If you are applying oil sparingly, in the right quantities, and keeping your guitar maintained, then what oil you actually use on the fretboard becomes a bit of a non-issue. Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. The guitar’s fretboard is the area where the strings are located. So, strictly use a lightly dampened or dry cloth to clean a maple. The guitar manufacturer probably did when they manufactured your guitar. I certainly won’t be offended if you want to follow their advice and play things safe. Properly cleaning your guitar twice a year will ensure that your guitar lasts as long as it possibly can. Twice a year at most. I would also recommend resting your guitar on a padded work mat to ensure that you don’t damage the finish. The Truss Rod: How do I know when, how, and which way to adjust it. Get the best deals on musical instruments and recording equipment at Sweetwater, Check out my article that breaks down exactly. So here, we will try to bring some clarity to the debate. Under My Skin. You may also like. If you opt to polish your guitar after cleaning, use polishes that contain carnauba wax and not petroleum or solvent products. Conditioning your fretboard will help hydrate the wood and deeply cleanse it, leaving it looking bright and new. If you’re not looking to spend any money olive oil or baby oil will do the trick. So again, why risk it? Barnsley, I would say that rather than worrying about giving your guitar strings a thorough cleaning, you’d just be better off changing your guitar strings anyways. You could end up with fret corrosion and loosening of adhesives. Vacuum or blow dry the steel wool filling off the fretboard, table, and the surrounding area. Contents show. Lemon oil is traditionally a cleaning product, I've used it before when restoring antique furniture, its very acidic and is basically a … Some even contain no lemon oil at all! There is plenty of controversy about whether you should or shouldn’t use lemon oil. I have some helpful videos on YouTube that show exactly how to apply lemon oil. You want to see a light sheen and no oily film left behind. As an experienced luthier, my general rule is that I avoid the use of any materials or products on guitars I work on if I cannot guarantee a given outcome. I’m Dan Hoang. The same applies to vintage guitars. It's important to clean the guitar so that it stays playable for years to come. On the one hand, we have oils that contain only trace amounts of lemon oil mixed with other oils – mineral oils, for example. In this article, we will share with you the complete guide to cleaning a guitar, including how to efficiently clean the guitar body, neck, fretboard, pickups, and strings. To clean your guitar strings, use a clean cloth to get all the gunk and dead skin from the strings. If your ebony or rosewood fretboard is lightly dusty, Jim Dunlop’s Guitar Fingerboard Kit is perfect for cleaning ebony/rosewood fretboards. 1 9 Products You Must NOT Use As Cleaning Solution For Your Guitar. Dunlop Ultimate Lemon OIl 65 (pictured below)- Ultimate Lemon Oil removes grime and returns your fretboard to original luster. 4. This procedure helps to suck in all the moisture and oil out of the wood’s surface, leaving it polished to an extent. For brevity, here is a screenshot that is taken from their website. If you dab a cloth with a tiny amount of linseed oil and apply it sparingly once a year, that is going to be sufficient. If you are going to use lemon oil, then use one made specifically for guitars, but never on maple necks. You can find my personal recommendation for a work mat and neck support cradle here on Amazon. I only replace electric guitar string for one of two reasons, (1) a guitar string breaks, (2) The string cannot maintain pitch. Below are two good, safe lemon oils to consider for rosewood and ebony fretboards. Use a damp cloth to clean Maple fretboards. Once you have cleared all the rust spots from your pickups, screw each of them back and wipe them with a dry cloth. I’ve been playing guitar for over 10 years now, and I’m a total nerd when it comes to gear. You should, however, be mindful that lemon oils are not always lemon oils and are often just lemon-scented mineral oils. item 3 Dunlop System 65 Guitar Tech Kit - Lemon Oil, Polish, String Cleaner Gift Pack - Dunlop System 65 Guitar Tech Kit - Lemon Oil, Polish, String Cleaner Gift Pack. Whether it’s a quick polish or a deep clean and recondition of your entire instrument, D’Andrea Guitar Care will do the job quickly and safely! You’ll be glad you did! Products like Dunlop’s Lemon oil usually called just “fretboard 65” are still great. After that, gently pinch each string between your thumb and index fingers with the cloth in between, and swipe up and down the string length. Preferably, choose a well-lit location to easily spot the areas that need the most attention as well as all the imperfections. After that, wipe off any debris