How Often Should I Polish my Guitar?

It’s extremely important to take good care of your guitar. You don’t want to be wasting the money you spent on a guitar for maintenance reasons. One of the things you gotta do to “take care of your guitar” is to polish it. 

The question is how often should you polish your guitar?

Now, there is no definite answer. It depends on a couple of factors (which we will get to later on). But as a rule of thumb, you should polish your guitar every couple of months. We will explain later how we got to this answer.

However, some may need to polish more, some less. We will explain more keep reading.

How Often You Should Polish (In Depth)

We just told you to polish it every couple of months. However, we also mentioned how that can changes based on a couple of factors. Here are those factors:

1. Your guitar’s finish

Different guitars have different finishes. Some are better than others. The more expensive guitars probably have better finishes which allow them to endure dirt and stay glossy for longer. If your guitar’s finish isn’t that good you may need to polish it a little more frequently.

Also, some finishes are thinner than others. For example, a nitrocellulose finish is lighter than other finishes.

When we talk about polishing guitars, we mean guitars with lacquer or shiny finishes. If you have a satin or matte finish you should polish it at all. If you want to clean a matte-finish guitar check out our article here.

2. How frequently you play

This is basic wear and tear rules. The more you use something the more care it needs. If you are someone that plays all day every day, you may need to polish more often.

3. How well you store your guitar

If you don’t store your guitar well, you can see dust accumulate on your guitar much faster than a person that stores it well. First off I would recommend storing it well. If not, you may be finding yourself needing to polish more often.

So to answer the question fully, I would say it depends on these 3 main factors. If you are someone with a great guitar finish, you don’t play super often, and you store it well, you could be polishing it every 6 months. 

Also on the flip side. If you are someone with an okay guitar finish, you play a lot and you don’t store it correctly, you may be needing to polish your guitar every month, some even say every week.

Most guitarists don’t fall under these extreme categories. There is a middle ground. And that’s how we got to our answer (every couple of months). Since, on average, based on all of these factors, that’s how frequently you would need to polish your guitar. 

The answer should really be different according to everyone based on their own factors. That’s why everyone should simply polish when they feel like it needs. The problem is that some can get ahead of themselves and start polishing it too much, which can be an issue. That’s why we set times to give you guys an idea. But once you get used to it you will know your guitar and situation and know when it needs and doesn’t need polish.

Tip: Some guitar manufacturers actually tell you how often to polish your guitar. You can find out a lot of things about your guitar by simply going looking for its manufacturer’s recommendations. This would be the best thing for your guitar since it’s tailored specifically to your guitar.

Polishing isn’t that simple (as you can already tell). If you want a guide on exactly how to SAFELY polish your guitar check out our article here.

Remember, polishing too much can be detrimental to your guitar. So if you are in doubt about whether or not you should polish it, it’s probably better to wait a little. And that will get us into the next section of this article.

What happens If I polish my guitar too much?

Here’s how you can be destroying your guitar if you polish it too much.

Damage to the finish

Polishing the guitar too much can burn through the guitar’s finish. It could end up making the guitar look dull or even cause scratches

Polish Build-up

Using too much polish can also cause a build-up of polish. This can make your guitar feel sticky. This can also end up affecting the sound of the guitar when it resonates off the body, even by electric guitars.

Damage to hardware

This is an issue regarding the hardware in electric guitars or anywhere that’s metal. Polishing it too much can corrode the metal.


And that’s how often you should polish your guitar. I hope you have a better idea and understanding regarding this. To recap you should polish it whenever you feel it’s needed based on your own personal circumstances. Be careful not to polish it too much though. After a couple of times, you should get the hang of when you would need to polish your guitar, but before that, if you are still unsure, you should wait every couple of months.

I hope you enjoyed!

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