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Thread: Use of sanitizer on ukuleles

  1. #1
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    Default Use of sanitizer on ukuleles

    One email from a music store said that they would be wiping down all the instruments with sanitizer, and would do so any time someone played one there.

    Any thoughts on whether that might harm the finish of an instrument?

  2. #2
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    No expert here but I would think some sanitizers might affect the finish. I'm not likely to test my hand sanitizer on my ukulele's. With all the shut down of all the club, meets, activities, I won't have anyone trying out my ukes any time soon.

    Perhaps the music store has the knowledge of a product to use. Still I might check with the maker before I applied any think like that to my ukes.

  3. #3
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    I can't speak for all finishes but do know for certain that alcohol attacks at least some waterborne coatings. And, of course, keep it away from instruments finished with shellac, whether french polished or another means of application.

  4. #4
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    Sanitizers are 40 to 60% alcohol. It will affect the finish and leave residue.

    I think I wish I had a carbon fiber uke right now.

    Correction: Hand sanitizers are up to 70% alcohol as Besley stated. I have a couple of bottles that are 60 & 63%.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 03-14-2020 at 05:48 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Guess this is another reason to own a Enya Nova or Outdoor Ukulele. A pure solution of 70% alcohol won't harm a poly finish if wiped down quickly, but I wouldn't do it on a French Polish or nitro finish. And most all sanitizers will have non volatile components that would be left behind. Still, I guess it's better than nothing.
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    Sanitizers are 40 to 60% alcohol. It will affect the finish and leave residue.

    I think I wish I had a carbon fiber uke right now.
    IF you are using just alcohol and water it won't leave a residue. So just make your own from rubbing alcohol (70% is the sweet spot) and that won't be a concern.
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  7. #7

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    Just wash those hands then you don't have to worry.
    Stay safe everyone.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain-janeway View Post
    Just wash those hands then you don't have to worry.
    Stay safe everyone.
    So true. I always advocate washing before and after playing.

    We only take plastic ukes to the hospital for the kids to play, they are wiped down after each kid.

    Y'all be well!
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  9. #9
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    That doesn't sound like a good idea. Most of those products contain alcohol, and that's can't be good for any wood or finish.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  10. #10
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    Just a thought...since soap and water are actually recommended over hand santizer for zapping bacteria and viruses, wouldn't a dilute soap solution followed by a water wipe-down and drying be just as effective, if not more so? I don't think a quick wetting and wiping would have much effect on modern finishes, particulary polyurethanes. (I'm not talking about running your uke under the faucet!)
    Larry

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