How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard With Household Items? Right way!

How often should I clean my guitar fretboard? Should I use alcohol or something else?

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How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard With Household Items

If you want to keep your guitar in good shape always, you must learn how to clean a guitar fretboard. As a beginner, you might not be aware of the importance of this key step in caring for your guitar. 

But it’s a necessity. Not just for keeping that shiny look in your guitar as it ages but also to ensure you’re always enjoying optimal tones. A dirty fretboard with sweat, oils and dust build-up will produce dull tones.

Guitar strings are usually made from nylon, polyester, or metal. The strings are attached to the frets using a nut and saddle.

When playing, the strings vibrate against the frets, causing friction. This friction causes dirt and other particles to build up between the string and the fretboard. Over time, these particles can cause damage to the wood.

To remove the buildup of dirt and debris, you can use a toothbrush, nail file, or even a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. If you want to get rid of the buildup without damaging the wood, try using a guitar cleaning kit.

To keep your guitar looking new for as long as possible, it’s important to regularly maintain its appearance.

A good way to do this is by keeping your guitar free of dust and grime. You can easily clean your guitar with some simple household products.

If you have an acoustic guitar, you may be wondering how often you should clean it. It depends on what kind of material it’s made out of.

For example, if you play a steel-stringed instrument, you’ll need to clean it more frequently than someone who plays a nylon-stringed instrument.

You can also make sure that your guitar has been properly set up before starting to play. Your guitar must be tuned correctly so that it sounds clear and crisp when played.

Also, the action (the distance between the strings and the fretboard) needs to be adjusted so that the strings don’t buzz or squeak.

You can find all sorts of guitar cleaning kits at any music store. They range in price from $10 to $200. Most come with everything you need to clean your guitar.

Some include things like polish, picks, brushes, cloths, and even special cleaners.

Some people prefer to clean their guitars themselves because they feel that professional guitar cleaners charge too much money.

However, there are many ways to clean your guitar yourself. All you need is a few common household items.

How Do I Clean My Guitar’s Fretboard Using Household Items?

How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard With Household Items

Guitarists should avoid using any kind of household cleansers when cleaning their fretboards. Those products may contain chemicals that could harm the natural appearance of the wood.

Best practices suggest using only specialized products designed for guitars.

Guitarists must always use the right tools when cleaning guitars. There are many types of cleaners available, but some of them are not recommended for guitar cleaning.

Some of these include baby oil, nail polish remover, acetone, alcohol, turpentine, gasoline, bleach, ammonia, etc.

These products may work well on other surfaces, but they won’t do anything for the fingerboard. 

Distilled vinegar is your main cleaning solution when it comes to household items. You can clean almost anything with it around your home – including guitar fretboards too, but not for all of them!

At this point, you should do some research – it pays off considering the manufacturer’s recommendations too.

Light fluid is very effective for cleaning your guitar fretboards. You should use it as you would water.

Avoid using it directly on the fretboard or it could damage it. After cleaning, make sure you dry the fretboard well.

Guitar cleaning is fairly easy. Use Q-tips or cotton balls to get rid of dirt on the sides of the frets. Then use cotton balls or face-cleansing pads to get rid of dirt in the middle of the neck.

Always be careful when using chemical products, but if you’re willing to take some time, then you’ll definitely be rewarded.

Guitar cleaning products aren’t necessary if you’re careful about keeping your guitar clean. You can clean your guitar using these methods instead.


You should certainly try out using plain water instead of cleaning solutions if you’re worried about damaging your instrument. Using plain water isn’t as harmful as other methods.

You can’t remove the dirt by using water alone. Use a microfiber cloth instead. If the dirt is too heavy, use another type of cloth. Don’t worry about the sound quality because you’re cleaning your guitar.

Guitar manufacturers suggest getting a professional to clean your guitar. You can use tap or bottled water to clean your guitar.

Take care not to use too much water on the fretboard, as it could cause damage. You shouldn’t use water on the fretboard.

Cleaning the fretboard with lemon oil is a good idea. Oiling the fretboard is also a good idea. Don’t put too much oil on the fingerboard, though.

