Carbon fiber guitars represent a relatively new option on the market. They are more expensive, but they also come with a bunch of features that make them attractive. Whether it is the weight or the low thermal expansion, choosing a guitar is also about the overall maintenance.
Carbon fiber guitars are known for the high chemical resistance and the high temperature resistance. Indeed, they are less likely to replace wood body guitars too soon, but they are certainly getting closer than ever.
Now, maintenance is one of the first things you take in consideration when getting a new guitar – all about the materials and finishes. Besides, carbon fiber guitars are not cheap at all, so you definitely want to look after your investment.
So, how do you clean a carbon fiber guitar then?
The problem with carbon fiber guitars
Despite the heat and chemical resistance, carbon fiber guitars have one major disadvantage – a single touch will leave a fingerprint. Play the guitar for half an hour and there will be fingerprints all over it. You do not want such things when it comes to the maintenance.
The finish is often the aspect that makes the difference. Most carbon fiber guitars come with a glossy cast epoxy fret board, which is also polished. Fingerprints will, indeed, cover it. Then, there are a few brands covering their guitars in a matte unidirectional carbon fiber veneer.
Such models are less likely to attract fingerprints, so they will not require too much maintenance.
Using a dry cloth
A dry cloth is a pretty good option against fingerprints when the strings are on. Basically, you need to ensure you get a clean cloth – relatively thin – that can go under the strings. A simple rubbing movement will do – grab from each side and move around the fretboard.
Using a wet cloth
The wet cloth should not be used when the strings are on. Instead, if you have to take them out for any other type of maintenance, that is the perfect moment to use a damp cloth. The cloth must be clean and you can use water.
You can also use a paper towel – make sure it is slightly wet and it slides over the fretboard.
Using car detailing products
Most manufacturers will recommend certain products – the type of posh brands that you cannot even find in commerce. Some others keep it simple – you will be surprised to find out that many brands recommend using car detailing products for their carbon fiber guitars.
Such products are great for the actual polishing as well, making your guitar look like new. Common products used for the car body will be just as effective for your carbon fiber guitar.
Bottom line, you do not have to invest in sophisticated materials and posh brands to keep a carbon fiber guitar looking new. A damp or dry cloth will do. If you already have some polishing products for your car, they will work on your carbon fiber guitar with no problems at all.