Dirty fingerboards... How to clean this?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Kr1zalid, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Kr1zalid

    Kr1zalid Archrocker

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    Hi! First of all, even though I had read through few threads in the forums about "cleaning your guitar", I still have problems removing, perfectly all the "dirty stuffs" that stick for too long on the fingerboard of my guitar and some of my friends guitar.

    I use some baby oils and a towel (yes, towels...) to wipe my guitar~~ the strings, the fingerboard, back of the neck, body, and the area around the saddles, almost everytime after I played it if I don't feel too lazy to do that. I don't really know how to find lemon oil around my place so I use baby oils everytime...

    About the "dirty stuffs", it's really really hard to just rub it off~~ it feels like it'll only goes off when I use something like my fingernails to scrape those things off AND in fear that if I continue to do so will result in damaging the fingerboard really hard in the end.

    Figured out that this is the best place to ask for advices about this and attached some crappy pictures that I took with my phone and hope you can see that there are some part of the fingerboard where it looks like there are some sticky stuffs on it (clearly in the first pic and last pic.....I guess). Please write your comment about this and thank you in advance!

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  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Baby Oil isn't meant as a cleaner, so it's no surprise that it's not taking off the usual fretboard gunk. Get some Naphtha, pour some on the dirty fretboard, let it sit for a bit, than use some lint free rags to wipe the board down. If there's still gunk use a small, blunt paint scrapper/puddy knife to get it off. After all that use the oil to condition the now very dry fretboard.

    If the board is maple, as in finished, skip the oil step.
     
  3. iacovetti

    iacovetti SS.org Regular

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    i just use dunlop fretboard oil and fine steel wool
     
  4. Goatfork

    Goatfork Dovahkiin

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    Take the cleaner (idk what you have, but my stuff is called Guitar Honey or something like that) and cover the fretboard. Let it sit and kinda soak for a couple minutes, 2 or 3 should do. Take some very, very fine steel wool and gently scrub (as gently as possible, as to not damage the fretboard) with the grain of the wood. You'll feel it get smoother and smoother. Stop when it gets about as smooth as it'll get. Then take the steel wool and gently scrub over the frets in a direction perpendicular to how you did the fretboard. This part is very brief, and is simply a polishing of the frets.

    Wipe off everything with a paper towel. There will be dark brown and blackish smudges all over the towel when you're done. This gunk is the shit that made your fretboard nasty.

    Wait a couple minutes and wipe the fretboard again. The cleaner (most of them are alcohol based) will have seeped back out of the wood and should appear as small wet spots on the fretboard. Do this about three times, or until the fretboard stops excreting the cleaner.

    Now you apply the oil, I use the Dunlop lemon oil stuff. It's difficult to get all of the wood saturated with the oil without a a paper towel, so use one. Let it soak for about 30sec, then wipe all excess oil off. Repeat the process you used earlier to make sure the wood accepted all of the juice it's going to.

    Slap some strings on it and you're done.
     
  5. malufet

    malufet ss.org Irregular

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  6. Meatbucket

    Meatbucket The Minotaur

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    I use lemon or orange wood cleaning oil and some wash rags. Gone, and it gives you a nice zesty smell!
     
  7. GuitaristOfHell

    GuitaristOfHell The Optimist Prime.

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    Steel wool :yesway:
     
  8. schecter4life

    schecter4life Banned

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    Just moisten a paper towel in rubbing alcahole and clean the fretboard, then rub in some lemon oil and dry with a clean towel, WILL LOOK LIKE NEW!!!
     
  9. Kr1zalid

    Kr1zalid Archrocker

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    Thanks everyone for the input! I don't have the time yet to go and buy the stuffs you all mentioned because I was having some college activities and exams are nearby so I gotta prepare my stuffs...

    I'll try do something on my guitar soon! :cool:
     
  10. omentremor

    omentremor this godles endeavor

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    Grab a soft cloth, use a fretboard cleaner of some variety or lemoil, or make your own lemoil, its just lemon juice and water.
     
  11. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Being sarcastic?

    The "lemon oil" used in instrument upkeep has no actual lemons in it. It's actually just a mixture of naphtha and mineral oil.
     
  12. jymellis

    jymellis Talk To DeWalt

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    i used to use a thin pick to scrape the gunk from the board. then i would use .0000 finishing steel wool on each fret. then MAXOFMETAL told me about naptha (available at the hardware store ,prolly aroun dthe wood stripper)! what used to be a couple hour job now takes about 3 minutes.
    do as max said and use naptha. since its your first try i suggest getting a tipping the can upside down with a rag over the hole. just rub each fret (the metal) and the board ( between the metal frets). hit about 4 frets, and 2 - board sections per douse of naptha. be sure to do this outside.
    after the naptha cleaning apply the lemon oil. i use the dunlop lemon oil with the fuzzy applicator. apply enough to see it sitting on the wood. let it soak for about 30 minutes. then wipe off with an old sock. let sit for a while cuz the board will expel some oil after you wipe it off.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. CrushingAnvil

    CrushingAnvil \m not jesus land m/

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    Nah, buddy, you just want to be throwing lemons at your guitar's fingerboard.

    That'll do the trick.
     
  14. Facebones

    Facebones SS.org Regular

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    With the shape those frets are in, I'd be more worried about replacing them, as for your fretboard, I've used #0000 steel wool to clean a friend's fretboard when theirs looked nastier than yours, finished with Gerlitz Honey Oil Fretboard Conditioner, and it looked brand spankin' new.
     
  15. jcgss77

    jcgss77 SS.org Regular

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    You have all the info you need on the fretboard-but you seriously need some fretwork done on that guitar.
     
  16. Humanoid

    Humanoid SS.org Regular

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    One way to clean a fretboard is to use a toothbrush with shortened bristles. Soft and hard at the same time :)
     
  17. Dead Undead

    Dead Undead Thundercrafter

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    Gorgomyte.
     
  18. aiur55

    aiur55 SS.org Regular

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    Was just about to mention that. But your frets look like that need a bit more work than that...
     
  19. Masc0t

    Masc0t SS.org Regular

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    I use lemon oil and run a tooth brush on the frets to get the harder spots off. Just don't brush your teeth with it again.
     
  20. mountainjam

    mountainjam SS.org Regular

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    ultra fine steel wool on frets, then

    [​IMG]
    and last but not least
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    its a lot cheaper than buying those micro dunlop bottles, and you get a lifetime supply
     

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