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8 Best Guitar Polish Products

We all love a brand-new, shiny guitar. The problem is that the look doesn’t last.

After a few weeks of playing, what was once a smooth, beautiful body starts to collect fingerprints, dust, and other things I’d rather not mention. For these moments, you need a decent guitar polish to hand.

These purpose-made products help to revive your guitar’s sparkle and make it look as smooth as the day you bought it.

Here’s our pick of the best guitar polish products on the market today.

Best Guitar Polish Products

Music Nomad MN101

MusicNomad Premium Pro-Strength Guitar Polish for Body and Hardware, 4 oz (MN101)
  • Pro-strength polish restores, maintains, shines, and protects using micro fine polishing compounds
  • Restores faded surfaces and hardware, and removes oxidation
  • Contains no harsh chemicals, silicone, or wax

Music Nomad’s MN101 is pro-strength guitar polish that’s designed to restore, maintain, shine, and protect using its micro-fine polishing compounds. 

It contains no harsh chemicals, silicone, or wax, so you can rest assured it’s not going to ruin your finish.

It’s best for gloss finishes, including nitrocellulose and polyurethane gloss finishes. However, it’s not recommended for matte finishes.

The solution comes in a small, handy 4 oz bottle. Larger sizes are available, but the 4 oz is the perfect ‘little red riding hood’ amount (not too much, not too little).

What we liked:

  • No harsh chemicals, silicone, or wax
  • Ideal for nitrocellulose and polyurethane gloss finishes

Lizard Spit

Save $1.74
Lizard Spit Guitar Polish, 4 fl. oz.
  • Perfect for use on metal, plastics as well as painted, lacquered (including nitrocellulose) and varnished wood
  • Specially formulated for ease of application and removal
  • Also a dust repellent

As well as loving the name and brand, the liquid commonly referred to as ‘spit’ turns out to be very good too. You can use it on metals, plastics, lacquered (including nitrocellulose) and varnished wood.

It works as a dust repellent after application and also includes special polymers to protect your guitar from fingerprints and residue. These may contain silicone. It’s easy to apply and remove and comes in a small spray bottle.

It uses eco-friendly ingredients that are bio-degradable, non-toxic and safe for a number of surfaces; plastic or metal, as well as wood with any kind of finish.

Lizard Spit will be well suited to guitarists with a number of guitars, who would like something that works well as a good all-rounder. It might not be suited to those looking for something purpose-designed to enhance their glossy shine.

What we liked:

  • Can be used on painted, lacquered, or varnished wood, as well as metal and plastic
  • It’s made of eco-friendly ingredients

Ernie Ball

Ernie Ball Instrument Polish with Microfiber Polish Cloth (P04222)
  • 4 oz. bottle of proprietary guitar polish.
  • 12 x 12 inch gray microfiber guitar polish cloth.
  • Wipe on, wipe off for fast, easy, effective instrument care.

This guitar polish from Ernie Ball is a superb budget option. Coming with a free microfibre polishing cloth, it’s a non-oily solution that leaves no residue behind. It will be safe on the majority of woods and finishes and comes with a microfibre cloth for ease of application.

It’s very quick and easy to apply and remove and the formula is fairly mild, so you don’t need to worry about any adverse impact on your guitar. Like the other polishes, it comes as a spray with a small nozzle to release the liquid. It works solely as a polish, and shouldn’t be used as a general cleaner for strings or frets.

Ernie Ball’s polish will suit people who are looking for a cheap and easy option and are only interested in polishing their instruments. It will be less suited to those looking for maintenance beyond simple polishing.

What we liked:

  • Comes with a microfibre cloth for application
  • Budget-friendly

Martin Professional

MARTIN Guitar Polish and Cleaner, All-In-One Guitar Cleaner, 6 Ounces
  • MARTIN CLEANING SPRAY: Show that you care for your instrument by using our guitar polish and cleaner. This product is the same one used by the professionals at Martin Guitar to keep our guitars in pristine condition. Our premium spray cleaner will save you time and money. Add it to your guitar-maintenance kit to always have on hand.
  • RELIABLE CLEANING PRODUCTS: Is there really anything better than a clean guitar? We don’t think so. We know how important your guitar is to you, so we made a product that can clean and polish your pride and joy. This cleaner is safe to use on any electric or acoustic guitar as well as a bass or ukulele. (Do not use on satin-finished instruments.)
  • ROCKIN’ FEATURES: This Martin instrument spray is easily used to polish and clean any guitar, but, of course, it makes our Martin guitars shine best. Our guitar cleaner keeps your guitar sparkling so you can always be ready for a jam session or show. This would make a great stocking stuffer for your favorite guitarist.

