Proper care and maintenance is an often-overlooked aspect of guitar ownership. Just as with any investment, it’s always a good idea to keep your guitar in tip-top shape. Simply giving your axe a good cleaning every now and then is vital to your maintenance regimen.
One of our mottos here at KGR is to “use the right tool for the job.” This rings especially true for cleaning your guitar—no more Windex or all-purpose cleaner. You need a good guitar cleaning kit!
We’ve rounded up a list of what we feel are the best guitar cleaning kits on the market. To us, great products meet that perfect balance of performance and cost-effectiveness.
- Our Top 3 Picks For Best Cleaning And Polishing Kits
- Cleaning And Polishing Kit Reviews
- Music Nomad Premium Guitar Care 3 Piece Kit
- Ernie Ball Instrument Polish
- D'Addario Instrument Care Kit
- Gibson Vintage Reissue Restoration Kit
- Dunlop Body and Fingerboard Cleaning Kit
- Dunlop 6500 System 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit
- Music Nomad Premium Guitar Care 5 Piece Kit
- Martin Instrument Polish and Cleaner
- Fast Guitar Strings Cleaner and Eraser
- What to Look for in the Best Guitar Cleaning and Polishing Kits
Our Top 3 Picks For Best Cleaning And Polishing Kits
Our top recommendation is the the Music Nomad MN140 Premium Guitar Care 3-Piece Kit. It comes with a premium all-in-one cleaning compound, an effective fingerboard oil, and a fine microfiber cloth to wipe everything down. Some guitar cleaning kits don’t give you everything you need to look after the entire instrument, but the MN140 has it all. If you want a complete and practical kit, this one will takes care of your guitar after some heavy duty playing.
If you want some bang for your buck, try our best budget pick – the Ernie Ball Instrument Polish. This polish has a thinner formula than some other guitar polishing compounds, so you can easily spray it on your guitar body for extra convenience. The bottle is still the same size as comparable kits, and a little goes a long way. It’s a great deal for under $10, and it comes with a microfiber cloth. Because it’s indented to be more of a cleaning application, we wouldn’t use this on the fretboard, but it still does the job it’s meant to do
For a truly complete all-in-one guitar cleaner, our Editor’s Choice badge goes to the D’Addario Accessories Instrument Care Kit. As the old saying goes, it’s worth the price. It is expensive, but not for nothing. This kit comes with a foldable stand and protective mat, as well as all the cleaning compounds you would ever need. You can do a pro-level job without having to pay for the pro-level labor. This kit goes way beyond the typical polish-and-cloth, and it’s a great investment.
Read below for more about our top picks, and check out some other options to find the best guitar-cleaning kit for you, whether you’re cleaning an electric or acoustic, or your focus is on the body, strings or even the electrical contacts.
Cleaning And Polishing Kit Reviews
Easy to use and excellent quality products.
The all in one cleaner, polisher and wax makes guitar care a breeze, and the quality fretboard oil smells good and nourishes well.
- 2 oz pro-strength formula all in one cleaner
- 0.5 oz fingerboard oil
- Polish cloth
Our top overall choice based on price and performance is the MN140 guitar care kit from Music Nomad. The kit contains only a single all-in-one cleaning fluid with a fingerboard oil, but the Guitar ONE fluid is pretty impressive. Its unique formula was developed to take the place of a range of guitar care products, streamlining them into one tiny bottle. It cleans and polishes as you would expect, but also waxes and enhances gloss, and the formula is organic.
This cleaning kit is safe for use on lacquered instruments, doesn’t leave any unwanted streaks, and It’s super easy to use for any skill level. The bonus waxing-like capabilities provide great protection for your guitar body. This kit is good value for money if you’re trying to avoid expensive high-end kits.
The Fretboard F-ONE Oil is an ideal complimentary oil. It contains only natural ingredients, which gives it wide use in terms of wood composition. It is gentle enough for lighter woods. Maple is notoriously difficult to care for, and many oils on the market can damage it, but the F-ONE oil works great on every wood.
