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Dec 4, 2023 - 1:52:41 PM
7 posts since 12/26/2016

Tearing down and cleaning up a friends 2000's Granada. Anyone have advice on a good polish for that? I bought some of the paste that was recommended for my nickel hardware RB3 and Scruggs and that worked well. What do you folks recommend with gold banjos ?

Dec 4, 2023 - 1:59:22 PM
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2330 posts since 5/19/2018

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use any paste, cleaner, abrasive, and Ect. on any gold plated Gibson instrument. That gold plating is so thin, microns, you can wear it off just by looking at it.

Any abrasive cloths, cleaners, ect. Will, and I repeat, wil take that plating right off.

Many archived posts here on the same subject. Consensus is, use a very soft cloth and clean spring or distilled water only. Wipe, do not rub the parts dry.

Others here will confirm.

The polish you now have is for Chrome or Nickel. Not for Gold Plate. It will strip your gold right off.

Dec 4, 2023 - 5:09:47 PM

1772 posts since 4/13/2009

What Alvin said!!

Dec 4, 2023 - 9:41:18 PM
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Alex Z


5730 posts since 12/7/2006

Tap water and liquid dish washing soap are perfectly fine to gently clean off any crud and greasy finger prints. 

For drying, use a well laundered old 100% cotton t-shirt.  Don't use paper towels, microfiber cloths, or tissues -- they may feel "soft" on human skin but the tiny wood and synthetic fibers are harder than cotton. 

Think cleaning rather than polishing. 

Edited by - Alex Z on 12/04/2023 21:44:17

Dec 5, 2023 - 12:08:16 PM
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15584 posts since 10/30/2008

It is my firm belief, owning pre-war gold and post 1987 gold Gibsons, the gold should not be cleaned or polished AT ALL. Dusted perhaps, with a fine soft bristle brush. No more. Or even better those spray cans of compressed air like you're supposed to use on your computer keyboard...

I learned as a mere boy how tender gold plate is. My Dad's Gibson guitar had lovely gold plated SealFast Kluson tuners. Just normal wiping over a period of many years, took that gold plate right off down to bare brass.

Cleaning ONCE might not hurt, but then you get overconfident and do it repeatedly all of a sudden you see that what's been done can't be undone.

The only way to keep gold looking original and shiny is don't play the instrument and don't take it out of the case.

"Dirty" gold has a lot of character in my humble opinion.

Shirtsleeves alone have taken a LOT of gold from a LOT of armrests, tailpiece surfaces and top surface of tension hoops.

Dec 5, 2023 - 5:29:07 PM

Alex Z


5730 posts since 12/7/2006

Some has to do with the quality of the Gold plating and the preparation and other plating underneath.  I had a 1971 Baldwin D, played daily for 10 years, and not one mar or flake on the armrest, or any on the other gold parts.  

You get french fry grease on the gold part, that's not "patina," that's crud. smiley   Liquid soap and water works, and won't disintegrate the gold.  Keep it to the crud area.

Now, you get french fry grease on the gold part every day, and want to scrub down all the parts regularly over a 10 year period -- that's a different problem.

I've also had gold plated tuners on another banjo, that tarnished and started turning green after a couple of years.  Gold doesn't tarnish.  That's the copper underneath, with molecules leaching through the thin gold plating.

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