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Posts: 878
Reply with quote  #1 
Morning all...

Any hints, suggestions etc on how to clean your sitar, woodwork, frets, etc. Cleaning materials?

On another forum (vintage guitar amplifiers) lots of people recommend a man-made (in a way!) material called apparantly cleans things really well and does not do any damage and I can testify to this..



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Posts: 2,233
Reply with quote  #2 
Hey Greg,

When I clean up my sitars I have had great success with a few different things.
(I dont recommend spit as it has acids and bits of your lunch in it.)

If it is an old and very dirty sitar I usually start out with a rag that is a little bit damp with a mixture of water and a little bit of Murphy's Oil Soap.
I mix one part Murphy's with six parts warm water and the wet the rag and then wring it out so that it is not dripping wet.
It should just be slightly damp.
This takes off the dust and grime.
Then I immediately dry it of with a very soft rag.

To shine up the tabli and other wood parts I use Carnauba Wax.
I open the can of wax and then rub my finger on the wax.
The warmth of your finger melts the wax and makes it easy to apply.
Then make sure there is just a little wax on your finger (No big clumps)
Use your finger to apply the wax to the wood.
Just a very very light coat. Just enough so that you can see it is going on.
Let it dry for a few minutes until it starts to turn opaque.
Buff of with a very soft cloth.
Then polish to a shine with a clean very very soft cloth. (I use Chamoise and Synthetic Extra soft cloths from the automotive store)
Be careful not to get excess wax into the cracks of the tabli carving as it is very hard to get out of those tight crevasses.
To shine up the carving I usually use the first rag to wipe off the wax and the use this rag with the wax that came off the tabli to shine the carving.
This keeps clumpy wax from gunking up the carving.

For frets I use steel wool (The finest grade so it is not too scratchy)
Take a little piece of steel wool and wrap it around the edges of the fret and run the length of the fret.
Go back and forth, being careful at the ends not to scratch the celluloid or binding under the ends of the fret.
This makes the frets shiny and silky smooth. (Makes Meend a pleasure).

Anyhoo thats what I do.
It works pretty well and you will have a happy shiny sitar.

Here is a before and after set of pics for my 1960s Naskar sitar.

Posts: 674
Reply with quote  #3 
Also check out this Sitar Factory article on cleaning a sitar with "popote"
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