What is the best way to clean a rosewood fretboard?

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

  1. agejaded

    agejaded Strat-Talk Member

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  2. agejaded

    agejaded Strat-Talk Member

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    If anyone in the UK is looking for Naptha, your nearest Poundland sells it. Bull branded lighter fluid 100ml
     

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  3. samcham

    samcham Strat-Talk Member

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    I use Crimson Guitars cleaner, and their fretboard conditioner. It's quite good.
     
  4. Richard McKay

    Richard McKay Strat-Talk Member

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    Use a credit card to scrape the gunk out of the edges along the frets. Go with the grain.

    I use Dunlop 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil (which probably isn't). I pool it on, let it set five minutes and then wipe it all off. I do this every time I change my strings. The boards get a texture a little closer to ebony over time. Nothing bad ever happens. Don't baby your instruments, play them.

    FWIW, Mike Campbell never cleans his fret boards and his tech has been told he'll be fired the first time he does.
     
  5. beeflin

    beeflin Strat-Talk Member

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    I've always used ordinary spray furniture polish like "Mr Sheen". It contains water to wash off the mud and wax to seal the wood. I wipe and polish until both the dirt and water is gone.
     
  6. beeflin

    beeflin Strat-Talk Member

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    I've always used ordinary spray furniture polish like "Mr Sheen". It contains water to wash off the mud and wax to seal the wood. I wipe and polish until both the dirt and water is gone.
     
  7. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    Windex to clean of the scuzz, and linseed oil to preserve the board if it is not maple. Lemon oil is too greasy and guitar polish leaves a residue that eventually turns into gunk.
     
  8. YoloDawg

    YoloDawg New Member!

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    Mineral oil - bowel lube - is something I use on my sharpening stones for woodworking. I use Murphy's Wood & Oil soap without side effects. A toothbrush always comes in handy to get into the side of the frets. Then wipe off the MWOS, and wipe on Homer Formby's Lemon Oil. Let it soak in, then wipe off the excess. If the guitar has been hanging in a pawn shop, there might not be any excess. The guitar looks great. Once it's been cleaned and oiled, I see no reason to use anything but the lemon oil to freshen it up when you think the fingerboard is looking dull.
     
  9. bf1024

    bf1024 Strat-Talk Member

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    Try washing your hands before you play.....I don't understand what all this crust and grime stuff is accumulating on your board. That's just plain nuts
     
  10. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Strat-Talker

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    Naptha and Johnson and Johnson lemon oil. It works great, is super cheap compared to guitar conditioners. No it's not made from lemons. Nuff said.
     
  11. TheGASIsReal

    TheGASIsReal Strat-Talk Member

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    Give me a break.. Rosewood boards need to be periodically oiled. Sorry, but there's nothing badass about refusing to clean your guitar for ego-driven reasons. You act as if the 5-10 minutes it takes to clean your fretboard somehow takes away from valuable practice and play time on the instrument. If losing 5-10 minutes is that detrimental to your progress or enjoyment of the instrument, you have some serious issues with time management.
     
  12. Wrowe

    Wrowe New Member!

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  13. jatremayne2

    jatremayne2 New Member!

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    May be respecting someone else but here is what I learned and am happy with the outcome. Clean and condition are two different steps, wipe off and wipe on, don't combine them.
    Simple Green, light solution, and a toothbrush or nail brush around fret edges. Then wipe it dry with soft cloth.Cotton T shirt rags were mentioned and I agree.
    Then only on a clean fretboard a half dozen or so drops of linseed oil, brushed on with a q tip, let it soak in for a minute and then wipe it off with a new clean cotton rag.
    If you need to go through this more than annually I think you are a lucky person, and have the time I wish I had to practice, rehearse and play. Or maybe you don't have enough guitars to spread your grub around on. This is really effective with a guitar or bass (love to the low enders) that has not been cared for over years and will probably also benefit from fret polish too.
    Thumbs up to Naptha on maple board. and body finishes with poly or lacquer.
    Never oil on maple boards.
     
  14. Esg877

    Esg877 Strat-Talker

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    I use carnauba oil, that has been used to clean and condition furniture here in Brazil for centuries. It darkens the wood considerably, but it's very nice. However (maybe due to our humid climate here), I don't find the need to apply that more than once every 18 months or so...
     
  15. hutt8

    hutt8 Strat-Talk Member

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    I have used naptha for years on rosewood boards, just a little on a clean cloth. The gunk that comes off is really visible and the board is usually lighter in colour afterwards. It can dry out the board so I usually lightly oil it after cleaning. Naptha evaporates really quickly and so cleaning can be done in a few minutes.
     
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  16. turfdoc

    turfdoc Strat-Talk Member

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    I rub very lightly with the finest steel wool, then add just a touch of mineral oil. Been playing for 50 years and all of my rosewood boards are in great shape.
     
  17. Morf2540

    Morf2540 Senior Stratmaster

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    I dunno. I used to use this stuff once in a while. But he told me that was bad, so who knows.
    Capture.JPG
     
  18. RisingForce

    RisingForce Strat-Talk Member

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    At each string change:

    -Wipe the fretboard with a good rosewood conditioner like the lemon scented mineral oil most guitar shops sell.
    This is meant to be done to keep the rosewood from drying out. You don’t have to do it heavy.

    If you play it a lot...Here’s a solid cleaning once a year:

    -Yellow Frog tape to protect your fretboard and tape on each side of your frets, exposing only the fret. Lightly polish each fret with fret butter, flitz, or whatever fret polish you decide using a scotch brite pad. Steel wool leaves fibers. You can cut a scotch brite pad to whatever small size you want too.

    -Remove the tape.

    -Use a plastic floss stick or toothpick to scrape the gunk build up out on each side of the frets.

    -Put a little NAPTHA on a clean rag and wipe the fret board clean. You don’t need a lot.

    -Wipe the fretboard with a good rosewood conditioner like the lemon scented mineral oil most guitar shops sell.
     
  19. walt0915

    walt0915 New Member!

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    gorgomyte is by far the best fretboard/fret cleaner conditioner I’ve ever used. Once every year or two I’ll put some oil and a tiny bit of hard wax on to keep moisture up.

    gorgomyte (find at most guitar stores/Amazon) is cloth impregnated with the conditioner. You cut a 2 inch square and clean the board and frets with it. Throw away when you are done.
     
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  20. StratUp

    StratUp Strat-Talker

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    I'm hesitant to use anything water based on open grain wood like an unfinished fretboard... then again I'm not thrilled about using naptha anywhere near a petroleum derived finish (although I know lots of pros favor it).

    I use the Dr. Ducks previously mentioned as a Martin factory treatment - although I'd never heard Martin used it and I've used it for years. Probably has all kinds of stuff that would scare me if I knew what was in there.

    PSA for anyone using Linseed oil: used rags go in a sealed steel container. Spontaneous combustion of rags soaked in linseed oil in very common. Don't accidentally test it.