Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: currently Madrid
Using Vinegar to Treat Metal Corrosion
I recently returned to a guitar that I haven't seen for a couple of years and although it is still in great shape there was some decent corrosion on the allen bolts of the nut locking pads. Well, I thought I would try a home remedy. I used a little white vinegar in a small dish and submerged the bolts for a while.
The good - the corrosion started to dissipate almost immediately. You can actually watch the crud fizz and fall off.
The bad - I then wandered off and left them long enough for the black paint/coating to also come off.
No matter, they were a bit scratched from when the previous owner had tried to lock/unlock with a pair of pliers instead of an allen key and, although now sans black, now look as if I just got them from the hardware store.
I did wipe them down with WD40 afterwards to help with the vinegary tang and also to help delay further corrosion.
The next time I find some guitar hardware with corrosion I'll try the same thing but not leave it soaking for too long.
I picked up this idea from my awesome mum who swears by vinegar for cleaning household metalwork like taps etc. She's right too. If you have cruddy taps get them soaked in some vinegar and see the difference. If your shower head sucks from limescale do the same.
Anyway, this might help someone out with restoring or fixing a guitar and I dare say it also might help when you need to clean up pick-up poles. I've been wondering if it would be good for frets. It works wonders on battery contacts that have blue/green battery corrosion too. If anyone else tries it and has some success please let us know on this thread.