View Full Version : Cleaning Solidwood vs. Laminate

05-12-2011, 08:06 AM
Hey guys,
So I'm just over a week into owning my first uke and loving it. I'm using Uncle Rod's and have three chords down pretty solid with the next two coming along nicely. Granted, it is finals week and this bodes less well for other areas of my life but that's not the point. I was wondering, when it comes to cleaning, does it differ at all with solid woods vs. laminates? I'm aware of taking care of them in terms of humidity but find myself interested in surface care specifically. I personally have a laminate, an Ohana SK15, and would like to have get into the good habits while I'm starting. The fact that it delays end of term work is just an added bonus. Thanks in advance!

05-12-2011, 09:57 AM
Glad to hear you're having a great time playing. Not as glad to hear the ukulele is keeping you from your studies. Of course, playing (and reading online about) ukulele often keeps me from planning college courses I teach. I may have a worse problem.

As for cleaning, just wipe your uke clean with a soft cloth (an old cotton t-shirt works) once or twice a week. Easy.

mm stan
05-12-2011, 11:14 AM
I myself like to wipe down and polish for protection...Nu finish auto Polish is what I use for heavy duty protection..
If it has alot of sticky buildup first I use a warm damp cloth...otherwise a dry one will be fine...

05-12-2011, 11:33 AM
I got a bottle of Preservation polish from Stew-Mac and really like it.cleans really well doesn't leave it sticky.

05-12-2011, 12:34 PM
if you keep on top of things - a wipe down with clean cloth is really ALL that is needed. I am not fan of putting 'product' on any instrument, and frankly think 99% of them purely make money for the makers.

For a gunky uke though - check out - http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/12/beginner-tips-cleaning-my-ukulele.html

05-12-2011, 02:08 PM
I'm just the opposite of bazmaz - I'm a firm believer in using the right "product." I do agree with him there is a lot of overpriced junk out there. I'd especially avoid the various "guitar polishes" as they are nothing but liquid car wax repackaged with exhorbitant prices. There's nothing especially wrong with liquid car polishes - I used to use them years ago and they do a decent job of protecting gloss finishes, at any rate. But, why spend ten bucks for a 2 ounce bottle when you can go to Wally World and buy a 10 or 12 oz bottle for five?!

I use a product called "Renaissance Micro-Crystaline Wax Polish" on my ukes, guitars, wooden flutes, and firearms (externals only) and have for years. I was turned on to it by a flute maker when I asked about getting a flute or two with a natural-looking wood finish. It ain't cheap, if I remember right I paid about $25 for a 200ml tin but it has lasted me for years. Most of my instruments look like new in spite of pretty heavy and "vigorous" use and I give this stuff a lot of the credit for that. I had a cedar top guitar that I was well on the way to wearing holes through the top when I started using this stuff and it pretty much arrested that wear. I also bought a used bass that I got for half what it was worth because the front was badly rubbed from a lot of slap playing by the previous owner. I figured I was getting a good enough deal that I didn't care that it was downright ugly. Much to my pleasant surprise one application of this stuff and some vigorous elbow grease prettied it right up - not so it looked new, but so it looked like it had been well cared for instead of abused.

I've been using that little tin for years now and it doesn't seem to build up like some of the car polishes did. It also has the wonderful property of making shiny stuff really shiny but leaving satin finishes satin. I used some on a couple of inexpensive Lanikai LU21 and LU11 ukes with the very porous nato wood and was really impressed. Both of them became slick and smooth to the feel (prior to treatment the 21 was so rough on the top that I was a bit concerned about getting a splinter) but it didn't change the appearance much, if at all. I've just recently started using it on some uke fretboards where I didn't want to use lemon oil for fear it would darken the wood - so far I'm pretty happy with those results, too.

Just my $0.02.

05-12-2011, 02:18 PM
I usually just throw my laminate ukes in the dishwasher.

05-13-2011, 08:58 AM
I usually just throw my laminate ukes in the dishwasher.

LOL, that made me laugh. Not sure whether I should do the same, or throw it in the bin.

05-14-2011, 04:04 AM
Mr Sheen does it for me

05-14-2011, 04:20 PM
Thanks everybody, really appreciate it!