left on your frets to ensure the surface is clear. I also have light machine oil, clock oil etc which I think are mineral oils but I'd be hesitant to use them on a guitar, A Deuce , a Tele and a cup of tea. It may also speed the corrosion of the frets and decrease the life of your strings. Guitarists make the mistake of buying this stuff because it is much gentler on the pocket, even if it is harder on your guitar. The question of whether using steel wool for cleaning fretboard is a good idea or not is … It's particularly recommended for use on fretboards. Martin Guitars have been around since 1833 (longer than the state of California), and it is safe to assume that they know a thing or two about guitars. Rosewood and ebony are hard-wearing woods, so great for use with fretboards, but very difficult to work with when carving necks. It’s used as a cleaning agent, so you only need it if yours is filthy and needs a really good scrub. Start by choosing an area where you will place your guitar. Lightly wipe down the neck, turning the cloth as you work your way down to keep the soil you remove from getting back on the neck. Everybody has a different opinion – even large manufacturers. When you’re working with a guitar, you’ll likely be lifting up, flipping over, and handling it a lot, so it’s important to make sure you don’t leave any scuffs or scratches. Remember, you only need a small amount between each fret. But lemon oils on the market are safe to use in moderation, given that manufacturers are either using small amounts of lemon oil or none at all. Dampen a clean cloth with a solvent of your choice. To clean your guitar, wipe it down with a clean, damp cotton cloth with water then a dry cotton cloth to dry. The D’Andrea Guitar Care Kit comes complete with string cleaner, lemon oil, guitar polish and a cotton polish cloth. Oils and polishes intended for use with furniture are wholly unsuitable for musical instruments because they contain additives designed to bring out a nice shine on wooden floors, desks, and lamps. If you do have oil that finds its way onto lacquer or hardware, it can be easily wiped away. Though they do produce a nice look, sure, but you do not want these additives building up on your fretboard over time, slowly working their way into frets and binding. What we need to consider first is the broad range of purities and strengths of the different kinds of lemon oil products available. So, clear your work desk or bench, clean off all the dust and gunk and then place your guitar on the table. But if you notice some rusty spots on your pickups, it is crucial that you carefully remove them. Conversations about lemon oil often get ugly–with volleys back and forth, assumptions, anecdotal evidence, misinformation, even personal attacks. You will still use only a small amount of oil to clean everything. So a harsher lemon oil is not suitable for maple necks as it can soak deeply and sit there for years. Particularly if you let your guitar sit in an open-air … Lastly, we will talk about how we use fretboard oil and how often we should be applying it. Arrange all other supplies right next to it. Apply this much in the same way you would Lemon OIl, a very small amount as in just a thin film to the fretboard. How to Clean a Guitar Body. Learning how to clean a guitar is an essential skill that every guitar player should know how to do. Martin Guitars, for instance, recommend you don’t use lemon oil. Excessive dust and sweat build-up can cause permanent damage to your guitar if not properly cleaned. You need to use a gentle solvent that is gentle on most finishes and works well to remove the dirt and oils that accumulates on the back of a neck. I use a toothbrush and Dr. This pure lemon oil should definitely not be used on your guitar fretboard under any circumstances. Clean the fretboard – Use fine steel wool to remove stubborn gunk from Rosewood/Ebony/Pau Ferro fretboards, and apply Lemon Oil to re-hydrate. I’m Dan Hoang. To combat the grime buildup menace, consider wiping your strings every so often. For surface cleaning. Put them outside to ventilate when you have finished using them. When cleaning the guitar, it helps to have ample room to move and neatly organize your tools and cleaning supplies. Nitro finished vintage guitars tend to develop a sheen or change color over time. If you opt to clip the strings, make sure to loosen the tension first. Once you have your station and all the necessary tools and products for cleaning set up, remove the guitar strings. Since fretboards come in different materials, you need to adopt the right cleaning method for each material for longevity. Proudly Made in USA! PREVIOUS ARTICLE. Also, do not polish a guitar with a satin finish as it will make it look blotchy. This means that a well-ventilated area is required while they are being used. Guitar Advise is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If your fingerboard is