning a guitar with one. Hope this helps.
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#16 User is offline   T Bone 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 11:21 AM

View Postrlconklin, on 04 October 2010 - 09:45 AM, said:

I'm no expert on polishing guitars, but as a note about using paper towels, I've been told by my Optician, that I should never clean my glasses with a paper towel, because they have a lot of impurities and will leave scratches. I can only assume that the same would apply to cleaning a guitar with one. Hope this helps.

Yeah, I suppose maybe it's possible that wet with polish, a paper towel would be safe, but there's no way one is going anywhere near my guitar's finish. Clean, soft cloth (they can be washed too). I've always heard to avoid paper towels for anything that is prone to scratching. I've seen first hand how they can damage safety glasses. No way they're going near my guitar's finish.
Regards, T Bone.

Guitars:
2007 Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique
2009 Gibson Robot Les Paul Jr. Special
2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute Honey Burst (Pre-Flood)
2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute Gold Top
2011 Gibson 1960s Tribute SG Special
2008 Fender Stratocaster American Vintage '62
2007 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2007 Fender Eric Clapton Signature Series Stratocaster
2012 Fender Classic 60s Player Stratocaster
2011 Fender Classic 50s Player Stratocaster
2008 Fender Road Worn 60s Stratocaster
2012 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2008 Fender Classic Series 50s Stratocaster
2012 Fender Road Worn 50s Telecaster
2010 Eastwood Airline Map Guitar
1990 Martin J40M BK
1935 National Duolian

#17 User is offline   lespaulj45 

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 12:54 AM

I found a product that Gibson sells that I really like.
Its called the "Vintage Reissue Restoration Kit" 3 bottles,cloth and a little brush
metal parts cleaner,fretboard conditioner,and a restorative polish for nitrocellulose finishes
I use it and it works very well and looks great!

#18 User is offline   sparky scott 29 

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 06:05 PM

Ok, here's another question foe cleaning..
What about the gold hardware on my Gibson and also on my Epi???Posted Image
It started to get " grimey ", and What do most of you guys use to wipe off your handprints and regular dirt??
Gibson Les Paul 50's Tribute Cherry Burst
Gibson Les Paul 50's Tribute Honey
Gibson SG
1971 Double Black Fender Strat.
1969 Fender Strat Tobacco
1984 Fender re-issue of '57 Stratocaster candy apple red
2007 Fender Strat Standard
2011 Fender American Standard Black, Black pickguard
Epi. 1275 Double neck
Epi. Nighthawk custom Re-issue
Epi. Les Paul ( Korea )
Cort Earth 70 1/2 12 string acoustic
Ovation Celebrity CC 44 acoustic
Fender Frontman 212R
Line 6 Spider Jam Amp.
Marshall 35 Watt Amp.
Digitech Whammy
Cry Baby 535Q

#19 User is offline   stein 

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 07:28 PM

obviously you would want to get rid of the dirt before rubbing and polishing, but consider what you do to the guitar as you play it-those scratches could be everyday use that you only noticed when you polished it. fingerprints hide these things, and with a lot of cleaners the finish gets so clean you now see everything because you are looking for it. also, there are some cleaners with lemon oil, or some form of furniture oil that tends to blend in the sctraches and some cleaners clean off the oil, so you see more. also, i have seen some gibsons, new and old, that have swirl marks from polishing. (from the factory or from ploishing done to a guitar to restore it).
anyway, just saying to consider what you are seeing. you can always buff out anything, but there comes a point where you can get it so buffed out you can't play it. don't stress about such things too much. maybe try some cleaner that has more lemon oil, like gibson polish. i never liked the dunlap stuff.

#20 User is offline   sparky scott 29 

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 06:07 PM

Posted Image

I don't think we are talking about the same thing here...
I am talking about the hardware.
The tuners, pegs, bridge, that sorta stuff, not the body...
Gibson Les Paul 50's Tribute Cherry Burst
Gibson Les Paul 50's Tribute Honey
Gibson SG
1971 Double Black Fender Strat.
1969 Fender Strat Tobacco
1984 Fender re-issue of '57 Stratocaster candy apple red
2007 Fender Strat Standard
2011 Fender American Standard Black, Black pickguard
Epi. 1275 Double neck
Epi. Nighthawk custom Re-issue
Epi. Les Paul ( Korea )
Cort Earth 70 1/2 12 string acoustic
Ovation Celebrity CC 44 acoustic
Fender Frontman 212R
Line 6 Spider Jam Amp.
Marshall 35 Watt Amp.
Digitech Whammy
Cry Baby 535Q

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