PRS Guitar Polish and Cleaner, and PRS Nitro

aamefford

New guitar player. Old-ish guy…
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
272
Location
Kinda near San Francisco, kinda near Sacramento
I just bought a PRS guitar care kit with the polish, cleaner and tongue oil. It came an a box with 3 microfiber cloths. None of the packaging says anything about Nitro finishes. I know PRS cleaning and polish products were NOT safe for Nitro at one point, but have been updated. I bought the kit at my local shop, and I honestly don’t know if it is relatively new stock or has been around for months or a year or 3 or 4. The weekend sales guy didn’t know either. Is there any way to tell from the packaging? Thanks all.
 

aamefford

New guitar player. Old-ish guy…
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
272
Location
Kinda near San Francisco, kinda near Sacramento
I'd be asking PRS just to be sure.
[email protected]
Yeah, good call. I’ll send a photo of the product. I’ll update here if I find out anything useful.

EDIT - I sent out an email 10/21/22. I should get an answer in 3 to 5 days. I’ll post what I hear back.
 
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aamefford

New guitar player. Old-ish guy…
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
272
Location
Kinda near San Francisco, kinda near Sacramento
Last edited:

aamefford

New guitar player. Old-ish guy…
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
272
Location
Kinda near San Francisco, kinda near Sacramento
I’ve tried out the cleaner, it is spray on, wipe off type stuff. They tell you not to spray it directly on metal, which is kinda difficult when one is cleaning an electric guitar. I used it on my acoustic as well. It seems fine.

The polish I’m not so sure about. The instructions are to put “some” on with a soft cloth, let it dry, and buff it off. Some is very little, I think. I started with my Yamaha AC3R acoustic, as it is used, and cost less than the S2. I put a little too much - it has a toothpaste or creamy car wax consistency. It did not buff off easily. I first resorted to breathing on areas to fog them, them to ahem, spitting like on a pair of shoes, to a damp cloth and then buffing. Definitely a project. I don’t think I’ll use it on the S2. All in all, I’m not impressed with the polish. I’ll stick to the cleaner. Maybe my expectations are off. I was thinking of the polish as more of a wipe on, wipe off product.
 

show_a_little_faith

New Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2022
Messages
293
I’ve tried out the cleaner, it is spray on, wipe off type stuff. They tell you not to spray it directly on metal, which is kinda difficult when one is cleaning an electric guitar. I used it on my acoustic as well. It seems fine.

The polish I’m not so sure about. The instructions are to put “some” on with a soft cloth, let it dry, and buff it off. Some is very little, I think. I started with my Yamaha AC3R acoustic, as it is used, and cost less than the S2. I put a little too much - it has a toothpaste or creamy car wax consistency. It did not buff off easily. I first resorted to breathing on areas to fog them, them to ahem, spitting like on a pair of shoes, to a damp cloth and then buffing. Definitely a project. I don’t think I’ll use it on the S2. All in all, I’m not impressed with the polish. I’ll stick to the cleaner. Maybe my expectations are off. I was thinking of the polish as more of a wipe on, wipe off product.
I had basically the same experience with the polish - also was hoping it would help buff out the fine pick scratches but no such luck. Not sure I'd use it again, probably just stick with cleaner
 

silverface

New Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
Messages
5
I've been finishing guitars and doing tech work on the side since 197, also building instruments and playing thousands of gigs - my "day job"career, though, was on the technical side of the paint and coatings industry.

And whether acrylic, nitrocellulose or a blend (which is very common to improve flexibility and impact resistance of what you *think* is nitro) I look at the MSDS for any product that will come in contact with, clean and/or polish the finish.

I will have to request MSDS from PRS as I can't find them online. But basically, I recommend avoiding any "artificial shine" materials, i.e. any product that leaves something on the surface to make it "shiny" or as a water resistance "improver" (all lacquers are water resistant once dry).

