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What do you use to clean the dark grime off of your satin finish maple fingerboard?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by gfab333, Dec 3, 2006.


  1. This is what I started with:

    [​IMG]

    Years of heavy playing were turning my nice maple fingerboard into a gross used-skin emporium. I didn't want to use anything too harsh, but needed more than just a damp cotton cloth. Looking around for cleaning supplies, I came across a container of Lysol disinfecting wipes. I thought I would give them a try.

    I got one out and squeezed out as much of the excess liquid as I could (these things are really wet).

    After removing the strings on my bass I gently rubbed the fingerboard with the lysol wipe, and within about 3 seconds all of my finger gunk was gone between the nut and the first fret! I continued down the length of the fingerboard (using 3 more wipes in the process) and here is the end result:

    [​IMG]

    My bass is 15 years old this month, and it looks almost new again! Although I happen to like "mojo" on basses, mine was getting just a bit too yucky. If only my trombone would clean up as well!

    [​IMG]
     
    ASQTec, mech and Ductapeman like this.
  2. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    WOW! That's great! I had the same thing happen to my 15 year old EBMM SR5, and I had a luthier clean it up for me using a razor blade. :eek:o_O
    I have since sold that bass, but I am intrigued by you use of these wipes.
     
    I Can't Dance and Ductapeman like this.
  3. Ductapeman

    Ductapeman Ringmaster and Resident Geriatric Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2016
    Sunny Puget Sound
    And I have used lemon juice, fresh squeezed, and a wash cloth, worked quite well
     
    I Can't Dance likes this.
  4. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Difference being his Sadowsky has a hard satin finish on there, you can use a cleaner safely on it. The EBMM 'unfinished' necks barely have a wax from the factory that seems to be gone fast, so using a cleaner or soaked wipes you have to be really cafeful because the maple will soak it in an the grain will want to raise. Best to keep a wax on those if you don't want dirt buildup.
     
    Ductapeman likes this.
  5. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    So how would you have cleaned the SR5? The razor blade seemed to do the trick, but he said he had to be very careful.
     
  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
     
  7. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    You obviously neglected to actually WATCH this video.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  8. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    What's your beef with the manufacturer's suggested method for cleaning and waxing their necks?
     
  9. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Beef? I have no beef with Ernie Ball. I love their products, it's just that you posted this video as an answer to my question about using a razor blade on a maple board. This video shows a rosewood board, which is nothing like a wax finished maple board.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    i use naphtha to soften the finger gunk and scrub it away with paper towels.

    the naphtha itself evaporates away totally, won't touch even old nitro finishes (much less modern poly) and with MM-types won't swell the wood like water can.
     
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Don't wait fifteen years to clean your bass. Lol :eyebrow: Wipe it down after every play. Only takes a second.

    Ps. No offence meant by the eyebrow but.... Come on man! That's enough to make a maggot gag.
     
    I Can't Dance and gebass6 like this.
  12. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    They use an oil finish, not a wax finish
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Yes, naphtha is the best solvent I have found to clean stubborn gunk off of a hard finish of any type.
     
  14. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    "YYZ"...
     
  15. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ellenwood,Ga.
    Last time I cleaned a fretboard I used the EB fretboard wipes and an electric toothbrush. Worked perfectly.
     
    jlepre likes this.