How to clean your guitar pickups

Keeping your guitar pickups clean is crucial to maintain a good tone and extend their lifespan. Dirt, dust, and sweat can accumulate over time on your pickups, causing them to lose their clarity and brightness. To ensure that your guitar sounds its best, you should clean your pickups regularly. Here's how you can do it:

How to clean your guitar pickups
Step 1: Remove the strings - Before starting the cleaning process, you should remove the strings from your guitar. This will give you easy access to the pickups and prevent any damage to the strings.

Step 2: Use a soft cloth - Take a soft, lint-free cloth and gently wipe the pickups to remove any dust or dirt. Avoid using abrasive cloths or paper towels as they can scratch the surface of your pickups.

Step 3: Use a cleaning solution - If your pickups are heavily soiled, you can use a cleaning solution. You can make your own cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of water and vinegar. Dip the cloth in the solution and wring it out thoroughly before wiping the pickups. Avoid spraying the cleaning solution directly on the pickups.

Step 4: Dry the pickups - After cleaning, use a dry cloth to wipe the pickups and remove any moisture. Make sure that the pickups are completely dry before restringing your guitar.

Step 5: Polish the pickups - If you want to give your pickups a shiny finish, you can use a metal polish. Apply a small amount of metal polish to a soft cloth and gently buff the pickups. Make sure that you remove any excess polish to avoid any buildup.

Regularly cleaning your guitar pickups is an important part of guitar maintenance. By following these steps, you can keep your pickups looking and sounding great for years to come.

How to clean your guitar pickups

Content index
  1. Maintaining cleanliness of your guitar pickups: expert tips
  2. Using wd40 for cleaning guitar pickups: what you need to know
  3. How to ruin a guitar pickup in 10 seconds - don't do this!!!

Maintaining cleanliness of your guitar pickups: expert tips

If you're an avid guitar player, you know how important it is to keep your instrument in good condition. One of the areas that needs special attention is the guitar pickups. Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate on your pickups and compromise their performance. In this article, we'll go over some expert tips on how to keep your guitar pickups clean.

First and foremost, it's important to remember that cleaning your guitar pickups requires a delicate touch. You don't want to damage the coils or magnets that make up your pickups, so it's essential to use the right tools and techniques. One of the easiest ways to remove dust and dirt from your pickups is to use a soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush or paintbrush. Simply brush the debris away gently, taking care not to scratch the surface of the pickups.

For more stubborn dirt and grime, you can use a cleaning solution specifically designed for guitar pickups. These solutions are typically alcohol-based and can be found at your local music store or online. Apply a small amount of the solution to a soft cloth and gently wipe down the pickups. Be sure to avoid getting any liquid on the rest of the guitar, as this can cause damage to the finish.

Another expert tip for maintaining the cleanliness of your guitar pickups is to cover them when you're not playing. This can be done with a specialized cover or even a small piece of cloth or tissue. By covering your pickups, you can prevent dust and debris from accumulating on them when they're not in use.

In summary, keeping your guitar pickups clean is an important part of maintaining your instrument's overall performance. By using the right tools and techniques, such as soft-bristled brushes and specialized cleaning solutions, you can remove dirt and debris without damaging the pickups. Additionally, covering your pickups when not in use can help prevent the accumulation of dust and grime. With these expert tips, you can keep your guitar sounding its best for years to come.

Using wd40 for cleaning guitar pickups: what you need to know

Can you use WD40 to clean guitar pickups? This is a common question among guitar players who are looking for an easy and effective way to clean their guitar pickups. WD40 is a multi-purpose product that is commonly used to lubricate and protect metal surfaces. While it can be effective for some cleaning tasks, it is not recommended for cleaning guitar pickups.

The reason why WD40 should not be used to clean guitar pickups is that it contains solvents that can damage the delicate components of the pickups. The solvents can dissolve the protective coating on the coils and cause them to corrode over time. This can lead to a decrease in the pickup's performance and even cause it to fail altogether.

Instead of using WD40, it is recommended to use a specialized guitar cleaner that is designed for use on delicate components. There are many products available on the market that are specifically formulated to clean guitar pickups without causing any damage. These products are typically alcohol-based and are safe to use on all types of pickups, including active and passive pickups.

When cleaning your guitar pickups, it is important to use the right technique. You should never spray the cleaner directly onto the pickups, as this can cause the liquid to seep into the coils and cause damage. Instead, apply the cleaner to a soft cloth and gently wipe the pickups in a circular motion. Be sure to avoid applying too much pressure, as this can also cause damage to the pickups.

Taking everything into account, while WD40 may seem like a convenient solution for cleaning guitar pickups, it is not recommended due to the solvents it contains. Instead, use a specialized guitar cleaner that is designed for use on delicate components. By following the proper cleaning technique, you can keep your guitar pickups in top condition and ensure that they perform at their best.

How to ruin a guitar pickup in 10 seconds - don't do this!!!


Maintaining your guitar pickups clean is essential for a long-lasting and top-quality sound. Keeping them free of dirt and grime will guarantee that you're getting the best out of your instrument. As we've seen in this article, cleaning your pickups doesn't have to be a daunting task. With just a few simple steps, you can remove any buildup that might have accumulated on your guitar's pickups.

Remember that cleaning your pickups is not a task that you need to do every day, but it's something that you should consider doing regularly. By doing so, you'll be preserving the sound and quality of your guitar and ensuring that it will last for years to come. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you'll be able to maintain your guitar pickups in top-notch condition.

With this in mind, cleaning your guitar pickups is a straightforward process that can have a big impact on your sound quality. Remember to remove the strings before cleaning, use the appropriate tools, and be gentle when handling your pickups. By doing so, you'll be ensuring that your guitar is always sounding its best. Don't forget to share these tips with other guitar players who might benefit from them!

Thomas Farrell

My name is Thomas Farrell, and I'm 53 years old. I'm a very active person, and I've been working for over 20 years in a cleaning company. I've always loved my work, and I've always wanted to help people, that's the reason I started my website, Cleansensei.com to share my knowledge and experience with others.

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