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    Fretboard cleaning

    Start out with a rant-
    If you're selling a guitar, please, clean the damn fretboard Buying used you always take a chance and expect things, but 2+ years of finger gunk, sweat and dirt isn't one of them(now it is, lol!) I don't think the po ever cleaned or cared for the fretboard, it was that thick, ffs, take care of your shit. Rant over, lol! Disclaimer: I should've done this when I received it, but I was so damn wound to play it that I did a basic clean, string change, and straight to playing.

    What do you folks use for a good deep clean on a fretboard? This was a couple hours, a lot of elbow grease, and sheet of gorgomyte. It's considerably better now but I'd like to get it cleaner at the next string change. It was suggested to use fine steel wool, I have some, but I couldn't bring myself to hit the fretboard with it, lol! I love this guitar and don't want a scratched up fretboard. Side-note, the Solar A1.6 ATG baritone slays in C standard I'm definitely a fan of the Fluence Moderns now

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    #2
    Isopropyl alcohol followed by Guitar Honey.

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      #3
      The Fluence moderns are awesome. Probably my favorite pickup EVAR at this moment.

      Every time I've sold a guitar, I've always cleaned the fretboard, cleaned the guitar itself, changed the strings, and tuned it up beforehand. A cynical person might say that I only do that so I'll have a pretty-looking guitar to take pictures of, but they'd be wrong. I always use lemon oil, though... I do have one guitar with a maple fretboard and I've always heard that you shouldn't use lemon oil on maple fretboards. I haven't yet, but I do kind of wonder how I'm supposed to clean it if I can't use lemon oil.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Naren View Post
        . I do have one guitar with a maple fretboard and I've always heard that you shouldn't use lemon oil on maple fretboards. I haven't yet, but I do kind of wonder how I'm supposed to clean it if I can't use lemon oil.
        Same here. I've got a Charvel w/maple and I'm curious as to the best way to clean that.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Chris View Post
          Isopropyl alcohol followed by Guitar Honey.
          Good info! Thanks! Definitely doing that next string change.

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            #6
            It has never occurred to me that you could just sell a guitar without cleaning it and setting it up first.

            I've mainly used gorgomyte and bore oil to clean and treat my rosewood and ebony fretboards for a while now, but I've also used steel wool. Most maple boards are coated, so you wouldn't need any conditioner; I just clean my maple boarded guitars with a damp microfiber cloth.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Naren View Post
              The Fluence moderns are awesome. Probably my favorite pickup EVAR at this moment.

              Every time I've sold a guitar, I've always cleaned the fretboard, cleaned the guitar itself, changed the strings, and tuned it up beforehand. A cynical person might say that I only do that so I'll have a pretty-looking guitar to take pictures of, but they'd be wrong. I always use lemon oil, though... I do have one guitar with a maple fretboard and I've always heard that you shouldn't use lemon oil on maple fretboards. I haven't yet, but I do kind of wonder how I'm supposed to clean it if I can't use lemon oil.
              I use GH on my maple boards, too.

              When I bought my ESP M-II the previous owner's other hobby was apparently smoking cigarettes while eating chips dipped in motor oil. The guitar itself was in great condition except for the fact that the fretboard was fucking filthy, it made me want a tetanus shot when I opened the case.

              It took me about half an hour to clean all the goop off with Iso and then I GH'd the crap out of it and let it soak for a few hours. It's been fantastic ever since.

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                #8
                I keep my guitars fairly clean, as far as changing strings I wouldn't bother with that before selling a guitar. For one I use Elixirs so they're expensive That and I feel like whoever is buying it might have a string gauge or brand preference so they can set it up how they like.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by JJ Rodriguez View Post
                  I keep my guitars fairly clean, as far as changing strings I wouldn't bother with that before selling a guitar. For one I use Elixirs so they're expensive That and I feel like whoever is buying it might have a string gauge or brand preference so they can set it up how they like.
                  If the buyer is going to try the guitar before deciding, I definitely throw on new strings just to make sure it sounds as good as possible.

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                    #10
                    I use furniture polish to get rid of any crap on the board, Lemon Oil to condition it and then either T-Cut or a fret eraser to shine the frets up.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Chris View Post

                      I use GH on my maple boards, too.

                      When I bought my ESP M-II the previous owner's other hobby was apparently smoking cigarettes while eating chips dipped in motor oil. The guitar itself was in great condition except for the fact that the fretboard was fucking filthy, it made me want a tetanus shot when I opened the case.

