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Virtuoso Cleaner to Remove Extreme Smoke Patina

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by EsquireOK, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hello,

    I was wondering if any of you have examples of what Virtuoso Cleaner does to a white guitar that has turned to an extremely dark yellow due largely to cigarette smoke exposure.

    It's so dark that I would call it tan more than yellow. The finish is nitro clear coats over neutral white acrylic color coat, and it's 39 years old.

    I don't need to get it back to neutral white, but it would be nice if it wasn't so dark, and I could get at least 1/2 of the smell out.

    As an initial trial, I wiped the guitar down with dish soap and cold water, using a microfiber cloth. To my surprise, it actually did pull a tiny bit of smoke off. Not a lot, but some. But for all I know, the lightening could have just been old clear coat getting abraded off by the rubbing, not smoke residue being pulled off of the finish.

    If no product can give me an even lightening of the smoke damage, I will just leave it as is. It's actually a pretty nice color in and of itself, but there was a sticker on the finish for a long time, and the area underneath it did not get affected by the cigarette smoke. That's the part that bothers me more than anything else.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  2. BerkshireDuncan

    BerkshireDuncan Tele-Meister

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    It's tar, so a MILD solvent with a cloth would be a good start. I'd avoid any sort of abrasion as the results may be disappointing / irreversible.
    Good luck!
     
  3. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Supposedly, the product I'm talking about is not an abrasive, but a potent cleaner.

    I am moving up to naphtha next. But I don't expect a drastic smoke film reduction from that. It is very mild stuff.

    I have seen a video of it being done with oven cleaner, followed by a very quick rinse with naphtha. But not ready to take that risk yet...and the video shows it on a dark finish, not white.
     
  4. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Supposedly you can get slightly tan colored lines if you use this product when there is checking. Personally, that doesn't really sound like a problem on a light colored finish...plus I'll bet most of it could be taken out with other products (like naphtha). I have read plenty of reviews saying that checking is not actually incompatible with this product, but the manufacturer is just covering their asses by recommending against using it on checked lacquer.

    Those dark "stripes" that run across the finish are actually from the flamed maple body below. They correspond with the exposed flame pattern on parts of the guitar on which the finish is worn off. Interesting phenomenon that I have never seen before: The guitar finish becoming more yellowed along bands of flame below. This is a fully opaque white finish, not blonde.

    ADC3A971-B05D-4D4D-A725-AD14B5D1F7A1.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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