Just dug out my old Squier Strat from my attic as a back-up guitar while I'm not at uni, and I'm a little worried at how dehydrated the fretboard is. I've gotten all of the dirt off the neck, and there's streaks of what I think the actual color should be across a fretboard that is much paler than I remember it being.

I can't get to a guitar shop for a good couple of days, and in any case I'm very wary of picking up a fretboard product that just makes it shiny on the top. The only truly 'natural' oil I can get hold of that might work is some coconut oil, but there seems to be some disagreement whether or not it would be beneficial. Any help?
Most fretboard oils are mineral oil. I doubt that coconut oil would hurt, though.
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I would not advise using that on a fretboard. Not because it is harmful, but because I don't know and would not risk it

Do you have any baby oil in your house? It is just mineral oil with fragrance added
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Don't get on a bender about what kind of oil you're going to use -- plain old mineral oil is recommended.

Don't worry about how dry the fretboard looks; you could leave it like that for the rest of the guitar's life and the fretboard would be just fine. When you oil a fretboard, you are NOT "replacing vital oils" or anything like that. And you do NOT want to let something "soak in." It'll simply leech out again and ruin a good set of strings. And you do NOT want something that will penetrate deeper or any of that pseudo-science crap.

One of the points of oiling your board is cosmetic. It simply looks prettier.
The other nice thing is that having a bit of oil on the surface helps keep out moisture in liquid form (sweat, oils from your hand). Moisture in vapor form has a different molecular makeup and can get in just fine.

Rosewood and ebony fretboards are naturally oily woods that have plenty of oil in them, so that you don't have to add a finish. Maple and mahogany don't, and need to be finished. Oiling your board isn't a requirement at any time, but it will make it look prettier.

Wipe a very small amount on, wait a few minutes and wipe it off. Do NOT let it soak in. Don't put a ton of oil on thinking that if some is good, lots more is lots better.

Don't seek out Rosewood oil because you have a rosewood board. That stuff isn't even from the same kind of tree and it's for aromatherapy.

Don't seek out "real" lemon oil -- it's only for cooking.

The "lemon oil" that some use is the lemon oil furniture polish, which is usually mostly mineral oil with some cleaning solvents tucked in. There's usually no lemon product in the stuff at all; it's called that because the solvents give it a slight lemony smell. In any case, that's okay to use on your fretboard.

In a pinch, you can also use olive oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, etc. Mineral oil is preferred because there's no chance it will ever go rancid.

All that said, coconut oil has a lot of uses, and can be used on your body literally top to bottom; it's said to help mental alertness and to prevent alzheimer's if ingested, and it's supposed to be a good hemorrhoid relief application and good for preventing yeast infections if you soak your tampon in it.
Order yourself a pack of Gorgomyte. It’s a slightly abrasive microfiber cloth treated with a lemon oil that dissolves grime and treats the wood. It’s the only guitar product I’ve ever used that completely lives up to the hype.
dont use any oil you can cook with.

the oil rots on the board and smells.
leaving the guitar dry until you can pick up something
made for fretboards is completely fine.

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Folks have been using mineral oil on rosewood boards since the beginning of time. I just pour a little in the bottle cap, apply it with a cotton swab, let it sit a few minutes (the wood will only take as much as it needs) and buff off the excess with a baby diaper. I've recently begun applying furniture spray polish over the mineral oil as it keeps it from becoming 'gummy' and slicks up the board a bit.
Last edited by HotDan! at Dec 22, 2013,
I would not recommend doing that. It will probably cause gunky build up. Try gorgomyte for cleaning your fretboard.