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Thread: Daily Cleaning Routine

  1. #1

    Default Daily Cleaning Routine

    Hi Everyone,

    So I just bought my first high end (for me) mandolin, a beautiful Northfield A5 Special, and I am trying to get more serious about my daily maintenance routine.

    Currently, I wipe the body between the strings and fretboard with a microfiber cloth every time I play. This gets out a lot of the gunk and dead skin I leave behind on the strings, and some on the fretboard, but I have been playing alot every day and still leave a lot behind.

    On my last mandolin, I built up a serious amount of crap on either side of each fret that I couldn't seem to keep up with, even with a rigorous scraping during string changing (which I can't imagine was great for the fretboard).

    I'm also thinking about buying a humidifier for my case.

    I'm curious to here what you all do for daily maintenance, during string changing, and during storage.

    Thanks!
    Tyler

  2. #2
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    If it gets dusty, I use a feather duster for a once over, for grime by thed frets, I use a toothbrush to get in between the strings.
    2019 The Loar Supreme LM700 VS

  3. #3
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Daily? Uh oh, sounds like I’m seriously neglecting my mandolins! I blow dead skin off the fretboard when I notice it, but other than that, I just wipe the mandolin down with a microfiber cloth during string changes every month or so (less often now that I have four mandolins in the house that need to be played). I was wiping the strings down after playing, but I haven’t been remembering to do that lately. Maybe a reflection on the longer life of coated strings?
    Doug Brock
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    I wipe off excess beans and lard when I spill food on my Heiden. Spilled beer and whiskey get wiped off it interferes with my playing.

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  6. #5
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    I don't do anything..

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  8. #6
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Quote Originally Posted by tgsmith View Post

    I'm curious to here what you all do for daily maintenance, during string changing, and during storage.
    Not a whole lot. After playing I typically dust and wipe the instrument and strings down with a Nomad.

    I never ever take all my strings off the instrument. I change them one string at a time, replace before remove. I got an excellent set up and I don't want to risk it at all. I change strings three or four times a year.

    As for storage; I typically don't deliberately put a mandolin into storage, but some might not get played for a while.

    The Nomad is pretty cool. I got it as a gift from a non-musical friend who found it on a website of 10 gifts under 10 bucks for guitarists, or something. It really does a nice job and it is worth keeping in the gig bag.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  9. #7
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    While its certainly admirable to keep instruments clean and in top shape, I'm afraid mine live much more primitive lives. I do confess to polishing them when the mood strikes me, which is not very often.

    I don't recall polishing the guitar I've had for 45 years. It has a wonderful patina
    Play it like you mean it

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  10. #8

    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Thanks for the responses... sounds like I shouldn't be worrying about it much. Just worried about keeping an investment in good shape!

  11. #9
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    It is only an investment if you plan to sell it. I plan to keep mine for ever.

    Likely if I saw them as investments I would take superb care of them. I might even be afraid to play them.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  12. #10
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    The known suspect and owner of this box isn’t terribly concerned about cosmetic appearance
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  13. #11

    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    I try to shower atleast 2x a week.

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  15. #12
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    When the light hits my mandolin the wrong way, I might blow on it or dust it with a tissue. Otherwise, I just put it through the carwash now and then when it gets muddy.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  16. #13
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    After playing, I wipe off the body and neck with a microfiber or soft cotton cloth. Sometimes, I use one of these for the fingerboard and strings on both guitars and mandolins: https://www.amazon.com/TraderPlus-Gu.../dp/B07797SHP2

    When it's warm and I am wearing short sleeves, I will sometimes use one of these: https://www.oasishumidifiers.com/pro...guitar-sleeve/ Yeah, I know that a cutoff tube sock works just as well, but this is a little classier, or at least less distracting. It keeps sweat off the finish.

    For gunk on or around frets, 0000 steel wool or Scotchbrite at string changing time, and/or Gorgomyte when needed.

    I used to have trouble with my sweat corroding the strings, and I used Fast Fret before and after playing to minimize it, but as I have gotten older, that problem seems to have lessened considerably.

    NFI in any the items mentioned above, just a satisfied user.
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  18. #14
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Wow. I just wipe down the fretboard when I change the strings.

  19. #15
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Not a whole lot. After playing I typically dust and wipe the instrument and strings down with a Nomad.

    I never ever take all my strings off the instrument. I change them one string at a time, replace before remove. I got an excellent set up and I don't want to risk it at all. I change strings three or four times a year.

    As for storage; I typically don't deliberately put a mandolin into storage, but some might not get played for a while.

    The Nomad is pretty cool. I got it as a gift from a non-musical friend who found it on a website of 10 gifts under 10 bucks for guitarists, or something. It really does a nice job and it is worth keeping in the gig bag.
    Jeff, you should get a commission from Nomad. After reading your post I looked up to see what a Nomad was. Ending up buying one. Useful tool

  20. #16

    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveGinNJ View Post
    Jeff, you should get a commission from Nomad. After reading your post I looked up to see what a Nomad was. Ending up buying one. Useful tool
    I did the same!

  21. #17

    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    I saw something in an Ad about the player having "maintained the frets" on his mandolin. What am I supposed to be doing to my frets?

    Hope you don't mind me asking a secondary question, it seems related.

  22. #18
    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    I tickle the strings as often as possible to keep it awake. Other than that, I'll take a little polish to it every now and again if it feels grubby. That might happen once or twice a year. I really should get serious about oiling the fretboards on my instruments when I change strings to prevent shrinkage, but I haven't really done that to date.

  23. #19
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Man View Post
    I saw something in an Ad about the player having "maintained the frets" on his mandolin. .
    Some people maintain the frets, others remove them.

  24. #20
    Registered User JAK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    If you wash you hands before playing it helps. You may think that you don't need to, but you may be wrong.
    John A. Karsemeyer

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  26. #21

    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Congrats, I love my Northfield going on 5 years now. I don't do anything special except blow the dust off when I notice it. I wipe things down when I change strings. I gouged the top with my thumbnail the 1st day I had it so I got over keeping it pristine within hours of owning it. I monitor the humidity and when it gets low/high I put it in the case, other than that I leave it out and ready to play.

    Enjoy your new mando!
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

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  28. #22
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    No daily cleaning routine, but I dust it off from time to time, and every so often I used to make a video of playing it, or I may take a picture of it for some reason or another, and at those times I usually feel crappy about how dusty it gets around the frets/fretboard - but guilt is about as far as it goes. Most of the action takes place when I change the strings, and that would be three weeks to a couple of months, depending on what type of strings I have on and what I've put them through. Often, at those times, I'll remove all the strings and clean & polish well, and check for tweaks needed for the action, and reset the intonation when I re-string it.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  29. #23
    Distressed Model John Ritchhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Just wipe the spit off after the gig.
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  31. #24
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    Quote Originally Posted by John Ritchhart View Post
    Just wipe the spit off after the gig.
    Same goes for the drool after a particularly satisfying practice/play session.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
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    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
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  32. #25
    Registered User Mike Romkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daily Cleaning Routine

    I wipe mine off with a cloth and some of Dave Harvey's secret polish when I change the strings. Mainly, I want to get the beer spittle off top and upper bout. Gross but true.
    '09 Gilchrist Model 1, “July 9” Red Diamond F-5, '12 Duff F-5, '19 Collings MT2, ’24 A2-Z, ’24 F-2, '13 Collings mandola, '82 D-35, Gibson Keb Mo.

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