In the MN140 kit, you also get a microfibre suede cloth, designed especially to use with the two products. The seamless edges prevent it from catching on string windings and guarantee it won’t leave any lint bobbles on your fingerboard.
Verdict: The Music Nomad MN140 Premium Guitar Care Kit is great for pretty much every guitar player and type. It’s simple but effective, and covers both your guitar body and fretboard, unlike some other kits on the market. If you’re looking for a great guitar cleaning kit, you can’t go wrong with this all-in-one package.
A simple polishing solution for a flawless shine.
This Ernie Ball instrument polish simply sprays on and wipes off using the included microfiber cloth for a breathtaking shine that also provides protection for your guitar's finish.
Ernie Ball’s polish is convenience at its best—and cheapest.
- Bare-bones guitar care option
- Generous 4oz bottle
- Safe for nitrocellulose and natural finishes
- All-in-one solution
- Low price
If you’re just figuring out your guitar cleaning needs, or you just want a convenient spray, the Ernie Ball Instrument Polish is a great option. You get double the fluid ounces of some other brand-name options for almost half the price.
The fluid is thinner than some others available on the market, which gives it good dispersion from the spray nozzle. It’s great for clearing off fingerprints from every-day use, or wiping away all the grime in the cracks you forget about. Also, the smell is non-offensive and doesn’t linger after use.
The Ernie Ball spray polishes body wood and pickguards, and it won’t spoil a nitro-cellulose or natural finish. You don’t need to remove or avoid your strings when using it, which is a plus. It’ll even condition your strings a little, though it isn’t the primary purpose.
The main job of this guitar cleaner is to tend to your bodywork. It leaves a protective layer but isn’t tacky to the touch. You’ll find scaling the neck is smooth and easy. Also, this spray brings out colors and wood grain and gives your instrument a gleaming shine.
It comes with a good-sized, branded microfiber cloth to polish your guitar body with. The cloth edges are double overlocked to prevent lint issues.
Verdict: The Ernie Ball Instrument Polish is a no-nonsense, all-in-one spray. It’s convenient and ideal for most instruments out there, and it won’t break the bank. You might want to go a different route if you want to clean your fretboard or go more heavy-duty, but this spray does the job just fine.
The ultimate package for cleaning and finish protection.
If you're looking to take serious care of your instrument look no further. This kit is loaded with everything you need to clean, nourish, polish, and protect your most prized guitars.
- 3-step polishing system
- Hydrate fretboard cleaner
- Fret polishing system
- XLR8 string lubricant
- Range of other accessories
- Travel/storage case
At the opposite end of the spectrum, this premium kit from D’Addario has everything you need to clean your guitar, and then some.
The 3-step polishing system consists of a cleaner, wax, and restorative detailer. The cleaning fluid is non-abrasive and non-alcoholic. It comes in a spray bottle for easy dispersion, and can handle pretty much any grime. Your guitar will look shiny and revived after using these formulas. The detail restoring solution brings out all the beautiful details in your guitar that might be hidden with age.
It has a separate flip-top bottle of fingerboard conditioner, ideal for rosewood. You get five sheets of disposable fret polishing sheets to work on fret wires with. The packet includes two different templates: one with narrow slots, the other jumbo.
There is also a jar of string lubricant, for cleaning your strings and conditioning them. This gives them that new string feeling, and they’ll last longer between changes.
Also included in this kit is a non-slip protective body mat and a headstand rest. This allows you to apply some pressure while you clean and get into all the nooks and crannies. The mat and headstand rest all fit compactly in the case, so this kit isn’t too bulky. It also comes with a microfiber cloth.
Verdict: The D’Addario Accessories Instrument Care Kit provides all the essentials, and a whole lot more. It’s a contender for the best kit, but it is a little expensive and therefore not great for beginners. Invest in this kit if you know you’re committed to taking great care of your guitar.
