How do you care for your fretboard during string changes?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by mikej89, Jun 30, 2020 at 10:13 PM.

  1. mikej89

    mikej89 Senior Stratmaster

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    I just changed strings on my Strat for the first time in quite a while. Usually I just used a water dampened cloth to get the gunk off the fretboard but this time I wanted something that would disinfect and freshen it up more so I used mild, lightly moist bathroom cleaning wipes. They worked really well, I also wiped down the body with one.
     
  2. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Be careful, if it has a nitro finish, alcohol will damage it.
    There really is no need to disinfect your own guitar.
    For the neck, a lightly dampened towel is all it needs. For Rosewood, once a year or so a wipe with a guitar-specific "lemon oil" (not really lemon oil, actually mineral oil with a lemon scent) is all it needs.
    More damage is done to guitars by "over maintaining" than lack of maintenance.
     
  3. Diamond D

    Diamond D Strat-Talk Member

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    I really like Gorgomyte. It's good for cleaning the frets and the fret board at the same time and does a great job. Lots of elbow grease though. It seems a little expensive at first glance but you cut a 1" by 2" piece off of the cloth. Start scrubbing at one end of the fret board and go all the way down and back. Then take a new clean piece of cloth and scrub every bit of Gorgomyte that you can off of the fret board. I use a white cloth so I can tell how much grime came off. It treats the fret board and polishes the frets.
    Screenshot_20200630-223155_Amazon Shopping.jpg
     
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  4. Diamond D

    Diamond D Strat-Talk Member

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    Also it's not necessary every string change. One usage will last awhile,(roughly a month or so) depending on how gunked up it all gets.
     
  5. StratPlus97

    StratPlus97 Senior Stratmaster

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    GORGOMYTE for the win. Love the stuff... and you can use it on Maple boards.


    [​IMG]


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  6. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    I change one string at a time. I think I might have cleaned a fretboard 25 years ago.
    I assume the techs who set them up cleaned the fretboard for me.
    I have no gunk build up that I can see needing cleaning.
     
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  7. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Jaguar Convert Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I really don’t do anything. But then again, I also never change strings.
     
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  8. znanjeiimanje

    znanjeiimanje Strat-Talk Member

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    I have both rosewood and maple necks and for a long time I was wondering how to do this. Since maple is usually quite easy to clean, that one I clean with a damp towel.

    RW got me puzzled for quite a while as it can be a bit tricky to clean up the gunk buildup and I do sweat a lot when playing. I had a guy telling me to spit on the fretboard and clean it. I was 18-19 at the time so of course I listened to people older and with more experience and amazingly it worked.

    Then after a while I realized it was gross and then googled and on one of the forums a guy suggested cleaning it with onion (cut an onion in half and just rub it). The gunk is out in minutes.

    Usually once a year I treat the fretboard with lemon oil too. I bough one small bottle in 2000 and it still has 1/10th left.
     
  9. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Ya... Some people recommend furniture oil and point to the cost.
    Ya... A $5 bottle of Dunlop will outlast many marriages.
     
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  10. SoulSurfer

    SoulSurfer Strat-Talk Member

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  11. RPKennedy

    RPKennedy Senior Stratmaster

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    All my electric and acoustic guitars have rosewood fretboards, and I've tried many different products to clean and recondition them.

    I have found this to be my favorite. It only takes 3 - 4 drops to do an entire fretboard.

    Screen Shot 2020-06-30 at 10.50.28 PM.png
     
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  12. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Maple? Just a t shirt or microfiber cloth.
     
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  13. TIMB

    TIMB Strat-O-Master

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    A little bit of lemon oil on rosewood boards goes a long way.
     
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  14. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Ebony, I scrape it clean and oil it with Fret Doctor every year or so. Maple, just a dry cloth.
     
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  15. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunny Man Thing Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The last time I cleaned a fretboard was when I refretted it. I normally only dust off or wipe a guitar down when it has collected dust because I haven't played it in a while. When I get done playing them, I just hook them back up on the wall. When it's time for new strings, the body might get dry wiped with an old cotton shirt but that's as close to any conditioning or cleaning mine get.

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  16. Blue Beagle

    Blue Beagle Strat-O-Master

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    IMHO, anything other than a microfiber cloth is a waste of money.

    I've never 'conditioned' any guitar fretboard and none of them have suffered for it!
     
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  17. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I just change the strings, the fretboard takes care of itself.
     
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  18. bojanbeo

    bojanbeo Strat-Talk Member

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    A bit of lemon oil for RW and it's good to go. :thumb:
     
  19. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    Not too fazed about the actual wood, but I do put a few drops mineral oil on rosewood once or twice a year.

    I do wipe my boards down after playing with a dry cloth.

    But more importantly for me, I like to polish up my actual frets.
    It makes a tactile difference to my playing. I use a metal polish for this, lasts six months.

    I hate scratchy frets, and I believe that polished frets last longer because the string movement is smoother.

    By the way, never mind all these fancy guitar wood treatments, I've just used plain mineral oil all my guitar life.

    Got it from the pharmacy at least ten years ago, it's a small bottle and still half full.


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  20. sadmoodyfrazier

    sadmoodyfrazier Senior Stratmaster

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    I use this product to clean up by a couple of decades on every kind of fretboard and paint. Actually I use this to clean all around my guitars:

    [​IMG]

    Just on non painted ones and just when I see them dry I use straw oil to revive and hydrate.

    On dull frets I scape them with every face of a nail buffer masking the fretboard and I use a toothpick to get rid of the gunk under the frets.

    Never had a problem and when I had my shop customers were very happy of my "fretboard curing".