Cleaning Fretboard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by istaticl, Sep 7, 2001.

  1. istaticl

    istaticl Guest

    Nov 29, 2000
    Prescott, AZ
    My fretboard is really dirty and it seems to be discoloring a bit. I was wondering if theres any household stuff that I could use to clean it with? Like pledge or orange glow, or something along those lines.
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    For unfinished boards, like rosewood, wenge or ebony, I believe that lemon oil is good for cleaning it, although you can use almost any cleaner, as long as you replace the oil that it takes out. Boiled Linseed oil is supposed to be best for oiling the fingerboard to keep the wood from drying out.

    The guys in Setup should know better than me.
  3. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Is it negatively affecting the value of your bass, your tone, or playabilty? If not, i would say, "screw it."
  4. What kind of fretboard do you have?
  5. istaticl

    istaticl Guest

    Nov 29, 2000
    Prescott, AZ
    Its rosewood. and its not affecting my sound but its starting to look kind of weird, under the strings the wood seems to be more light toward the top and bottom of the board.
  6. sounds to me like your neck is dried out. I'd take the strings off and put some bore oil on the neck. Rosewood can dry out fairly quickly in some climates, i usually oil my rosewood necks everytime i change strings. Your neck should be a fairly dark brown black if it has enough oil.
  7. istaticl

    istaticl Guest

    Nov 29, 2000
    Prescott, AZ
    Can I get bore oil at any music shop or do I get it somewhere else, cheaper preferably.
  8. i'm sure you can find it at any music store that sells acessories for stringed inst, or try a search on google or something
  9. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    The object is to remove any skin oils that have accumulated on the board.

    Bore oil is a petroleum product that has (usually) a solvent that is meant to remove the residue that burned gunpowder leaves behind.

    If the F.B. is in really bad shape use naptha (lighter fluid is naptha) to clean the board. Use a fine grade of 3M pad to scrub the board well and follow up with an application of lemon oil.

    Never, ever, use a petroleum base oil on wood. The idea is to remove the oils, not add oil to the problem.

    Don't use steel wool unless the neck is removed because the particles of steel wool will be attracted to the magnets in the pups and will be almost impossible to completely remove.

    Regardless of what you use, don't soak the FB. it's not impossible to soak enough cleaner into the wood to affect the glue that is used to attatch the board to the neck.

    If you have any doubt, contact the manufacturer of your instrument and find out what they recommend.

    I always hate to completely disagree with advice that is offered in good faith but I wont stand by and let you possibly ruin a good fingerboard.