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Removing wax cleaner/sticky

#1 User is offline   JohnnyReb 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:45 PM

Hey fellas. What do yall recomend for general cleaning/wipedown on a sunburst AJ? The guy before me used the dunlop wax stuff and i cant stand it. Seems like it makes the guitar sticky, especially the neck. Ive always used Martin cleaner polish on my martins with good success. Ive been using it on my AJ for about a week trying to wear off the waxy dunlop stuff previously used. Seems to be a uphill battle. Was told the Nitro finish on gibson SB can be sticky anyways. Its a late 2010 model so surely the finish is cured by now, so it has to be the wax he used. Anything yall recomend to wear off the stickyness? Tried some warm watar and didnt seem to help.

#2 User is offline   dchristo 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:49 PM

I use the gibson pump polish and a microfiber towel
In GOD we trust

Dave

#3 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:10 PM

Naptha......aka lighter fluid.

#4 User is offline   JohnnyReb 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:01 PM

Lighter fluid huh. I was just reading up some on that. I dont like the idea of it, but im thinking about trying it on the back of the neck and see if it cuts that waxy sticky crap off. Will give it a try and follow up

#5 User is offline   Guth 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:18 PM

Naptha is a bit scary, but it works a treat.

Beyond the heavy-duty approach of naptha, I recommend (and use) Virtuoso Cleaner & Virtuoso Polish. Good stuff.

#6 User is offline   greatwhite_10 

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:32 PM

Virtuoso Cleaner/Polish gets my vote.

#7 User is offline   ryanfender 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:23 AM

Naptha is one of the most mild solvents. It should be perfectly fine and it evaporates in a couple of minutes. If it wasn't used a lighter fiuld you probably wouldnt think twice. Trust me, anything else you could use to remove wax will probably be less safe for your guitar.
Acoustics: 1990 Gibson J-200 w/ K&K Pure Mini & K&K Pure XLR preamp
Electrics: 1999 American Standard Fender Telecaster with Glendale/Callaham bridge
Swart Atomic Space Tone with Swart Night Light and NOS glass
Pedals: Swart Fuzzy & Atomic Boost, Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay, Boss RC-3

#8 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:27 AM

Naptha is perfectly safe for nitro finishes. For general cleaning and polishing I use the Virtuoso products myself, but for stripping off some kind of nasty, waxy buildup lighter fluid is fast and effective, cleaning down to the nitro in a hurry. Then break out the polsih of your choice.......

#9 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:38 AM

I'll second the naptha opinion. You can buy it at any decent hardware store. I know lighter fluid is naptha-based, but I don't know if it's exactly the same composition as the commercial solvent I use. In any case, use clean, soft cotton cloth torn into small pieces, dampened with naptha. You'll need to replace the cotton cloth frequently, as the naptha dissolves the wax and it impregnates the cloth. You want to remove the wax, not dissolve it and spread it around.

I wouldn't use microfiber for this, as it's expensive and doesn't absorb the solvent as well as cotton. Do not scrub hard, or you will scratch the finish. I use old T-shirts and cotton socks. Don't use T-shirts that have printing or silkscreening on them, as that will scratch the finish no matter how careful you are.

I'll also second the mention of Virtuoso, both the cleaner and the polish. The cleaner is powerful stuff to be used for finish restoration, while the polish is a very effective cleaning and polishing agent for regular use.

#10 User is offline   pfox14 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:25 AM

I like using Windex and paper towles to remove grime from my guitars followed by some good polish like Virtuoso

#11 User is offline   JohnnyReb 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

Well i gave the lighter fluid a shot last night. Used a conservative amount and rubbed down the neck. Quickly dried it and applied martin cleaner spray. Didnt notice a immediate change. After sitting out all night and airing out good in the open, it does seem alot better. Nice slick neck that doesnt grease up after a few mins of play. Thanks for the advice!

#12 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:25 PM

Never been one to put anything on the neck of my guitars.....I just want that surface squeaky clean. It's one of those "always in contact" surfaces that polish won't stay on for long anyway and the possibility of buildup can be a problem, as you've discovered.

#13 User is offline   sboiir 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:20 PM

Lighter fluid ?? never would think to use lighter fluid on a pricy instrument. Scares me too much to try it. Got a neck on a CEC Chet that feels like a kid rubbed sticky candy on it. Was just going to strip it and oil it. On that thought, might as well try lighter fluid. If it destroys the finish....well, was going to strip it anyhow. Lots seem to recommend the fluid, so here goes....Thanks for the tip !

#14 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:47 PM

Just to clarify: naptha and lighter fluid are not necessarily identical. There are many proprietary lighter fluid formulas, some of which, but not all, are primarily naptha-based. What you should use is the chemical solvent specifically labeled as "naptha". This can be purchased at Lowe's, Home Depot, or most good hardware stores. It is fairly cheap, at about $5 for a quart. Unless the lighter fluid you are using is specifically labled as naptha, you don't know what you are getting, and you could be risking the finish of your guitar.

You should not immediately use a polish on the guitar after using naptha. Let it dry overnight in the open (out of the case), so that all the VOC's in the naptha flash off, and the nitro lacquer has the chance to re-harden if it for some reason has been softened by the naptha. I would re-clean it again the next day if it is still sticky, and let it dry again before putting any polish over it. If you've cleaned it well with naptha and let it dry, and it is still sticky, I would consider using Virtuoso Cleaner on it, following the use instructions carefully.

This isn't rocket science, and it blows me away that people are willing to put an unknown solvent on a nitrocellulose finish without confirming what it is.

#15 User is offline   ryanfender 

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:32 PM

View Postj45nick, on 14 February 2012 - 06:47 PM, said:

Just to clarify: naptha and lighter fluid are not necessarily identical. There are many proprietary lighter fluid formulas, some of which, but not all, are primarily naptha-based. What you should use is the chemical solvent specifically labeled as "naptha". This can be purchased at Lowe's, Home Depot, or most good hardware stores. It is fairly cheap, at about $5 for a quart. Unless the lighter fluid you are using is specifically labled as naptha, you don't know what you are getting, and you could be risking the finish of your guitar.

You should not immediately use a polish on the guitar after using naptha. Let it dry overnight in the open (out of the case), so that all the VOC's in the naptha flash off, and the nitro lacquer has the chance to re-harden if it for some reason has been softened by the naptha. I would re-clean it again the next day if it is still sticky, and let it dry again before putting any polish over it. If you've cleaned it well with naptha and let it dry, and it is still sticky, I would consider using Virtuoso Cleaner on it, following the use instructions carefully.

This isn't rocket science, and it blows me away that people are willing to put an unknown solvent on a nitrocellulose finish without confirming what it is.


Amen to that.
Acoustics: 1990 Gibson J-200 w/ K&K Pure Mini & K&K Pure XLR preamp
Electrics: 1999 American Standard Fender Telecaster with Glendale/Callaham bridge
Swart Atomic Space Tone with Swart Night Light and NOS glass
Pedals: Swart Fuzzy & Atomic Boost, Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay, Boss RC-3

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