I neglected my guitar a little bit in the last years. Didn't do anything crazy with them; it just hung on the wall and when I played it I didn't really clean it. I know how to clean and maintain the wood and the frets, this question is about the metals parts, mainly the bridge and the pickup frames, as you can see in the pictures.

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I know it looks bad, and yes, I have cats^^. I guess it's a good example what happens when you don't clean your guitar regularly, but I hope I can still save it, especially the bridge, because it would be quite expensive to change it. I don't really know what kind of material the knobs, the bridge, and the frames are; I didn't find anything online. It is an Ibanez S771PB NTF from 2014. The screws I will try to replace.

How would you suggest to clean these parts? I also plan to disassemble the parts to clean them throuroghly.

  • I can tell by looking at it that it has most likely been stored in a humid/wet environment. After cleaning, you'll want to store it in a less humid environment. If you store it in a case, you can add desiccant to the case. Oct 22, 2023 at 8:56
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    Or leave it, and call it what it is - patina...
    – Tim
    Oct 22, 2023 at 12:50
  • @Tim - you can call it 'patina' when it's on a '56 Strat. On an Ibanez of no particular vintage, I'd be more inclined towards… 'crud' ;))
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 22, 2023 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


The pots should clean up with either a damp microfibre, or maybe a bit of silicone polish.

The bridge & pickup surround look like an entirely different challenge. They don't just look dirty, they look like the electro-plating has corroded, exposing the brass underneath, which has also started to corrode.
I looks like it's been left either in a damp or very humid location, or never even wiped down after a sweaty session.
It will be the same reason the ferrous screws have rusted.

You could try brass cleaner, which will shift the verdigris [the green bits] to clean up the exposed brass. The plating will never recover, but might not get much worse if you use a brass cleaner that also claims to protect.

Needless to say, you're going to have to strip them off the guitar & break them down into components to be able to get underneath, or there's little point in starting.

Oh, I see on closer examination the plating is also gone on the pots. It will be Brasso for them too, in that case.

You'll never get it to look like new again, too much damage has been done.

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    Pots are potentiometers. They're the moving parts under the knobs. You probably mean just the knobs?
    – Tim
    Oct 21, 2023 at 17:59
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    And the knobs are easily replacable. Oct 21, 2023 at 19:54
  • Yeah, I already think about replacing the parts. Frames and Knobs are not expensive, only the bridge, but I think I will invest it. It will probably be complicated and time intensive to clean it with questionable success. Oct 21, 2023 at 21:09
  • Take apart everything I’d say and clean and polish the parts. No real need for brass cleaner, that stuff can simply be polished off. Damage to the plating could also be fixed, the question is if it is worth the effort.
    – Lazy
    Oct 21, 2023 at 21:09
  • @Tim - the entire assembly of pot & knob has been referred to as simply 'pots' since I was at school… possibly to avoid the schoolboy giggles if anyone said 'knob' ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 22, 2023 at 12:07

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