• Poolaboobface

    Ebony Fretboard

    Hi I have a ESP ECLIPSE VW and I've noticed that when I clean the fretboard with the Jim Dunlop fretboard cleaner the cloth is slightly black. 

    I know this could be dirt but I doubt it because I clean the fretboard every time I change strings, the ebony is streaky and I know this is normal I suppose I just wondered if iam doing any damage. 

    • Death Magnetic

      I was always told never to use lemon oil on ebony, but i don't know what to use.

    • Seb G.

      No lemon oil on rosewood either ? Knew about ebony (even tough i dont know whats wrong with it) but is it allright on other types of fretboards ?

    • D-EJ915

      Sometimes they dye or polish it too so it could be some of that coming off as well.

    • v8rman

      Do you use the Dunlop 01 cleaner or the basic 65 stuff? wondering how good the 01 works

    • Poolaboobface

      Thanks for all the replies I might just see how I get on just cleaning the fretboard with out any cleaner I just wanted to hear everyone else's opinions, I'm using the 65 stuff. 

    • davedeath

      I think its dye like someone else said and i'm pretty sure you might be cleaning your fretboard way too often. I change my strings about once a month and clean the fretboard (maybe)once a year.

      • Mitch L

        I would clean it more then once a year. Taking care of your guitar is crucial, especially the fret board. I understand it you wouldn't do the body or neck, but once a year is not smart. 

    • Garnoch

      ESP's boards are so black, I've wondered if the dye them too, not that I really care if they do.  Most of my guitars have ebony boards but my newest is an ESP Snakebyte and my hands were black after playing it the first few times.  I have an LTD ebony board too and it didn't happen on that one.  In fact, I've never had that happen before.  

    • Philippe h.

      I use the maintenance kit by Dunlop and its work perfectly and I never had problem in years with it. You can basically treat it the same as any rosewood fingerboard. It's a bit more dense, grain-wise, but it's still a more porous wood than say Maple, so any typical cleaning method you'd use for an open-pore fingerboard works fine. So lemon oil, naptha, gorgomyte, any of that usual stuff.

      • Poolaboobface

        Hi everyone, I recently bought a late 80's mirage deluxe for a bargain price so could not resist, any way this has an ebony board too and when I got it I was just doing usual maintenance cleaned the board etc then I noticed playing it after my hand was filthy so I'm guessing they do dye the boards but I'm cool with that it's no reflection on quality.

        Ebony isn't always jet black it can be slightly brown but I suppose a lot of people want jet black so maybe they dye them to be more appealing. 

    • Deni

      I always clean my fretboards with only warm water. 
      When you clean it on every string change, they dont get very dirty so you don't really need any products to get it clean. 

      WIth water, you cant really go wrong, but you should oil your fretbord slightly after each cleaning aswell. 
      I don't use lemonoil, however. I use a oil substitute, can't recall the brand but it's a red liquid in a spraybottle, it does the job perfectlly. 

      If you want more info on the product, I can come back with more info when I'm in the same room as the bottle!

    • Big Daddy B

      I have had a similar issue with my ESP KH-DC. After playing for 15-20 mins my fingers are black but that is a rosewood board, albeit dark so was curious if might be dyed. I bought the dunlop lemon oil but the cloth wasn't that dirty. The problem persists but was lessened a bit. I noticed the same issue but to a much much lesser extent with my LTD White Zombie and LTD Tales from the Grave. Both of those are rosewood as well and the problem really isn't noticeable on those any more. I also own a KH-2 vintage (rosewood) and a white KH-2 ouija (ebony) and neither had the problem but those are Kiso serial numbers so wondering if maybe this problem is unique to a certain plant. My DC is the older 2012 model with the SS (standard series) serial #. I just ordered another SS and will report back if there is an issue but this will be a 3 year old used model.


      BTW I am also under the impression you can use lemon oil on ebony, just not maple?

    • 101

      Ebony is not completely black unless you dye it.  I'm assuming the guitar is pretty new, as eventually you won't see any of the dye come off in normal use and cleaning.