How to sanitize a nitro finish guitar

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sciuri
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How to sanitize a nitro finish guitar

Post by sciuri » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:24 am

Nitro experts, please advise!

For a nitro finish guitar (in my case Gibson), what is the ideal way to sanitize, sterilize, or disinfect a used guitar without damaging it?

I haven't found that much guitar-specific info out there for actually disinfecting rather than just cleaning (e.g., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81AG5WrhEiQ&t=1s and https://sheshreds.com/how-to-disinfect- ... struments/). Please correct any of this info, but from what I could gather, it seems like the options would be:

1. Let the guitar sit in quarantine for at least 5 days or possibly up to 2-3 weeks. (I’m going to wait regardless but still want to do something more to actively disinfect.)
2. Naphtha / lighter fluid - It sounds more toxic than I want to try, and there doesn’t seem to be evidence for its efficacy as a disinfectant(?)
3. Isopropyl rubbing alcohol - seems ok to use on poly and fretboards (which would need to be oiled afterwards), but can act as a solvent and damage nitro finishes
4. Clorox wipes (non-bleach) - also can act as a solvent and could damage nitro
5. Soapy damp cloth - safe on nitro as long as not too wet? But it may not be as effective as a disinfectant if it’s not as sudsy.
6. Vinegar - should be safe on nitro (https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/ ... ish?page=2) and is a mild disinfectant
7. Hydrogen peroxide - is it safe on nitro?
8. Bleach - definitely bad
9. Force of nature (hypochlorous acid) - probably bad for nitro? (definitely not good for metal, as it causes rust like pool water or saltwater would).

Per CDC, COVID19 can be viable on plastic and metal surfaces for up to 5 days. But early on, the diamond princess cruise surfaces had viral RNA found 17 days after the ship was emptied. Even if the risk can’t be completely eliminated, I’m a germaphobe and would like to reduce the risk to as close to zero as possible, largely to protect my family and feel less guilty about GAS.

I’m leaning towards waiting 2 weeks, using isopropyl for the metal parts and fretboard, vinegar for the nitro finish, and then finishing with a standard guitar cleaner and fretboard oil. Thanks for the advice!

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ChrisDesign
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Re: How to sanitize a nitro finish guitar

Post by ChrisDesign » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:42 am

Take the scratchplate off and try some kitchen antibacterial spray on the finish no one sees. I’m certain it will be fine. Reattach the scratchplate once confirmed.

If it is fine, spray the whole guitar and rub down. Then leave for a week untouched. Combined you should e perfectly fine. If in doubt, Walt two or three weeks.
"I own a '66 Jaguar. That's the guitar I polish, and baby - I refuse to let anyone touch it when I jump into the crowd." - Kurt Cobain

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Re: How to sanitize a nitro finish guitar

Post by Maggieo » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:25 pm

Soap is the single most effective agent for removing viruses from surfaces. A little bit of diswashing soap, like Dawn, will reduce the number of viral material to a point that has negligible PPM. I'd follow it with a good polishing job.

You could also leave the guitar and its open case in the sun for an afternoon and then give it a good polish job.
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Re: How to sanitize a nitro finish guitar

Post by mbene085 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:43 pm

Literally just leave it for several days, then only clean it the way you'd clean any guitar if it needed it. RNA remnants aren't infectious virus particles.

Was the guitar shipped to you? If so, unless it was an overnight courier, it will have sat untouched long enough to not even be a concern. The box will be the only concern, and if you let that sit for 3 days you're golden.

Soap works together with vigorous washing and rinsing. That's not something I'm inclined to do to a guitar, beyond my normal cleaning I'd do anyway (which is neither vigorous nor involving much water). A gentle wipe with a mildly moist soapy rag isn't doing a whole lot from an infection control perspective.

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Re: How to sanitize a nitro finish guitar

Post by Sweetfinger » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:53 pm

There just isn't a good way to actively, speedily, disinfect a guitar, particularly one with a nitro finish, celluloid inlay, etc.
There are too many different types of surfaces and materials, not even accounting for the fact that a guitar is a complex 3D object with cracks, crevices, knurls, corners, - all kinds of areas that you touch while playing. Just about anything that will safely sanitize one type of surface will mar or stain the one next to it.
Let it sit for a few days.

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Re: How to sanitize a nitro finish guitar

Post by jvin248 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:35 am

.

First method: don't buy any guitar with a nitro finish (and avoid any fragile headstock models too ;) ).

A week storage without touching it, then an hour full sunlight front and back. Don't forget to let sunlight zap the interior of the case. (which will neutralize many case odors).

This is my favorite classic guitar cleaning method. I've bought guitars with fretboards like the second video and my initial desire is to do a full scrub down. However, I use 50/50 water/ammonia (glass cleaner) on a cloth so it's damp and not soaking the guitar, and I stick to using poly guitars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2umZAmgcRvg

Everyone's favorite ways to clean. Don't use steel wool! chips get everywhere and mince up your pickup wires years later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L59txek2bQ

.

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Re: How to sanitize a nitro finish guitar

Post by adamrobertt » Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:08 am

mbene085 wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:43 pm
Literally just leave it for several days, then only clean it the way you'd clean any guitar if it needed it. RNA remnants aren't infectious virus particles.

Was the guitar shipped to you? If so, unless it was an overnight courier, it will have sat untouched long enough to not even be a concern. The box will be the only concern, and if you let that sit for 3 days you're golden.
This is the answer. I just bought a guitar with a nitro finish. It took 5-6 days to get here. By the time I received it, it was good to go. I didn't even wipe it down before I played it for the first time and I am not worried at all.

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Re: How to sanitize a nitro finish guitar

Post by marqueemoon » Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:30 am

Good point. If it was boxed/shipped it’s probably fine.

If you have a limited review period just wash your hands well after playing/tweaking to make sure it meets your expectations, then let chill for longer.

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