We all appreciate the standard of their guitars, so is their polish up to the same standard? You bet it is. The professional polish by Martin is designed to care for fine wood acoustic guitars and works as a cleaner as well as polish to remove any fingerprints or residue from your guitar’s body.

It can be used on the body of either a gloss or matte acoustic guitar and works to restore the natural finish of your instrument. There’s no cloth included, but this liquid can be sprayed onto any cloth (ideally a lint-free one) before being wiped gently across your guitar.

It comes in a larger bottle than the Lizard Spit, at 6 oz, but it costs a little more also.

This solution from Martin will suit people with fine wood guitars – it’s less suitable for electric guitars.

What we liked:

  • Generous 6 fl. oz bottle will last quite a while
  • Cleans as well as polishes
  • Designed specifically for acoustic guitars.

Dunlop 6500 System 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit

Save $3.94
Jim Dunlop System 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit
  • Everything you need to keep your guitar maintained
  • Contains five cleaners for your guitar’s body, neck and strings
  • Also includes a Micro Fine Fret Polishing Cloth, two 100% cotton cloths, and care instructions

Dunlop’s guitar maintenance kit contains 5 different bottles, to fully care for your guitar’s body, neck, and strings.

As well as the 5 liquids, there are also multiple polishing cloths included, as well as instructions to remove any guess-work with regard to the application.

The pots included are string conditioner, fingerboard cleaner, body gloss, polish and cleaner, and deep conditioner oil. With this set, and a little bit of time set aside, you can be sure your guitar is getting all the care it needs. With good quality comes a matching price, but as a set, it works out a lot cheaper than it would be to buy each of the different bottles individually.

The Dunlop 6500 kit will suit guitarists who are eager and able to take the time to thoroughly care for their instrument. It might not be suited to the player who wants a quick and easy option, although none of the 5 contained treatments is difficult to use.

What we liked:

  • Contains 5 different cleaners for complete care of your guitar (many think it’s the best guitar cleaning kit out there)
  • Comes with polishing cloths

Gibson Gear AIGG-950

Gibson Gear AIGG-950 Pump Polish and Standard Polish Cloth Combo
  • Designed Exclusively for Gibson nitro-cellulose finishes
  • Safe for all finishes
  • Made in USA

Gibson Gear’s Pump Polish works well with all guitar finishes, whether glossy or matte. It comes with a ‘Gibson’ design cloth, which might win over those loyal to the brand, and it’s pure and simple polish: created to restore shine and cleanliness.

This polish doesn’t double up as wax or cleaner, so it’s best to use it on your guitar’s body. It’s unlikely to do your string or frets any good, either. It comes in quite a small bottle, with a spray dispenser that’s reasonably stable and the bottle itself looks stylish, like the cloth. The price is similar to the majority of bottles of guitar treatment.

The ingredients are described as ‘Earth-friendly’, so like the Lizard Spit, you can use this with a clear conscience.

Gibson’s Pump Polish will suit players of Gibson guitars and beyond. It’s versatile, suiting all guitar finishes equally and it’s perfect for those who want a pure and simple polish without any extra functions. It wouldn’t be ideal for those who did want something that cleans or protects, as well as polishes.

What we liked:

  • Comes with a ‘Gibson’ design cloth
  • Works well with all guitar finishes
  • Purpose-designed to keep guitars clean and shiny

Player’s Kit Polish and Scratch Remover

Player’s Kit Guitar Polish and Scratch Remover by Eternashine, with Cloth
  • The last guitar polish you’ll ever need! Outperforms normal guitar polishes with a total finish restore – this is the one people are talking about!
  • Dual-blend set provides a deep, complete polishing to restore & maintain your high gloss guitars while removing scratches
  • Safe for repeated use, with no harsh chemicals or silicone. Don’t need scratch removal?… Great for regular polishing and cleaning, too

Player’s Kit’s polish and scratch remover works to bring back shine and remove scratches from your instrument.

It’s designed to work with glossy guitars, and it works to restore the existing finish. It’s not suitable for matte guitars. The scratch remover will neutralize light scratches so that they blend in with the rest of the body but does so without using harsh chemicals or silicone. It won’t work for deep scratches, though it may make them less noticeable.

There’s a microfibre cloth included for easy application, and the kit contains two slightly different blends, which complement each other.

Those who have high gloss guitars that are prone to light scratches will greatly benefit from Player’s Kit’s polish and scratch remover.

What we liked:

  • Doubles up as a scratch remover
  • Designed for high-gloss finish guitars, to rejuvenate their shine
  • Includes a microfibre cloth.

