People spend lots of time and money getting their guitars clean. You can save yourself a lot by simply keeping your case clean. Think about it, you don’t want dirt on your guitar. But if there is dirt in your guitar case and you put your guitar in that case, is it much different?
So, I applaud you for clicking on this article to get your case clean. We will go through different ways to clean for different types of cases. You can try out the method you feel comfortable doing.
At the end of this article, you should know everything you need to know about case cleaning.
How to clean a guitar case
I know there are a couple of different types of guitar cases. Some are hard, some are soft, and some are semi. We will list a bunch of different methods. Some might not work for hard cases. Use the method that works with what type of case you have.
Anyway, here are the different methods we found to work on guitar cases.
Ways to clean the inside of a guitar case
Cleaning the inside is more important than cleaning the outside. We’ll talk about that later. Here’s
Shake it out
Sometimes we overexaggerate the dirt that’s in our cases. Sometimes it’s just not that bad. So, before you do anything crazy, I would recommend just trying to shake out whatever you can. You would be surprised how much you can get out by doing this first.
With soft cases, it’s much easier to do this. You can even bend the case inside out, and wipe off whatever you can. With hard cases, you don’t have this flexibility.
Wipe with water and soap
This method is also pretty simple. All you would need to do is wet a cloth with some water and soap and start scrubbing away.
However, it is a little tricky since there are different types of interiors. For example, with my soft case, it’s a piece of cake. It’s interior smooth so I can simply scrub off whatever I can and dry it with a dry cloth and I’m done. With most hard cases, you will see more of a furry texture on the inside. And you can’t just wipe it with a paper towel.
If you would want to wet clean the inside you would need lots more water to fully clean the furry inside. Then you would be able to take some soap and start scrubbing. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing something like this. It’s hard to get the soap out once you put it on. The fur is like a sponge, it absorbs the soapy water. Another issue is that it stays wet for much longer. You would need to dry it intensely. You don’t want too much water coming in contact, and sitting on your guitar. See our article on cleaning a guitar with water.
If you use soap you really need to make sure you dry it up after. Strong soaps can be bad for guitars. See can you clean a guitar with dish soap?
This method is quite simple (for soft case owners). All you do is dump your case in the washing machine and let it wash. That’s it. I hope all you hard case owners out there know this method is not for you.
For this method, all you need is a vacuum that is able to reach the spots in your case. You can use a vacuum extension to reach the tight spots. This method works for both soft and hard case owners.
This is one of my favorite methods. It’s so simple and it works surprisingly well. No need to get any vacuum extensions or use water. All you need is something sticky like a lint roller or even duck tape to pick up dust and dirt.
This method even works on those suede-like textures on the inside. For the more furry-like insides I would use something less sticky since you probably don’t want duck tape ripping off the fur or getting stuck there. Also, if you use duck tape make sure you apply it and take it off right away. You don’t want to give it a chance to stick for good!
Cleaning the outside of a guitar case
Cleaning the outside isn’t as important as cleaning the inside of a guitar case. To clean the outside of your guitar case, you can simply collect dust with a duster or you can give it a quick wipe with a wet paper towel.
The importance of cleaning your guitar case
People spend lots of time and money trying to polish their guitars and get them clean. Most of it is trying to get the dirt off of your guitar. Now, do you think it makes sense to put your guitar in something full of dirt? Your asking for problems. A dirty body can simply make your guitar look ugly or even ruin its wood in some cases (see how to remove scratches). Dirty strings can lead to dead tone and corrosion (see how to clean guitar strings). Dirt from the case can also find its way to the inside of the guitar.
Generally, to see what can and can’t come in contact with a guitar see here.
Here are great tips for you to keep in mind regarding keeping your guitar case clean.
Baking soda for odor
Baking soda is known for eliminating odors, this is proven here. So what you can do is pour some baking soda into your case, close the lid, and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then, you can vacuum it out. Alternatively, you can use something like an air freshener.
Dry it before you put your guitar back in
Guitars exposed to too much moisture can be bad. If there’s too much water sitting on the guitar it can waterlog the wood. See here.
Dehumidifier to stop mold
If too much moisture builds up inside the case, not only can it hurt the guitar, it can also cause a build-up of mold inside the case. That’s why you can use something like a dehumidifier to keep it dry.
If you store your case properly to begin with, you may not need to clean it as often. You should probably keep the case away from somewhere high next to the ceiling. That’s where a lot of dust can build up. Also, if you’ve got lots of kids in the house (like me) you might wanna keep it away from them. I don’t know how these kids do it but they might manage to get some crumbs in there somehow.
Also, make sure your case is always closed (unless you have to take your guitar out obviously). But even once your guitar is out, close it. It will help block anything from getting to the inside of the case.
If you are a germaphobe you can disinfect a guitar case with no problem. Just make sure not to drown your case in a disinfectant since they all have alcohol. Alcohol can be bad for guitars.
Using fabric cleaner on the lining
If the lining used on your case is dirty you can use any fabric cleaner to clean it. Simply apply some cleaner on a cloth and start wiping down the lining.
So there you have a couple of different ways to clean your guitar case. That was everything we learned through our tests and research. You can refer back to this page whenever you need to clean your case. Remember, use the method you feel most comfortable with. You should also internalize why it’s important to clean your guitar case as we spoke about. But don’t get too carried away. If it’s stored well you wouldn’t need to clean the case too often.