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Best way to clean the nitro finish of a 335


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My 335 is only about 3 weeks old and I've been pretty fastidious about keeping it clean and wiping it down after every playing session. However, where my arm rests on the body, the finish gets very quickly covered in a greasy film (presumably sweat and skins cells) which doesn't wipe off easily - even using a small amount of Martin guitar polish.

 

I can wipe with a soft cloth as long as I like but the smearing never disappears 100%.

 

Any suggestions for this?

 

Cheers

 

 

Del

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For what it's worth, I bought a "Guitar Center new" 335 that had enough play by sweaty people so the finish was very cloudy. Ordinary guitar polish didn't touch it. Finally, I took off all the hardware, got three grades of automotive rubbing compound and a powerful drill with a big buffer wheel and went to work. After a few hours and several iterations, I had an excellent clear glossy finish with very little loss of color. Hint: if you do this, be sure to mask the F-holes!

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.

Naptha.

 

Virtuoso Cleaner. . Virtuoso Polish.

 

Turtle wax polishing compound or similar product (white polishing compound) with a cotton cloth.

 

I would avoid using a drill or wheel/buffer on your guitar, unless you've got experience buffing/wheeling on wood finishes.

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Del,

 

I've tried many products for your problem. I have a very stuborn Guild X-175 that just wouldn't come clean. I was recommended Vertuoso Cleaner and Polish. This was the only product that produced the perfect result. Buy it. I found it for around $20 US.

 

Randy

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I'll try to find some of the Virtuoso products but I'll bet that they're not available here.

 

It's strange that this is happening with this guitar as I have a Martin with a nitro finish and I've never had this problem with that guitar.

 

Incidentally, does anyone know what the nut on one of these 335's is made from?

 

I'd like to think that, at the price they sell for, it would be bone but the Gibson website doesn't list this in the guitar's features.

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I've always had the best luck using naptha (lighter fluid a good substitute...WITH CARE!) to remove grime & caked on gunk. Follow that up with Meguiar's professional automotive polishes if the situation warrants. There are two kinds, a polish, then a less abrasive "swirl remover". I use the latter as it's less agressive.

 

On one particulalry bad '68 ES345 I stripped the guitar completely, did multiple wipe-downs with naptha and still had some horrid, sticky goo all over the guitar (we never really determined what it was). I used a mild Meguiars "Fine Cut Cleaner" by hand, which starts as a pretty aggressive abrasive, but breaks down quickly into a finer cut. That broke through the sticky mess. I followed up with a machine polishing using the #9 Swirl Remover. Really did the trick. Process took forever, and I can testify that reinstalling the controls on A Varitone Gibson is pretty much the same as being waterboarded. Never AGAIN.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 335 is only about 3 weeks old and I've been pretty fastidious about keeping it clean and wiping it down after every playing session. However, where my arm rests on the body, the finish gets very quickly covered in a greasy film (presumably sweat and skins cells) which doesn't wipe off easily - even using a small amount of Martin guitar polish.

 

I can wipe with a soft cloth as long as I like but the smearing never disappears 100%.

 

Any suggestions for this?

 

Cheers

 

Del

 

I bought a black Howard Roberts Fusion that looked like it was rubbed with 0000 steel wool on the neck and the lower bout was mostly clouded front and rear. I used over the counter Turtle wax car polish to take it all off without a buffing wheel, just a soft cotton bit of T shirt and elbow grease applied in small circles lightly on the touch. Once it's gone and the bout is waxed it shouldn't come back too soon.

 

Prevention of hazing is a good goal too. I never play bare chested or with "wife beater" type T shirts. I sometimes also put a polishing cloth on the lower bout while I'm practicing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 335 is only about 3 weeks old and I've been pretty fastidious about keeping it clean and wiping it down after every playing session. However, where my arm rests on the body, the finish gets very quickly covered in a greasy film (presumably sweat and skins cells) which doesn't wipe off easily - even using a small amount of Martin guitar polish.

 

I can wipe with a soft cloth as long as I like but the smearing never disappears 100%.

 

Any suggestions for this?

 

Cheers

 

 

Del

Hi Del;

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Gibson's Pump Polish.

It contains a tiny bit of lacquer and if you are persistant, it will gradually

improve the cloudiness that sweat inflicts on nitro finishes.

I use it on my ES335 and (sorry) my Martins.

Mike

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The best stuff is Virtuoso. The "Polish" should work fine for a new guitar with a few weeks of gunk on it. The "Cleaner" is more aggressive and is used when the polish won't remove the gunk. I'm sure you won't need it unless you get years of gunk on there.

 

If the cleaner doesn't work, then you would try naptha (lighter fluid.) But you won't need to get that aggressive. The polish will work fine.

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I'll try to find some of the Virtuoso products but I'll bet that they're not available here.

 

It's strange that this is happening with this guitar as I have a Martin with a nitro finish and I've never had this problem with that guitar.

 

Incidentally, does anyone know what the nut on one of these 335's is made from?

 

I'd like to think that, at the price they sell for, it would be bone but the Gibson website doesn't list this in the guitar's features.

 

The nut is made from Corian, also used for low grade kitchen countertops. I recently replaced my Corian nut with a bone nut and that eliminated all tuning issues with my 335.

Also, the Virtuoso cleaner and polish will fix your problem.

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I wipe my guitars down with the Orange label gibson spray polish after playing and for quick polishing. Yet when I really want to give it a nice polish I use the StewMac silcone free polish. I have found nothing better. Some like car wax and many other brands of polish. I have had great success

using this polish. Try it you should like the great shine and feel.

 

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Abrasives,_polishes,_buffers/Preservation_Polish.html#shop/Finishing_supplies/Abrasives%2C_polishes%2C_buffers/Preservation_Polish.html?tab=Details&_suid=1360959650875041228854746568444

 

I don't work for Stewmac I am simply giving my experience of a polish that works great for me on my nitro finished guitars.

Plus with no silcones it's a win win.

/cheers

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The cloudiness issue is remedied with something with a very mild abrasive, such as the Virtuoso cleaner, or what I happen to use:

M0916_z.jpg

 

Once the cloudiness is gone, it's easy to maintain with Virtuoso polish, or Gibson Pump Polish. In time you can expect the cloudiness to come back with playing wear.

 

Nitro is a pretty think finish AFAIK, so I'd go easy on the elbow grease.

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My 335 is only about 3 weeks old and I've been pretty fastidious about keeping it clean and wiping it down after every playing session. However, where my arm rests on the body, the finish gets very quickly covered in a greasy film (presumably sweat and skins cells) which doesn't wipe off easily - even using a small amount of Martin guitar polish.

 

I can wipe with a soft cloth as long as I like but the smearing never disappears 100%.

 

Any suggestions for this?

 

Cheers

 

 

Del

 

Virtuoso Cleaner. . Virtuoso Polish

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Virtuoso cleaner and then polish works pretty well. Did an outdoor gig once and the mosquitoes were thick, during the first break we all sprayed our shirts and heads with bug spray trying not to get it on the hands etc. That bug spray rubbed off my shirt onto the back of my 336 and really looked horrible the next day - but virtuoso cleaner took it right off and no damage to the finish.

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