                      It took me about half an hour to clean all the goop off with Iso and then I GH'd the crap out of it and let it soak for a few hours. It's been fantastic ever since.
                      I'm aware of Guitar Honey, but I've never bought it before (just seen it in guitar shops and online). I thought it was only for dark woods and I've only had this guitar with the maple fretboard for a little over a year now (when I change the strings, I've just tried to clean the fretboard with water since I'd read so many places that you shouldn't use lemon oil on a maple board, but water didn't work great. The fretboard wasn't particularly dirty, though, so it wasn't a big deal or anything), but I'll keep that in mind as something to try out.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Chris View Post
                        Isopropyl alcohol...
                        IPA is pretty harsh stuff on organics, though I'm sure it's faster than just letting some bore oil get into the wood and underneath the grime to lift it off

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Leon View Post

                          IPA is pretty harsh stuff on organics, though I'm sure it's faster than just letting some bore oil get into the wood and underneath the grime to lift it off
                          I've never had a problem with it and I've been using it for 30 years of guitar playing. I use it to get the goop off, then wipe it down with a wet face cloth and then lube it. Never any issues and my guitar collection is reasonably cork sniffy.

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                            #14
                            I use musicNomad stuff, works great. I clean my guitars after every use. Whole guitar, body, neck, strings and where ever my sweaty hands been.
                            Last edited by Megametal7; 04-12-2021, 09:37 PM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Chris View Post

                              I've never had a problem with it and I've been using it for 30 years of guitar playing. I use it to get the goop off, then wipe it down with a wet face cloth and then lube it. Never any issues and my guitar collection is reasonably cork sniffy.
                              I suppose there are several grades out there... I'm accustomed to using the 99% stuff at work

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                                #16
                                Originally posted by Leon View Post

                                I suppose there are several grades out there... I'm accustomed to using the 99% stuff at work
                                I had to check, the stuff I have is 91%. As long as you don't leave it on the wood for an hour and just use it as a solvent things will be fine.

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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Chris View Post

                                  I've never had a problem with it and I've been using it for 30 years of guitar playing. I use it to get the goop off, then wipe it down with a wet face cloth and then lube it. Never any issues and my guitar collection is reasonably cork sniffy.
                                  I had the same about a year ago on a Facebook discussion. I answered the question with furniture polish and some youngster was all 'No, no, you can't use that, I'm a repair guy so I know what I'm talking about'. I pointed out that I'd been using it very regularly on the fretboard of one guitar for longer than he'd been alive and it seemed to be doing just fine. I felt superior that day I can tell you, good times.

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Naren View Post
                                    I haven't yet, but I do kind of wonder how I'm supposed to clean it if I can't use lemon oil.
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                                    That's what I use



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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by mpexus View Post

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                                      That's what I use

                                      Yup, NAPTHA for the win. Followed by Dr Ducks.

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                                        #20
                                        0000 steel wool (light pressure) will never scratch the wood. It's a great de-gunker. Follow with luscious oils like bore oil.

                                        Also, get a toothbrush or other stiff pad and a little Flitz polish to finish shining the frets and get the gunk out from the base of each fret. Works like a charm.

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                                          #21
                                          Naptha, 0000 then 100% mineral oil. Leave the fucking lemon scents for your wifes oil burner! If that dont fix it's time to bust out the razor blades and scrape that shit off (careful not to hit your frets) then follow previous steps

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                                            #22
                                            I recently picked up some crocus cloth for hitting the edges of picks to knock of burrs, and if I had any Nickel frets left I could test it out on polishing them

                                            But, it's basically a polishing cloth with a fine grit, and might be an option for cleaning frets/hardware.

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                                              #23
                                              I clean my fretboards about every other string change or so. I've also started polishing my frets, crazy how big of a difference that can make.
                                              https://www.iamtheowl.com/

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by Leon View Post
                                                .
                                                IPA is pretty harsh stuff on organics
                                                Sure, just ask a hipster's liver!

                                                Originally posted by Soopahmahn View Post
                                                0000 steel wool
                                                It has to be 0000, it even looks like tab for 16th notes on the low string!

                                                Using that grade of steel wool is great, but at Garrett's suggestion I used Gorgomyte last time. Much less faff because I didn't have to mask off the pickup magnets/cavities to stop steel dust getting everywhere.

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                                                  #25
                                                  I've been playing guitar for about 22 years now, and I've never used steel wool or anything similar before, nor have I ever felt the need. I always see people talking about using it, and the only reason I've heard given is to keep the frets shiny, but I've never really had a problem keeping them shiny (though I imagine they'd be shinier if I used something like that). Cleaning the fretboard with something is good enough for me (and lemon oil has always worked great for me - I was surprised Spilla's wife burns his lemon oil, though. Never heard of that before. The bottle says nothing about "burning" it. Maybe Spilla's wife is an entrepreneur).

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