Mandolin Care & Maintenance - A guide to looking after your mandolin
We are often asked how do I look after my mandolin? and how do I clean it? Here Eagle Music answers in simple terms the important do’s and don’ts regarding general care of your mandolin, storing, cleaning and transporting your mandolin safely.
Eagle Music Shop has a fully equipped on-site workshop facility and offers a full set-up and repair service for stringed instruments.
In general musical instruments like the same environment as their player, conditions where it is not too hot or hot and certainly not wet or damp! Keep your mandolin clean and free from dust,dirt and moisture. In your home, its OK to leave your instrument on a stand between playing sessions, in fact we encourage this as it makes you pick up the instrument more frequently to play and practise. Buy a decent quality stand to keep your instrument out of the way in a corner of the room. Never leave it near a radiator or in a window where direct sunlight can fall upon the instrument and bake it! Also, never leave your instrument stored in a cold or damp place eg. cellar, loft or out in the garage. If you have no choice but to store your instrument in conditions susceptible to damp we highly recommend purchasing a dehumidifer.
Each time you have played your mandolin give it a wipe over with a lint free cloth to remove finger marks. the strings can be cleaned with Fast Fret, martin or Dr Kyser string cleaning lubricant, all these products can be bought off-the-shelf from Eagle Music. From time to time you may want to polish your instrument, always check that this is suitable for the finish on your instrument eg. On a modern gloss finish, always choose a non-smear wax free polish. Always remove finger and body marks from Nickel plated or gold plated hardware and use the special impregnated cleaning cloths that are available for this purpose. Never use abrasive cleaners as this can remove the plating! Chrome hardware is much easier to keep clean and is much harder wearing.
Care of your mandolin during transportation really depends on where it is being transported to, and how it is being transported. Hard-shell cases and Gig bags have their pros and cons. It can be said that a padded gig bag is sufficient to take your instrument out to the pub or a jam session. But please note, when using a gig bag, you must always remember that your instrument can still be damaged if you don’t take extreme care of how you handle it, how you put it down and where you leave it, other persons can sit on your gig bag! Also, If you are a gigging musician, It wouldn’t be a good idea to put your gig bag/instrument in the back of a van or in the boot of a car with PA gear and other hard objects! We recommend a hard-shell case always for gigging musicians. If you’re travelling by by airplane we recommend a hard-shell or even better a flight case. Also, for added protection ‘bubble wrap’ your hard-shell case before letting it go in the hold of an airplane, the handling of baggage at airports can be very rough as we all know too well! Our Hiscox range of lite-flight cases is excellent or you could have a more expensive flight case made by Keith Calton.
Check out our Black-Ice and Extreme Protection range of well thought out quality gig bags. For hard-shell cases check out our Leader, Hiscox, Deering, Kinsman etc. range of top quality brands.