You’ll need to clean your guitar with water before playing it. Don’t let the guitar get soaked, or you might cause harm to the instrument.

Use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe off dirt and dust. Dry it off thoroughly after cleaning. A guitar needs water to be cleaned.

You should use water to give a guitar a light cleaning if it’s been sitting around for a while.

Old Guitar Picks/Cards

Guitar strings are very important because they help protect your instrument. You should always clean them regularly, especially after playing.

Old plastic cards or guitar picks could also be used to clean the frets.

A small piece of cardboard from a Listerine Pocketpak package could also work well.

Using this method, you can clean any type of guitar without damaging the instrument. Just make sure to get rid of dirt by pushing it away. 

Vegetable Oil Soaps

Potassium vegetable oil-based soap cleans the fretboard well. You should be careful when cleaning your guitar because it gets crusty after you stop playing.

Vegetable oil is used to cook vegetables, but it is also used to clean guitars. You can clean your guitar using vegetable oil soap.

Vegetable oil soap is safe to use on wooden furniture; it won’t damage them. It can also be used to clean guitars and other musical instruments.

Vegetable oil soap is an excellent product if you want to clean your guitar without causing damage to it. You should never take any risks when using this kind of soap. It is made out of vegetable oil, coconut, and water.

Lemon Oils

Lemon oil can help preserve the quality of wood. You can use it by rubbing the soft cloth over the fretboard.

The wood absorbs the first dose of the lemon oil very fast. After that, you can apply another dose of the lemon oil using the same method.

Lemon oil is used as an alternative to protect the wood from humidity and insects. You should put lemon oil on the fretboard using a soft cloth.

Rub the lemon oil into the fretboard using a circular motion. Depending on what kind of wood your fretboard was made of, it could take some time for the lemon oil to dry out.

You can reapply more lemon oil after the first application dries up.

Lemon oil is an acid that dries out your guitar’s fretboard. It’s also used as a disinfectant and cleanser in the house. But pure lemon oil isn’t suitable for cleaning guitars.

Most lemon oil guitar products have little lemon oil. They’re usually made of mineral oil, and they may be safe for use on fretboards. They’ll remove dirt, leave a beautiful sheen, and smell great.

Lemon oil guitar products won’t work well on wood necks. You should apply them carefully to wood necks.

Lemon oil products should be avoided when using a maple fretboard. Household and furniture wood cleaners aren’t recommended for guitars.

Petroleum distillates shouldn’t be used on a maple fretboard because they could damage the wood. Some guitar products may contain these harmful chemicals.

Lemon Oil is good for ebony or rosewood fretboard – even if unfinished – once every three or four months. If the fretboard finish is finished, such options don’t need oiling.

Therefore, don’t have to worry about using another oil for your guitar. And finally, make sure you use lemon oil with a relatively low concentrate – not lemon juice.

Mineral Spirits

Polish for guitar is a mixture of solvents and mineral oil. It is used to get rid of the dirt that sticks to the fretboard. This polish makes the fretboard shine and clean.

Mineral oil can be expensive, but you can use it to condition your fretboard. Olive oil can damage your fretboard, so don’t use it.

Lemon oil, rosewood oil, and ebony oil are alternatives to commercial fretboard oil. Less is more when it comes to cleaning your fretboard, so try not to overdo it. Share this tip with your friends.


Naphtha is a solvent used for cleaning oil stains off your hands. It evaporates very fast and won’t damage the wood. Use a cloth or paper towel to apply naphtha. Don’t use it near an open fire.

Naphtha is a chemical used as an alternative fuel source. It is very flammable and can cause serious burns if inhaled or ingested.

It also causes severe skin irritation when applied directly to the skin. It is useful to remove excess oil from a guitar’s frets.

It is also useful to clean up the dirty residue left by playing the instrument. Do not use naphtha if there is any other type of oil on the guitar.

Can I Clean My Guitar Fretboard Using Household Items?

How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard With Household Items

There are many ways to clean your guitar strings. You can use soap and water or even some alcohol. But if you want to go deeper, you should consider using an electric guitar string cleaner.

Using Fret guards is a great way to prepare your guitar for cleaning! Fret guards are made from scissors and some strong cardboard. They’re used for protecting your guitar strings from getting snagged by the frets.

