While we know that folks use lemon oil on their fretboards, the question of whether Lemon Pledge is good for guitars is still a mystery. Needless to say, there isn’t a guitar-related mystery we aren’t able to solve (oh, the modesty!). Therefore, today we’ll tackle the subject of whether Lemon Pledge is good to be used on guitars.

What’s Lemon Pledge anyway? Also, why would you want to use it on your favorite (string) instrument? Will such substance damage your trusty guitar, and if so – in what way? There’s no need to worry since we’ll tackle those questions, too. So, yeah, stay tuned for some quality info!

You’re better off using something else than Lemon Pledge on your guitar. Even though using the product won’t have immediate consequences, they’re bound to show up at a certain point. Use regular guitar polish instead. 

If you want to learn how to maintain your instrument properly, reading just the snippet won’t help. That being said, read the whole thing!

Table of Contents

What is Lemon Pledge?

First things first, we’ll deal with the basics, as always, here at Music Gear Heads. Therefore, one must feel obliged to ask: wait, what is Lemon Pledge? Let’s find out!

So, you’ll want to know that Lemon Pledge is a pretty versatile surface cleaner made by S. C. Johson & Son that first appeared way back in 1958. Ever since then, it has been something you’d call a household name. Anyway, folks mostly use it to clean furniture and surfaces where dust & dirt are known to collect. Also, the so-called anti-dust formula does wonders; it leaves no polish or waxy buildup behind. That’s right, all you notice once you’re done cleaning is a fresh lemony scent most users find to be pretty pleasant.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the other features Lemon Pledge has. Besides shining, dusting, and polishing your furniture in a single step, it comes with the so-called Allergen Trappers that do away with dust and up to a whopping 90% of allergens. It’s not so hard to conclude that Lemon Pledge enhances the surface appearance of your furniture and, of course, greatly improves your indoor air quality.

So, Lemon Pledge is only good for cleaning & polishing wood?

Lastly, we have to note that folks use Lemon Pledge for purposes other than cleaning and polishing wood. That’s right! Besides wood, you’re able to wipe stainless steel (speaking of which, here’s whether stainless steel strings sound different), plastic, laminate, leather, and who could forget – granite. Additionally, Lemon Pledge is fantastic at removing fingerprints and smudges from the aforementioned surfaces. All in all: as a common, household name, Lemon Pledge is a great solution for daily dusting and cleaning.

Now, before you get all suspicious about us working for the folks at S. C. Johson & Son, advertising one of their most famous products, it’s better that we jump straight ahead to the main question this article has proposed: is Lemon Pledge good for guitars? Don’t go anywhere!

A couple of guitars in the music studio, without Lemon Pledge.

Is Lemon Pledge good for guitars?

If Lemon Pledge is so good for cleaning various surfaces around your home, it’s only natural that one should ask: wait, can I use Lemon Pledge to clean my guitars? Without further ado, let’s provide you with an answer to the to-Pledge-or-not-to-Pledge mystery!

To be completely honest, one can’t expect a definite answer here. Okay, we know that’s always a buzz-killer, but that’s how the way things stand. If you were to check out the talks on the subject that appear in the guitar forums and message boards, you’d get the same idea. However, we might be able to provide you with a solid answer and that is:

  • Steer clear of using Lemon Pledge on your guitar. Period. 

Here’s the thing: the reason why many folks advocate for the usage of Lemon Pledge on guitars lies in the fact that the consequences of using the product aren’t visible right from the start. It might take years before you notice something’s wrong. In other words, using Lemon Pledge on your guitars can go on for years without any noticeable ill effects.

So, when can we notice that using Lemon Pledge wasn’t such a good idea after all? Imagine you want to refret your favorite instrument you’ve used Lemon Pledge on. Now, there’s a pretty good chance that, after months or years of usage, Lemon Pledge might’ve found its way into the wood of your guitar. You’ll notice it has blocked new lacquer adhering to wood, which you’ll agree isn’t the best scenario out there.

