Polishing "unfinished" basses

So… my “main” bass is an Ibanez SR500EPB. It’s not finished, per se, like the SR300Es, but it’s not raw wood, either.

I’d like to give it a good cleaning and polishing, but I’m not a woodworker and I’m not quite certain about what kind of coating it has.

Can I like… use regular guitar wax or polish on it? I’ve got the Dunlop Cream of Carnuba wax, and the Dunlop Guitar Polish and Cleaner stuff. I’ve also got some Maguires ScratchX I’d love to hit it with. I’m just not sure what would be bad for it and am looking for some guidance.



Hey @JustTim,

I use the following on my Warwicks that are natural wood and oil finishes.

I’ve used it on bubinga, ovangkol and maple.

Not sure if its available locally for you but one can lasts a very long time.


I don’t know that it is a wood or oil finish. Thanks, though, I’ll definitely look into it.


Howard feed ‘n’ wax is worth a look at @JustTim
Use it on my Warwick and SR basses


I had a quick look online and it appears that model is finished but it has a flat finish.

If you want to maintain the existing finish then you don’t want to polish it as you’ll make parts of it shiny.

Music Nomad do an “All purpose guitar detailer” which works well on Matt\flat finishes.

Guitar Cleaner and Detailer for Satin, Matte & Gloss Finishes - MusicNomad - Music Nomad (musicnomadcare.com)

There are also car products from the likes of Meguires but they have to be specific to Matt finishes.


I use the Mequires Ultimate Compound for polished (think shiny) finishes on some of my basses and it does a great job getting swirls and small scratches out. But like @HowlinDawg be careful what you use on matte finishes.

I remember playing around with a SR506 and the finish was painted but you could still feel the grain in the wood which I believe was a mahogany. Not sure if this is the same as yours. Can you take a close up pic of the body that would show the finish clearly?

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