Caring for an Acoustic Guitar

As chief financial officer of Pangea Properties, Patrick Borchard heads the financial operations of a company with over 500 employees. In his free time, Patrick Borchard is a guitar enthusiast and owner of an acoustic Martin D-28, a model played by both Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. The care and maintenance of valuable acoustic guitars is a simple yet important part of instrument ownership.

Proper maintenance of an acoustic guitar begins with storage. When it is not being played, a guitar should be returned to its case to prevent damage. Many guitars incur damage when they are leaned against a wall and subsequently knocked over between practice sessions.

Like many items constructed of wood, acoustic guitars are sensitive to both temperature and humidity. Martin guitars, for example, are crafted in an atmosphere of around 50 percent humidity with a temperature in the low to mid-70s, and the company recommends storing them in similar conditions. It is important to keep guitars adequately humidified and protected from extreme changes in temperature to avoid warping, swelling, and cracking.

Guitar owners can clean their instruments by dampening a cotton cloth with warm water and gently wiping the body down, then drying it immediately afterward. A professional should always be consulted before any kind of polish is used on a guitar’s body or fretboard.