How to clean a maple fretboard without glossing it?


Senior Stratmaster
Feb 2, 2012
Northwest US
It's the first time I own a maple fretboard guitar that isn't scalloped.
Can anyone recommend what to use? For now, I'm just using a dry cloth and is working.

I don't want to use anything that will "gloss" the fretboard. Lots of guitar cleaners have some kind of polish compound, which I don't want. I like that this one is satin and would like to keep it like that for as long as possible.

p.s.: here are the photos of the setup (it's not a strat, but it's a SUPER strat ;) )





Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2019
SE Pennsylvania
Cleaning with tiny amounts of naphtha using clean 100% cotton cloth. Old t-shirts work very well. Use / rub just enough to achieve the desired result.

Naptha or a light amount of dish soap/water solution on a damp cotton cloth should do it... or just wipe it down with a dry cotton cloth often...
With either solvent, keep moving to clean parts of the cloth as you proceed.

As you may know, naphtha is crazy flammable so take care when using it.


Most Honored Senior Member
Jun 28, 2011
I generally use a dried cloth because I’ve never let maple board go long enough to get gunked up like I have rosewood boards. When needed, I’ve used a bit of denatured alcohol. I’ve found it’s handy stuff on stuff where my other solvents are too strong

Mike Furlong

Apr 7, 2015
Amersham, England
I use a dry cloth. I have since I started playing in nineteen-canteen. It was Bert Weedon's advice, so I took it Wipe down every time I finish playing, the strings last longer too.

Bert Weedon is on Gooooooooooooogle...

"Nineteen-canteen" when Bert Weedon was the man especially if you liked to boogie.;) To many of us he was the guru for beginners and so many of his "students" went on to be big time world renowned players:thumb:


Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2019
SE Pennsylvania
Forget water- use a clean towel. Otherwise, a very small amount of Dr. Duck's Axe Wax, a little goes a real long way.

There's no dirty fretboard shown in the photos, above!
Dr. Duck's is my go to for conditioning ebony fretboards. It should well enough for cleaning when used in tiny amounts too.

The more you rub the board, the more it will eventually shine to a degree. Why I suggested naphtha. A very little goes a long way, removes a shine (from skin oil, etc.) if anything and minimizes excess rubbing.

The OPs board does indeed look clean!
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