How to Clean Guitar Case Interior (Step By Step)

Extreme care should be taken when cleaning the inside of a guitar case.

In this article, I tease out different approaches you can take, depending on whether it is a hard case, or a soft case/gig bag, and what you need to be aware of.

How To Clean The Inside of a Hard Guitar Case

There are multiple different methods you can use when cleaning the inside of your hard guitar case, depending on the type of mess/dirt you are trying to clean up. I will detail a few of the options and what they are best suited to.

Word of Caution: Go very gently when cleaning the inside of your hard guitar case. Firstly you do not know how the guitar case interior fabric will respond to your cleaning, and also the supporting foam may be impacted by hard pressing and if you push too hard you could result in irreversible damage to the shape. So just be soft and conservative in your actions and the pressure you apply when cleaning.

Vacuum Cleaner

First and foremost, if you have some loose dirt, or other material floating around inside your guitar case, the first thing to try is to try and vacuum it up. This poses the least risk to your case and is the easiest method to try first.

Lindt Roller/Duck Tape

If there is still some loose material on the inside of your case and the vacuum didn’t pick it up you can try using a lint roller or duct tape, or something another adhesive-based tool. This can be a good way to get really fine particles or other fluff that isn’t coming up with the vacuum cleaner.

Wet Cleaning

If your case has a stain of some sort, spill, or another mark in the fabric then there are a few things you can try to try and get the stain/mark out. In general, it is advisable to use the least serious intervention and slowly work your way through the different techniques.

Warm Water On A Cloth

Ideally, you won’t need to use any chemicals, and some warm water on a cloth or sponge can be used to gently rub the stained area in a circular motion.

Warm Water and Detergent

If warm water alone is not sufficient to remove your stain then try adding a tiny amount of dishwashing liquid to the mix and then follow the same process as outlined above but with the soapy mixture instead. Make sure you only add a very small quantity of liquid

Stain Remover (Use With Caution)

If warm soapy water was not enough to rub out your mark or stain on the interior of your guitar case, then you could try an upholstery stain remover. Do not apply the upholstery cleaner directly to the interior of your guitar case, however, as there is a small chance the fabric in your guitar case does not react well to the cleaner. Instead, apply a very small amount of cleaner to your sponge, and apply that to a very small area inside your case (maybe inside the storage area where any ill effects won’t be noticed) and ensure there is no damage or bad reaction caused. Once you are satisfied that the interior material of your guitar case does not react badly to your cleaning solution then apply it more generously, in line with the product directions on the affected area.

How To Clean The Inside of a Soft Guitar Case/Gig Bag

There are some similarities and some differences in the process of cleaning the inside of a soft guitar case/gig bag.

Shake It Out

Given the nature of the soft case design in many cases, you can easily turn them inside out, access the affected areas, and try to shake out any loose material inside of them.


Like with a hard case, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to try and suck up any loose items or particles.

Wet Cleaning

You can also experiment with warm water cleaning, then using a bit of detergent, and then also some stain remover if the spill/stain/mess is very stubborn.

Washing Machine

One option you can consider with a soft guitar case/gig bag that you cannot consider with a hard case is putting your sot guitar case into the washing machine. It is not a great idea to do often but something you can consider doing occasionally. There are some risks to putting your soft guitar case into the washing machine, so you want to reduce these risks as much as possible. It is not exposed to the water or detergent that puts your guitar at risk, it is the movement of the washing machine that could put pressure on the fabric, stitching, and case components.

The best way to reduce this risk is to adjust your washing machine to some kind of ‘gentle’ setting. In this way, the machine won’t rotate in the same way, and won’t rotate as fast, meaning it should dramatically reduce the risk of damage to your case.

Soak Your Soft Your Guitar Case In The Bath

One way to get the benefits of putting your guitar case in the washing machine, without any of the risks from the movement in the machine, is to soak it in the bath. This gives you the full water immersion, without the movement of the machine that could damage the case.

How Do You Get The Odour Out Of A Guitar Case

Many people have reported baking soda to be a very effective way to get bad odors out of guitar cases. The first thing to try is to have the baking soda in a bowl and set it inside your case for a few days and see if that is effective.

If that does not work then you can experiment with sprinkling the baking soda directly onto the fabric, and then vacuuming it up after a few days. This has worked wonders for many people who have had very strong odors in their case.

How Do You Clean Mold Out Of A Guitar Case

Mold can have a very detrimental impact on a guitar case, so if you spot mold, you want to deal with it as soon as possible. This website provides a lot of advice and information about different ways you can treat mold, and I highly recommend you check it out if you have a mold problem in your guitar.

But, please keep in mind that certain products (bleach, etc) could lead to discoloration of your guitar case interior, so please try all other techniques first (vinegar, etc), and if you have to try mold, then try it on a little bit of your guitar case, preferably out of sight (inside the storage compartment) to see what the effect is. And it may just be the case that you accept the fact you have to have some discoloration inside your case to kill the mold.


Can I Wash My Guitar Case

Yes, you can wash your guitar case. The best technique will vary depending on whether you are It is good to apply the minimum force, and as few chemicals as possible. If you are thinking of using the washing machine for your soft guitar case, then use a gentle wash setting, or consider soaking in the bath. Or if you are just trying to clean a spot stain, try with warm water before conservatively experimenting with washing detergent and the upholstery stain remover.

Can You Put a Guitar Case in the Washing Machine

Yes, you can put a soft guitar case/gig bag in the washing, but there is a small risk of damage. It is not exposed to the water or detergent that puts your case at risk, but the movement of the washing machine. A way to minimize this potential risk is to use the ‘gentle’ or ‘delicate’ setting on your washing machine which should eliminate the risk of damage. Another way to get similar benefits is to soak your soft guitar case/gig bag in a bath of soapy water. This provides the benefits of water immersion, without the downsides of the washing machine movement.