How to clean a guitar fretboard

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Written By Thurman Schinner

Thurman Schinner graduated from Cambridge University with a bachelor’s degree and has specialized in technical writing.

What can I use to clean my guitar fretboard?

Clean the fretboard ? Use fine steel wool to remove stubborn gunk from Rosewood/Ebony/Pau Ferro fretboards, and apply Lemon Oil to re-hydrate. Use a damp cloth to clean Maple fretboards. Polish the guitar body ? For Poly-finished (gloss) guitars, spray guitar polish onto a soft cloth and wipe down.

What household items can you use to clean a fretboard?

Natural household items such as vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and baking powder should be avoided. These are usually acidic and abrasive and irreparably damage the fretboard. However, vinegar and liquid hand dishwashing detergent can only be used to remove stubborn dirt if they are diluted.

How do you clean gunk off a fretboard?

Can I use water to clean my fretboard?

Yes, you can use water in the form of a clean damp-only cloth. I use the dampened cloth with elbow grease and a dampened soft toothbrush to clean the board and the areas around the frets ? rub-a dub-dub ? then buff dry with a clean dry cloth. You can do this at every string change if you need to.

Can I wipe my guitar with water?

Using your cloth, lightly dampen it with water or distilled vinegar, and gently wipe away the dirt or grime you find on your fretboard. When cleaning your guitar, make sure you wring out your damp cloth as much as possible ? you don?t want to oversaturate your guitar with water or cleaning products.

Can I use soap and water to clean guitar?

Virtuoso Cleaner is made for cleaning guitars. I prefer a damp cloth for routine cleaning. Yes, a drop or two of dish soap in a small bowl of water is excellent for getting the dirt off, then go over again with warm water with no soap.

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What household items can I use to clean my guitar?

Household furniture polish and all-purpose cleaners?such as Pine Sol, Windex, and 409?will also damage your finish. The only household product that?s safe to use to clean your guitar is white distilled vinegar. It will clean the finish, but do you really want a guitar that smells like a pickle?

Can I use soap on a guitar?

Put the soapy cloth and the polish bottle down and step away from the guitar . (just funnin?) Really, it?ll be o.k. If you?re worried about soap residue left on your hands from washing them, don?t. If you wash your hands, rinse and dry them, you?ll be fine. Last edited by oldgeezer; 03-18-2008 at 09:39 PM.

How do you clean and polish a guitar?

Can I clean my guitar with baby wipes?

Thankfully, Ernie Ball came to the rescue with Wonder Wipes ? a line of guitar cleaning products that are applied as easily as taking a pre-moistened baby wipe from the dispenser and applying it to your infant?s bottom. We found that it was quite easy to clean two guitar bodies with a single wipe, too!

What can I use instead of guitar polish?

Meguiar?s Cleaner Wax in the burgundy bottle for the finish and the metal bits. And plain old mineral oil for the fretboard. As little as $11/gallon, depending on how diligent a shopper you are. Will last you a couple of lifetimes if you don?t start taking into the bedroom with you.

Can I use baby oil on my fretboard?

No? use plain mineral oil that is sold at the pharmacy for laxative use. Only use it on unfinished ebony or rosewood boards (or fretboards of a similar nature). Use it sparingly and make sure to wipe off any excess.

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Can I use car polish on my guitar?

Car wax can certainly be applied an acoustic guitar because automotive wax works wonders with satin finishes, even high-end guitar manufacturer ?Taylor? guitars even recommend using car wax to polish their products.

Can I use furniture polish on my guitar?

No, do not use furniture polish anywhere near your guitar. It will dry out any exposed wood and it can perminantly stain some kinds of finish while doing nothing for others.

Is it OK to use pledge on a guitar?

Pledge is chock full of silicone oils and should never be used on a guitar. It will make refinishing or finish touchup difficult, even many years later.

Can I use Old English on my guitar?

Fretboard conditioners and cleaners are gimmicky IMO. Most people don?t use anything on their rosewood fretboards,except maybe a dry cloth to wipe off the sweat. Whatever you do stay away from pledge or old english. You can use them on a maple neck if it is lacquered but definitely not rosewood.

Can I clean my guitar with alcohol?

We don?t recommend it. Rubbing alcohol may dry out the wood of the fingerboard, and may damage certain plastic materials on the guitar, and in some cases, even damage the guitar?s finish. We?ve found that it can even make your strings squeak more! Your best chance is to use a tried-and-tested string cleaner and lubricant.