chemicals for cleaning guitar fretboard

hi guys

let's say that you bought old guitar and fretboard is covered with dust mixed together with grease etc. What chemical should be used to remove all this dirt? Some people recommend naphta. Is this good choice? Can steel wool be used to remove dirt?


  • Posts: 4,812
    To clean the fretboard I use saliva with a cotton cloth and to recondition lemon oil is common. You can get a bottle from Dunlop that's formulated for a guitar fretboard or just use essential lemon oil. The one for furniture isn't generally recommended although I used and didn't find any negative side effects.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • ShemiShemi Cardiff✭✭✭
    Posts: 170
    Some people use steel wool but I use a scotch pad... Even more so if it is an electric as steel wool can leave bits stuck to the pickups. I use lemon oil after but only on a rosewood fingerboard... I tend not to oil ebony and just play it for a bit and let the oil in my fingers do the job. :-)
  • rafapakrafapak ✭✭
    Posts: 221
    thanks for replies
  • Gene RaweGene Rawe ✭✭ Olivier Marin
    Posts: 66
    I use Fret Doctor fretboard oil on my ebony and rosewood boards every few string changes; makes the fretboard feel spectacular. Warm water and some scrubbing with a rag will get rid of the gunk first, then condition the board with oil. I apply the oil and rub it into the fretboard with my finger, let it absorb what it needs for 1 minute, then remove the rest and polish with a cloth. Stay away from scratch pads/steel wool as this is too abrasive and will scratch your fretboard. I also like to remove the oxidation on my frets (when strings are off) by using a 3M micro polishing cloth from StewMac.
  • rafapakrafapak ✭✭
    Posts: 221
  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    Posts: 706
    Premier Guitar has a decent article about guitar cleaning. I like the tips about using painter's tape when using 0000 steel wool and cleaning the fretboard with a toothbrush.
  • rafapakrafapak ✭✭
    Posts: 221
    i used degreaser that i use for cleaning my bicycle chain. Worked perfectly well. Seriously. Evaporates quickly etc. I didn't have to use any plastic credit cards for scrubbing etc.
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