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Thread: Cleaning/Polishing Satin Finish

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Cleaning/Polishing Satin Finish

    Hello all!

    I have a PRS Singlecut Satin Standard. It's been my main guitar for years and I love it!

    Anyway, I de-stringed it for a full all around clean and thought I'd give the stop tail bridge a thorough clean but I'm having trouble getting off years worth of grime build up from palm muting with my dirty palms! Has anyone got any tips on what I can use on it to get it clean without damaging or scratching it?

    Also, I've always used guitar polish for the body but I've since read that you're supposed to use normal furniture polish on the satin finishes. Parts of the guitar are more 'shiny' than other bits. For example it's still got the dull satin finish that it originally had in between the pickups under the strings where it never really gets touched, but on the parts where my forearm rests against the guitar and also on the back of the neck it's really shiny. Any advice on how to correctly clean the body and get it looking new again?

    Thanks in advance!

    Edit: here's one with the same finish that I'm talking about (mine is a single cut though):
    Last edited by Grantjmes; 12-10-2013 at 02:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    That's the thing: a satin finish looks the way it does because it hasn't been polished. As you handle it and play it, your hands polish it. To make it look like it did when it was new means you'd have to rough the finish up to take off the shine. But then, as you play it, the shine will come back. And then you're in a vicious cycle until you wear through the finish. The shiny bits are just proof that you play it and that's part of the vibe.

    I've never needed more than a nice soft cloth, some warm breath and maybe a dab of water to clean a guitar. Give it a wipe after every gig or any time you get it sweaty, or if you notice smudges, etc.

    If you want to polish the nickel parts, a lot of people go for Blue Magic, which is a metal polish you can get from auto parts stores.

  3. #3
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    0000 steel wool with VERY LITTLE pressure will bring the satin back. Yes, you can wear through the finish with too frequent sanding. Garrett is correct that the shine will come back, the oils in your skin cause it to shine.

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