Harmony Central Forums
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.

a question about cleaning fretboards

Collapse



X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • a question about cleaning fretboards

    I was talking to a violinist the other day who also happens to be a guitarist. I asked him what did he use to clean his fretboard. He said that he used the same thing to clean his violin fingerboard. He said he used water to clean the boards and on occasion that his boards got really grimy he would use rubbing alcohol cut with a little bit of water. I have heard of people using water to clean their boards, but wouldn't alcohol dry them out?

  • #2
    Mine never really get dirty but I use a little dunlop lemon oil on them once a year to prevent them from becoming dry . Never had a problem. I would think alcohol would dry them out and would moisturize thereafter if I did require to use it.

    Are people playing guitar with mud on their hands or something? Mine never get dirty.
    MIA Fender Strat / Gibson Les Paul Studio / Custom Telecaster / Washburn WI66 / Custom Stratocaster / Martin D15S / Guild D55 / Simon & Patrick Cedar / Martin HD16R LSH​

    Comment


    • #3
      LOL. To be honest my boards don't get dirty much either. Some people sweat a lot and it can't get on the board. Like you I may have to rub my fretboard with oil ones a year to condition it.. I was always taught that oil was a conditioner and you should use lemon oil to condition your board after you clean it with water. I guess if you used alcohol and then condition it with oil, that would be ok?

      Comment


      • #4
        I've got sweaty hands and they do get gunked up. I just use Gibson fretboard cleaner. It's some kind of lemon oil type thing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sammyreynolds01 View Post
          LOL. To be honest my boards don't get dirty much either. Some people sweat a lot and it can't get on the board. Like you I may have to rub my fretboard with oil ones a year to condition it.. I was always taught that oil was a conditioner and you should use lemon oil to condition your board after you clean it with water. I guess if you used alcohol and then condition it with oil, that would be ok?
          From everything I've read and regarding personal experience, that's the go.
          MIA Fender Strat / Gibson Les Paul Studio / Custom Telecaster / Washburn WI66 / Custom Stratocaster / Martin D15S / Guild D55 / Simon & Patrick Cedar / Martin HD16R LSH​

          Comment


          • #6
            Each time I change strings I just wipe the entire guitar with a damp rag. If I get a guitar in my shop with a really grungy fretboard I will clean it with 0000 steel wool if it is an unfinished board (ebony, rosewood). That also cleans the frets. If its a finished maple board just water. Naptha (lighter fluid) is an acceptable solvent for most guitar finishes and will get really bad crud off the guitar.

            Lemon oil is a bit controversial. Martin specifically says in their FAQ not to use it on guitars finished with nitrocellulose lacquer - they say it can damage the lacquer. Taylor, on the other hand, suggests a tiny drop carefully wiped onto the entire board - but of course Taylor's modern finishes are impervious to about anything. Personally, I don't use it - I think its like putting Armorall on your care tires - it makes them nice and shiny but doesn't do any good. You will find many in the lutherie trade who say that your fretboard does not need "feeding" and certainly getting any oil products on the guitar itself can make future finishing repairs difficult.

            Also, if your violin buddy has what is called a French polish finish on his instrument, that is shellac dissolved in alcohol. He is cleaning with the very solvent that was used to put the finish on in the first place - in my opinion not a good idea. There are other finished used on violins but I prefer to keep any solvent away from an instrument unless you know its totally safe.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post

              Lemon oil is a bit controversial. Martin specifically says in their FAQ not to use it on guitars finished with nitrocellulose lacquer - they say it can damage the lacquer. .
              I believe we are talking about cleaning the fretboard, not the guitar.
              MIA Fender Strat / Gibson Les Paul Studio / Custom Telecaster / Washburn WI66 / Custom Stratocaster / Martin D15S / Guild D55 / Simon & Patrick Cedar / Martin HD16R LSH​

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by billybilly View Post
                I believe we are talking about cleaning the fretboard, not the guitar.
                I am merely repeating what the Martin FAQ says

                ~~Can I use lemon oil on my fingerboard?
                We do not recommend using lemon oil on our fingerboards. The acids in lemon oil break down the finish of our guitars. It may also aid the corrosion of the frets and lessen the life of the strings
                Last edited by Freeman Keller; 08-16-2014, 09:50 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post

                  I am merely repeating what the Martin FAQ says

                  ~~Can I use lemon oil on my fingerboard?
                  We do not recommend using lemon oil on our fingerboards. The acids in lemon oil break down the finish of our guitars. It may also aid the corrosion of the frets and lessen the life of the strings
                  Why didn't you type the above in your original post? You're changing the context, and it's finally appropriate. Thank you.
                  MIA Fender Strat / Gibson Les Paul Studio / Custom Telecaster / Washburn WI66 / Custom Stratocaster / Martin D15S / Guild D55 / Simon & Patrick Cedar / Martin HD16R LSH​

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by soundcreation View Post
                    I just use Gibson fretboard cleaner. It's some kind of lemon oil type thing.
                    Me too. Works good on the rosewood boards. On maple sealed fretboards, just about anything that's not harsh.
                    A '57 Classic, MIJ from USA parts.
                    HCEG Existentialism: I buy guitars, therefore, I am.
                    Well Dick, it's got a good beat, and I could dance to it, so I give it a 10!
                    I have opinions of my own,strong opinions but I don't always agree with them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wrote a short article on oiling fretboards some time ago... sort of related. For cleaning, damp cloth is best as long as it isn't too gunked up.

                      ...click on the Oiling Your Fretboard... the URL just takes you to the main page.
                      Last edited by stormin1155; 08-16-2014, 05:12 PM.
                      Please visit my website www.treeguitarworks.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GAS Man View Post

                        Me too. Works good on the rosewood boards. On maple sealed fretboards, just about anything that's not harsh.

                        yeah I never use it on my maple finished boards. I have two and both are old school nitro so I don't take any chances. On those I just use 100% cotton cloth (ripped up old t-shirt...lol) and a bit of elbow grease. If it's real bad then I'll use the guitar finish cream which is made safe for nitro....at least that's what gibson say. That's the thing with a maple board though....it's pretty easy to clean.

                        On the rosewood and ebony boards I have with guitars with a nitro finish, I'm very careful to not get any on the finish....if I do...on the upper frets, then I get it off quick with a cotton cloth.
                        Last edited by soundcreation; 08-16-2014, 08:35 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by stormin1155 View Post
                          I wrote a short article on oiling fretboards some time ago... sort of related. For cleaning, damp cloth is best as long as it isn't too gunked up.

                          ...click on the Oiling Your Fretboard... the URL just takes you to the main page.

                          sounds very reasonable. I think wood isn't as sensitive as the impression you get on guitar forums. Like one wrong move and it's going to shatter like thin glass. Of course this is coming from someone with zero wood working skills...so there you go....lol..

                          I guess in some ways I'm a little lucky cause the humidity where I live is rarely below 50% and usually around 60 - 70%. But then I pay for it with strings and my sweaty hands...they get destroyed real quick.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I live in the south and I have to say this summer we've been lucky. This summer has been unbearable. Still humidity is in the 80% range but no 100% like I'm used to this time of year.
                            Last edited by sammyreynolds01; 08-17-2014, 04:54 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is fresh off of a 31 year old fret board, now tell me folks with an honest face that fret boards don't get dirty. Unless you wash you hands, stop exuding oil's and sweat,,, guess what. This is on most everyone's fret board!



                              This just from the neck it's self,

                              Last edited by Luthier-Atlanta; 08-17-2014, 06:29 AM.

                              Comment













                              Working...
                              X