After purchasing your guitar, you must learn how to look after it. The best way to look after your guitar and spot any problems is by playing it. Over time, the strings can become dull due to grime, oxidation and tension stress.
When you play your guitar, oils from your fingers will combine with dust and dirt and allow grime to build upon the strings. Wiping down the strings after playing will help keep them clean and slow the natural oxidation process that breaks down your strings. The tension stress from having the strings stretched over the guitar for extended periods can also affect the strings. This tension, along with any grime or oxidation, can leave the guitar sounding dull when played and make it more challenging to keep in tune. The need for constant tuning may be a sign that you need to change your strings.
To keep your strings clean, you can use a soft, dry cloth. The same cloth can be used to rub-down the neck of the guitar after daily use. When you change the strings, you should give the fretboard a proper clean without any interference from the strings. You should also clean the body of the guitar by wiping it down with just a soft, dry cloth.
If you don’t play often, it’s best to get your guitar out and give it a good clean, especially if you own an electric guitar. The knobs and switches can corrode and will need to be changed when they have deteriorated too far. When not playing your guitar, you should keep it in a soft or hard case and either stand it up or place it on its side. Storing your guitar in a case, rather than on a stand, will prevent it from being damaged. If you are storing your guitar for an extended time, loosen the tension on the strings to prevent your guitar from warping.
Treating your guitar with respect by taking care of it will keep it looking great and sounding better.