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cornflake

Cleaning My Hummingbird

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I just got a hummingbird a month ago, Ive been wipeing it down with a dry cotton cloth but i just orderd a gibson cleaning kit and i didnt know if it was safe for the pickguard or if there are any special percations for it Thank you, Eric

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Wiping it down after every playing time is a very good habit to form! I use Gibson Pump Polish (orange bottle). A little goes a long way. Lemon oil on the fretboard during string changes.

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I wipe the PG on my HB off with a microfiber cloth, gently. The artwork is applied, so I would expect it to eventually wear off if you rub it hard and use cleaners.

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I would think that a slightly damp cloth would clean it up pretty well and not pose much risk of removing any decoration from the guard. My personal view on cleaning products is that less is more. Unless a guitar is really grungy, a barely damp cloth should do the trick. My "level 2" is to dampen a cloth in water that has a small amount of mild detergent dissolved in it. "Level 3" is a cloth dampened with naphtha (Ronsonol), which I've found to be safe on all kinds of finishes I've tried it on (and that includes instruments from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries). The next step up would be trusted guitar polish (I like Virtuoso). "Level 5" is a mild abrasive, such as the plastic polishes that Maguier's manufactures. I'd stick to the lowest level that gives you acceptable results and wouldn't go beyond the soapy cloth without testing the results in a small area first.

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If your new Gibson is simply a standard Hummingbird (nickel Grover tuners, under-the-saddle pickup, endpin doubles as a standard output jack socket), no worries about the artwork on the pickguard rubbing off from cleaning or polishing, as the artwork is protected underneath the clear top surface of the pickguard.

 

Enjoy your new guitar!

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As a side-question: so is the fading pickguard artwork not common on current Hummies?

It should not happen at all on current standard (non True Vintage, non 50th Anniversary) Hummingbirds. If you have access to a current regular Hummingbird, feel the surface of the pickguard: smooth, with a slight give to the material. The artwork is completely protected beneath this transparent top on the guard.

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