I wouldn't say I have an apple of my eye. I have multiple, be it a scale model of a car on my shelf or an engraved percussion shotgun on my wall.
But one of the apples is my banjo, and I like to keep it clean.
....However that's not that easy. Twice a month I add a drop of a very mild soap to half a liter of water, I then clean any dirt and grime from under the hooks with a q-tip, then gently clean the dust from the whole instrument with a soft microfiber cloth.
This, as in the cleaning of the hooks, of course, takes a lot of time. How do you guys out there clean your banjos? Is there a more time efficient way?
I've used Ken Smith Pro Formula Polish. Non-abrasive. Used it on both lacquer and metal.
Right now, I'm working through a bottle of Gibson polish. Also a liquid in a small pump bottle.
But I don't thoroughy clean as frequently as you do. I wipe down after a playing session with a microfibre cloth. Maybe use the polish three or four times a year -- mostly on the wood.
I've completely disassembled banjos in the past to thoroughly clean them, but that was usually in connection with some other work, such as sending a neck to be refretted or refinished.
When I thoroughly clean, I polish the metal with Simichrome. But I understand this is mildly abrasive and could remove plating over time, so I don't want to do it too many times.
Edited by - Old Hickory on 10/23/2020 14:27:39
Does the Ken Smith polish really work well for nickel plated parts? I've used it for years but I've always kept it off the metal.
Never use anything but soap and water. Avoid polishing agents, especially on antique instruments.
Sorry, I'm afraid I can't help you.
I'm not familiar with your use of terms like "shiny" and "clean" in relation to banjos.
The problem with nickel is that all nickel plating is not the same. Case-in-point are Gibson's banjos from the 70's. The nickel plating had a tendency to turn dull and "mossy," an although it could be polished, it was never bright and shiny after it had oxidized.
I have used Flitz, Wenol, Nev-R-Dull "Magic Wadding Polish", a variety of blue low-abrasive metal polishes. I had fairly good results from Amway Metal Polish, but it is fairly abrasive. I'm using Wenol and BlueMagic right now. I lke the polishes that leave a wax protective coating
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