Microfiber cloths are great for cleaning up your guitar. You can also use them to clear out the dirt and dust that accumulates on the frets.

Cleaning your guitar is important because if there is too much debris on the frets, it could cause problems when you play the instrument.

How To Prepare Your Guitar For Maintenance

Guitar bodies tend to be the most important part of the instrument. Maintenance means cleaning the strings and frets daily.

Fingerprints are normal and should be expected. Mineral oil gets all over the guitar and needs to be cleaned off regularly. 

Cleaning a guitar fretboard is easy if you know what you’re doing. You’ll probably want to use some kind of cleaner or solvent, but there are many ways to go about it.

Before you start, make sure you’ve removed all the strings from the neck.

Then, find a clean and dry spot to work on the fretboard. Make sure you wear safety equipment like gloves and goggles.

Finally, make sure you have a bucket or something else to put any excess cleaner into. Guitarists should always be careful when cleaning their guitars.

Some guitars require extra attention, while others don’t. Floating tremolo bridges require more effort than fixed ones.

Cleaning the exposed parts of the bridge will make it fall apart. Stringed instruments should be cleaned regularly.

Wood is an important part of the music. Different types of wood require different skills to make them into instruments or furniture. Guitarists use different types of wood to create their instruments.

Products That We Recommend You Do Not Use

How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard With Household Items

Fretboard cleaners should be chosen carefully. Many people swear by the Pledge, but some say it causes damage. Some abrasive cleaners work well, but others can scratch the surface of the wood.

Cleaning agents with bleach or other strong chemicals should be avoided. Dishwashing detergents are good for removing grease and essential oils, but they can also harm the wood.

Natural household items such as vinegar and freshly squeezed lemon juice are usually acidic and abrasive.

They can irreparably damage the frets. Baking powder should be avoided because it’s abrasive. Liquid hand dishwashing detergent must be diluted before using. 

Wax or polish should never be applied directly to the fretboard. Instead, apply them to a cloth or paper towel first.

Oils can be used to polish the wood surface, but they should be diluted. Lemon essential oil affects the appearance of the wood. Concentrations below 1% are safe.

There are several ways to clean your guitar with household items. You should use a toothbrush or an old toothpaste tube (with the cap removed) instead of olive oil.

You shouldn’t use any type of soap or detergent because these products could damage your guitar. These products can leave a stain on your guitar.

Fretboards are sensitive to different types of chemicals. You should avoid using household furniture cleaner, bleach, lacquer thinner, and silicone.

Furniture Polish

Using furniture polish is not recommended because it dries up the wood and may cause permanent stains. There are no positive reviews about this product online. So, we would avoid using it.


Bleach cleans anything! But it doesn’t work well on guitars. It will remove the natural color of the guitar and even make it thinner.

Bleach is not recommended for cleaning guitars. It will remove the protective layers of the wood, making it much easier to scratch. If you really need to clean your guitar, use baby oil instead.


Toothpaste should be used sparingly. You shouldn’t use too much, or it could cause harm to your guitar. When using toothpaste, first apply it to the frets. Then move to the wood. 

Finally, finish by applying it to the strings. People use toothpaste to clean CDs because of how well it works.

Since people have been cleaning CDs with toothpaste for years, they’ve come up with a few different ways to do it.

For example, they might use toothpaste to clean the frets, meaning the metal part that goes over your guitar strings.

But don’t use toothpaste to clean wooden parts of your guitar. Instead, make sure that you use a professional fretboard protector.


White distilled vinegar is a great house cleaner that can be used to clean fretboards. However, you’ll probably never notice the smell of a pickle when cleaning your guitar.

You can also buy Ernie Ball Wonder Wipe online, or you can make your own by washing an old cotton T-shirt through the wash a few times.

Cleaning your guitar involves more than just polishing the surface. You need to clean the entire instrument including the neck, fretboard, bridge, and sound hole.

A good cleaner will take care of all these areas.

Some manufacturers advise against vinegar. Distilled vinegar is safe for guitars when used in small amounts.

You shouldn’t pour it over the guitar neck because it could cause damage. However, using distilled vinegar is still better than using water.