free of gunk, all you need to do is oil it. Thankfully, the most popular manufacturers of lemon oil products produce blends that are mineral oils plus a trace amount of lemon oil. In order to clean the strings, you can simply use a towel or a cleaning kit. If you change your strings at least once every month, it may not be always necessary to clean them. It just makes the guitar a lot easier to handle. Now is the right time to clean it. I would say as a guitar fingerboard it will last forever. Rubbing alcohol can get the neck of a guitar and suck out all the moisture from the guitar’s wood. I personally do favor using other oils more than lemon oil products on guitar fretboards. I currently use Planet Waves lemon oil, but I … A guitar that is overly dry tends to get damaged easily. Matte and Satin-finished guitars –  Matte finish can only be cleaned with a dry piece of cloth. Once you have cleaned the finger board, take lemon oil and a clean dry rag (like one you have in your kitchen) and apply the lemon oil to the fret board in a generous manner, allowing the lemon oil to set for one whole minute. But the aerosolized wood polishes like Pledge usually contain solvents that can be harmful to the guitar’s finish. Putting it back in its case not only keeps it clean for longer, but it also protects it from damage. southern california's premier guitar repair facility ... restring, stretch strings, polish frets, clean and oil fretboard $ 25 Standard Guitar, Bass, Banjo $ 25 $ 30 Classical, Mandolin $ … But the fact of the matter is that you are not going to need much oil, and you will not need to apply it often. Before you start cleaning your guitar, there are few things you’ll need to do in preparation. https://tonetopics.com/is-lemon-oil-safe-for-cleaning-my-guitar-fretboard How do I hand sand my guitar body properly before I apply paint? The acids in lemon oil break down the finish of your guitar. Over time, with regular practice, your guitar will naturally accumulate dust, sweat, and grime. The long answer is that I tend to favor linseed oil the majority of the time. This cleans the string all the way around its circumference and clears off any grunge. If the pickups on your guitar look slightly grimy, a damp cloth will do a great job of wiping it clean. I don’t think your fretboard will need oiling more than twice a year, and eventually, once a year. So take extra caution with vintage guitars. The holiday season is finally here! Once the dirt is gone, the oil will provide a sealant against stains and moisture (NOTE: The site says it’s meant for maple fretboards) Guitar Strings: Why do my strings keep breaking in the same place on the neck? Parker & Bailey is a well-known brand that is an example of this kind of lemon oil. You don’t ever want to apply the lube directly to the … It is the one oil that most guitarists would have used at any given point, and when your guitar was made, it was probably the oil that was initially applied by the manufacturer. Lemon Oil also helps to condition your instrument to resist dryness which can prevent cracks and extend its life. 0 LOL 0 Wow! Hence, you can comfortably use different polishes and waxes to give your guitar a look worthy of being in a showroom. Planet Waves Lemon Oil D'Addario Lemon Oil is a natural cleaner and conditioner formulated to remove dirt, grease, and build-up from unfinished woods on all string instruments. The Peavey and Planet Waves lemon oils recommended above contain petroleum distillates. Although products like Pledge and other furniture cleaners are used to clean wood, it is absolutely not the right product for cleaning your guitar. Conditioners will work well too, and again, we have recommended a few options above. There are many quality alternative oils out there that produce consistent and dependable results. Bass Guitar. Over time, these oils and dust create a grimy build-up that corrodes the strings, affecting its tone. Steel Wool. I’ve learned a ton over the years and would love to share some tips with you! Gloss and poly-finished guitars – The majority of guitars are finished either with a polyurethane or polyester finish, which gives them a glowy protective layer. Trending at $24.99. Your fingerboard has more moisture in it than you might imagine. Simply apply to a dry cloth, allow to penetrate the fingerboard for a few minutes, and wipe off the excess. Rubbing too aggressively might rub it off, forcing you to refinish the entire neck. Prepare yourself for some fireworks. Man you don't want a dirty guitar or strings. At this point, your fretboard might be looking a little too pale and ashy. Well, there is a long answer and a short answer. For satin-finished maple, a slightly damp cloth will do. Lemon oils are usually used for cleaning. Pickups are located on the body of an electric guitar. That said, dirty guitar strings tend to lose their tonal quality after being played for a month or so without