#1
I wanted to ask a question about cleaning the fret board on a new Charvel electric guitar I just bought a few days ago. I actually have another Charvel that I used Gorgomyte fret board cleaner on the frets and fret board not long ago and it worked great. The only bad thing was the smell of it. LOL Anyways, I used Gorgomyte on this new Charvel and after I dried it off, I decided to use an Ernie Ball Fretboard Conditioner wipe on the fret board since they have a fresh scent. I had never used the EB wipes before and after cleaning it and wiping off the fret board with a cloth, it is still soaked in the wood pretty well. When I play the guitar, some of the conditioner seeps to the top of the fret board and I didn't know if using too much can be bad? I also wanted to ask if using the Gorgomyte and then the EB wipes is a bad idea. Thanks for any help you can give me!
#2
Between the two cleaners you put too much oil into the fretboard. It won’t hurt anything. The oil will leach back out and can be wiped off as it does.
#3
I talk to a lot of guitar builders
to get rid of dirt -lighter fluid (naphtha)
to hydrate the fretboard after - pure lemon oil.
shop clothes is what I recommend too, this way you don't ruin shirts

there is a lot of cleaners out there by companies but it's overpriced. I wish I could upload photos of my results with the two and polishing the frets with micro mesh but I'm still new to this community.
#5
Quote by scottinpa40
I actually have another Charvel that I used Gorgomyte fret board cleaner on the frets and fret board not long ago and it worked great. The only bad thing was the smell of it. !


If you're going to use your underwear as a wiping rag, wash them first.
#6
Quote by Tallwood13

to hydrate the fretboard after - pure lemon oil.
shop clothes is what I recommend too, this way you don't ruin shirts
.


Never use "pure lemon oil." That's for cooking.
Never use rosewood oil, either. That's for aromatherapy and isn't even derived from the same kind of tree.

Note that no oil "hydrates" a fretboard. In fact, the mission of oiling your fretboard is twofold: to keep liquid moisture (essentially sweat's salts, acids and lipids) out of the fretboard's grain and to make the fretboard look pretty. You're not "replacing vital oils" and there's no reason to have it penetrate at all. Rosewood and ebony fretboards have all the vital oils they need (hence the reason they're not finished) and will do just fine without oiling for centuries. Oiling a fretboard will not prevent moisture in vapor form from hydrating the material, so you still want to take care to store your instrument at close to 45% humidity or so.

Mineral oil is all you need. Wipe it on sparingly, leave it sit for NO LONGER than a minute or two and then wipe it off. Do not let it "soak in." The "lemon oil" referenced here and there is actually lemon oil cleaner (like Olde English furniture polish), which is mostly mineral oil with a few solvents tossed in to help clean the furniture. There really isn't any lemon at all in most lemon oil polishes, but the solvents have a citrus-like smell, and that's where the name comes from.
Last edited by dspellman at Nov 28, 2014,
#7
I put a little olive oil on a soft cloth to both clean and protect. 40 years and so far so good.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

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#8
Lemon oil is not for cooking, that's lemon juice. Lemon oil(citrus limonium) is a excellent(and inexpensive) fretboard cleaner and conditioner plus it smells good! It's the most recommended and best oil for your fretboard. It evaporates quickly and leaves no residue. Make sure it's 100% pure.
Last edited by rohash at Nov 28, 2014,
#9
Quote by Tallwood13
pure lemon oil.


Lemon oil is just scented mineral oil. There’s nothing pure about it!
#10
Quote by jpnyc
Lemon oil is just scented mineral oil. There’s nothing pure about it!


Huh?
Last edited by rohash at Nov 28, 2014,
#11
http://www.ebay.com/itm/30ml-Lemon-FREE-OIL-OFFER-Mix-Match-100-Pure-The-Essential-Oil-/371147362050?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item566a1b4f02