The perfect solution for maintenace of vintage guitars.
This cleaning and restoration kit has been designed with vintage instruments in mind, with products like metal cleaner and a restorative finish cream to breath life into old parts and dried out nitro.
- 2 oz low-abrasion metal cleaning fluid
- 2 oz premium fretboard conditioner
- 2 oz restoration cream
- 2 x cleaning cloths & application micro-brush
- Nitro-cellulose safe electric guitar cleaning kit
Your guitar finish is an important factor when you choose a guitar care kit. This kit from Gibson is specifically made for Gibson guitars, because they tend to have a nitrocellulose finish. The metal cleaning solution is perfect for polishing your tuning hardware and fret wires and strings.
The fretboard conditioner has a nice lemon scent, so your guitar will feel extra fresh when you’re cleaning. You can use this conditioner on both finished or unfinished woods, and a little goes a long way.
The finishing cream has a streak-free formula, which can polish your body and neck. You need to give it a bit of hard work for better results, but it gives your guitar a great face-lift.
This kit from Gibson comes with two microfiber polishing cloths and a micro-sized application brush that has a resealable plastic casing to keep it stored in.
Verdict: The Gibson Gear Vintage Reissue Guitar Restoration Kit is a good, comprehensive guitar maintenance kit. It provides a full cleanse and conditioning for your guitar, and even though it’s not the best on the market, it’s great for Gibson users.
Tried and tested cleaning solution and fretboard oil.
This is a simple kit that does the job well with a non corrosive cleaning solution in a handy spray bottle, a quality microfiber cloth and some high quality (and great smelling) lemon oil for the fretboard.
- Combo kit
- 4oz formula 65 polish
- 4oz ultimate lemon oil
- 2 microfiber polish cloths
- Realistic price-tag
This acoustic guitar cleaning kit from Dunlop is an affordable and practical option. Essentially, it’s a combination of two of the company’s best-selling maintenance products.
The Formula 65 polish is great for buffing your acoustic guitar body. It provides a thorough clean and best of all doesn’t leave any residue, so you can play right away. What it does leave, however, is a protective seal that helps keep your guitar moisture and stain resistant. It’s abrasive-free and is formulated to be safe enough for daily use.
The Ultimate Lemon Oil is Dunlop’s tried and tested version of a go-to, industry standard when it comes to guitar cleaning kits. It removes buildup along your fretboard, breaking down grease and lifting the grime with a very little effort. This is a great option if you’re prone to fretboard dirt.
Alongside your 4oz bottles, Dunlop provides two microfiber polish cloths. You should use one cloth separately for each product so that they don’t mix. Be warned, they’re on the smaller side, which could be fiddly if you have larger hands.
Verdict: The Dunlop Acoustic Guitar Cleaning Kit is great for acoustic guitar users who don’t want to break the bank. It has two tried-and-true products. If you’re a first-time buyer of a guitar cleaning kit, this one is trustworthy and not too expensive.
A comprehensive collection of cleaning and maintenance products.
In this kit you're getting a full range of products that will allow you to clean and prep your guitar, condition and nourish the wood, and finally polish to your desired finish with the included microfiber cloths.
- Body Polish and Cleaner
- Bodygloss Cream
- Bottle of Ultraglide String Conditioner
- Fingerboard Cleaner
- Deep Conditioner fingerboard Oil
- 2 100% Cotton polishing cloths
The Dunlop 6500 System guitar polish kit provides five individual solutions, each dedicated to a different task. This kit ensures that your body neck and strings are well and truly taken care of.
In addition to the spray-top bottle of Formula No.65 to clean and polish your body, you also get 4oz of body gloss. The gloss is a cream of carnauba, a type of Brazilian palm-wax that can give your guitar a showroom glow. Carnauba is one of the best guitar polishes out there.
