Help! I just got home from a gig, where a table collapsed, spilling coffee with sugar/cream and red wine all over the neck of my steel-string acoustic guitar!  I wiped it down quickly with a damp towel to sop up the droplets and the sugar and such, then used dry paper towels to dry it out as best I could, but I'm worried and don't know what to do next.  I know I need to replace my strings, the lower ones in particular sound muted and water-logged, but I'm afraid for my neck!  All the web sites I have found say "Don't let your guitar get wet!" but don't say what to do IF it does!  I'm letting it sit out of its case in my humidity-controlled house tonight to dry out (also letting the case dry out!)  Other than wiping it with cleaner and a good cloth, what should I do? Thanks, and I love your site, 

Richard E. Moore


I assume this guitar is Nitrocellulose lacquer like Older Martins,  Gibson,  or Guild instruments?  If this is the case and the coffee was extremely hot ,  you may have scalded the fragile finish and would need to refinish the neck.  IF your guitar has a finish that is Polyurethane then what we use pretty effectively is a product called "Trick" polish!  This is not my favorite cleaner/polish but with our Mardi Gras, and different parades down here with folks spilling all kinds of syrup type drinks and beer on instruments, I have not found anything better to use.  This stuff will clean off the alcohol in liquor, fruit punchy mixed drinks, beer, and light mold very well.  The trick here (no pun)  is to get the gunk off quickly ,  because after a few weeks it can react with the finishes pretty badly.  I have not seen how red wine affects some lacquers but I assume it will dye nitro lacquer badly!  Also be sure to not Bleed on nitro lacquer if you cut your finger because this left on the finish can make a permanent stain!!

Donated by:  Tim  Lawson      http://www.timsguitar.com


HOME                         BACK TO CARE & PRESERVATION TIPS