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Let's try this AGAIN.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Freaky Fender, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. Alright. So I need to clean off my rosewood fretboard, and I'm not sure what to use. I have never done this before, so all opinions would be apprichated. I've heard of people using furinature polish, Martin Guitar Polish, boiled Linseed oil, or lemon oil. Which would you reccomend?
  2. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I have been very happy with the lemon oil I have been using. No problems or complaints. I haven't tried the other things though.
  3. thadood


    Jun 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    When I do mine, I use car interior polish on the frets, followed by a brisk rub down of rubbing alcohol, followed by a smothering of lemon oil. Works well for me. I think everyone has their own particular way of cleaning the fretboard. As long as it doesn't damage it, there really is no wrong way.
  4. Aussie Mark

    Aussie Mark I come from a land down under

    Oct 26, 2002
    Sydney, Oz
    Endorsing Artist: Fender; O'Neill Amps; Cave Passive Pedals
    Plain natural lemon oil or orange oil. No additives. Linseed oil softens rosewood, so I wouldn't be using it (but linseed is ok for ebony or maple).
  5. I use naphtha, followed by mineral oil. after reading all the conflicting information on this site, that's what i ended up with.
  6. I make a point to clean my fret board, each time I change my strings.I use Martin Guitar polish. I would suggest the same to you.

    However, you do not need to oil the board each time. Only when the board looks and FEELS dry.


  7. Freaky Fender, this is from The Bottom Line.

    By: Roger Sadowsky.

    I can only speak from my experience in oiling fingerboards--I did try using Old English Lemon Oil for about a year and did have the sense that the boards were getting too dry with that. I never tried other types of lemon oil. I also was not commenting on maintaining oil finished basses as I do not do oil finished and do not have any expertise or opinion on that.

    I was only stating my preference for linseed oil on fingerboards and to advocate against letting it soak in for long periods. I should also have specified BOILED linseed oil as opposed to raw--raw takes too long to cure.

    However, I have checked the definitive finishing reference book "Understanding Wood Finishing" by Bob Flexner. He writes:
    "MYTH: Oil finishes should be maintained with lemon oil
    FACT: Lemon oil, an oily mineral-spirits solvent with a lemon scent
    added, is a very short-lived maintenance product. It is a furniture polish that will help pick up dust, add temporary shine to a dull surface, and reduce scratching until it evaporates--which it will do
    within a few days. The fresh scent it imparts is a large part of its appeal."

    Flexner recommends maintaining oil finishes with a new coat of the original finish or with paste wax.

    I hope this helps!

    Kinda cleared up my questions! Goes to show ya, even at 42 I can still learn a thing or two!

  8. Ok Treena. Thanks. I guess I won't be using Lemon oil anymore!
  9. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    I would stick to any manufactured "Guitar" polish. It might not be the cheapest or economical. But you will be safe. If not boiled linseed oil will work.

    Lemon oil is used more or less used as a cleaner/polish. Some use it as a oil to preserve. But what I have read is that it has a drying property to it.


    edited do to horrible grammar/spelling! sorry
  10. I just found this new product from Fender.

    Fender Instrument Care Kit by Meguiar's

    I have not a clue as to how it works though, I have never used it.

    I just ordered it, so I'll post back in a week or so and let you know what I think!

  11. i would reccomend using Guitar Honey. you should be able to get it at any local guitar shop. it worked like a charm for me.
  12. Ty_Boogie

    Ty_Boogie Bass, A way of life

    Sep 6, 2004
    Troy, NY
    oooh, too late I just used lemon oil :hyper:

  13. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I also read that if you have finger gunk on your fingerboard that doesn't wipe off, it's safe to use 0000 grade steel wool to remove it.
  14. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    What is Old English Lemon Oil, some kind of deoderant? When we talk about using lemon oil we're not talking about lemon scented furniture polish. Lemon Pledge? The only lemon oil to use on your fingerboard is lemon essential oil. I know people that have been using it for 30+ years with no problems.

    Sorry for rant :bag:
  15. Possu jam

    Possu jam

    May 16, 2004

    The steel wool really makes the fretboard look like new. It also smoothens it up quite a lot. But you have to remember that it is #0000 steel wool.
  16. Cool.. Lots of opinions.. here's mine.

    I clean the board with Windex. If it's really gunked (usually isn't), I'll use an old toothbrush to gently scrub around the frets. I wipe the Windex off. It doesn't hurt anything, I'll vouch for that.
    Then I use Lemon Oil. It seems to be the most-recommended oil by alot of manufacturers.
    I just use the Old English brand. It does not seem to dry anything out, so I guess it's ok.

    I use a small piece of soft cloth (like old t-shirt material), to apply the lemon oil to the board. I wait until it soaks in a bit, then I use clean pieces of cloth to rub it down SEVERAL TIMES, until it doesn't feel or look wet anymore. The trick is to not use too much oil. If you do, the oil will start weeping from the wood later when you have your strings on, and gunk your strings to hell.
    Alembic even recommends putting on an older set of strings for a day or so because of this.

    Oh well.. it works for me.. rosewood looks great, doesn't dry out, etc...

  17. My dad picked up some Formby's Lemon Oil 'Treatment'. I'm not sure what that means, but as a finish novice, I don't think pure lemon oil should be combustible and dangerous if ingested.
    Is it safe to use on my fretboard?

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