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Old 10-14-2015, 04:18 AM   #1
PedalFreak94
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Guitar cleaning products for fretboard, frets, etc.

Hi there!

So, I think it's time that I really give my guitar a clean-up, when I'm gonna change my strings this week. Any suggestions on what to use for your fretboard and frets??
I believe my fretboard is Rosewood, if that helps..

I've seen some guys use extra fine steel wool on the frets, to make them shiny..

Also, when I'm doing this clean-up, should I take off all the strings? Or just do 2-3 strings at a time, so that the neck doesn't lose it's tension? I've heard a lot of people talk about that.. And I really don't wanna mess a whole lot with the truss rod, than I already have done...
Is it just a preference or??

Thanks all!
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:35 AM   #2
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Taking all the strings off will not damage the neck. That myth was probably propagated from bowed string instruments, where the bridge was rarely fastened to the body- they were held in place by string tension. It's then a pain in the arse to reset the bridge in the same position again. Same with the sound post.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:20 PM   #3
crackerjack123
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Gerlizt smudge off, guitar honey and NO1 wax. Not cheap but awesome. All I ever use.
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:27 PM   #4
dspellman
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You can remove all the strings.If you've got a TOM type bridge, you may need to secure it with some painter's tape, etc., so that you don't have to reset anything.

Your fretboard needs nothing more than a few drops of mineral oil (you can use the "lemon oil furniture polish" which is mineral oil with a bit of cleaning solvent) for conditioning. Wipe it on, wait a few minutes, wipe it off. Do NOT "soak it in." You'll just grease up a set of strings when it leeches OUT of the fretboard a day or two later.

Frets are best polished with StewMac fret erasers http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...et_Erasers.html . A second-best alternative would be BRONZE wool (Amazon). Steel wool is a MUCH distant third choice (fragments are attracted to the magnets in your pickups and can lead to destruction of the pickups themselves as they rust). Follow this with a thick piece of leather, using the rough side to produce a mirror finish.

Don't bother with the various sludges for fretboard treatment sold in tiny bottles for $6-12. They don't actually do anything positive for the fretboard, though they will do something positive for the seller's bank balance.
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:14 PM   #5
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Gorgomyte is great for cleaning and oiling the fretboard and polishing the frets.
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Old 10-16-2015, 05:03 PM   #6
MusicLaw
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Watched a well respected Guitar Tech clean and prep a vintage Les Paul for one of his world renown Star Guitar Player client's recently. After removing the strings, bridge and tailpiece, he used a 50-50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol to first moisten (not saturate) a rag to clean off the rosewood fretboard and frets! Then he used Formula 409 (the glass cleaner streak free version) sprayed onto a rag (moistened not saturated) to rub down, clean and polish the entire body, neck, fretboard, pickups, tail piece, and bridge! This stuff removed all the grime and grunge! And the guitar was clean! The final step was a fluffy soft powered buffer polishing wheel with a sllght squirt of liquid Maguire's Carnuba Car wax applied to the body. The transformation of the guitar was amazing and took no more than a few minutes. The key to the first two steps was oto nly use a slight amount of liquid to moisten the cloths so nothing on the guitar was getting soaked nor saturated! I've now started using Formula 409, and this stuff works to remove built up grime from the guitar. I still like DunLop's 65 Cleaner and Polish as it comes in a convenient 4oz pump top dispenser and it leaves a nice silky smooth micro-coating on the guitar's finish.
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Old 10-16-2015, 05:21 PM   #7
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I use baby wet wipes or mild domestic wet wipes on the body and Dr Ducks, very sparingly (so it doesn't get under the frets), on the fretboard. I've also successfully used nail buffing pads to polish fret ends and crowns, using home-made fret masks. - They are cheaper and easier to find than specialised luthier products.
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Old 10-16-2015, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicLaw
Watched a well respected Guitar Tech clean and prep a vintage Les Paul for one of his world renown Star Guitar Player client's recently. After removing the strings, bridge and tailpiece, he used a 50-50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol to first moisten (not saturate) a rag to clean off the rosewood fretboard and frets! Then he used Formula 409 (the glass cleaner streak free version) sprayed onto a rag (moistened not saturated) to rub down, clean and polish the entire body, neck, fretboard, pickups, tail piece, and bridge! This stuff removed all the grime and grunge! And the guitar was clean! The final step was a fluffy soft powered buffer polishing wheel with a sllght squirt of liquid Maguire's Carnuba Car wax applied to the body. The transformation of the guitar was amazing and took no more than a few minutes. The key to the first two steps was oto nly use a slight amount of liquid to moisten the cloths so nothing on the guitar was getting soaked nor saturated! I've now started using Formula 409, and this stuff works to remove built up grime from the guitar. I still like DunLop's 65 Cleaner and Polish as it comes in a convenient 4oz pump top dispenser and it leaves a nice silky smooth micro-coating on the guitar's finish.


really?, 409, alcohol, and water...? just because this expert is well know doesn't necessarily mean he knows what he's doing well.
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Old 10-16-2015, 11:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ad_works
really?, 409, alcohol, and water...? just because this expert is well know doesn't necessarily mean he knows what he's doing well.
He works regularly on high value vintage instruments, is highly regarded by many collectors and players. He certainly knows what he's doing. YMMV. Use what you're comfortable with.
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Last edited by MusicLaw : 10-16-2015 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:19 AM   #10
PedalFreak94
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Thanks for all your input, guys!

Another question:
Should I worry about my bridge going out of whack, when I remove all the string, to clean the fretboard?
My bridge is a Fender style standard bridge. It's set as close to the body as possible. I don't use the tremolo system. Will it be fine or??
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:51 PM   #11
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^^^ It shouldn't be a problem. I always "hardtail" the trem; tightening the springs is fine, but I prefer to remove them and use a block.
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Old 10-18-2015, 03:24 PM   #12
fingrpikingood
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I use Fast Fret on my acoustic. Idk what it's made of, and Idk how it compares to anything else, but that's what I use, and I find it works great.

I take off all the strings in order to be able to clean it better, but I also clean my fretboard without removing the strings sometimes. I don't do anything else to the frets. I find they wear much too quickly already, as it is.
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Last edited by fingrpikingood : 10-18-2015 at 03:27 PM.
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