#1
Can anyone tell me a good way to clean all the dead skin, dirt and grim off of a fretboard?
#3
Quote by MrWilson6
Lemon Oil is the future! It does the trick for me


From what I've heard, Lemon Oil shouldn't be used, and Almond oil is what you really should use. But that wont clean dirt off of it. You could try just taking it off with your hand and maybe a paper towel, then apply the Oil.
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#4
Lemon oil is fine. As long as its not maple. Dont use lemon oil on a maple board.
Dunlop has a decent guitar cleaning kit maybe worth investing in.
#7
For a rosewood, ebony, etc. use a little dab of plain mineral oil on an old cotton towel. Go easy on the oil, you can always add more. If the grime is so caked on that you can't get it off a towel rub on a light coating of oil and scrub with a soft toothbrush. Wipe the oil off after scrubbing each fret so that you don't get too much into the fretboard or it will leach back out for a week. If you really need to scrub hard use a damp green kitchen scrubber, but stop scrubbing as soon as the filth is gone so you don't get water into the wood (which has enough oil in it to repel a little bit of water, but be careful anyway.).

If you have a maple fretboard you can use just about anything. I use Method all-purpose non-toxic cleaner and then wipe that away with a damp sponge.

Whatever you do be careful not to trash your inlays!
#8
^Pretty sound advice, you can use either mineral oil or lemon oil for this purpose. To further add to jpnyc's post.. be careful when using these oils. It is possible to over-saturate the fretboard to the point the frets rock outta their seat and I have repaired fretboards where this has happened. You'll want to keep buffing the oil outta the fretboard until it doesn't feel "oily" or "greasy" to the touch.
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#10
A little lemon oil can help get tough dirt moving but don't over-do it. If you have a maple fretboard then don't use any oil or other chemical at all. If you have an ebony fretboard then use only a very, very tiny bit of oil. If you have a rosewood fretboard then you can use a couple drops more but still be careful with it. Use a really fine cotton cloth, nothing with fraying edges or other loose fibres. Go softly and slowly. Don't scrub at anything, you'll just push it in deeper.

Quote by Duv
Old t-shirt + a little moisture + a lot of elbow grease.

Can use a toothbrush to get the nooks and crannies. No need for oils.
If you don't mind ruining your fretboard. Woods are always better off being cleaned and treated with oils. Water or water-based chemicals won't help them.
#11
Several articles I read recommended rubbing the fretboard down with 0000 steel wool, going with the grain. I tried it on my acoustic yesterday and it worked just fine. As a bonus, it makes your frets look all shiny and new again too.
#13
lol, I clean mine with an old sock. I tried lemon oil yesterday, and it certainly feels fetter than when it was just sock + elbow grease. And the muck goes alot easier.
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#14
Quote by Duv
Old t-shirt + a little moisture + a lot of elbow grease.

Can use a toothbrush to get the nooks and crannies. No need for oils.

+1 for elbow grease

When I am fixing a messy guitar, I do preliminary cleaning with plenty of water. I often use a pointy knife to scrape the worst of it from very close to the fret. If the crap has been there a long time, there can also be stains that go right into the wood. I sometimes gently file and sand a layer off the fretboard to reduce the stains. Steel wool works really well but leaves little pieces everywhere, and they migrate to the pickups. Keep it clean in the first place and you never have to do that. Heavy cleaning leaves it really dry and you have to do something with some kind of oil or stain to give it protection. I am a very efficient oil producer and often use my own finger oils to re-condition the wood. I bought some "official" guitar wipes, but they're not all that impressive. If you have stains, you might need to use a stain to help hide them. Sometimes it takes weeks for a stain to really dry, during that period the neck can feel a bit sticky.

Always wipe off the excess oil, you only want the oil that is actually IN the wood, not a layer on top. Too much oil makes the guitar slow and it also collects dust faster. (Most house dust is dead skin! ew. Mites live in the dust and eat the skin, leaving behind even more disgusting materials.)
Last edited by RebuildIt at Jul 28, 2011,
#15
Quote by grohl1987
If you don't mind ruining your fretboard. Woods are always better off being cleaned and treated with oils. Water or water-based chemicals won't help them.


How is a tiny bit of moisture and a soft rag going to ruin your fretboard? The requisite amount of water is less than you'd sweat on your guitar playing in hot conditions...

Over-oiling a fretboard is not a good thing. I'm pretty certain that to not have a dry fretboard it only needs oiling once a year. Oils should be used to condition a fretboard, not to clean it.

The trick is to regularly clean and not let things get out of hand. At least every string change.
#16
People act like something harder than a soft bristled toothbrush is going to ruin your fretboard. They're hard people, thats why they're used as fretboards. If metal strings wont **** them up, a toothbrush sure as **** wont

I use a toothbrush and some lemon oil to clean mine TS.

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#17
Quote by Duv
How is a tiny bit of moisture and a soft rag going to ruin your fretboard? The requisite amount of water is less than you'd sweat on your guitar playing in hot conditions...

Over-oiling a fretboard is not a good thing. I'm pretty certain that to not have a dry fretboard it only needs oiling once a year. Oils should be used to condition a fretboard, not to clean it.

The trick is to regularly clean and not let things get out of hand. At least every string change.

i think the problem really is with plywood. Have you seen what a drop of water does to smooth plywood?
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#19
I get a Mr. Clean magic eraser, dab it in some water, and scrub my fretboard till it's clean, then get a towel, dry it off, then I apply this stuff called "guitar honey" which is just some fancy fret board conditioner, works great, my rosewood has a nice dark, lustrous color to it, no water damage.

Otherwise, lemon oil will do just fine. Anything that says it's designed for cleaning dark wood fret boards works just fine.
#20
Quote by ethan_hanus
I get a Mr. Clean magic eraser, dab it in some water, and scrub my fretboard till it's clean, then get a towel, dry it off, then I apply this stuff called "guitar honey" which is just some fancy fret board conditioner, works great, my rosewood has a nice dark, lustrous color to it, no water damage.

Otherwise, lemon oil will do just fine. Anything that says it's designed for cleaning dark wood fret boards works just fine.

+1 for MrClean eraser.
I've used him on bodies, I bet he's great of a fret board.
#21
Quote by RebuildIt
+1 for MrClean eraser.
I've used him on bodies, I bet he's great of a fret board.

lol this comment made me imagine a dude rubbing a little bald guy on a guitar
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curently in a SEX MACHINEGUNS and X JAPAN phase AND Galneryus AND Anthem phase

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Schecter Hellraiser V-1 fr
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Fender GDC-200sce
Peavey Vypyr 30 w/ sanpera 1
#22
I don't know if I'm in the wrong here, but I've always used water with a tiny bit of dish soap in it on a toothbrush to get off caked on gunk. Then after it's dry, I apply a drop or two of lemon oil to the entire fretboard (1 to 2 drops for the WHOLE BOARD not each fret) and it does wonders. I usually only oil and throughly degunk a fretboard once or twice a year because more than that, for oiling at least, is unnecessary and probably not good for the wood anyway... also, if anyone can confirm whether the heavily diluted dish soap has a better alternative with a toothbrush, I'd be interested haha
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#23
I couldn't imagine dish soap being good for your fretboard, and it also sounds like you're using too much water.

Seriously, you hardly need any moisture, just enough so the rag can get some grip on the wood. If there's tons of caked on crap just work it off with a fingernail.

Don't need to do anything fancy when it comes to cleaning fretboards. Conditioning fretboards and polishing the body is a different story.