#1
I have a '13 MIA fender strat (maple neck and rosewood board) and a '06 Taylor 214 (not sure of the neck, spruce? and the board is ebony).
They're both feeling pretty grimy. I sweat a lot. I have 000 steel wool and lemon oil. How do I clean these necks?

I didn't want to post one in electric and one in acoustic so hopefully you guys have advice for both. The Taylor is older and gets played more so it's definitely the grimier of the two. Yuck
#2
If the necks have a poly finish just wipe them off with a general purpose cleaner. I use Method spray and it works fine. As for the fretboard, order a sheet of Gorgomyte and use it to clean the fretboard and frets once a year. That stuff is amazing.
#3
Quote by jpnyc
If the necks have a poly finish just wipe them off with a general purpose cleaner. I use Method spray and it works fine. As for the fretboard, order a sheet of Gorgomyte and use it to clean the fretboard and frets once a year. That stuff is amazing.


like any kind of wood cleaner?
#4
dont touch the wood with the steel wool. some people might say go ahead but i would never ever consider it, especially if the wood is coated. if your frets have buildup on them, isolate them by covering the wood with painters tape and rub each fret individually with steel wool.

as for the fretboard, lem oil should do it, unless its covered in blood and queso, in which case just buy a new guitar
#5
Quote by rtfk101
dont touch the wood with the steel wool. some people might say go ahead but i would never ever consider it, especially if the wood is coated. if your frets have buildup on them, isolate them by covering the wood with painters tape and rub each fret individually with steel wool.

as for the fretboard, lem oil should do it, unless its covered in blood and queso, in which case just buy a new guitar


It's more the neck that needs cleaning. The frets/board look okay for now...
#9
You can try a bit of dish soap and water. Wring out the rag so it's just damp and go to work.
Worst case, get some naptha (Ronsonol lighter fluid) and go after it. Don't use any other kinds of solvents. I actually maintain some of my guitars with Meguiar's Cleaner/Wax (in the burgundy bottle).

Keep the steel wool away from the guitar. There are folks that sometimes use it to polish their frets (but 0000 -- four "0's", not three), but the problem there is that the magnets on your pickups pull the tiny fragments into the coils, where the stuff rusts. The process of rusting produces crystals that are actually larger (and in some cases, spiky) than the fragment. These "spikes" can penetrate the extremely thin insulation on the coil wire, allowing moisture to corrode the copper, and you get micro-shorts that eventually change the sound of the pickup or destroy it entirely.
#11
i use #0000 steel wool to polish frets. BUT, i use painters tape to cover all of the pickups. a lot of it. then just be careful when you oull it off.

thats kind of just a side note though.
#12
I use a damp cloth on both rosewood fingerboards and maple. Rosewood seems to get especially grimey compared to a Fender finish maple fingerboard.
#13
Quote by RyanMW2010
like any kind of wood cleaner?


Not wood cleaners—those are for finished furniture and not meant for the poly coatings on most guitars. Just use a general purpose, gentle, non-toxic surface cleaner. Remember that what you’re cleaning is the layer of plastic around the wood, not the wood itself.
#14
Thanks guys, but I want to clean the back of the neck, which is maple on the strat and i think pine on the taylor. I'm not trying to clean the fretboard right now. Most of the dirt and grime on the neck is likely sweat and dead skin.

So you're saying just to clean it with a damp cloth and some elbow grease? That won't create any kind of warping?
#15
I use baby wipes or mild domestic wipes, followed by ******* towel. The Taylor neck will be some kind of mahogany, and FWIW, I think that the 214 is a terrific guitar. - The Taylor I have liked the most out of the ones I've played.

EDIT Heh, it wiped the "k" word again. read "domestic"
Last edited by Tony Done at Nov 12, 2014,
#16
Quote by RyanMW2010
So you're saying just to clean it with a damp cloth and some elbow grease? That won't create any kind of warping?


You should probably just take your guitar to a shop and have them do this for you.
#17
You aren't letting pools of water dry on the board. You are using a damp cloth and then drying it off. It won't warp
#18
Quote by Tony Done
I use baby wipes or mild domestic wipes, followed by ******* towel. The Taylor neck will be some kind of mahogany, and FWIW, I think that the 214 is a terrific guitar. - The Taylor I have liked the most out of the ones I've played.

EDIT Heh, it wiped the "k" word again. read "domestic"


I LOVE my 214. It's absolutely wonderful. I know they're two different types of guitars, but it's vastly superior to my Fender MIA strat in every way. Doesn't hurt that Taylor is so lefty friendly. I'll be playing Taylor guitars for the rest of my life.
#19
Quote by RyanMW2010
Thanks guys, but I want to clean the back of the neck, which is maple on the strat and i think pine on the taylor. I'm not trying to clean the fretboard right now. Most of the dirt and grime on the neck is likely sweat and dead skin.

So you're saying just to clean it with a damp cloth and some elbow grease? That won't create any kind of warping?


Nope. Both guitars have necks that are finished with the same paint that shows up on cars. That includes the satin-finished necks.

Old Gibson case candy recommends naptha for cleaning, mineral oil for unfinished fretboards (most Fender maple boards have a finish on them) and a good carnauba paste wax to protect both finished wood and metal parts. Nitrocellulose lacquer (most Gibsons, but few other guitars these days) was a car and industrial machinery paint right up to the '50's, when it was dumped in favor of acrylics and eventually the current polyester-type paints. The latter is what's on most new guitars (often UV-cured, dry-to-dry in under 24 hours). Taylor has a robotic arm and a robotic fixture to spray the stuff thinner and more evenly than any human could do.

For future reference, oil-finished guitars (boiled linseed oil finishes, such as Tru-Oil, and other finishes, such as tung-oil finish, walnut-oil, etc.) might need special treatment. I have one french-polished guitar and have to be very careful around alcohol (it will damage the finish), but that's about the most delicate thing I've run into. All of those can be protected with carnauba wax as well.
#20
FWIW

I just spray a little lemon Pledge or some such furniture cleaner on a cleaning cloth and hit all my finished surfaces and chrome. It works well, shines and protects. and over 40 years my early guitar finishes still look good. For the fretboard, I apply a touch of olive oil annually. So far so good.