View Full Version : Remove Fingerprints/Marks from a KoAloha

08-13-2012, 07:38 AM
Hi all,

I did some digging on the forums but couldn't find a KoAloha-specific answer... so here goes:

As I was playing last night, the light hit my KoAloha in such a way that I noticed a LOT of fingerprints and smudges on the body of the instrument. I tried to rub them off with my microfiber cloth, but no luck. Is there any special product or method I should use for removing these marks, or am I stuck with them? Can I dampen my microfiber cloth without damaging the body? Should I use oil? Wax?


08-13-2012, 07:51 AM
A damp (not wet!) cloth will not damage your finish and should take off most of the schumtz. You can also use a polish designed for musical instruments (available at any musical instrument store), but use it sparingly, as most polishes contain some abrasives and a little goes a long way. I have found that the KoAloha finish is a little more succeptible to fingerprints, so the easiest thing is to get used to it. :)

08-13-2012, 08:34 AM
I have used a damp cloth on my KoAloha concert many times. As Rich says, damp but not wet! No problems at all. I rub it down with the damp cloth and then with a dry one, and it looks great again.

08-13-2012, 08:42 AM
I use Virtuoso Premium Polish on my Kamaka. Cleans up most fine scratches and cleans off the finger prints. The uke gets pretty slick after which can be a good/bad thing I suppose.

Patrick Madsen
08-13-2012, 09:00 AM
I was told by a great luthier that he uses McGuires Car polish as the finishing wax on the French Polish he does.

08-13-2012, 09:09 AM
Be cautious about overusing polishes. They will make your uke look shiny, but they will also take a little bit of your finish off every time. A damp cloth will address 99% of what gets stuck to your uke.

08-13-2012, 09:14 AM
I like Gibson guitar polish and Dunlap's 65.

08-13-2012, 10:08 AM
My luthier uses naptha (lighter fluid), just a tiny drop on a cloth to remove grunge that damp cloth won't get. (for you non-smokers) :biglaugh:

08-13-2012, 10:56 AM
Someone mentioned Goo Gone, which I think is like the naptha that prior poster mentioned. I have not tried it, but can confirm that a small amount of Goo Gone with damp cloth might aid in the fingerprint removal... I'd try it based on what I read about it recently, if water alone didn't work, on my Koaloha.

(But, it's easier to have you try it first...lol)

08-13-2012, 11:18 AM
I have a glossy Ohana pineapple. I just breathe on it, then use an oversized microfiber cloth to wipe away the schmutz and fingerprints. A bit of water will help the microfiber take the fingerprints off, as well. Maybe rub with a dampened cotton cloth and wipe with microfiber.

I seem to remember someone saying that you aren't really cleaning your uke unless you use a very soft well-worn t-shirt and nothing else.

08-13-2012, 12:19 PM
Thanks everyone! Going to start small and try the damp (not wet) microfiber cloth, followed by the dry microfiber cloth, and possibly one of my husband's T-shirts :). If you don't hear from me again, assume all went well!

mm stan
08-13-2012, 02:49 PM
I polish my ukes on a year or twice the most...after you apply the polish it's good for a long time....and I wipe it down after every use with a micro fiber cloth...I like Nu Finish car polish.
Been doing this for years and it protects the finish too and not only giving it a nice gloss... so what is the lesser of two evils, I believe using a polish is best for protection and looks..and
if you use it sparingly...it will last for a long long long time...Happy Strummings or should I say Happy Polishing..Ha ha

08-13-2012, 03:55 PM
+1 on Nu Finish, used it on all kinds of finish with no ill results. It does not contain Silicones which I was told could be harmful to your ukes.
Purchased numerous used ukes and cleaned as needed. Goo Gone for Sharpie authographs, and sticker residue, Nu Finish Scratch Doctor for deep scratches, and regular Nu Finish to restore luster. Lemon oil on the fretboard, and for wood touch up, I use furniture ink pens (like a Sharpie in various browns in color). Found a set of 5 at a craft store for $2.99, it hides deep sratches resonably well, ask mm Stan, I gave him a set................................BO............. ..............

08-14-2012, 04:12 AM
I learned about Goo Gone from 808boy, and Nu Finish from mmstan, all in the same week.

I learned more from these two UU'ers this week than I did from 4 hours of "Housewives Of New Jersey" marathon, plus six episodes of HGTV "Househunters" combined! Thanks!!

08-15-2012, 07:50 AM
UPDATE: I went all low-tech with a damp microfiber cloth, followed by a dry one. Worked like a charm, and now my KoAloha looks like new again. Thanks for everyone's advice!

08-15-2012, 08:56 AM
Goo Gone woulda done better.


08-15-2012, 11:28 AM
By the way, I always polish my uke when putting it back in the case. Once, at my meet-up, someone said- "What are you doing? It's not a car."

To which I quickly responded- "Actually, I don't know how to drive. So, this IS my car!" We both had a good laugh.

Glad to hear it worked on the Koaloha.