This is the stuff me and tallwood are talking about- pure lemon oil extracted from the peel, not the furniture cleaner or lemon juice that some of you guys are confused with. Don't put mineral oil, olive oil or anything like that on your fretboard unless you want an oily mess. This stuff cleans and conditions without any oily residue(evaporates almost immediately). I'd use this or else stick with the commercial fretboard conditioners, which probably contain lemon oil.
#12
Thanks for all the replies. I'm not sure what is in the Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes that I used on the rosewood fretboard about a day and a half ago but it soaked into the wood. Hopefully the "seeping out" will stop and I learned a lesson...not to use so much. I will probably try the pure lemon oil that is on eBay, thanks for the link!
#13
Quote by rohash
http://www.ebay.com/itm/30ml-Lemon-FREE-OIL-OFFER-Mix-Match-100-Pure-The-Essential-Oil-/371147362050?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item566a1b4f02

This is the stuff me and tallwood are talking about- pure lemon oil extracted from the peel, not the furniture cleaner or lemon juice that some of you guys are confused with. Don't put mineral oil, olive oil or anything like that on your fretboard unless you want an oily mess. This stuff cleans and conditions without any oily residue(evaporates almost immediately). I'd use this or else stick with the commercial fretboard conditioners, which probably contain lemon oil.


You don't want pure lemon oil on your fretboard!

It contains a very strong solvent called d-limonene and will dissolve laquer, plastic and other stuff in the long run. If you put that on your fretboard, you will damage the fretmarkers and the binding as well as risking to soften the wood making the frets lift.

"Lemon oil" as in the Dunlop 65 Lemon Oil intended for use on fretboards is just mineral oil (petroleum distillate) with a lemon scent. In no way is it related to "pure lemon oil" and it is very unfortunate that so similar terms is used to refer to them. You use it to dissolve dirt and make the fretboard shiny, and that's it. It doesn't go into the wood, and it doesn't do anything vital.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

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#14
Quote by rohash
Lemon oil is not for cooking, that's lemon juice. Lemon oil(citrus limonium) is a excellent(and inexpensive) fretboard cleaner and conditioner plus it smells good! It's the most recommended and best oil for your fretboard. It evaporates quickly and leaves no residue. Make sure it's 100% pure.


Absolutely not. It's not a "most recommended." The use of the words "lemon oil" to designate two quite different substances is the problem.

Google "lemon oil for cooking" and you'll find a long list of Martha Stewart, etc., uses for it. King Arthur's Flour sells it ("Use as you would fresh rind to flavor muffins, breads, pastries and pies. ¼ teaspoon is the approximate equivalent of 1 tablespoon grated rind."). Read the comments on Amazon and explain to me how it's not used for cooking -- and note the comment about the intense citric acid destroying the enamel on your teeth. You want that on your GUITAR? http://www.amazon.com/Pure-LEMON-Oil-Boyajian-148ml/dp/B002A603ZY

And since you don't know much about cooking, I'll assume that you don't know much about guitar cleaning, either.

Never ever ever use "Lemon Oil" to clean your fretboard. If you don't believe me, pose this question to Taylor, Carvin, Gibson, Suhr, etc. But be sure that they understand what it is you're suggesting. No manufacturer I know of recommends that you use pure lemon oil to clean anything on a guitar.

They do, however suggest that lemon oil furniture cleaners (mostly mineral oil with some slight amounts of citrus-y smelling cleaning solvents added) work just fine. The old Gibson case candy recommended naptha for serious cleaning, mineral oil for the fretboard and carnauba wax to protect the finish and metal bits. Bob Taylor answered a question once regarding lemon oil (in that answer he said lemon oil, linseed oil and plain old mineral oil were just fine) but in a later column, he made sure to correct himself regarding the lemon oil he referred to, and he noted that linseed oil was to be used once, then not again for two years, and then not again for ten years (it's actually a finish, and polymerizes inside the wood grain). He also noted that linseed oil might "never dry, and can leave your fretboard a sticky mess."

Here's a column from right here at Ultimate-Guitar: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/gear_maintenance/cleaning_your_fretboard.html?no_takeover
#15
Can anyone tell me if me using way too much cleaner a few days ago will damage the fretboard? It still is seeping out a little although I've been using a cotton towel to get rid of the excess.
#16
Quote by scottinpa40
Can anyone tell me if me using way too much cleaner a few days ago will damage the fretboard? It still is seeping out a little although I've been using a cotton towel to get rid of the excess.


First question, what did you use?

Second question, how long did you leave it sit and how much did you put on there?