Something of a conclusion

All in all: you don’t want to use Lemon Pledge on your guitars because of its potential side effects (blocking new lacquer from adhering to wood, for instance). We’re talking about a fairly harsh cleaner in chemical terms, so, yeah… You might want to try some of the alternatives to using Lemon Pledge on guitars.

If you’re on the lookout for more guitar tips, click right here.

Is there an alternative to using Lemon Pledge on guitars?

It would be really naive to think that there isn’t an alternative to using Lemon Pledge to clean and polish guitars. Using Lemon Pledge is actually an alternative, a bad one, to using regular products folks use to clean and polish their favorite instrument. So, shall we consider them (the products & methods, not the folks)?

First of all, you’ll need to gather the right ingredients for the basic cleanup procedure:

  • Some bottled water. 
  • A microfiber cloth. 
  • A very gentle, soft-bristle brush. 

As you can see, there are no harsh products here, only water. Anyway, have you gathered everything? If so, let’s continue.

A short disclaimer: if your guitar has a natural finish, don’t do anything we’ll mention in this guide. Also, you can steer clear of using sunflower oil on your guitar.

Begin cleaning!

The first thing you’ll want to do is to remove your guitar strings. Obviously. Anyway, once you’ve removed the strings, use a soft brush to gently sweep over the entire guitar. That way, you’ll deal with larger particles of loose dust and dirt. Make sure you’re thorough, paying attention to cracks and crevices.

Now, keep in mind that you don’t want to use a standard paintbrush from your local hardware store. It doesn’t matter how soft you imagine them to be. Anyway, use a bristle brush. You’re also able to use a makeup brush, the largest one you can find. Lastly, exactly because of the fact that they’re so fine, these brushes will most probably shed an occasional bristle here and here, but we’re sure that you’ll have no trouble blowing them off your instrument.

Clean the whole guitar, regardless of whether you see the dust in certain areas. Also, don’t forget to deal with your headstock, use the fine bristles to find your way between the tuners on both the front and back of it. Speaking of tuners, here’s whether you should wrap strings with locking tuners.

How to deal with stubborn gunk?

Of course, a soft-bristle brush can’t help you deal with everything. Here’s what you need to do when you encounter more stubborn gunk. First of all, you’ll want to wet a microfiber cloth with some bottled water. Do it so the cloth ends up being only slightly damp. Use the damp cloth in a scooping motion to deal with gunk.

What if water doesn’t take care of the spot? What then? Here’s a bit of a weird suggestion that might actually work: you can dampen the cloth with some saliva. We’re not kidding, they say that saliva is nature’s own gunk remover, so… Also, it does a pretty good job at removing organic buildups such as sweat and oils.

To continue: use the same scooping motion to remove the gunk. Once you’ve taken care of everything, simply use a dry (clean) cloth on the instrument. And once that’s done, it’s time to do some polishing.

Begin polishing!

Depending on what your guitar finish is, you’ll need to apply a special kind of polish to it. Keep in mind that guitar polish is cleverly designed to be used on the instrument so you shouldn’t worry about damaging your guitar. Anyway, you can do this 2-3 times a year and no more than that.

So, if you’re “sporting” an instrument with a matte or gloss finish, you might want to opt for this one. All in all: consider the type of finish your guitar has and buy guitar polish that’s meant to be used on it.

How to clean a guitar with a natural finish?

As we’ve said at the beginning of this guide, you don’t want to apply any of these tips to a guitar that has a natural finish. So, how should you clean it, then? Well, let’s just say that you don’t have a lot of options. For instance, you’re able to use a dry microfiber cloth to clean your guitar once the playing session’s over, but that’s about it. 

Oh, and you can sometimes use clear mineral oil to remove certain superficial stains on smaller areas, but let’s say that is where you cross the line. Here’s the thing: just about anything (even water) you try to use on your natural-finish guitar can potentially make the suspicious spot darker or lighter than the rest of your instrument.

Final thoughts

Alright, dear music-loving people, that’s all that we’ve prepared for today. Now you know whether Lemon Pledge is any good for guitars (hint: it’s not so good). Anyway, if you’re looking for more articles similar to this one, pay a visit to our blog page.