Cleaning Raw Wood Finish

How to Clean a Raw Wood Finish Guitar

A raw wood or “unfinished guitar” can be an absolute thing of beauty. It’s not an instrument that you take on a world tour and abuse. It’s cherished and is lovingly displayed for the world to see, and gets shredded but with care. A raw wood guitar is something of a rarity and requires extra attention. However, it can be cleaned in a similar manner as a guitar that has a hard coat finish.

1)  A metal bridge, plastic pick guards and pickups should be taped off (blue painter tape works really well and doesn’t leave a sticky mess) or removed as oil can stain these items.

2)  To remove any excess grease and dirt wipe the guitar down using a dry cotton cloth. A little elbow grease will go a long way. Depending on how dirty the guitar, this step may suffice.

3)  Restore luster by wiping the guitar down with an industry-approved product. The label should read that it is approved for exposed or raw wood guitars, like Tung oil, boiled linseed oil or synthetic oil such as Dr. Ducks. Wipe down the complete guitar with one thin coat of oil and allow the oil to dry per the label’s instructions.

4)  Wipe any excess oil from the guitar with a clean cotton buffing rag. Again, elbow grease will allow you to obtain a smooth feeling guitar. If it feels tacky to the touch, you should continue to rub the guitar with a clean cotton towel.

5)  After washing your hands clean of any oil residue remove the blue tape from metal and plastic parts or reassemble as needed.

Remember that Raw Wood needs a little special attention,