Sandpaper is useful for making things smoother, but not for cleaning up any kind of material. Use sandpaper for rough materials, and watch out that your guitar isn’t too thin.


You should be very careful while using acetone. Naphtha is safe to use. You can safely use it to clean your guitar. However, you shouldn’t use acetone to remove excess glue on your guitar.

Acetone is used to clean things. It removes sticky stuff. But it is also very harsh and could harm some materials. So, use it carefully.

Ammonia is a cleaning agent that works well. It is safe for most things. But it is not recommended for guitars.

How To Clean Your Fretboard: As Step-By-Step Guide

How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard With Household Items

You shouldn’t use any kind of cleaning product to clean your guitar fretboard because it could damage the finish. Soak a cloth in water and wipe down the fretboard with it.

You should clean your guitar by using a toothbrush, warm water, and a soft cloth.

Cleaning a guitar fretboard is as easy as using a damp or wet cloth. You can do this by lightly cleaning your fretboard with a damp cloth.

This process should be done after every time you play your guitar. You should wear something comfortable and warm.

Tools for Cleaning a Guitar Fretboard 

Before you start removing the strings from your guitar, there’s one important thing you need to do: get all the necessary tools ready for the cleaning process. 

If your fretboard isn’t too dirty, you might think you can get away with wiping a wet cloth over it a couple of times, but if you really want to get your guitar clean, you’re going to need some extra utensils. 

Firstly, you should get your hands on some soft cloth, ideally made from cotton. This will help you to wipe down your fretboard without damaging it. You will also need some fine-grade steel wool so that you can remove any oil and stubborn dirt without causing scuff damage. Buy some high-quality fretboard oil

A guitar neck support and some string cutters are essential, as is a roll of masking tape. Finally, you will need a dust mask to ensure that you don’t inhale any dust or dirt particles released into the air while cleaning. 

You should also get an old plastic card that you don’t use in order to scrape off some dust and dirt before you start using the steel wool. 

When you have all of your tools ready, it’s time to get to work!

Cleaning a Guitar Fretboard

This is a step-by-step guide to cleaning a guitar fretboard properly. Before we dive into the process, though, you should consider the necessary safety precautions. 

It’s best to clean your fretboard outside as much as possible. This is because you’re going to be handling very fine steel wool, which can easily shed during use.

These pieces of wool will be very difficult to clean up inside your home.

Additionally, because of the dust spreading from cleaning the fretboard, it’s a good idea to be in a well-ventilated space, or ideally, outdoors.

This applies even though you’ll be wearing a dust mask because it’s important to be as careful as possible when it comes to your respiratory health. 

Without further ado, here is the full step-by-step process for cleaning a guitar fretboard!

1. Set Up Your Workspace

The first thing you’ll need to do is set up your workspace. As we mentioned, this should probably be outside, unless the weather conditions or your spatial situation make this impossible.

If you can’t create a workspace outside, make sure to open up as many windows as you can to ensure that dust is able to leave the room. 

It’s best to have a work mat underneath your guitar to ensure that it doesn’t rub against any hard or abrasive surfaces. If you don’t have a work mat, you can make do with a towel or folded tablecloth – just make sure you’re okay with whatever you use getting messy. 

Arrange all of your tools where you can reach them and ensure that you have everything you need so that you don’t have to get up and find things in the middle of your cleaning session.

Keeping Your Guitar In A Secure Place

You should use a soft cloth or sponge to clean your guitar. A soft brush will also work well. Be careful when you’re working around the neck and body.

2. Removing The Strings

Once your workspace is ready to go, you will need to remove the strings from your guitar. This process can be dangerous if you don’t do it correctly, so make sure to follow these instructions. 

Before you use your string cutters, make sure to loosen the tension in your strings. If you don’t, the strings will snap back with a lot of force, and you could get hurt. Once the strings are loose enough, you can use your string cutters to remove them, leaving your fretboard exposed. 

If your guitar has a floating tremolo, it’s best to put something underneath to block it. The easiest thing to use is probably a washcloth folded up. This will top the tremolo from falling into the cavity or grating against the body of the guitar.

