As leaders in musical instrument care, MusicNomad is researching, testing and gathering information as we learn more about cleaning and disinfecting musical instruments during COVID-19. Make sure you check back here for updates and changes as things evolve during these times.

-MusicNomad products are not disinfectants. Our products are considered cleaners. Per the CDC website: Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. MusicNomad products fall in this cleaning category. Full details click HERE for the CDC site.

-Per CDC website: Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

-Per the CDC website: Cleaning hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to those around you.

-Per the CDC website: Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used to disinfect surfaces.

-Here is CDC’s recommend way for the general public to clean and disinfect household items.

-Following review with the CDC, the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations), NAfME and The NAMM Foundation have created guidelines for handling musical instruments during the COVID-19 school shutdown period. Some key takeaways are below but for the full guidelines visit HERE.

-Summary of NFHS, NAfME, NAMM Foundation’s guidelines:
1. If the cleaning process is thorough, musical instruments can be disinfected. Basic soap and water can be highly effective in reducing the number of harmful bacteria and viruses simply by carrying away the dirt and oil that they stick to.

2. The NFHS, NAfME and The NAMM Foundation received information from the CDC which suggest the COVID-19 virus can remain on the following instrument surfaces for the stated amount of time:
Brass – Up to 5 Days
Wood – Up to 4 Days
Plastic – Up to 3 Days
Strings – Up to 3 Days
Cork – Up to 2 Days

3. Per the NAMM Foundation website, The CDC recommends general cleaning techniques for instruments that have not been used or handled outside of the above timelines. Essentially if students are picking up instruments for the first time since school has been closed, those instruments will not need more than general cleaning. See HERE for the full details on cleaning and disinfecting musical instruments.

-MusicNomad has added several additional steps to the cleaning and disinfecting process that we feel protects the musical instruments from potential damage of the finish. See additional Steps 1 and 4:

     -Step 1: Clean dust off of the instrument before applying any liquid to the surface to avoid the dust scratching the instrument. Use MusicNomad’s Nomad Tool Set or MusicNomad polishing cloths to remove dust.
     -Step 2: Use General Cleaners from MusicNomad to clean the instrument.
     -Step 3: Disinfect the instrument per CDC, NFHS recommended guidelines. Follow the directions also of the manufacture of the disinfectant.
     -Step 4: We have found most disinfectants leave a solid residue on the instrument surface. After the disinfecting process is completed, to remove the residue use the general cleaner from MusicNomad used in Step Two to clean.
Note: After use, it is recommended to clean in soap and water the cloths used in the above steps or use paper towels and discard after use.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
-Wash your hands before handling the instrument.

-If another person recently handled the instrument wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting. 

-The more you clean your hands and surfaces, the safer you and your work area will be.

-Use MusicNomad products to clean before disinfecting.

-Call your instrument manufacture to see if they have done any testing of disinfectants on their finishes and if they have a recommended way to disinfect their instruments. For example, we talked with a leading guitar maker that tested many disinfectants on their polyurethane finish without harming it.

-Follow the directions on the label of the disinfectant product you are using.

-When using Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol to disinfect your instrument we recommend always trying it in a small area and seeing the results and effect the alcohol has on the finish you are trying to disinfect.

-Per CDC guidelines Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol are effective disinfectants. Alcohol can be used on unfinished fretboards but it can dry the wood. We recommend after using alcohol to follow by using MusicNomad’s F-ONE Oil (MN105) to condition the fretboard.

-Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol do a good job of sanitizing metal surfaces. Follow the directions of the manufacture. Make sure to clean dust off the surface before using the alcohol to avoid scratching the finish.

-Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats) is a common surfactant type found in disinfectants but when applying to a surface we have found when it dries it leaves behind a solid residue. After disinfecting, you will need to use a MusicNomad cleaner to remove the residue.

-Per NFHS: Sterisol Germicide is a non-poisonous sanitizer that cleans and deodorizes all wind instruments without damaging metals, lacquer, wood, hard rubber, or plastic.

-Make sure to dust off your instrument before applying any cleaner. Dust is what will scratch your guitar not the cleaners. We recommend use The Nomad Tool (MN205) or MusicNomad microfiber cloths.

-The Guitar Detailing Cloth (MN202) is also great to remove any dust and particles that may be on your guitar.

-We recommend using the String Fuel (MN109) to clean your strings before and after every use.

-For total fretboard cleaning we recommend to (Step 1) use the FRINE Fret Polishing Kit (MN124) to clean any dirt, grime, tarnish and oxidation off your frets. (Step 2) Clean and condition and restore your fretboard using Fretboard Care Kit (MN125) it comes with a special fretboard brush and cloth to be used with the F-ONE Oil to help get any built up grime and dirt off your fretboard.

-Drum Detailer (MN110) is a great cleaner and safe on all drum finishes and hardware.

-Key ONE (MN131) is a great cleaner for your keyboards, piano keys, plastic keyboards, plastic surfaces, metal surfaces, effect pedals and synthesizers.

-Piano ONE (MN130) is a great cleaner for your Gloss Pianos.

-Be careful when using alcohol on leather. It can dry out the leather & leave a discoloration in the leather color

-Be careful when using alcohol on plastic. It can leave a white haze on plastic

-Be careful when using alcohol on acrylic it can have a cracking affect to acrylic

-Don’t use Alcohol on Nitrocellulose Lacquer Guitar Finishes (i.e. Gibson)

-Be careful when using hand sanitizers as they leave a residue on your hands that can be transferred to your instruments

-Per our discussion with a disinfectant company that uses hydrogen peroxide in their formula, don't use disinfectants with hydrogen peroxide on metal instruments or metal parts as it can cause damage to the metal if not wiped off completely and increases the chance of the metal rusting. 


While we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, MusicNomad makes no representations or warranties of any kind, explicit or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the information on this website.  Any reliance you place on such material is at your own risk. Information regarding COVID-19 related issues is evolving and changing day-to-day.  We have cited links to third party websites for informational purposes, but have not verified their accuracy, validity, reliability or completeness. MusicNomad is making no representations or warranties, express or implied, about any products not manufactured or distributed by MusicNomad.