Any of the oils (mineral, etc.) are supposed to be put on VERY sparingly (a drop or two) and wiped off after just a few minutes. As I mentioned somewhere else, do NOT allow them to soak in. They WILL sometimes soak in, but they'll leech back out again and ruin a perfectly nice set of strings in doing so.

Your fretboard should be fine, but too much oil over a period of time will soften your fretboard and allow your frets to lift.
#17
I used Gorgomyte fretboard cleaner first but it doesn't really have a lot of liquids in it that would soak into the fretboard. After I wiped of the fretboard and it was dry, I used the Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes that you can buy on Amazon, Musician's Friend, etc. They are very wet and after wiping it down good, I only let it set for a few minutes. I definitely will use very little cleaner on my fretboards from now on - I have never used the EB wipes and didn't really how much liquid is in them. 1 wipe could probably clean 3 fretboards. LOL Thanks for your help and advice!
#19
I've read a lot of articles and the opinions are split. Many people have used pure lemon oil for years(decades) and have had no problems but there are some that claim that lemon oil is a strong solvent that will dissolve your fretboard over time. It is an acid so I don't know. So far it's worked fine for me but I'll probably switch to one of the commercial cleaners just to be safe. Same with 000 steel wool and alcohol - some say it works great and others say it's a no-no. I'm gonna stick with the logic that less often is better. I couldn't find the ingredient list and actual percentage of ingredients used for Dunlop 65, which is one of the most popular products.
#20
Quote by rohash
lemon oil seems to work fine for me and this guy at taylor doesn't seem to have a problem with it. http://www.taylorguitars.com/blog/ask-bob/fretboard-oil


The product you are referring to and the product Bob Taylor are referring to is as different as orange juice and gasoline. "Lemon Oil" intended for use on guitars or furniture is a petroleum distillate with lemon scent, pure lemon oil is extracted from lemons.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#21
Quote by rohash
I've read a lot of articles and the opinions are split. Many people have used pure lemon oil for years(decades) and have had no problems but there are some that claim that lemon oil is a strong solvent that will dissolve your fretboard over time. It is an acid so I don't know. So far it's worked fine for me but I'll probably switch to one of the commercial cleaners just to be safe. Same with 000 steel wool and alcohol - some say it works great and others say it's a no-no. I'm gonna stick with the logic that less often is better. I couldn't find the ingredient list and actual percentage of ingredients used for Dunlop 65, which is one of the most popular products.


Dunlop has an MSDS sheet somewhere (it's required by law), and I'm sure they'd send you a copy if you ask them. Their "lemon oil" type product is over 90% mineral oil as are most others used in the guitar industry.

Lemon oil as used in cooking (usually distilled from lemon rinds) is also used casually to remove glued-on stickers, etc. It can dissolve glues (are your frets glued in?), some lacquers.

The steel wool (if you use it) should be 0000 (four zeros), not three. Nor is alcohol recommended, though naptha (Ronsonol lighter fluid) is acceptable. Steel wool is generally not recommended these days -- it leaves behind iron particles which are usually attracted to the nearest magnet, and that would be inside your pickup coils. As iron rusts, it forms ferric oxide crystals (which accounts for its rough texture and the "bubbling" that happens under paint). This crystal formation can actually push its way through the very thin enamel on pickup coil wire, allowing sweat and moisture to attack the copper wire. Copper, when it corrodes, turns green (statue of liberty?) and produces crystals as well. These crystals can push through the insulation and into adjoining wires, eventually causing microshorts, reducing output and at some point ruining the pickup.

In short, there are better things to use to remove corrosion from your fretwire and smooth it out. To finish them off, if you want to get a really nice mirror shine on your frets, take a piece of rough leather to them.
#22
Ok I'll switch from pure lemon oil to a commercial product, probably the Dunlop 65 since I like the lemon scent. Don't want to risk any damage to my fretboards. Thanks for the advice.
#23
I've had my R9 for 2 years and I've never oiled it. I play it every day and my tech says that it's fine. It feels quick and smooth to play so I've never thought that I had to do anything like that to it.

Should I? Like I say, it does feel fine to play and I do hate the feeling of a damp/freshly oiled RW fretboard.
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Last edited by Mephaphil at Dec 1, 2014,