You might think that fretboard is the small part and it is hard to get dirty, so you do not need to clean it. For example, you have just bought the new guitar which is the best acoustic electric guitar with the best electric guitar strings.
However, you do not care about the fretboard; it will get dirty and easy to be broken over time. Thus, we will provide you how to clean and condition the fretboard of your guitar in this page. I hope that this article will help you answer some questions about maintaining your guitar fretboard, conditioning and cleaning them as well.
You have to make sure that your fretboard is dry because it will be easily fixed with the cleaning and conditioning just need a small amount of fretboard conditioner oil.
1.The reason for cleaning fretboard
As we know that the dried fretboard is easy to split and crack, so it leads to the fret wire and blinding to get loose. Additionally, when you run your hand up and down the neck of the guitar, the fret wire can start to feel jagged.
The fretboard works as the face of your guitar, so if it is clean and conditioned, it looks better instead of being an old, dirty, cracked and broken look. Moreover, the good fretboard support to extend the lifetime of your guitar and also reduce the requirement of preparing and raise the value of your guitar.
2.When do we need to clean it?
If you are a beginner, it may be hard for you to know when you have to clean and condition them.
You should not think that just when it gets so dirty, then you have to clean it. You just need to see its color is dark like rosewood. Then the result is that it will start to fade in color around the fretboard. Besides, it is not necessary to condition the maple fretboard because it has the harder fretboard than the rosewood one.
Especially, the maple fretboards have the finish like polyurethane or lacquer, so it does not require the conditioner. You just need to use the towel for cleaning.
3.What would you use to clean the fretboard?
To answer this question, I have to try a lot of different type of conditioner. I see that lemon oil is the best conditioner to make your fretboard clean and healthy.
It helps to make the rosewood and mahogany fretboard look newer. You just need to apply it on the fretboard; it also has the nice smell.
I use to try the Planet Waves Lemon Oil and Dunlop system 65 kits. Especially, I have to tell you that you should not use any furniture lemon oil if it contains the unwanted additives.
4.How does the fretboard get dry?
As we know, the rosewood guitar is in the porous state because its fretboard is not sealed with polyurethane and lacquer.
Normally, to avoid getting dry, the guitar has to be in 40 to 70% relative humidity. Thus, in some area with the dry climate and low humidity, your guitar fretboard can be dry out easily. You can use some humidifiers that will support you to keep the right humidity.
5.Should we clean the fretboard frequently?
You do not need to clean and condition it frequently. It just needs to clean when you see a small amount of dirt or discoloration around it, or it gets dry out.
If you are the traveler and your guitar is always outside, you should condition it once every 3 to 4 months.
6.How to condition and clean the fretboard of your guitar?
Clean the fretboard is not too difficult, you just need to take all the strings off the guitar first.
However, it sometimes is not the best way to do if you are not the professional or those who are the experienced guitar technician. The reason is that taking off all the strings of your guitar can lead to a thousand of the problem or other issues with not only electric but also acoustic.
Especially, in the case that you are dealing with the vintage instrument.
Not only the used instruments but also the other risks with taking off the string on the new guitar if you do not have enough skills to solve the problems.
If the acoustic guitar with the pickup which is under the bridge may set wrong while restringing causing the string to have the uneven sound you can adjust the truss rod again and the bridge can move causing an intonation problem.
When you make the decision for removing the strings, you need to make the fretboard by using some several alcohol swabs. You can clean each section of the fretboard thoroughly once at a time to get any oil or grime off the fretboard.
After that, you can use the lemon oil and clean dry rag like clean the bath hand towel or kitchen. Then you need to apply to the fretboard generously and let it sit at least sixty seconds. Next, you have to use the dry part of the rag to rub the oil in and wipe clean until the oil can disappear.
I remember that I used to the rig, I put a piece of white two gaff tape in the corner and write lemon oil on it.
Then I rolled the towel up so that the writing was on the outside of the roll, for the next time I put it away, so the towel stays clean and is only used for rubbing lemon oil into fretboards.
One thing to remember is that it is easy for the electric guitar. However, if you own the vintage or the acoustic guitar, you should only remove three strings at a time. With three strings, You can clean and condition the half of the fret and then replace the string and the same way on the bottom half.