What is the best way to clean a rosewood fretboard?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Sin Nombre, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Strat-Talker

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    It's time to get some of the grime off but not sure of the best technique or cleaner. Thanks.
     
  2. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    You'll get a lot of different replies, but a damp rag is what I use. Occasionally, I might use some Proline lemon stuff I have.

    lemon.jpg
     
  3. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

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    i use a toothbrush at the edges of frets for super gunk removal.
     
  4. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Actual lemon oil is ill advised.

    https://www.martinguitar.com/about/faq/care-parts/

    CAN I USE LEMON OIL ON MY FINGERBOARD?

    Martin Guitar does not recommend using lemon oil on the fingerboard. The acids in lemon oil break down the finish of your guitar. It may also speed the corrosion of the frets and decrease the life of your strings

    I've been to the factory four times. They use this oddly named stuff: http://www.ducksdeluxe.com/ddaxwax.html

    Use very sparingly on clean cotton cloth. Keep moving to fresh sections of the cloth as you proceed.

    I only use it for fretboards. Some of the other suggested uses seem - odd.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  5. Morf2540

    Morf2540 Senior Stratmaster

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    My luthier says to use naphtha and never ever use any kind of oil or fretboard conditioner. I dunno. But I suppose he knows more than me.
     
  6. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Naphtha is superb for cleaning the uncleanable. Safe to use on nitro too. I'd still hit it with a little Dr. Ducks afterward.
     
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  7. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm only gonna say this once....
     
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  8. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Silver Member

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    i use dollar store mineral oil very sparingly..... i mean once a year, if that.
    but first i scrape off any grime with a butter knife and a toothbrush.
    then lightly oil the board using a clean cloth. i like how it makes the board almost black.
    IMG_20200327_134605339_HDR.jpg
     
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  9. CyFan4036

    CyFan4036 Strat-O-Master

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    I've always used lemon oil with no ill effect. It keeps the board on my PRS looking sharp! But I could be, and often am, wrong!
     
  10. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

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    How bad is the grime?
    A bit of naptha if it's truly crusty, a bit of Martin Guitar Polish if it isn't bad, applied with a mircofiber polishing cloth.
     
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  11. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Silver Member

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    there are two types of lemon oil....
    the first type is actual lemon oil, and yes it will screw your stuff up.
    the second type is mineral oil with an added lemon scent, which has no real lemon. this is safe.
     
  12. radd

    radd Strat-O-Master

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    One the Gretsch forum where just about every guitar has a Rosewood board there are of course different opinions but the most common choice is F-One to condition the board. Rosewood, being unfinished, will dry out over time and should be conditioned occasionally.

    The best cleaner is what was mentioned prior, Naphtha.
     
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  13. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Why I said actual. :)

    Mineral oil is fine too.
     
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  14. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I just cleaned one with some "Crema #2" which is actually a general scratch remover for guitar bodies (I actually grabbed it by accident when reaching for a generic cleaner that I have and is similarly packaged). I always put cleaner on a soft rag and rub the fretboard lightly with the damp rag just as I did here. I don't know if there will be any long term effects, but it sure cleaned the neck!! I will follow this with 2 coats of neck conditioning oil (which I use on all of my Rosewood and Pau Ferro necks). I'm betting it will look like new, but then again, I suppose the fretboard could just curl up/split in reaction to the un-orthodox cleaning/oiling process!! I guess the moral here is to look at the label of the product you are going to use before you use it.
     
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  15. CigBurn

    CigBurn Total Hack

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    I'm of the toothbrush with whatever cleaner for gunk removal, followed with a sort of annual light mineral oil application camp. I am not very fussy about it really.
     
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  16. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    PSA:

    For those who have never used naphtha, it is water thin - or thinner.

    Get used to working with it before actually using it on a fretboard. Or anything else of value for that matter.

    I cannot imagine letting a lot soak down into fret tangs is good for them.
     
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  17. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I wipe 'em down after I play. Cut up cotton t-shirts do the trick.

    No oil.
    No naptha.
    No nothin'.

    :D
     
  18. anticarnist

    anticarnist Strat-Talker

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    Just gonna leave this here...

     
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  19. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Clean less...play more. ;)
     
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  20. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    I also use mineral oil. I probably oil the board every 3 or so string changes.