Can I clean my fingerboard with rubbing alcohol?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Dave Speranza, May 30, 2005.

  1. Dave Speranza

    Dave Speranza Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I really hate all the gunk that build up on my fingerboard and I'd like to clean it. I've seen mention of denatured alcohol in my searches and thought it sounded similar to rubbing alcohol but I just wanna double check. The fingerboard is ebony. I have some #0000 steel wool also. Thanks

    also is there any kind of substance to use for cleaning the wood of the bass? on a humid day all the dirt just melts into slime and my bass feels so gross i dont even want to touch it. I've tried just the steel wool but that doesnt seem to do it. Is there a cleaner of some type i can use?

  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    0000 Steel Wool and some elbow grease is what I prefer to clean fingerboards. Using alcohol can be messy and a little dangerous. Wipe up the excess steel wool filings with a wet paper towel. By the way, if you can find Liberon Steel Wool, use it. Specialty woodworking stores carry it. Hardware store Steel Wool is fine, but it leaves more filings. By the way, clean half of the board at a time. That is, tune the D and G strings down, do the D and G side of the fingerboard, string it back up to tension, then follow up with the E and A side. This decrease your chances of the soundpost falling...

    If your Kay has dirt on the body, there are several different solutions. I like the orange cleaner sold in a spray bottle (Target, Lowe's, etc.) used with a rag. Some folks use Xylene. However, it should be used outdoors. It will leave a slightly dull finish. A little polish will bring back the shine. g/l.