#1
After playing guitars I truly try to take care of I'll wipe down the body and neck before putting them back on a stand/ in a case. I've always wondered though, do many guitarists with vintage guitars worry about darkening/dirtying up their fretboards, or is this something that shouldn't be of concern? I've seen a few guitars that never get cleaned up, and when taking a cotton swab to the fret board you pick up a ton of black junk, presumably the dirt from your fingers and the general effects of metal on wood. I would hate for this to happen to some of my more expensive guitars, seeing as I may try to sell them for better equipment down the road and am currently not sure if this diminishes the value of the instrument. To sum up I have a few questions:

1) If guitarists do clean their fretboards, how often do they do it? Every few weeks?months?

2) How does one clean a guitar fretboard? The only way I can see to easily clean a fretboard would be to get the strings out of the way, either by cutting and replacing them or unstringing them, both of which would become frustrating over time

3) What would you use? I may not be the smartest guy around, but putting water on wood doesn't seem like the best idea to me.
#2
i usually clean the fretboard every time i change strings (about every 3-6 weeks depending) if it seems dirty.

the way i clean the fretboard is by going over the frets with a damp rag to get rid of the grime and stuff, making sure i dont get excess water in between the frets, then i treat it with a light coat of mineral oil (most use lemon oil i believe, but i couldnt find any and refused to pay for the special stuff), wiping it off when the wood is finished absorbing it.
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#3
And the lemon oil acts as a protective barrier? Sorry, but I'm kinda new to all the technical aspects of a guitar. Also, do the dark smudges permanently effect to fretboard, or will it come off no matter how much time has passed? For instance, if for some reason you don't clean the fretboard for 8 months, will it still all come off once cleaned, or will some of it permanently stick to the fretboard? Thanks for the responses, greatly appreciated!
#5
i use dunlop 65 ultimate lemon oil. i apply it when i restring every month or 2, taking all strings off, applying, restringing. its also good to occasionally take some really fine steel wool and get the really stuck stuff off.
and it all should come off. it does for me.
Last edited by tenfold at Aug 5, 2010,
#6
I personally clean every string change. For me that's about every 1-2 months. When I do this, I use a damp (not soaking, damp) rag to clean off the grimey buildup on the board. After the gunk is gone on each fret, I dry it off. This helps prevent fretboard saturation, which can lead to frets popping out. Afterwards, I break out the lemon oil, and dab it on the fretboard. This really helps the feel, and brings out the grain. All in all, it's killer. Afterwards, the new strings come on, the guitar gets a nice coat of string lube on the fretboard and the back of the neck, and it just feels like one sleek, bad machine.
#7
I use the edge of a credit card to remove the dirt and then give it some lemon oil. I've heard people say that lemon oil will remove the dirt, but it's never worked that way for me.
I just gauge whether or not my fretboard needs cleaning/oiling by eye.
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#9
Every string change. I DONT use lemon oil because it leaves a residue inside the tiny spaces between the wood on my rosewood fretboards. I use fretboard conditioner instead

Also, 0000 (4 0's) graded steel wool is good for removing the buildup that gets on your frets and fretboards
#10
I clean my fretboard every string change as well. I polish the frets with some 0000 grade steel wool, and put either woodwind bore oil or a small amount of vaseline on, rub it in and wipe down with a dry cloth. Looks brand new when all is said and done
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#12
I must admit that I spend very little time cleaning my guitars. At best, I'll wipe the strings down after playing.
One trick might be to clean up before playing... One guitarist interviewed in Guitar Player said that he would wash his hands before playing just as if he were sitting down to eat...
#13
i clean my fretboard with "ghs fast fret" when changing strings
i use them on the fret wire too
it also can be used on guitar strings
but for normal daily use
i clean my guitar strings with a cloth after playing
#14
i dont clean the fret board , but i've really been thinking about doing it since last year ..lol . and why do you guys change strings after few months ??
#15
Quote by kian89
i dont clean the fret board , but i've really been thinking about doing it since last year ..lol . and why do you guys change strings after few months ??

Because they begin to feel and sound bad.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#16
Quote by kian89
i dont clean the fret board , but i've really been thinking about doing it since last year ..lol . and why do you guys change strings after few months ??


Either the strings get rusty, or they start to sound dull, you'll start to hear it when you become more experienced with your tone.

I clean my fret board every time I change strings, I use this stuff called "guitar honey" sounds weird but it works great. I typically use a coarse cotton rag and spray it directly on the fretboard, and rub the hell out of it, gets all the gunk and conditions the fretboard.
#17
I do that myself--- and I don't eat while playing.

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One guitarist interviewed in Guitar Player said that he would wash his hands before playing just as if he were sitting down to eat...
#18
After I play, every time I wipe down strings, neck, and body with 100% cotton cloth (flannel is great) - 100% prevents scratches\swirls.

when I change the strings, I use vinegar to clean the fretboard - it evaporates faster than water, and is a better solvent than water. Then I use olive oil to polish. You can use vinegar on the body, etc. too to clean.

You save a ton of money, and you help save the environment by not buying chemicals (and hence, they don;t have to be made if you don;t buy 'em).
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#19
Quote by ethan_hanus
Either the strings get rusty, or they start to sound dull, you'll start to hear it when you become more experienced with your tone.


how do we get experienced with the tone ??
like what are the signs that tells us that strings are out of tone ?

i sometimes feel that some note of a string is vibrating gently ,even when my finger is stable. is it a part of it ?