cleaning. So, strictly use a lightly dampened or dry cloth to clean a maple. This will lead to corrosion and shorten the life span of your guitar strings. We are NOT earning affiliate income from these links and recommend them as they are products used in our workshop daily by ourselves on client guitars and by our students on our courses. We’ll take about condition fretboards with Lemon oil in this blog, so you’ll need the Planet Waves Lemon Oil as it’s one of the best options for cleaning and conditioning your fretboard. What Martin Guitars fail to address, however, is what kind of lemon oil they are referring to. Just make sure not to use rubbing alcohol. Guitar doctors say using olive oil is a very good and viable alternative for cleaning the guitar fretboard up. Do not rub too hard as it will only polish the neck and make it even glossier. The wood itself has its own natural oils and if you are unsure, then put the oil down. Better still, when in doubt, use linseed oil. Start by giving them a general wipe down. Once the fretboard is clean, move down the length of your guitar to clean its body, including the back, front and sides. If you are looking for a more thorough clean, you will need to use a cleaning solution. Lacquered maple fretboards should only be cleaned with a damp or dry cloth. Avoid going back to apply more. You can purchase barrels of it for the price of a small bottle of lemon oil that is suitable for use with instruments. Use a clean, damp section of the cloth to remove any residual detergent. However, I wouldn’t worry too much about cleaning guitar strings, simply because you should be changing them frequently anyway. I love recording music and filming guitar covers and I occasionally post them on YouTube. Not all lemon oils are equal, and not all lemon oils are actually lemon oils. by Craig Bourne | Mar 1, 2020 | Guitar Care | 0 comments. Removing the strings is crucial as you do not want them to come into contact with cleaning products. Then give it some TLC with the Manson Fingerboard Lemon Oil! Theirs is a general sweeping statement. Determining When to Clean Clean before sessions. Intonation: How do I check and properly set the intonation on my own guitar? In addition, if you want your guitar to last a lifetime, then it is crucial that you clean it properly to ensure longevity. I have played for 40 years and never cleaned guitar strings. You can opt to place the guitar on a desk, workbench, or even your lap. $21.19. Using steel wool, no matter how fine, will take away the shine, leaving a matte-like finish. The trace amount of lemon oil present helps clean the fretboard, and any other oils it is blended with will condition the fretboard. Lemon Oil is a good cleaner, Linseed oil is a good polisher, and turpentine is the best wood preservative there is. When working on your guitar, it’s best to have the neck propped up at an angle at the nut. Package contains (1) D’Andrea Deluxe Guitar Care Kit. Generously dampen a clean cloth or toothbrush with lemon oil or a conditioner of your choice and rub it into the board. South Yorkshire, S71 1LF, Gerlitz Guitar Honey Fretboard Conditioner, https://www.martinguitar.com/about/faq/care-parts/, https://blog.taylorguitars.com/fretboard-oil, https://www.backdoorsurvival.com/33-awesome-uses-of-lemon-essential-oil/, https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/19800-guitar-shop-101-the-great-guitar-cleanup?page=2, https://blog.andertons.co.uk/learn/how-to-clean-a-guitar. Learning how to clean guitar strings and your fretboard is important for any guitar player. Maple has smaller pores and thinner grain lines. Otherwise, they can spontaneously combust with the slightest temperature change! Use a dry area of the cloth to buff away moisture. If you buy a second-hand guitar or if your guitar was not used for a while and really needs cleaning, lemon based products are great. Therefore, you may need to clean it a little more often. Start by unscrewing the pickups. Once or twice a year at most. NEXT ARTICLE. You may simply use household items like lemon oil and a damp wash cloth to clean your fretboard. Then, on the other hand, we have pure lemon oil pressed from the peel. The grime also makes the strings wear out faster than normal. Once the fretboard is clean, move down the length of your guitar to clean its body, including the back, front and sides. You can also go for a specialist fretboard conditioner like MusicNomad’s The F-One Fretboard Conditioner, which is a favorite of ours: Fret Doctor Fretboard Conditioner is another solid choice. I’ve been playing guitar for over 10 years now, and I’m a total nerd when it comes to gear. Conversely, rosewood and ebony fretboards are usually fixed on to another piece of wood that makes up the neck. The short answer is that I do not think it matters. In general, oil is not necessary at all on a maple fretboard. I do, however, give my strings a quick wipe down after each