You also get two-step fingerboard maintenance in the cleaning and preparation solution. Once you’ve shifted the dirt on your guitar, you can use the deep conditioner for a smoother fingerboard. This leaves it protected against sweat and staining and brings the wood back to life. The conditioner is in a smaller bottle than the rest, but it goes a long way.
For your strings, there is a 2-in-1 bottle of Dunlop Ultraglide to cleanse and condition them. You get two cotton cloths as well as a Micro Fine Fret Polishing Cloth.
Verdict: This guitar care kit is jam-packed, and checks all the boxes for good care. If you like to spend some time taking care of your guitar, then the Dunlop 6500 System 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit is perfect for you.
Quality cleaning and restoration products from a trusted brand.
This 5 piece Music Nomad kit features 2 premium microfiber cloths for easy application of the quality polish and fretboard oil solutions that will help to keep your guitar in pristine condition.
- 4 oz Guitar ONE all-in-one solution
- 4 oz Extra deep polish
- 2 oz Fretboard F-ONE oil
- Affordably priced
Music Nomad’s 5-piece kit is an alternative guitar care kit that provides super thorough care. You can use the regular Guitar ONE spray-on solution for general cleaning and maintenance, saving the deep polish to give it a little extra shine in time for a gig night.
The polish is infused with Brazilian carnauba palm-wax, which has restorative properties. It works great on older models that have been through some wear and tear, reviving dull bodywork to bring it life. It is very easy to work into the wood and leaves an undetectable surface coating.
The guitar ONE formula functions as a 3-in-1 cleanser, polish, and wax. This makes it great for glossed guitars, and you only have to haul around one bottle instead of three. It’s also made from organic ingredients. The F-ONE oil will clean and condition your fretboards, and it’s 100% natural.
In this kit, you get two of the company’s lint-free, microfibre, suede cloths. They are seamless and densely woven with 90,000 microfibres per square inch, which is pretty impressive.
Verdict: Music Nomad MN108 Premium Guitar Care 5-Piece Kit is another great premium guitar cleaning kit. The 3-in-1 cleaner is great if you’re on the go, so this kit is great for touring musicians.
Gentle yet effective guitar cleaner for high end instruments.
Keeping an acoustic guitar clean is vital for preserving its proper tone and keeping the wood in top condition, and this Martin cleaner and polish spray will help you to clear away dirt and debris without damaging the instrument.
- 6 oz bottle
- Spray-pump nozzle
- Cleans & polishes
- For finished guitars
Another bare-bones option for those who want an easy clean is the Martin Instrument Polish & Cleaner. It applies a fine mist very evenly to help keep your instrument pristine. It also leaves behind a protective layer. This instrument polish and cleaner can’t be used on natural finishes or satin finishes, but if you have a glossed guitar then it’s another good low-budget choice.
If you have a second-hand guitar with a glossy finish, or any glossy body that could do with a deep-clean, this formula is a safe bet. Even though it’s more of a niche product, it does its job very well, and removes grime like a dream.
You get six fluid ounces for a great price. It has a non-abrasive formula, but is is pretty strong, so you should wear gloves when you use it. This spray is good for at-home, heavy duty cleanings. It quickly breaks down dirt without needing to soak, making it easy to shift with a cloth. It’ll restore older wood and gives it a good polish bringing out its highlights and adding shine. It dries quickly and doesn’t leave any streaks behind.
You can use this cleaner on frets, although, you may prefer a fret conditioning product to use with it as it is mainly designed to use on your bodywork. You’ll also have to get your own cloth and gloves for this one.
Verdict: Straight from the Martin factory, the Martin Instrument Polish & Cleaner is the company’s tried and tested, 2-in-1 cleaner. All of their guitars are prepped with this before leaving the site, so you know you’re getting the real deal. This formula is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a good choice if you want something super strong and effective.
Bring your strings back to life with this deruster and lubricant wand.
As unusual as it looks, this hand held wand efficiently removes rust and corrosion from strings with one side, and lubricates them with the other, all without chemicals, helping you to save money and extend their life.