3. Apply Protective Masking Tape 

Now that you have removed your guitar’s strings, it’s time to put masking tape on the areas of your guitar that you want to protect from accidental damage during the cleaning process. 

We recommend applying masking tape to the pickups if you’re cleaning the fretboard on an electric guitar. If you have an acoustic guitar, you’ll need to apply the tape to the soundhole so that the steel wool you’ll be using later doesn’t shed inside it. You should also cover any metal components on the guitar in case they get scratched. 

You don’t have to put masking tape on the fretwire because steel wool will help to add some shine to this area rather than damaging it, which is a great bonus you can enjoy as a reward for cleaning your fretboard! 

Don’t be afraid to be quite liberal with your use of masking tape. In fact, we recommend buying a pack of several rolls so that you have enough to last you for several cleaning sessions in the future without having to limit your coverage. 

4. Scrape Individual Frets 

Now you need to look at area of your guitar that could be prone to scratching or trapping steel wool sheddings. Get out an old card or whatever plastic instrument you’re going to be using to scrape the initial layer of dirt from your fretboard. 

First, identify which way the grain of the wood in your fretboard is going. You will want to follow the direction of the grain instead of going against it because the latter can cause damage. 

Using the edge of your card, take one fret at a time and scrape with the grain. The one time it’s okay to go across the grain is when you come right up against a fret because dust and dirt can accumulate in larger quantities here. It can also be more difficult to remove this dust. 

If possible, don’t use a card with sharp corners. If your card does have pointed corners, try to use the flat edge of the card and not the points because these might scratch your fretboard. Some people like to use a guitar pick for this step of the process, but again, be careful. 

Apply just the right amount of pressure to lift any dust and dirt from the fretboard without leaving any dents. This will usually only require gentle pressure, so don’t be tempted to press down too hard. 

5. Vacuum and Repeat 

After scraping the majority of the dust and debris off your fretboard, you’re likely to have some mess to clean up. The best way to get rid of the debris is to use a vacuum cleaner to clean it up. 

Be very careful of where you direct the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner because you don’t want to accidentally hoover up any of the tape on your guitar or do any damage to the body through intense suction. Only point the nozzle at the specific areas of the guitar (and around the guitar) where dust has settled.

If you feel that you haven’t lifted as much debris as you can with the card, you can repeat step 4 followed by this step before proceeding to the next part of the process.  

6. Rub with Steel Wool 

Now is the time to get out the steel wool. The purpose of this is to lift off any of the remaining dust and dirt that you couldn’t remove with the card. 

Remember, it’s very important that you use the finest-grade steel wool you can find. This is #0000 steel wool. Anything coarser will definitely leave noticeable scratches on your fretboard.

Even this fine-grade steel wool will leave some scratches, which can’t be prevented even if you follow the grain of the wood. However, the scratches left by fine-grade wool will be invisible, unlike those left by a coarser product. 

What you want to do is tear off a piece of steel wool. Using an entire ball of steel wool is going to make your cleaning technique less precise, which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to be careful. 

It’s also important not to press too hard. Just apply a medium amount of pressure. If you notice some color of the wood coming off, don’t panic! There’s a step at the end of this guide that will restore your guitar to its original color. 

7. Vacuum Again 

After you’ve finished rubbing the steel wool over the fretboard, you’ll notice that there’s a lot to clean up again. As well as clumps of dust, debris, and oil, you’ll be left with steel wool shavings.

Luckily, because you’ve already put masking tape over the areas of the guitar that you don’t want debris to accumulate in, it should be easy to vacuum up everything in a short amount of time. 

Once again, it’s important to be very careful when using a vacuum cleaner to clean up your guitar. If you prefer, you can simply blow away all the leftover shavings, but you’ll then need to clean the mess up from the surrounding surfaces. 

How to Clean a Guitar Fretboard (1)

Pay particular attention to removing all the steel wool shavings from the tape over the soundhole because, otherwise, when you peel the tape away, there’s a risk of the shavings falling into the hole, which would undo all of your careful planning. 

8. Remove the Masking Tape 

You will now (hopefully) have removed all the dirt you need to from your guitar fretboard, but your task isn’t over yet! 

