Tips on How to Take Care of Your Banjo Instrument

The banjo originated in Africa and was introduced to the U.S. in the 1600s. But banjo instruments have a number of environmental and conditioning considerations that you need to be familiar with.

Maintaining your banjo in a pristine playing condition doesn’t have to be a daunting or time-consuming task. This article highlights easy to practice tips on how to take proper care of your banjo. 

Cleaning Essentials

Before you get started stripping your banjo to give it a deep clean, you’re going to need to have the right essentials at hand. You will need some cleaning brushes, valve oil, slide grease, and some liquid dish soap

Deering Pink Care Cloth

If you spill liquids such as water on your banjo, wipe it off instantly. Just take a soft white cloth and put some almond oil on it. Alternatively, you can use a moist rag soaked in soapy water then wipe clean with a dry cloth. Wiping the strings down after playing will help prevent corrosion and buildup of “crud” on the strings.

Many music instruments stores sell inexpensive cloth or banjo care kit that is ideal for cleaning your banjo.

Cleaning Strings

Sharing musical instruments is a widespread, accepted practice in the profession. But if someone else plays your banjo, you may want to ask them to wash their hands with soap and water. Basic soap and water can be highly effective in reducing the number of harmful bacteria. However, disinfecting an instrument to make it safe to handle will last longer and easier. Also, avoid using “hot” water when cleaning as it may make lacquer flake off. Playtest your instrument and empty any excess water with the water keys.



Every month or so, use the mouthpiece brush to scrub the mouthpiece carefully. You can use a UV lamp for this task. UV lamps aren’t particularly standard outside of laboratories, but they will kill germs and viruses. If you don’t have a UV lamp at home, you can use an alcohol-free disinfecting wipe. Regularly clean your mouthpiece with warm water and mild soap.

 At the end of each day or after playing your banjo, you should clean the mouthpiece with an alcohol-based disinfectant. To do this, immerse the mouthpiece in a disinfectant such as hydrogen peroxide for one minute.


Few, if no, instruments are as typical as the banjo. Just as your vehicle needs regular changing, so your banjo has to be maintained and cleaned. About once a month, give the banjo a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. Remember, professional cleaning is almost always the best solution.


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