View Full Version : Uke Cleaning?

06-18-2008, 03:23 PM
So, how do you guys clean your ukuleles? I use GHS Guitar Gloss, but :confused: it doesn't work to well, for me anyway. Also, what do you guys use as a polish cloth? I'm still using the Ukulele World one that they sent me with my first uke. It's needing to be replaced badly lol, any suggestions?

06-18-2008, 03:32 PM
You can clean them?!? I just let em get really dirty so I can justify buying a new one...


I pretty much just wipe it down with one of those yellow instrument polishing cloths that they sell everywhere (dunno what the brand is) about once a week (well, more realistically it's more like once a month nowdays...haha)...I'll use guitar polish or one of those "wax rags" (whatever they are) once in a while-maybe every third string change or so.

My ukes really don't get "dirty"...with the exception of my "beach ukes"...so I don't really "clean" them...plus I'm assuming that over-cleaning probably has some negative-effect on the finish

06-18-2008, 03:35 PM
Well, it wouldn't be such a problem if I didn't have that blue uke on the left. It attracts handprints like CRAZY! But, it's so beautiful, and was fairly cheap :). http://i28.tinypic.com/axn2b5.jpg

06-18-2008, 03:36 PM
You can clean them?!? I just let em get really dirty so I can justify buying a new one...

That's what I thought. :confused:

plus isn't the funk you leave on your ukulele, mojo? you don't want to rub your mojo off.

06-18-2008, 03:38 PM
That's what I thought. :confused:

plus isn't the funk you leave on your ukulele, mojo? you don't want to rub your mojo off.

I don't tend to build up a lot of mojo, :p:p

06-18-2008, 08:41 PM
dings & dents = mojo? if so, my flea and fluke got mojo for days! :music:

06-18-2008, 09:09 PM
Alan Johnson from the 4th Peg forum recommends Murphy's Oil Soap to clean the finish.

06-19-2008, 01:51 AM
as you may know, my ukulele one of my girl friends... for my left and the spaces in my right hand are filled with my actual girl. But i treat all girlfriends the same no matter what the difference may be. So i give mine a nice bubble bath with lit candles.. ^^

06-19-2008, 02:29 AM
Dunlop guitar polish/cleaner for the body, Dunlop lemon oil for the fretboard. Works for my guitars as well... Martin makes similar materials, I believe.

06-19-2008, 05:38 AM
The thing I don't like about my GHS polish is I have to use a lot of it. If you look closely on the blue Ohana's bridge. Anyone know how to get rid of it? It's like a white buildup. :confused::eek::eek:

06-19-2008, 05:41 AM
i'm embarassed to say i use windex on my guitars because i'm ghetto. somebody set me straight on this. am i do some real damage here? it's worked for me just fine over the years and i have yet to rub a hole into any of them.

by the way, this isn't a recommendation to use windex. just my own experience.

06-19-2008, 06:38 AM
I tried to use a windex-like substance, and it left my uke looking like a rainbow. :| Took me forever to get it off.

J Uke
06-19-2008, 06:43 AM
Frank Ford over at frets.com has a pretty detailed 3 page writeup on cleaning a guitar and what to do if it's really grimy, I'm assuming most of it should translate to an uke. I don't know about using lighter fluid though, yikes. Ima gonna use his method for the fretboard on my eleuke as it's a lighter colored maple wood and it really shoes the dirt from my grimy fingers. I'm going to try and clean it this week, I'll report back with my results.


06-19-2008, 06:56 AM
Two of mine have silk screening so the rare times it gets funky, I just use a damp towel.

My Kamaka, I wash my hands BEFORE I play it and leave my 'work' behind.

I know I joked about it earlier but I really do liked the weathered/played to death look.

Pure mojo -

Stevie Ray Vaughn

Eric Clapton

Willie Nelson

06-19-2008, 07:01 AM
Willie Nelson

That's a beautiful picture.
And it's amazing that Willie's beautiful, dulcet guitar sound comes out of such an abused-looking instrument.

06-19-2008, 07:35 AM

I would DIE if my uke looked like that, I like them new and pretty looking :)

06-19-2008, 07:40 AM
I would DIE if my uke looked like that, I like them new and pretty looking :)

...hence, this thread.... lol :D

Fred Miu
06-19-2008, 07:43 AM
i dont clean mine haha. if it has some dust, i jusst blow the dust away. my ukesm havent seemed to be getting dirty at all. MAYBE I AM A PRO AT KEEPING THEM CLEAN! haha

06-20-2008, 01:52 AM
It does seem to happen to the best instruments doesn't it? The best clarinets (and various brass stuff) I've played looks all dull and ghetto.

No, not my ukes! :(

06-20-2008, 03:15 PM
I never said I wasn't anal retentive.... But I've always been this way about my instruments...from electric to classical guitars and now, various ukuleles. I mean, wear is okay and cool, but Lordy! How I love to look at shining wood!

Here's what I use. Two products and I've provided the links for both:

For the fretboard: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Finishes_and_solvents/ColorTone_Fretboard_Finishing_Oil.html

For the front, back sides and elsewhere (not metal or bone parts):http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Accessories/Cleaners,_polishes,_lubricants/Preservation_Polish.html

I follow the directions...Excatly!...

There's also an article, somewhere on this site, that instructs how to clean the frets.

06-20-2008, 03:27 PM
when you clean your fretboard, how do you do that? Take off the strings? How often?

06-20-2008, 04:09 PM
It's difficult to tell one how often to change their strings.... I change mine about once every 6-8 weeks, depending how much I'm playing.

About four times per year, I clean the frets with steel wool... I'll see if I can find that article for you. It's too hard to explain in a post.

I'll use the fretboard conditioner whenever I do this. This is when I'll also do the entire ukulele with the Preservation Polish.

I've found the article and tried to attach it, but it's too big....:(

06-21-2008, 06:54 PM
i'm ghetto and use those cloths made to wipe of smudges on eye glasses. works pretty well for me

06-22-2008, 03:14 AM
Be careful because those wipes are almost 100% alcohol and will drastically dry out the wood.

06-22-2008, 06:12 AM
Be careful because those wipes are almost 100% alcohol and will drastically dry out the wood.

oh right. yeah the wet ones would be disastrous. i use the other ones that are just a dry cloth that you'd carry around and keep in a glasses case for daily use.

06-22-2008, 12:18 PM
The poly finish on the KoAlohas clean up nice using a microfiber cloth. On the tung oil finished King I use the same cloth. The King & the fretboard of the KoAloha concert (pre-poly finished fretboard) requires an occasional application of Howard Feed-N-Wax.

06-22-2008, 12:30 PM
I have a gigantic microfiber cloth I use to give a good cleaning with whenever I remove the strings. I also find wiping down the strings helps keep the vibe sounding as good as it can.

I'll ask Pete sometime what he recommends for care and feeding of his uklectics, but so far I haven't had that one nearly long enough to ask yet. I think he just uses oil, what kind I have no idea.