How to Clean Guitar Volume Potentiometers

Written by patrick phelps
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How to Clean Guitar Volume Potentiometers
Cleaning a guitar's potentiometers should be part of a regular monthly maintenance program. (Guitar player #1 image by Warren Millar from

Guitar potentiometers, or pots, need a quick cleaning if the player experiences a grinding feeling or hears scratching when adjusting the pots. Guitar pots are the dials on the face of the guitar that are used to adjust volume and tone. As dirt and dust find their way into these dials, the dials can become so dirty that their performance is affected negatively.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Can of compressed air
  • Lint-free cloth

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  1. 1

    Wipe down the face of guitar. Remove all dust and dirt from the entire guitar, especially around the potentiometers, pickups and bridge.

  2. 2

    Spay compressed air around the potentiometers. Use a liberal amount of compressed air to remove as much dust and dirt as possible.

  3. 3

    Turn the potentiometers back and forth while spraying more compressed air. Continue doing this until the dials turn easily without grinding.

  4. 4

    Wipe down the face of your guitar with a lint-free cloth again. Remove the dust and dirt that was trapped in the potentiometers before debris finds its way back in.

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