General tech questions

Spit Shine Finish



Normally I differ to moist breath & soft cloth to polish my guitars & remove sweat & general play smudges from my guitar finishes. Be it cumbersome, time consuming, & not entirely effective on instruments with significant grime, I've used this method for over twenty years on Vintage & new instruments with safe & satisfying results. Not to mention, I have read that at least one author of a guitar maintenance book recommends this method for normal everyday guitar cleaning & polishing.

Today I'm putting out the feelers to fellow Gretsch enthusiasts on guitar polishes safe for Lacquer.

My understanding is that many guitar polishes have a slight abrasive quality which actually remove some of the outer layer of the guitars finish & then leave a silicone based compound behind to fill the microscopic area removed by the abrasiveness & promote shine & protection.

That's fine & all, but I'm sure all polishes are not equal & there may be some that are better suited to Urethane & some to Lacquer.

Anyone have any recommendation for Lacquer safe guitar polishes?




Suprdave was joking re: Pledge, in case you haven't already figured that out.

Good luck ascertaining which products do NOT contain silicone. Manufacturers don't make that readily apparent. Silicone will make it difficult for anyone to properly repair your guitar's finish in the future.

I think that Fender's guitar polish (actually a Meguiar's automotive product, but re-labeled for Fender) is silicone free.

Some folks use Zymol car wax (actually called "Zymol Cleaner Wax"). No artificial ingredients in that, & it also does a great job on automotive finishes. 8-)


I really like the Fender instrument care kit. I believe all the products in it are silicone free. It's on sale quite a bit with most of the online suppliers.


Sorry :| should have used the smiley emoticon. ;-)

It's an old argument around here.



Thanks for the feedback.

keep'em coming if you are so inclined as other "Lacquer Lovers" may wish to keep their Lacquer Instruments looking good too & someone may have the secret recipe for that safe & satisfying shine.

By the way... Here's a great little write-up for Lacquer Instrument care giving. "Memphis Pro Guitar Setup & Repair" offered the following on the subject that I found useful & others may too.

"The Do's and Do NOT's of Nitrocellulose Lacquered Guitars by Memphis Pro Guitar Setup & Repair"


Here's what the author recommended & one online seller who has it in stock.


Yours Truly, Scotty


I've used Gibson polish for years and have never suffered any negative reactions from my instruments. However, there are many times I just use a soft polish cloth and a bit of spit on my finger to rub out minor dust blemishes etc...8-)



I'm fairly certain not many individuals use Pledge to polish their favorite AX. So, I took your reference as good fun, but truth be told I'm not convinced that it wouldn't be OK for a Urethane finished instrument when applied sparingly via a soft cloth followed by lots & lots of wiping. Albeit, I would not use it nor recommend it, but I'm sure it's been done. Of course, it would tough to hold onto the slippery little critter after it's been applied.

Many fine vintage furniture has been ruined by Pledge. Pledge might be the vintage furniture market's worst enemy.

Worthy of Note: Just add vodka & sugar to your Lemon Pledge Gretsch & you've got a "Rockabilly Lemon Drop". :D



I have been using Dr. Stringfellow polish for several years with success. I first learned about it on the GDP. $6.00 at Musicians Friend.



  • I've used Gibson in the past on my 1952 ES-125 & other vintage guitars. Never had a problem with it either.

  • Haven't tried the Kyser brand. I'll look into it as the Fender assortment run around $25.00.

I will say that it is tough to nail down whether most of these products on the market are silicone free. The more I look, the less I know. It sounds like the word has to come from the grassroots & years of experience.



bluesuededude...I'm likin' your club name/avatar. Welcome!8-)


IMO..Best Hands Down, Virtuoso, Cleaner and Polish! I have tried damn near everything, this stuff is amazing! Safe for poly and Nitro finishes, I wont buy anything else after this.



I stopped by Viruoso's website earlier & I'm quite impressed. This appears to be a fine suggestion as well.

For those who haven't heard of the product, I've included a link to their website. Virtuoso Website

Thanks, Scotty


The fender polish works pretty well but is not too good for removing significant dirt build up.

For in between polishings they have the wipe mist.

My understanding of the fender wipe mist is that it is the same as the spray used to remove fingerprints and smudges on cars, particularly at car shows. It does not hurt the wax, just gives the finish that freshly waxed shine. I used to use it frequently, but now for the most part, a micro fiber cleaning cloth seems to do a pretty good job at removing finger prints and smudges.


I quietly introduced this before.
I've been using a polish for about 30 years that we developed back then and sell it to our customers. I'm still selling this product out of our Idaho shop. It cleans the guitar and shines to the finest level but leaves NO film or wax that will pickup dirt and sweat. It is the best.

Saqui Sauce $12.95
4oz bottle

Saqui Sauce
Salmon River Guitars
HC 67 Box 2078
Challis, ID 83226

Phone: 208-838-3021

I've been a luthier for 42 years, and am the authorized Martin Repair Center for Idaho. I build custom instruments and do repair and restoration. See my thread here in Vintage Guitars called "A Roundup Revival". I use Saqui Sauce nearly everyday.



I use Zymol on my SSLVO and usually use microfiber cleaning cloths..the thicker ones.


I may be wrong but I use Mothers Carnuba on my guitars.

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