how to wash a guitar strap

How To Wash A Guitar Strap? Properly Cleaning A Guitar Strap

Can you put a guitar strap in the washing machine? How to wash a guitar strap? What are the materials used in making a guitar strap? Are electric and acoustic guitar straps the same? Is it safe if I wash my guitar strap? Questions like this always come out when it comes to cleaning a guitar strap, so we feel obligated to help you with this one. We are going to clarify everything to you, so you can proceed with cleaning your guitar straps in no time.

So, what is a guitar strap? A guitar strap allows you to hang your guitar from your shoulder at whatever length you prefer. They are easy to attach to your guitar as well. Guitar straps are an essential accessory if you have a guitar. It gives you comfort and more control with your guitar when you are playing with it. When you perform standing, it would be impossible for you to play the instrument without using a strap.

So, who invented the guitar strap? The inventor of the guitar strap was Bobby Lee in 1947, and he was able to acquire a patent for it. His invention of the strap and metal button system is a breakthrough for all guitar players’ comfort when playing the instrument. It was in the 1950s when the guitar strap’s development started until the 1970s that the cheaper Japanese straps entered the American market, which really changed the game. 

When you say real leather thick guitar straps, it was really Richard Olivery who invented it. These straps started in Staten Island, New York, and have been a part of the music industry, as these were used by famous guitar players like Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Different guitar companies use many materials to make guitar straps, but the four most common are nylon, cotton, neoprene, and leather. 

Are acoustic guitar and electric guitar straps different? All electric guitar straps have two strap holes, as all electric guitars also have two strap pins, while in some cases for acoustic guitars, there are some straps that only have one strap hole, as some of these acoustic guitars only have one strap pin and you will need to use materials like nylon to secure it on the other side.

Can You Put A Guitar Strap In The Washing Machine

When it comes to cleaning, one that comes to mind is really to use a washing machine. However, is it safe to use your washing machine to clean your guitar strap? Although I cannot say that it is safe, you can clean your guitar strap using a washing machine. The safest and most reliable way to clean your guitar strap is still to use your hands to clean it.

Guitar straps made of cotton or synthetic leather can be cleaned using a washing machine, but you have to set the device on a gentle cycle, as there is less chance that your strap will disintegrate or get damaged. It would be wise to clean your guitar straps manually rather than put them in the washing machine, so you can be sure that the guitar strap is still in its perfect condition after cleaning.

How To Clean A Leather Guitar Strap

Guitar Straps made of leather are really a popular option for guitar owners, as they are known for their aesthetics and durability. However, after a long time, they can still get dirty and would need to be cleaned.

To clean a leather guitar strap, you will need a bowl of hot water and a little amount of mild soap. Use a brush and soak it in the water before cleaning the underside of the guitar strap. By scrubbing, it will remove the dirt and odour of the strap’s underside part. The leather side usually does not need to be cleaned, and it can also discolour if you are not careful.

The next thing is to use a leather conditioner and use it on the strap’s underside. Conditioners are similar to a lotion, so it is safe to use your hands in applying all over the part. Put some amount of the conditioner on the strap and rub it in all the guitar’s underside, similar to what you do in your body when you apply lotion. Rub until the guitar strap absorbs the conditioner. Do not worry, as it will leave any stain.

Similar to what you have done on the underside, do it also with the strap’s leather side. Continue to rub it all over until the leather has completely absorbed the applied conditioner. After rubbing it, use a rag and wipe down all the sides of the strap. The only thing you have to avoid in doing this method is if there is a custom printed part on the guitar strap.

The last step is to make your leather guitar strap to be shiny. Find some leather polish and apply it to the leather side of the guitar. Always remember not to use it on the strap’s underside. You can also use leather spray on it as it can help to protect it from moisture and the sun. It also creates a protective film on your guitar strap that helps to stay clean longer.

How Often Should You Clean Your Guitar Strap?

Although you would want your guitar strap to be always clean, it would not also be good if you do it frequently. Cleaning your guitar strap every day can do more harm than good. It is better if you do it weekly or even once a month if it is still not that dirty yet. As long as you clean it properly, your guitar strap can still last for a long time and would still look similar to its original condition.

So, can you put a guitar strap in the washing machine? Yes, although it is not always a safe option depending on the materials used in making the guitar strap. Still, the best thing to do if you want to have a clean guitar strap is to clean it manually. You can use a brush or even just wipe the dirt using a piece of cloth. It would still be much safer than using a washing machine, even if you set it on a gentle cycle mode.

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