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Preserving Gold Plated Hardware

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by David_D, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. David_D

    David_D Gretschie

    Oct 14, 2015
    New Jersey
    As careful as I can be to wipe down gold plated hardware I still see signs of either chemical reaction and oxidation (dulling). I was thinking of using a product that I use as a sealer on my car...Klasse high gloss sealant. I figure a few coats of this would slow the process down.

    Anyone have a better suggestion (besides not buying a guitar with gold plating)?
  2. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Gold plating is really thin and fades within a short time. Dunno how to preserve it but I know that you can polish the plating off in minutes. Maybe you should live with the typical look of faded gold plating (which can look pretty cool)?
  3. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Country Gent

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    I use this on my gold hardware; it works very well.

    LA Miles likes this.
  4. wabash slim

    wabash slim Country Gent

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    The plating isn't more than a few molecules thick. Sooner or later, it will wear off. Jewelry cleaners sound like the best option.
  5. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    The only thing that would concern me is what will it look like when the sealer or clear coat starts to wear. Then how do you remove the sealer without wearing the gold plate?

    I think the best thing you can do is keep it clean. Wipe it down to get any oils or sweat off after each use. Use some jewelry cleaner from time to time.
    Dave-B likes this.
  6. Dave-B

    Dave-B Synchromatic

    May 23, 2016
    I'm with @Tinman46 on this one. One ding in the lacquer and you're screwed.

    I've read that pure carnauba wax is one option, but personally I don't fancy the thought of that stuff leeching into my skin...

    I'd say just bring it back to a shine with a dry microfibre cloth after playing. Be proud of the well-loved patina that will eventually develop as you play. Or just get the parts re-plated when you can't stand the look of them any more.
  7. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    When it is partly worn off you can get it re-galvanized with new gold-plating. I heard that it is not too expensive. You can order a thicker plating and this should last longer.
  8. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    After taking my Falcon out of it's case after a few months of non-use, I noticed, that the bridge pickup and the Bigsby handle have started to tarnish. No chance to remove that with a micro fibre cloth :(

    So I did some research and found a tip in a Jazz forum: Windex window cleaner.

    So I checked the windows cleaner I have at home and made sure, that it doesn't contain anything, that could be problematic with the very thin gold layer of the hardware. I used a Q-Tip to do a careful test at an area, where potential problems wouldn't be easily seen.

    Bingo ... problem solved ... pickup and handle bar are shiny again after using the window cleaner with a Q-Tip and afterwards polishing with a micro fibre cloth.

    Happy again :D
  9. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Do not use Windex with regular metal parts. I found out it's an instant corrosion accelerator!
  10. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Interesting, does your warning include gold? Or only chrome and nickel?

    Well, I used a so called "bio" windows cleaner and it helped me to get rid of the dark areas and the gold is now shiny again.

    For chrome I found hints, that the Gibson hardware polish contained in their Restauration Kit would do a nice job, but you should never ever use it on gold, because it removes the thin gold plating!
  11. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    No gold is fine. Regular metal parts.
  12. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Does that contain guitar hardware made / finished with / of chrome or nickel? I guess others might be interested too ;)

    PS: What do you mean with "regular"? Stainless steel, copper, brass ???
  13. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I should probably elaborate. ;)
    Chrome and raw steel didn't react well, brass was fine.
  14. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Astonishing, that brass is fine. I would have guessed, that especially nickel, brass and steel might be problematic, but not chrome. Very interesting. I guess, you didn't use the American Windex, but a Netherlands' product? Might it contain acids like citro for example?
  15. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    well being an old car guy. windex is great on chrome bumpers after they are clean of dirt makes the shine shine shine. I also use Adams car car products he has two metal cleaners for the process excellent I have used it on metal guitar parts. Another good product is Wenol comes in a tube good for most all metal.

    Attached Files:

  16. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Including gold hardware? Gold seems to be much more delicate than any other guitar hardware.

    PS: Pretty cool car !!!
  17. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Possibly, I don't know. I thought the outcome was so unambiguous I haven't used it since... It was named Glassex, I've always assumed it was the same thing as Windex but renamed for legal reasons.
  18. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    It seems, it isn't identical, when I see, what Windex users report. BTW, I remembered, that I still have the old nickel tailpiece lying around from my Epiphone LP, which I replaced with a Tonepros. The Epi original looked horrible, highly signs of corrosion. I just used a Q-Tip with window cleaner and rubbed it dry with a second Q-Tip ... not perfect, but already some shine came back. Astonishing ;)

    Here are the ingredients of my cleaner:

    - organic solvent
    - perfumes
    - auxilliaries
    - Bitrex (don't know, what that is)

    It's also safe for LCD monitors. The product's name is "Denk mit" and is sold in the German drugstore "DM".

    PS: Bitrex is Denatonium Benzoate.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  19. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    There used to be a lot of ammonia in window cleaners, perhaps there still is in certain parts of the world?
  20. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Good hint, but Windex and the German stuff I used, definitely does not. But it is definitely a good point to check the ingredients of whatever we use.

    Some Gibson fans learned it the hard way, by finding out, that the Gibson hardware polish is great for chrome, but pure "poison" for gold hardware ... it rubbs off the thin gold layer :eek:

    PS: Oh no ... it seems there's also a Windex version available, that contains Ammonia-D: