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Monica

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am currently tweaking a sitar that has been used in a temple for probably the greater part of 20 years. It has a slightly sticky residue on its surfaces, quite possibly due to its being stored in rooms with very thick insense burning in them much of the time. While this makes it smell very nice, it does tend to make dust stick to it. What would be a good way to clean the wood surfaces without damaging them? (A soft cloth alone is not going to do it).

Also, my own sitar has a big round area on the back where the importer's label was original stuck on. The label is not longer there, but the old hardened residue from the sticker is. Any suggestions on how to get the "goo gone" without having the finish be gone too?

Thanks!

(And I do know that the sitar cleaning topic was discussed at length in the old forum, but I was unable to find any archived posts).

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povster

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Reply with quote  #2 
Also, my own sitar has a big round area on the back where the importer's label was original stuck on. The label is not longer there, but the old hardened residue from the sticker is. Any suggestions on how to get the "goo gone" without having the finish be gone too?


Interesting question. I have an RKS sitar where I removed that gawdawful hologramish sticker from the head and there is residue from it. I was going to ask how GOO GONE impacts a sitar's finish. If you don't know it, GOO GONE is a citrus based cleaner designed to remove things like tar, glue residue, and tons of other things.

If I don;t hear anything I am gonna try it as a spot test on a small, unobtrusive area and see how it impacts the finish. Here's hoping others have more experience removing sticky residues such as you've described!

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TK

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Reply with quote  #3 
Monica:
I have the video from Ron Fernandez on how to French Polish guitars. There is a chapter on cleaning and repairing. He recommends VM&P (varnish makers and painters) Naptha for cleaning shellac finishes. This is what he uses on vintage instruments to remove old built-up wax and/or dirt.
In the video he scientifically demonstates how various solvents affect shellac. VM&P Naptha was the only solvent that doesn't affect the shellac or leave an unwanted residue.
I just got through refinishing the tumba of a sitar and used Naptha to clean it before appying the new french polish. It works as described. It evaportates without leaving any residue and has absolutely no negative effect on the shellac. And it's cheap.
TK

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povster

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He recommends VM&P (varnish makers and painters) Naptha for cleaning shellac finishes. This is what he uses on vintage instruments to remove old built-up wax and/or dirt.

When I was involved in restoring paper (old comic books and movie posters) VMP Naptha was a standard. (DO make sure it says VMP Naptha). It had no impact on inks and does, indeed, evaporate completely leaving no residue or solvent odor. Interesting to see if it works on our instruments.

You do want to be careful with the stuff. Use it in a well ventialted area. You don't want to be breathing the fumes for any duration. It is flammable so keep it away from flames, sources of sparking etc. Also you should pick up a pair of chemical protetive gloves. You should be able to get them at the same hardware store you get the VMP Naptha. Basically your standard warnings for using a solvent.

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Monica

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hey TK & Povster, thanks for the tips! And hopefully it is still easy to get it, half the google links that came up were for drug-recipies!
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TK

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Reply with quote  #6 
Monica:

It should be available at your local hardware/paint store.

TK

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povster

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Monica"
Hey TK & Povster, thanks for the tips! And hopefully it is still easy to get it, half the google links that came up were for drug-recipies!
Any hardware store should have it. It is pretty routinely stocked. It usually comes in a gallon can for just a few dollars. You might want to start with a smaller can or jar if they have it. A gallon is gonna be hanging around for a while. You should also do a spot test with a q-tip - perhaps somewhere on the back of the neck near the lower tumba. Just to make usre that particular finish is not impacted.

You will want to wipe the naptha off with a rag(s) as you go. Also insure you get rid of the rags safely. Don't want any spontaneous combustion! I used to get the rags and wash them by hand in soapy water and ring them out to cut out the flammability of the rags. Don't mean to be too picky/detailled but should this work you ARE gonna end up with some nice Malatov Cocktail wicks and it is prudent to address them! :wink:

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Monica

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Reply with quote  #8 
TK & Povster, thanks again for all your great tips! Looking forward to being able to enjoy two very shiny, clean sitars.
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azem

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Reply with quote  #9 
i use a microfibre cloth with just some warm water.
it picks up the grime without any kind of degreaser or detergent
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