StewMac Preservation Polish

ColorTone Clean + Shine Polish, 8-oz Bottle with Spray Pump
7 Reviews
ColorTone Clean + Shine Polish, 8-oz Bottle with Spray Pump
  • The right cleaner for the gear you play every day
  • Caring for your instrument with Clean + Shine will help you avoid a sticky, hard to play neck, a grimy finish and crusty hardware
  • Contains no grit or abrasives, so it’s safe for all finishes and won’t discolor vintage ones

StewMac’s Preservation Polish, like Player’s Kit’s polish, uses no silicone. This makes it guitar-friendly and smudge-free.

It gently cleans and polishes your guitar, as well as working to protect lacquer and varnish finishes. It works on both gloss and matte finishes and is perfectly safe for both as it leaves no residue.

The polish comes in a large, 12-ounce bottle, and a little bit goes a long way. The price is very good value, and it’s easy to apply the liquid with a cloth (not included).

There’s no spray dispenser on this bottle, so you must pour it onto a cloth before rubbing it into your guitar.

StewMac’s polish is perfect for those who want something straightforward, clean, and versatile to apply to their guitar’s body without worrying about it. It will be less suited to those who want the ultimate in shininess or require additional features.

Why Should You Polish?

Proper care and attention via cleaning and polishing, along with keeping humidity levels at a sensible level, will vastly improve the longevity of your guitar; and not only that, it will play and sound better.

Polishing will preserve your guitar’s life as it prevents dust and dirt from damaging both the aesthetics and, potentially, the electrics. Removing dust from your instrument regularly will ensure that it doesn’t get trapped anywhere it shouldn’t, while using polish on the body and fretboard will help to keep it from unnecessary signs of aging. Not only will your guitar last longer when you take good care of it, but it will continue to look new well into its life.

Secondly, the playing experience is undoubtedly smoother on a well-maintained guitar. Polish that’s designed to treat the fretboard and remove any unwanted grime or dust will keep your fingers running across it smoothly and ensure that everything sounds just as it should. The easiest time to do this maintenance is when you’re changing the strings – and remember to treat it with fretboard oil every so often to ensure the essential oils don’t run out.

Buying Guide – Things to Consider When Buying Guitar Polish

There are a few things to consider before you rush out and buy the first bottle of polish you see.

Matching the Polish to your Wood Type

Not all polishes are suited to all woods. Some are designed to work with lacquer, some work with acoustic guitars made of fine wood, and some are versatile and will suit pretty much anything. Some polishes that are designed to prolong shine contain harmful chemicals that can damage a guitar that’s made of delicate wood. Some can even end up dampening the guitar’s sound as they build up over time. Most of these polishes will say on the bottle which woods they are suitable for use with, so if yours isn’t on the list, it’s probably safest not to risk it.

Silicone or Silicone-free?

Many polishes include silicone. This is great for enhancing shine and reviving glossiness. However, it comes with its downsides. Silicone can leave a residue that’s very hard to remove. Whilst this can make your guitar look better, it can cause problems if it ever needs a repair. Silicone can prevent glue from working properly, making simple repairs much more complicated than needed. If you’re going to use a polish with silicone, ensure that it’s used on areas that won’t be affected if your guitar does need any work done on it.

Gloss or Matte?

Some polishes are solely suited to gloss finishes – usually ‘poly’ (polyurethane) finishes –  while some are suitable for matte guitars as well. Generally, they’re all suited to gloss finishes unless the bottle states otherwise. It’s best to assume that the polish is unsuitable for matte guitars unless it explicitly states that it is.

Application Method / Size of Bottle

All polishes need to be rubbed in with a cloth or microfibre cloth. Some of the bottles come with spray dispensers, whilst some are poured onto a cloth. Some of them have cloths included, whilst some don’t. Would you rather have something that you can spray on, or pour onto a cloth first? The choice is yours: both are available.

Regarding the size of the bottle, think about how much polish you need and particularly how portable would you like the bottle to be? These bottles range from about 4oz to 12oz. The 4oz bottles offer portability and lightness whilst 12oz will give you better value for the money. It will also, of course, depend on how many guitars you are treating and how often.

All-in-one cleaners, or just Polish?

Is it just the polish you want, purely to revive shine, or would you like some more treatment? Some polishes work as scratch removers, some have wax to protect your guitar, and some even have UV protection. If you’re likely to benefit from features such as wax protection, it might work out better to look for something that isn’t advertised solely as guitar polish. You can get many that are 3-in-1 or at least 2-in-1 products.

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About Ged Richardson

Ged Richardson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ZingInstruments.com. He has been featured in Entrepreneur, PremierGuitar, Hallmark, Wanderlust, CreativeLive, and other major publications. As an avid music fan, he spends his time researching and writing about new and old music, as well as testing and reviewing music-related products. He's played guitar in various bands, from rock to gypsy jazz. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel, where he geeks out about his favorite bands.

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