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Frequently Asked Questions: Guitar Care

Technical Care

What type of polish do we recommend using?

In the Martin factory, we use the Martin Polish and Cleaner. The same polish is available for purchase in our 1833 Shop. It is to be used primarily on gloss finish guitars. We do not recommend using Martin polish on a satin finish instrument, however, it will not harm the guitar. You may notice after time the finish will begin to shine unevenly. To clean the guitar, we suggest using a warm, damp cotton cloth to wipe it down and then a dry cotton cloth to finish drying it off. This will remove harmful chemicals.

Can I use lemon oil on my fingerboard?

We do not recommend using lemon oil on our fingerboards. The acids in lemon oil break down the finish of our guitars. It may also aid the corrosion of the frets and lessen the life of the strings.

What are the benefits of the Two-Way Adjustable Neck Reinforcing Rod System?

The Two-Way Adjustable Neck Reinforcing Rod System is designed to correct both a hollow (concave) and a rounded (convex) fingerboard condition.

I can’t find my truss rod

The one-way adjustable truss rod was implemented in 1985. The two-way truss rod was implemented in 2006. This rod is recessed further than the one-way rod and you will not see it. We recommend that the guitar be taken to an authorized Martin repair center to have adjustments made.
Both the one-way and the two-way rods require a 5mm Allen wrench to make the adjustments. The two-way rod does not protrude and is not visible. To reach the two-way adjustable rod nut, use a 5 mm Allen wrench that has a bent leg that is 4 ½" long.

What is HPL?

HPL stands for high pressure laminate. It is a composite material made from paper and resin that is pressed at very high pressure. The surface will have a wood pattern (Mahogany, rosewood, Koa, etc) and a protective clear coating. It is not a wood veneer.

What is Black Richlite?

Black Richlite is a composite material that is made from paper and resin pressed at high pressure. Richlite is an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

How do I find the specifications for my particular Martin Guitar?

If you visit our website, you can use the search box at the top right-hand corner of the page. Be sure to type the model in exactly as it is printed inside the guitar.
If the model is still active, you can use the search functions on the “Choosing Your Martin” tab on our website. You will be able to search by series, price, model, wood and by size.


Care & Feeding Guide


Guitar Care & Feeding Guide

Created to assist you in giving your Martin instrument the best possible care. It includes valuable information on humidity, temperature, storage, cleaning, tuning, and more. Download now.

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