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Thread: Cleaning hazy/cloudy D4 NT

  1. #1

    Cleaning hazy/cloudy D4 NT

    Hello all,

    First timer here....
    I recently purchased a 1992 D4 NT. i noticed its hazy/cloudy on the sided, up towards the neckjoint.

    Being a satin finish, what could this be? And what would be the best way/product to clean the guitar?
    I've searched but havent beem able to find any info on non-finished guitars.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balderas_sergio87 View Post
    Hello all,

    First timer here....
    I recently purchased a 1992 D4 NT. i noticed its hazy/cloudy on the sided, up towards the neckjoint.

    Being a satin finish, what could this be? And what would be the best way/product to clean the guitar?
    I've searched but havent beem able to find any info on non-finished guitars.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Hi Sergio (I'm guessing that's actually your first name), welcome aboard!
    In '92 D4's were actually finished with an NCL-based gel which was applied by hand and called "Hand Rubbed" and I believe that "HR" will be noted on the label.
    In any case, anything that applies to Nitrocellulose lacquer applies to that finish including possible contaminants which could range from humidity trapped under the finish to outside damage by inappropriate cleaning compounds.
    The "HR" finish will actually become a near-gloss with buffing, too. It even happens just from play wear over the years.
    Is it in a place that might have been exposed to a lot of sweat from a previous owner?
    Sweat contains salts and acids that will break NCL down over time and also give that "hazy/cloudy" effect.
    Personally I just use a damp cotton cloth for "cleaning" and only occasionally use a polish.
    It occurs to me polish may be pointless on a satin finish but ideally others will suggest some good cleaning agents.
    I just don't recall specific names at the moment.
    You'll probably also get warned about avoiding polishes with silicones.
    The major concern there is that if the polish gets through any cracks in the finish it can contaminate the wood and make re-finishing or patch repair extremely difficult if not impossible.
    That could even be another potential source of the cloudy spot but I'd expect there to be pretty obvious finish cracks around the area for it to get into, which you didn't mention.
    If you know a luthier it couldn't hurt to let them take a look at it.
    Last edited by adorshki; 08-17-2017 at 10:37 PM.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
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  3. #3
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    For my high gloss nitro finishes, I use Virtuoso cleaner and polish. I'm not sure if they are recommended for hand-rubbed finishes.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreadnut View Post
    For my high gloss nitro finishes, I use Virtuoso cleaner and polish. I'm not sure if they are recommended for hand-rubbed finishes.
    THAT's the name I couldn't remember.
    I'm sure the cleaner would be safe for the finish but the polish probably wouldn't be needed.
    I suspect it's not a simple "cleaning" fix, though.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  5. #5
    If the hazing/cloudiness is near the neck joint, it may have been from the steam used while resetting the neck. If so, it may go away by itself over time as the water in the steam evaporates; this makes the assumption that the steam did not heat damage the finish.. If the cloudiness is further away, it could be anything.

    The standard for gloss nitro polish is Heguiar's #2, followed by Meguiars's #9. You can find them at auto parts stores, pretty much around the world. Your satin finished guitar should probably not have Meguiar's #2 used, as it will polish the area to a glossy finish. You may want to try #9 by itself, it may be all that is needed. As I said above, it may be best to wait a while to see if the finish improves on its own first, then look at a cleaner.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    Since the guitar is new to you, I agree with the "wait and see" philosophy. If whatever was causing the haze (usually moisture of some sort) is no longer doing it with your ownership, it may just slowly clear up. Wear long sleeve shirts when you play and see what happens over time.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davismanLV View Post
    Since the guitar is new to you, I agree with the "wait and see" philosophy. If whatever was causing the haze (usually moisture of some sort) is no longer doing it with your ownership, it may just slowly clear up. Wear long sleeve shirts when you play and see what happens over time.
    Example of "how long":
    I had a sweat damage spot on top of my D25, first noticed it during a cleaning/polish session and the area felt a little sticky and on closer inspection realized it was a little cloudy.
    Putting 2 and 2 together because of where it was, right where I rest my forearm on the bass bout while playing, I realized it must be from sweat since I played outside in the sun a lot.
    I kept my fingers crossed and left it alone for at least a couple of months and probably even closer to 4, and used the time to get better acquainted with my D40.
    I'd check on it a every couple of weeks and finally after that period of time it hardened up again but there's still a faint cloudiness and lack of gloss in that area if you look at just the right angle.
    So I'd say a month is the least amount of time you should allow to see if it clears up by itself, and even 2-3 months wouldn't be out of the question. Nitro lacquer "outgasses" v-e-e-e-r-y slowly if that's going to be how it fixes itself.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  8. #8
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    I always heard Naphtha was the product for cleaning haze in NCL and other finishes.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    NAPTHA is a really good solvent on most finishes .... lacquer or poly or almost anything but it's a very harsh solvent. Mostly it's good for DIRTY. If there's sweat or grime or old layers of polish and wax and stuff and grunge.... Naptha is your boy. But just cloudy lacquer, it won't help. It will clean very well. It could not hurt to use it on a guitar lightly and then wipe it down with a damp cloth and then DRY like crazy with a soft polishing cloth. I used it on furniture that was so overloaded with polishes and waxes that ... you needed that kinda chemical clean. It won't hurt lacquer. Or poly. But if the guitar is not dirty or filthy or has no waxes or polishes on it.... then it won't help. Wait... see what it does. Naptha will not draw moisture out of lacquer or other finishes as far as I know.

    p.s. - Al that's good advice. You can still play the guitar but don't put your sweaty disgusting arms on it.... without long sleeves!! LMAO!! And also, you could reacquaint yourself with that lovely F65ce..... Do you have an amp for that puppy, bro?
    Last edited by davismanLV; 08-18-2017 at 05:28 AM.
    Tom in Vegas

    Use the good china. Life itself is the special occasion.

    Guild D65s, 1994
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dreadnut View Post
    For my high gloss nitro finishes, I use Virtuoso cleaner and polish. I'm not sure if they are recommended for hand-rubbed finishes.
    I am a big fan and believer in the Virtuoso Cleaner and Polish. I had some cloudiness on my F50R where your arm rests on the top/side of the guitar. The Virtuoso Cleaner completely removed all of the cloudiness from my finish with one application. Of course this is on a Gloss Nitro finish so I can't say for sure if it would work on the satin nitro finishes or not but it is designed specifically for Nitro finish guitars. Whatever you do don't use anything with silicone in it as that will embed itself into the nitro and make any kind of repairs or finish touch ups almost impossible to apply properly. Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.

    TX
    Last edited by txbumper57; 08-19-2017 at 01:28 AM.
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