How To Remove Scratches From Guitar Pickguard

Some people use their fingers to play guitars. There are still others who prefer to play it with a pick. The guitar volume increases when you play it with a plectrum. It also creates a brighter tone. The downside is that picks scratch the guitar’s surface. The solution is to use a pickguard, but it also gets scratched. But how to remove scratches from guitar pickguard?

Scratches on a pickguard make the guitar look less attractive. The following tips will help you remove these scratches:

  • Acquiring necessary materials
  • Identifying scratches
  • Cleaning of the scratches

The article will provide you with the necessary information to remove these scratches.


Acquiring Necessary Materials

It is possible to clean your guitars using just household items. But, if you want to remove scratches, you need some extras. First, you should get a clean cotton cloth. Silk cloths will also work fine. It is best to avoid towels or other hard clothes that will create more scratches. 

Quick Hack

Cleaning the guitar is a simple step and can be done by using lemon oil. But to remove scratches, you should get a guitar polish. You can get it from any guitar store or a luthier near you.

You can also get it online. It is best to get yourself a plastic polish and a polishing compound. Pickguards are of plastic material. So, you ought to use plastic polish. 

Identification of Scratches

Identification of scratches on guitar pickup
Identification of scratches on guitar pickup

Avoid using polishes on your whole guitar. Look for scratches on your guitar body other than the pickguard. If you find any, spray it with guitar polish. Then, clean it with a piece of clean cotton fabric.

Use the tip of your fingernails to locate scratches on the guitar body. Check if the scratches are too deep. If they are, take it to a luthier. 

If you only see scratches on the pickguard, it is best to remove it first. Then spray it with plastic polish. Afterward, polish it with a cotton cloth. Finish it with a polishing compound. Safely attach the pickguard back to the guitar body. 

Cleaning of Scratches

cleaning of scratches on guitar pickup
Cleaning of scratches on guitar pickup

Get a good quality plastic polish from any nearby hardware store. Get yourself a polishing compound as well. It is also known as scratch remover in some locations. Then place your guitar in a bright-lighted room. 

  • Soak your cloth in the polishing compound.
  • Apply it on the pickguard.
  • Make small circles over the scratches when applying polish.
  • Wait for a few minutes so that the polish dries.
  • Get another dry cloth.
  • Remove the dried polish on the guitar.
  • Again, clean by making small circles.
  • Finally, turn your piece of cloth and shine your guitar by buffing. Do not try to rub too hard while cleaning. 

Getting a New Pickguard

Cleaning your pickguard is just an alternative. Pickguards are usually cheap. Therefore, if you want to save time, you should get a new pickguard when you see scratches. It is better to buy more than one pickguard at a time. It will save you both time and money. 

Install and remove your pickguards carefully. Pickguards sometimes scratch the actual guitar body. It will be the opposite of what you want. The purpose of a pickguard is to keep the guitar from scratch. Therefore, be very careful when you buy a pickguard. Always pick the one with a smooth internal surface. Install it with care. 

Benefits of Pickguard

People who strum guitars with a pick often go overboard. They do not stay in control of their hands. Honestly, no one does when playing in full flow. Picks scratch the guitar body. Installing pickguards just below the sound hole saves you the trouble. Pickguards keep the guitar body from scratching. 

A guitar with a good finish and polish keeps its actual value. You may someday decide to sell your guitar. The actual price of the guitar falls considerably if there are scratches. Moreover, scratches are very visible in spotlights during stage performances. They are instantly noticeable. This does not create a good sight. 

Do Pickguards Get Scratched?

Yes, pickguards get scratched a lot. Guitarists love to play all sorts of genres. People can shred or play grunge rock on guitars. While playing such genres, your hand movements are very fast. Therefore, strumming scratches the pickguards. It is not the guitarist’s fault.

These small plastic patches are known as pickguards for a reason. It is completely normal for a pickguard to get scratched. It is not wise if you worry too much about it. You should not question your playing technique. Their sole objective is to protect the guitar body. Just get yourself a pickguard and play freely. 

Does Guitar Polish Remove Scratches?

There are many guitar polishes available in the market. Guitar polishes clean your guitars and remove all sorts of scratches. Guitar polishes are available in all guitar stores. It is also possible to get a guitar polish from a luthier. Now many online stores like Amazon and Alibaba have dealers who can provide you with guitar polish. 

Guitar polishes work best for guitar bodies. Pickguards mostly come in plastic material. The best way to remove scratches from a pickguard is by getting a plastic polish and polishing compound. Use your materials wisely depending on the part you want to clean. It is not wise to pick unnecessary materials. 

What Do You Clean Pickguard With?

Plastic polishes are useful items to remove scratches from pickguards. Still, other people may use different options. Soaking your pickguard in warm water solution or vinegar before cleaning can also help. Most people still use plastic polish. 

Novus plastic polish is a great help. Most of my fellow guitarists use this polish while cleaning. You can save yourself the trouble and get a new pickguard. But it is difficult to get a new pickguard every time scratches appear. So, you should know how to take proper care of your instrument. Use a cotton or silk cloth while cleaning. Do not use fabrics with rough edges. 

Is It Okay Not to Have a Pickguard?

It is perfectly okay not to have a pickguard. They are not necessary items. The pickguards serve the purpose of protecting your guitar surface. Fingerstyle players do not need it anyways. Pickguards are mostly useful for people who use a pick. Even these people do not have it sometimes. 

The scenario changes if you intend to sell your guitar after some time. It is best to keep the guitar shape possible. In such cases, get yourself a pickguard. They are very cheap and come in all sorts of colors. Pickguards also have beautiful designs on them which will make your guitar beautiful. 


Pickguards protect the guitar surface from scratches. Pick players often scratch the lower side of their sound holes. Pickguards protect the guitar surface while getting scratched. It is extremely easy to remove these scratches with just a few items. 

Pickguards are plastic materials. Plastic polishes and polishing compounds can remove pickguards easily. You should go for removing scratches if you already have these items. If you do not have these items, buy a new pickguard because it is going to cost the same.

Secondly, we all know the rule that new is always better. So, if you have the means, always buy a new pickguard instead of wasting time with the old one.

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