- Double-headed design
- Cleans rust
- Lubricates with oil
- Lightweight and easy to store
- Works on a range of stringed instruments
- Accessibly priced
If you change your strings less often and like to keep them pristine, this product is great for you. The Fast Guitar Strings Dual-Head Cleaner is a 2-in-1 tool focused specifically on string restoration and protection. If you have a neglected instrument that you don’t want to restring just yet, this is ideal.
This product has a double-headed, strong ABS plastic applicator that houses two different kinds of felts. One is designed for removing layers of rust and surface dirt, and the other for lubricating the strings afterward.
The grey rust-tackling felt has a heavy-duty weave, so you don’t have to apply a lot of pressure to get the debris moving. The second white lubricating felt is lightly woven from a softer fiber and applies oil to your strings. It helps to condition them and leaves an imperceptible residue that protects them against further oxidization.
This tool has a slider in the middle so you can adjust the length, and the felt is already cut at the perfect angle for convenient cleaning. The rust removal capabilities are impressive. It leaves strings smooth and feeling new, and this effect lasts a long time before you have to do it again. One bonus is that when the oil runs out, you can still use the cleaning end of the tool with your own formula.
Verdict: This string cleaner is super convenient and great for any guitar enthusiast’s tool-built. If you collect older guitars and want to keep the strings in perfect shape, then the Fast Guitar Strings Dual-Head Cleaner will work great for you. It’s a once-in-a-while practice to make your strings last longer.
What to Look for in the Best Guitar Cleaning and Polishing Kits
A guitar, like any instrument, no matter how much, or how little you paid for it, is an investment. The more you put into your guitar, the more you’ll get out of it, and that doesn’t just mean practice!
Not only does a clean guitar look nicer, but it more than likely sounds better, too. The grime that builds up on strings, pickups and other components can interfere with your tone, leaving you with a dull sounding instrument.
Keep reading to find out more about what you should be looking for in the best guitar cleaning kits:
A good guitar cleaning kit should come with at least one cloth, preferably microfiber or chamois. Terry towel, muslin, linen and other types of cloth should be avoided as their fibers don’t pick up as much dirt, and can also leave fine scratches on delicate guitar finishes. On the other hand, microfiber does an excellent job of trapping dirt, and won’t leave scratches like rougher fibers can.
Bonus points for the kit if it has 2 cloths, in which case you can use one for rubbing in the cleaning or polishing solution, and another for polishing it off. A 2 cloth polishing system will let you get the best possible finish, while using the products to their maximum efficiency
Finish Specific Products
If you’ve spent thousands on a custom shop guitar, it’s essential that you use the right cleaning products for the finish that has been applied. Gibson, for example uses nitrocellulose lacquer, which is much more likely to be damaged by harsh chemicals than a polyurethane finish would be. In all, be sure to check that whichever guitar cleaning kit you’re buying is safe for the finish on your guitar.
Guitars should be stabilized when cleaning them, and as such the proper neck supports should be used to keep yours from wobbling around while cleaning. This will not only make cleaning easier, but it will also help to prevent damage caused by drops if you leave your guitar unstabilized while cleaning. Some kits come with neck supports included – this is a great accessory to look for.
Some guitar cleaning kits are simply a bottle of cleaning spray and a cloth. Cleaning your guitar isn’t even half of the process. In fact, deep cleaning without nourishing and polishing can leave your guitar in worse condition.
When using cleaning products, particularly on open pore wood like your fretboard, you strip away the wood’s natural oils along with the grime that you’re trying to get rid of. Once your guitar is cleaned, it’s important to replenish these naturally protective oils to prevent your guitar from drying out. Good cleaning kits will have a grime stripper, fretboard oil, and sometimes wax to keep the bodywork in pristine condition.
We hope our genuine in-depth reviews will help you find the right guitar cleaning and polish kit for your needs. We depend on you spreading the word about KillerGuitarRigs in order to keep making these free guides and resources, so feel free to share this article with your friends.
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