Before you do the finishing touches, you should remove the masking tape from your guitar. Ideally, you should be using low-tack tape, but nonetheless, you should peel it back carefully to ensure that you don’t remove any paint from the guitar in the process. 

Take this time to do one final check to make sure that all the debris, including steel wool shavings, has been removed from the fretboard because if you complete the next step without thoroughly removing the steel wool, it will be difficult to reverse. 

9. Apply Fretboard Oil 

Some of the wood color may have been removed from your fretboard in the cleaning process, and you may be left with some very light scratches from the steel wool. Luckily, there’s an easy way to correct this, and that’s by applying fretboard oil. 

Fretboard oil is a fantastic product that will restore moisture, shine, and color to your guitar’s fretboard with minimal effort. 

Unlike previous stages in this process, you don’t need to rub in any specific direction when applying fretboard oil. The most important thing is to be conservative with your application so that you don’t soak your fretboard in oil and end up with a big mess to clean up.

Apply the oil to one fret at a time, using just one or two drops per fret. The best way to apply this oil is to put the drops onto a cotton cloth and transfer it to the fretboard.

This helps to minimize any excess or spillage. You should end up with a thin, even coat of oil all the way down your fretboard by the time you have finished. 

10. Wipe Clean 

When you have applied oil to every fret on your fretboard, go back up to the top and start gently wiping away any excess oil with a soft cotton cloth. 

Use a buffing technique rather than a rubbing technique here because you don’t want to risk removing any of the necessary oil, especially if it hasn’t fully dried. 

11. Restring 

Finally, your fretboard is completely clean and restored to its original condition! Now all you need to do is restring the guitar, and you’re all done!

Can I Use Windex To Clean My Fretboard?

Effective as Windex is on cleaning many household items, it is not necessarily a great clear for your guitar’s fret. It’s always essential to avoid cleaners with bleach, heavy waxes, silicone, and lacquer thinner. That includes Windex. 

Windex contains ammonia, a chemical ingredient that’s highly concentrated and can damage the finish of your guitar. The level of damage can vary between different guitar finishing. That’s why we highly recommend buying a guitar cleaner that works for your specific guitar build.  

While some manufacturers recommend Windex for very stubborn stains, it’s best to dilute it a little with water to reduce the damage.

Other things have to know below.

Protect The Critical Areas Of The Guitar 

Fretboards must be protected from the damage caused by steel particles. Acoustic guitars should be cleaned without covering the sound hole.

Covering the sound hole prevents the buildup of rust inside the instrument.

Cleaning The Fretboard

Wring out your clothes before washing them. You can also use an old t-shirt if you don’t have a flannel cloth. Always start from the top and work down.

Use a soft flannel cloth, and soak it in warm water. Cleaning your car after using it is important because dirt and dust could ruin the paint job. You should use a clean towel or rag to wipe off the dirt and dust.

Use a soft flannel cloth to clean up the oil spillage. You can also use an old t-shirt if there isn’t a flannel available. Always start by moving from top to bottom.

Wring out the cloth completely before using it. You should clean your car after every rainstorm or snowfall.

To clean the fretboard, make sure you use a fine-textured cloth. Wring out the cloth in warm water. Then, wring out the water.

Let the cloth dry up completely. Don’t let the cloth get too wet. Dry the surface of the wood first.

Steel wool should be used to clean the frets first. Frets can be cleaned without steel wool if you aren’t planning on using them. A fret guard protects the wood from being scratched when filing the frets.

Using Steel Wools

Steel wool is used to clean the frets of guitars. Fine steel wool removes grime and oil stains. You shouldn’t use anything else because it could scratch the fretboard.

A fretboard conditioner helps protect the fretboard’s finish when using steel wool.

Be careful while cleaning the fretboard. Steel wool is recommended for unfinished maple wood but not for finished maple wood.

Fine cloth is advised for finishing maple wood. Don’t use steel wool for cleaning because it will damage the finish. Stop when you’ve cleaned the grimy spot.

Remove The Tape From Earlier

After peeling off the tape, you should carefully remove the remaining tape. Don’t rip it off too quickly or you might damage the finish of the instrument.

Newer guitars are made to withstand any damage from the tape ripping. 

