For many years, I owned inexpensive guitars. I carried them around without cases and they collected dings and nicks, rarely changed out the strings and dusted them off perhaps once a year. As I have grown older, a lot of things have changed, including my collection of instruments, their quality and my way of playing and caring for them. The current family of acoustic instruments includes two Martins ( an HD28 and a Backpacker), a Guild (GAD 30R), a Taylor 12-string ( a 355), a Iida Banjo (5-string Tenor) and a Cascade Tenor Ukulele, Some of these instruments are highly finished and glossy and others are what the industry calls ‘satin’ finished, i.e., no high gloss, but a more natural matte light, almost unnoticeable finish. They are each good quality instruments that will age well and deepen in resonance and tone, providing that I play them regularly and take proper care of them. Taking ‘proper’ care involves several elements, For both types, I always carry them in hardshell cases, change out the strings about once every other month, wipe the strings and fingerboard down before and after each use, treat and handle them with respect AND use this Martin Guitar Polish on all of their non-fingerboard surfaces about once a week.
It is impossible to handle and play wooden instruments without getting body oils and other assorted real-world schmootz on them. Left on the surfaces, these oils and small particles of other substances, can permanently discolor and stain the surface that, on a good quality instrument, has been carefully selected with the woods carefully matched and joined, then assembled and finished with the expertise of real artisans. No really played instrument looks completely new after a while – it just isn’t possible to avoid small nicks and scratches entirely. However, it IS both possible and desirable to take reasonable precautions and to subject them to regular care and maintenance. I have tried many types and brands of guitar cleaner/polish and recommend the Martin product as being the easiest to use, most economical and most effective.
Available in a 6oz. hand-spray (non aerosol) pump bottle, Martin’s Guitar Polish is manufactured exclusively for them in France by Guardsman, an old and respected musical accessory company currently owned by Valspar. The polish is non-corrosive and is applied by first spraying it onto a clean, soft cloth, then wiping it onto the guitar’s (or other instruments’) surfaces and gently rubbing it in. It quickly and effectively removes oil and dirt spots from the finishes and whether high gloss or satin, restores, in just a minute or two, the look and purity of the original finish.
As I mentioned earlier, the fretboard and strings should NOT be treated with this or any other polish as the absorption of polish onto and into them will effect the instruments sound and playability in an adverse manner. Rather, for those components, alcohol based wipes, like those available by Big Bend, are appropriate for routine care.
For the wood surfaces (top, back, sides of the body, back of the neck and the headstock), Martin Guitar Polish will help you maintain your precious stringed instruments in a way that will keep them looking clean and as new as possible for as long as possible without damaging the wood (or laminate) itself. Good investments and working instruments protected for as little as $4. a bottle! You can’t go wrong with this, and neither will your instruments.