Cleaning products?

  1. Hammerless
    I have a new mandolin that I would like to keep in good condition. I was wondering if I could us some Old English furnature polish. If not, what is recommended?

    Also; what do you do with a cheap, crappy instrument that isn't worth the effort to fix up (laminated top and body, crack at the neck/body joint and just plain sounds awful)? I've been thinking that on my next road trip (post Covid) I'd stop at the first Cracker Barrel I see, walk in, hang it on a wall and walk out.
  2. NDO
    I’m no help on cleaning projects but I saw a post on the forums about a member taking junk mandolins and fixing them up to send to veterans. Pappyrich is the member, here’s the post:
  3. HonketyHank
    I wouldn't use anything except a soft cotton cloth. Dampen the cloth slightly if you have some kind of icky spill.

    If the junker is playable maybe Goodwill. If not, strip any usable hardware for the "spare parts" drawer; then, well it won't keep you warm as long as a piano, but here's Bruce Weber disposing of a couple of mandolins that didn't pass QC inspection:
  4. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Cracker Barrel for sure, but if you are indeed hammerless it could be difficult.
  5. Hammerless
    "Cracker Barrel for sure, but if you are indeed hammerless it could be difficult."

    Good one!
  6. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Henry's advice on "cleaning" is rock solid. Dust it. Use as little of any product as possible. Forgetting brand names a moment, you can use a very small amount of water to remove foods or sugars, etc. that may get on it. And you can use a very small amount of a mild solvent like naphtha to remove oils or greases that may get on it.

    Back to brand names, I've been known on rare occasions (like once a year or so) to use an emulsion (like Lemon Pledge) in small portions. Never in life would I use Old English. A good portion of my career has been (and is) wood maintenance on high end wood products (architectural millwork in commercial buildings) and I feel particularly strongly about this advice.

    When choosing any polish, eschew products that contain silicone - and products that leave behind unknown colorants and heavy residue (Old English).
  7. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    Wow that picture just makes me squirm (Even though it's Bruce Weber)
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