How to Clean Guitar Bags

In this era of technological advancement, inventions of new machines rapidly increase. Some manual chores turned into automation. One great example is the invention of the washing machine. It was invented in 1767 by German Scientist Jacob Christian Schaffer. Almost a century later, the earliest modern-day washing machine was invented by American Inventor James King.

Consequently, the trend of washing machines was widespread all over the world. It significantly contributes to the economy’s boost because commercial laundry shops were opened in the 1830s for the sole purpose of unmarried men in the US. After 60 years, these commercial laundry shops began to be used for families.

As presently constructed, commercial laundry shops have come a long way from their humble beginnings. They now offer various services like laundry pickup, delivery, sorting, and et cetera. But it isn’t perfect yet because there are some limitations to washing machines regardless of how advanced the model is. For instance, it can’t clean guitar bags. We’ll have to wait for quite some time before inventors can think of a brilliant idea of how to do it. For now, you’ll have to clean your guitar bags manually. To all the musicians out there, worry not because we will tell you some tips on how to clean your guitar bags in this article.

Know the Case Material

Most guitar owners will skip this part and wash their guitar bags immediately with tap water and whatever detergent in their homes. A huge mistake! Never do that again. You need to identify the type of case material because different materials require different cleaning procedures. Listed below are the different approaches to cleaning guitar bags in chronological order.

Soft Case (Nylon)

Step 1: Get Rid of the Foul Odor

Sometimes unproven DIY can lead to disaster. Never use your deodorant spray to remove the foul odor of your soft case. It will just leave marks that are very hard to remove. You don’t want that extra problem, right? Instead, use baking soda.

Yes, you heard that right. All you need to do is open your soft case bag and sprinkle baking soda into the bag from the outside and the inside. Baking soda neutralizes the acid that caused the foul smell. Let it rest for 1-4 hours, and after it passed your nose test.

Get a vacuum cleaner and absorb all the baking powder in your bag. The vacuum cleaner also serves as incomplete removal of dust and dirt. 

Step 2: Remove Dust and Dirt

A vacuum cleaner will always be not enough. To fully clean your soft case guitar bag, use masking tape and eliminate the dust and dirt by sticking a 5 inches long masking tape to the nylon. Also, never use gaffer tape. We know that all musicians own one but trust me, it is not the right time to do it, no matter how tempting the idea is.

Step 3: Never Forget the Pocket

Some of the dust and dirt will always be trapped in the pocket. That is why it is also important to clean the pockets. This step is straightforward. All you need to do is insert your vacuum cleaner into the pocket hole and check if dust and dirt are still absorbed.

Step 4: What if the Case is Really Dirty like Muddy Dirty?

Perhaps you had a blast with the gig last night, and you end up messing your soft case guitar case. The steps above cant fully clean it. First, use a water-damped rag and gently scrub it to the dirt. Second, proceed to this step if the water-damped rag is ineffective. Use a mild dish soap and water solution. Again, scrub the muddy area until it’s gone. Third, if water-damped rag and dish soap and water solutions have little to no effects, then use a soft-bristle brush and water and detergent solution. Carefully brush the muddy area and. Repeat until no mud is seen.

Soft Case (Leather Bag)

Step 1: Never expose to Moisture

Leather is a very sensitive material. If it is exposed to too much moisture, it will fade. So exposing it to water and detergent as a cleaning method will also result in a disaster.

Step 2: Clean it Naturally.

Leather is a delicate material. It is so fashionable and durable. Given that kind of upside, it also requires a lot of effort to take care of this material. Take care of your leather guitar bag by using olive oil. Apply olive oil carefully and air-dry until the oil is gone.

Do it on a regular schedule, depending on how often you use it. If you do that, I can guarantee you that the leather bag will reach its maximum lifespan.

Hard Shell Case (Aluminum and Plastic)

Step 1: Less Hassle Cleaning  

Aluminum and plastic are common in our household and upholstery. Readily available cleaners are sometimes already accessible in your house. Examples are your wrench cleaner for aluminum casing and your car or motor cleaner for the plastic casing.

Step 2: DIY Cleaning

Suppose you have no aluminum and plastic cleaner in your home; consider DIY. For aluminum casing, water and white vinegar solutions are so good because they are very accessible and cheap. The ratio is 4 cups of water to ½ cup of white vinegar.

Lemon is also a good substitute if, for some reason, you don’t have any white vinegar. Your damped cloth with the solution and you’re good to go. For plastic casing, use lemon oil, cooking spray, or toothpaste to maintain the plastic surface’s glam.

Step 3: Clean the Interiors

There will always be foreign material such as dirt and dust inside the guitar bags. For aluminum and plastic casing, the interior is sometimes made of soft foam to support the guitar. If you touch the interior, you will know that if it needs cleaning. Simply use a vacuum cleaner and absorb dirt and dust as much as you can. Lastly, just like in nylon casing, use masking tape to eradicate some suspended dust and dirt.