playing session. A guitar fretboard requires to be cleaned once or twice a year. I’ve learned a ton over the years and would love to share some tips with you! Guitar Amplifiers. Clean each pickup with a rust dissolving solution or a white pencil eraser. The nice thing about lemon oil is that it cleans while it oils, so it won’t build up as easily, but be sparing. Guitar Frets: How do I properly clean and polish my frets to a mirror finish? If you are cleaning a guitar neck with an old distressed finish, do not rub it too aggressively. A well-played maple neck will eventually show signs of wear, and many guitarists desire this effect. You cannot go wrong. Take lemon oil on a clean rag. 15cl of lemon oil in a glass bottle Keeping your guitar clean is a major aspect of maintaining your guitar that most people tend to overlook. You can read their view for yourself here at this link. Cleaning your guitar is one of the most important aspects of proper guitar maintenance. For polishing, ... Martin Guitar does not recommend using lemon oil on the fingerboard. For fingerboard and bridge maintenance: Tacoma Guitars recommends using high-grade lemon oil such as Stringfellows. all of these products can cause unrecoverable damage to the wood of your guitar because they are acidic. You can use GHS Fast Fret or Dunlop Lemon oil to clean your guitar strings or any other product that has been specifically made for guitars. Finally, always make sure to store your guitar whenever it is not in use. Lemon oil will also take away the sheen. A common mistake we see is people soaking the fretboard with enough oil to fry an egg. In fact, most oils and conditioners that you would use on your fretboard are flammable, and any rags you use are a genuine fire risk. As you rub, you will literally see the wood becoming clean under your fingers. To properly clean it, you will need to unstring the guitar, protect the sensitive areas, remove the dirt, condition and polish, and restring the guitar. However, we should still only use these oils with rosewood or ebony fretboards. As a result, it makes it the easiest finish to clean since it does not leave the wood absorbent or porous. In that case, lemon oil is a great cleaning solution. You must NOT use coconut oil, olive oil, lemon oil or vinegar on your guitar either the strings, fretboard or any other part. You then gently rub the oil into the wood, wiping away any dirt that has previously built-up. So which oil you use is not really that important. Does your guitar neck feel greasy and sticky? You should consider whatever I say on this topic against what your guitar manufacturer recommends. Different Types of Guitar Bodies and How to Clean Them Recently, a client came in for a guitar setup and asked us for some recommendations on the oils she should be using on her fretboard. I hoped you enjoyed reading this comprehensive guide on how to clean a guitar. If you are struggling to make a choice, go for boiled linseed oil. Cleaning a rosewood fretboard without damaging it can be done using wood oil soap, steel wool, lemon oil, and a towel. One key difference between maple fretboards and those made from darker woods like rosewood or ebony is that usually, a single piece of maple is used for the neck and the fretboard. Liberon BLO500 is a good one, as is Rustin’s Boiled Linseed Oil. This is because although it will leave your guitar looking nice cosmetically, it might dampen its sound. Ensure the area is clean by dusting it. New guitarists have oil pushed on them by the guy at the counter at their local guitar store, and because they have the oil, they use it. Lubricating and cleaning strings not only prolongs string life by protecting against skin acids and other wear but makes for easier fingering. So Martin Guitars state that pure lemon oil should be avoided if you want to steer clear of fret corrosion, damaging adhesives, or breaking down any finish. I have known people to use what I would call lemon oil for furniture on their guitars. Kyser Dr.String Fellow Lemon Oil KDS800. Avoid pure or highly-concentrated lemon oils intended for floors and furniture. Add 5 to 6 drops of lemon oil to one ounce of water in a spray bottle to clean, … After that, wash your hands before handling your guitar. But if you have been too busy to clean it and a lot of dust and gunk have built up on the fretboard, steel wool might be essential to use in this case. You don’t want to leave the sweat and grime from your fingers on your guitar strings for a long period of time. But lemon oils on the market are safe to use in moderation, given that manufacturers are either using small amounts of lemon oil or none at all. I like to change my guitar strings fairly often since I like the feel and sound of fresh strings. One interesting question was whether lemon oil was a sensible choice. Then with all good things in life, it is all about time. 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