It might sound bizarre, but playing your guitar regularly can lead to fingers that smell sort of like old garlic. Here’s what causes the stench, and few simple tips on how to avoid it in the future.
Photo by Photo4jenifer.
Playing guitar is a workout for your fingers. Workouts usually mean sweat, and sweat buildup means odor. As you play, sweat gets caught on your guitar’s strings and the fret board; and it can be especially bad when you play in a warmer environment.
Fortunately, there are some simple ways to avoid the smell and take care of your guitar. Nancy Dunham at Mental Floss spoke with Richard Robinson, an instrument repairman for 40 years at The House of Guitars in New York, and here’s what he suggests:
- Wash your hands before you touch your guitar.
- Wipe the strings down with a cloth or old t-shirt before and after playing.
- Clean the fret board and strings with specialty cleaning products.
When you clean and wipe down your guitar, Robinson notes that you should avoid using Windex, linseed oil, lemon oil, and Pledge as well. It’s important to stick with the products designed for instruments. Washing your hands and removing excess sweat from your guitar should be enough to keep things from ever smelling again.
Of course, if your fingers smell like garlic because you were actually handling garlic, a little stainless steel will do the trick for that.
Why Do Some Guitarists’ Fingers Smell Like Garlic? [Mental Floss]