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Martin Guitar Polish,
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This review is from: Martin Polish (Electronics)
Human hands and fingertips in particular, exude undesirable acids, salts and perspiration, that it is best to regularly ensure, are removed from a Guitars finish.
Martin Guitar Polish is the perfect, and only Polish, I would use on a Martin Guitar, or any fine and well made Instrument of a closely similar type. Their traditional historic models are finished with nitro cellulose to the width of just two human hairs. This is so that the solid wood and finish act together to allow the instrument to transfer vibration and resonate the sound of the Strings most efficiently and effectively.
The Instruments are best thought of as being "open pored" or better still, that they "breathe". Although they sound fantastic from day one. The day you buy such an Instrument is the worst it will ever sound. Because of the way it is made and finished, it will only mature and improve with age and use. Put simply, this is a big part of what makes them sound so good.
What they require in cleaning is just to be gently wiped down after use with a clean cloth and the occasional use of a very slightly damp cloth and a benign agent, like the Martin Polish which will not clog the Instruments finish.
Most Acoustic Instruments that are cheaper, are made with sides and sometimes a top that are a ply of thin woods glued together, with perhaps a beautiful veneer grain on the outside. They are finished with a polyurethane or urethane gloss (as is also the case with Solid Body Electrics like Fender Basses today) which is very much thicker and heavier altogether.
The advantage of this, is that the Instrument is exceptionally strong and less susceptible to damage because of the glued layers of ply veneers, and the thick Clear Coat which provides a very hard wearing, protective, glass like finish.
The disadvantage, is that the multiple woods, glue and the finish acting together, tend to inhibit and limit the transference of String vibration, so they don't resonate anything like as well, thus, cannot ever sound as good, and cannot improve in this respect, or mature overtime. These require a different solution as discussed below.
Many, perhaps most owners of the latter type, do not really take proper care of their Instruments, so most branded polishes on the market you can buy even good Branded Guitar Polishes, contain a number of cleaning solvents to remove built up unwanted gunk. We don't really want to apply these to a High Quality Acoustic.
Commonly available polishes more generally, contain silicones and beeswax, both of which are which are bad for a Quality Instrument, and although they appear to work well, they can eventually create very complex underlying problems in the finish, that can cause difficulties later on. So they are best completely avoided.
The best way to approach things is to think of cleaning and polishing as a two stage process, and part of a normal routine. Simple things like washing and drying your hands before Playing to remove acids, salts and perspiration. Cleaning your Strings down after Playing to remove moisture, whilst wiping the fretboard clean, preserve and extend their life, and wiping the Instrument over before putting it away, go a long way to keep your Instrument in Fine Condition, and cost nothing more than just the little effort involved.
Beyond that, I find Carnauba Wax (The Queen of Waxes) and hardest of all, to be a good, highly protective Polish for most Guitars. Merely apply a little here and there and buff up with a clean dry cloth. It works well (better than everything else I've tried) for most High Quality Solid Electrics, Electric Spanish SemiAcoustics, Fender and other similarly finished Quality Basses and thus, most Cheaper Guitars of the Latter type as discussed above. Planet Waves on Amazon and some others, market such a wax quite cheaply, and a little of it goes a long way.
Planet Waves Protect Wax
But for Traditional Designs of Fine Quality Solid Wood Sided Acoustical Instruments like Martin etc. You cannot do better than to follow the Makers published advice and use the product they provide.
I recommend the Product as benign, and its use, on High Quality Acoustic Guitars.