• RobertC

    Cleaning Fretboard??

    Hey guys i a urban camo with ebony frettboard what os the best stuff to use on it to clean??

    • rockinhockey

      Probably steel wool.

      Reply
    • DUKE

      the mystic woodz should be able to clean itself...

      but if not, clean it with a cloth then lemon oil.

      Reply
    • Yo Daddy

      Fret Doctor is by far the best product I've used for fretboards so far.

      Reply
    • ibanezaholic

      Dr Ducks Axe Wax should do its some lemon oil with a fancy name but it works realy well.

      Reply
    • Armitage

      Here's my usual post;

      The fretboard on most guitars is unfinished, and allows moisture in and out due to changes in the weather, changes of location (basement, bar, theater, indoors, out etc) making the wood expand and contract which causes cracks, bowing, and the frets to stick out the edges, ouch. The less change, the better for your guitar and it's setup. Oh, and remember you are not Feeding or Nourishing anything... that is dead.

      "Real" Lemon Oil is the industry standard for cleaning fretboards, (it has nothing to do with lemons BTW, it's a petroleum product, it's just yellow and has a tart smell). It cleans grungy fretboards well, but many strip the natural oil out of the wood. It replaces the oils with it's own that may later evaporate leaving the wood drier then it originally was. It's poisonous, and some brands are flammable. Most lemon oils are simply low grade Light Mineral Oil and a splash of naptha, and many times a lemon scent because people expect a lemon oil to smell of lemons.

      You can buy a "Real" Lemon Oil made from lemons too, at a health food store, but you wouldn't want that on wood. It's a different thing altogether, it's a powerful degreaser and it's corrosive. You can see how people get confused when there are two unrelated Real Lemon Oils out there. Specially when the one you don't want is made of real lemons.

      Light Mineral Oil works great, (most lemon oils are 99% mineral oil) while not as good of a cleaner, (it doesn't have the solvent) it's much better for the wood. It's clean and pure, it's inert, doesn't evaporate go bad or smell, heck some people drink it as a home cure. Luthiers at Hamer, Martin and PRS recommend it over Lemon Oil (I was there, I asked). You only need to use a little. The best place to buy it is your local drug store. Really. The stuff for sale for human consumption is the purest/highest grade. They usually have to order it; it's worth waiting one more string change to do the job right. Dr Duck's, Gibson's Fretboard conditioner, bore oil, Fast Fret, Fender and Dunlop's fretboard stuff is all low grade Light Mineral Oil with a light solvent added, and that is the most expensive way to buy it!

      I'll use lemon oil on a guitar that got really grungy, or if I bought it used, for its solvent properties, or I'll use a touch of Naptha if it's really filthy, and I'll usually wait until the next string change to put on the Light Mineral Oil. And I only do that a couple times the first year, then once a year or every couple years on most of my guitars. Once or twice a year while touring or heavy gigging. That's all you need with Light Mineral Oil. You don't want any oil to absorb too deeply either; it's just a surface protectant. You could imagine how much oil would be leaking out the bottom of a '59 Les Paul with 50 years of oil soaking in. You don't want to over oil it either, you can make the fretboard punky and soft. That'll kill the resonance of the neck and make the wood pull out when you get a fret change. The oil is just there to slow the effect of temporary humidity changes from affecting the wood, to keep the wood flexable and to keep the board clean. I also wash my hands before I play most of the time. With over 60 guitars, that's a lot of strings to change, so I do my best to keep them alive if I can.

      I've seen a bunch of guys use goofy things. Some work, some LOOK like they work, and some cause problems later. Vegetable oils go rancid over time, 3inONE is a light mineral oil but has lots of other crap in it (solvents) that may loosen inlays, it stains and it smells. Silicone/Armor All etc. looks great but contains silicone and that makes refinishing impossible... Linseed and Tung Oil dry hard; they're a finish... Linseed can feel gummy once it gets warmed up by your hands too. Tung Oil on the back of an unfinished neck is great though. If you're going to use Linseed, (it smells) you want Boiled Linseed Oil. Be careful that Boiled Linseed Oil rags have a habit of spontaneous combustion i.e. they set themselves on fire after sitting a while.

      Again, Some product sales claims that lemon oils, bore oil and mineral oils don't soak in deep enough... when in reality, you only want a barrier for humidity reasons and you don't want a product that'll keep soaking in... for years.

      Here's what the Tox Health Data Base lists for ingredients for a few "name" Lemon Oils.

      Note: No Lemons involved.

      ========
      Ingredients
      ========
      Cas: 8042-47-5
      RTECS #: PY8047000
      Name: WHITE MINERAL OIL
      % by Wt: 99.0
      Other REC Limits: NONE RECOMMENDED
      OSHA PEL: 5 MG/M3
      ACGIH TLV: 5 MG/M3
      Ozone Depleting Chemical: N
      ------------------------------
      Name: VOC = 13 G/L
      % by Wt: NA
      Other REC Limits: NONE RECOMMENDED
      OSHA PEL: NOT RELEVANT
      ACGIH TLV: NOT RELEVANT

      And another...

      ========
      Ingredients
      ========
      Cas: 64475-85-0
      RTECS #: PY8240000
      Name: MINERAL SPIRITS; (ODORLESS MINERAL SPIRITS (HEAVY NAPHTHA))
      OSHA PEL: N/K (FP N)
      ACGIH TLV: N/K (FP N)
      Ozone Depleting Chemical: N
      ------------------------------
      Cas: 64741-88-4
      RTECS #: PY8040501
      Name: MINERAL OIL, PETROLEUM DISTILLATES, SOLVENT-REFINED (SEVERE) HEAVY
      PARAFFINIC; (HEAVY PARAFFINIC PETROLEUM OIL)
      OSHA PEL: N/K (FP N)
      ACGIH TLV: N/K (FP N)
      Ozone Depleting Chemical: N

      And another...

      ========
      Ingredients
      ========
      Cas: 75-28-5
      RTECS #: TZ4300000
      Name: ISO BUTANE, 2-METHYLPROPANE
      Other REC Limits: 1000 PPM
      OSHA PEL: 1800 MG/CUM
      ACGIH TLV: 800 PPM
      Ozone Depleting Chemical: N
      ------------------------------
      Cas: 74-98-6
      RTECS #: TX2275000
      Name: PROPANE
      Other REC Limits: 1800 MG/CUM
      OSHA PEL: 1000 PPM
      ACGIH TLV: SIMPLE ASPHYXIANT
      Ozone Depleting Chemical: N
      ------------------------------
      Cas: 64742-48-9
      Name: ISOPARAFFINIC HYDROCARBONS (NAPHTHA PETROLEUM), HYDROTREATED HEAVY,
      NON AROMATIC HEAVY NAPHTHA) ISOPAR G *93-3*
      Ozone Depleting Chemical: N

      Reply
    • tmoori

      what do you guys clean maple fretboards with?

      Reply
    • Mark K.

      I've red you need to wax maple fretboards or something like that..

      Reply


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