That means avoiding all polishes/cleaners containing silicone, silanes, siloxanes, and waxes of any type.

The best cleaner/polish for any lacquer, polyester, polyurethane, UV-cure resin coating etc. is a buffing compound that leaves absolutely nothing on the surface - and preferably a clean cotton buffing wheel, but hand application is fine (don't use portable rotary "buffers". you can burn through a lacquer in seconds.). All of them microscopically abrade the surface, but remove no appreciable amount of coating after thousands of "cleanings".

Stewmac's discontinued "Preservation" polish was outstanding, and their "Clean & Shine" is very good. My most-used polish, though, is Chemical Guys V38 Optical Grade Final Polish (and other, slightly more aggressive Chemical Guys polishes for really filthy surfaces). The stuff is sold on Amazon.

I found it looking for a good Porsche wheel polish for my Boxster - and it's proven itself even more by safely polishing the 13" primary mirror in my Dobsonian telescope - which can be destroyed by microscratches left by common polishes.

I hope that's helpful - and I'll request MSDS from PRS and see what's disclosed (not all MSDS list specifics - "proprietary" items are known by emergency services but the general public).
 

James Stephanidis

New Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2021
Messages
10
I happen to have the Chemical Guys V32, V34, V36 and V38 polishes. My neighbor is a Master Mechanic at a local dealership who recommended this brand for what they use in their shop. The Chemical Guys polishes are THE best polishes for a car that I've ever used.

So, for clarity, Silverface- you trust the V38 on a PRS with the Nitro finish. Correct? Would you recommend the grittier compounds to get the micro scratches out of the Nitro finish?
 

silverface

New Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
Messages
5
So, for clarity, Silverface- you trust the V38 on a PRS with the Nitro finish. Correct? Would you recommend the grittier compounds to get the micro scratches out of the Nitro finish?
I've never used it on a PRS/lacquer guitar. I don't run into that many on the west coast; but I WOULD use it, yes.

As far as "micro scratches" I handle those on a case-by-case basis - but rarely with any liquid polish. I use my 8" vertical-wheel buffer, fine buffing stick and carefully buff them out in most cases.

BUT first I use a microscopic viewer - no matter what make/model instrument - to verify lacquer was used. If micro-scratches are in an intermediate coat, and it and the topcoat are different types pf products (one not being lacquer) no ammount of buffing will take them out. In a lacquer system all coats melt into each other and become a single coat. Scratches will be ONLY in the final coat if everything was properly applied.

But if an intermediate or topcoat was a UV cure, for example, and scratches in that "middle" coat, it may appear scratches are in the topcoat when they aren't. It's one reason I advise newbie DIY finishers to MNOT mix types of coating. Alternating coats of acrylic and nitro lacquer are fine (and most "nitro" lacquer systems will have some acrylic in them somewhere), but using polyester or polyurethane toner or color coats with semi-transparent lacquer coats on top will show the scratches in those previous coats - and one of the major reasons you NEVER sand between coats - only sanding sealers and primers, and *smoothly* to avoid such problems.

Remember, 5-6 coats of clear conventional lacquer builds a VERY thin amount of clear topcoat - generally 1-3 mils when dry. That's not enough to fill and magically make micro scratches invisible. However, those are generally NOT the types of products manufacturers use outside a custom shop - retail/commercial off-the-shelf lacquers...and their application methods...are very different from "production" lacquers and THEIR application methods.
 

Sybo

Jim
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
1,087
Location
Nashville Tn
I happen to have the Chemical Guys V32, V34, V36 and V38 polishes. My neighbor is a Master Mechanic at a local dealership who recommended this brand for what they use in their shop. The Chemical Guys polishes are THE best polishes for a car that I've ever used.

So, for clarity, Silverface- you trust the V38 on a PRS with the Nitro finish. Correct? Would you recommend the grittier compounds to get the micro scratches out of the Nitro finish?
Chemical Guys products are REALLY good.
 
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