But it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So, after peeling off the tape carefully, you can once again examine the surface for any leftover particles.

You can clean the pickups of the guitar using a vacuum cleaner to make sure there are no metal particles left behind.

Feeding Your Wood

Cleaning the fretboard will remove most of the natural oils from your guitar. Wait for the fretboard to be completely dry, then wipe it off with a clean, dry towel.

Apply a small amount of oil (linseed oil, almond oil, or mineral oil) to the fretboard. 

Let the oil soak in for a while, then replace the strings. You shouldn’t need to feed your guitar after cleaning. If you’re worried about damaging the fretboard, have it professionally cleaned.

Wood needs to be polished to get rid of any scratches, dust, or other impurities. Essential oils are used to make the wood shine.

A small amount of oil should be applied to the wood, let it sit overnight, then remove the excess with a clean rag.

Refrain from applying too much grease to avoid an oily fretboard. Before replacing the strings, make sure that the fretboard is no longer greasy. Afterward, you can replace the string

Making Your Own Fret Guide

You must make a template out of cardboard, then measure the fretboard, and cut a hole in the center of the board. Then, glue the template onto the fretboard. This will help you clean up the fretboard.

Polishing The Fretboard

How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard With Household Items

Steel wool should be used for cleaning fretboards because it removes dirt without scratching the wood. Fretboard conditioners should also be used when cleaning fretboards. 

To clean a dirty surface, first cut out a small square of paper and carefully place it over the spot you want to clean.

Then use a soft paintbrush to remove the dirt. The kit below is a fantastic choice for polishing your guitar fretboards.

Dunlop System Maintenance Kit

Cleaning The Fretboard

A guitar string needs to be cleaned by using a Q-Tip dipped in warm water. Fretboards need to be cleaned with a damp cloth. Use a soft cloth to clean off any residue.

How To Prevent The Fretboard From Obtaining A Large Amount Of Dirt

Guitar maintenance is important if you want to play your guitar well. There are several ways to clean your guitar fretboard.

You should use a guitar cleaner or pickguard to protect your guitar strings. This prevents them from getting damaged by sharp objects.

A guitar string cleaner removes any dirt or debris from your guitar strings. You should also polish your guitar strings regularly.

This helps maintain the quality of your guitar strings. When you’re done playing, you should take care of your guitar’s body.

You should oil it every once in a while. This keeps the guitar’s wood from drying out. 

In addition, you should check your guitar’s nut and saddle regularly. The nut and saddle are two parts of the guitar bridge.

These parts help hold the guitar together. You should make sure that these parts are in good shape before you start playing.

Guitar strings should be changed regularly to avoid damage to the guitar body. This should also be done when the guitar begins to show signs of wear.

You may want to contact an expert to help you out if you are having trouble finding someone who knows what they’re doing.

Scrub Your Hands Before You Play

Guitarists should clean their instruments before playing them. Sweat and oils make the strings sticky, and it makes it harder to play.

Do Not Hang Your Guitar On A Wall

A lot of dust will accumulate over time, but if you clean them regularly, you’ll see how much better they sound!

Clean After Using The Guitar

A thorough guitar inspection should include checking the neck, nut, truss rod, strings, tuning pegs, frets, saddle, and bridge. There are many videos online showing how to do these things properly. 

Guitars become dirty over time. We should clean them regularly. There are many companies out there that make guitar-specific cleaning products, but not everyone can afford them. 

Humidity Checks

Guitarists need to monitor humidity levels in order to protect their instruments. A guitar should be kept in a guitar case when traveling. A humidifier can be used to raise humidity levels in a room.

Types Of Fretboards

How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard With Household Items

There are three different types of fretboards: wooden, plastic, and metal. You should know what type you have before cleaning your fretboard.

Finished Boards

Maple is a common choice for guitar fretboards because it is strong and extremely resilient. It is also available in large quantities. 

Maple boards are often sprayed with a clear coat before being pressed into place. The chemicals used in this process react with the maple, giving it a golden hue. A protective layer forms over the surface of the wood.

Unfinished Wood

Fretboards should be made of softwood. Hardwood could damage your fingers if you play an instrument.

Maple is very popular for guitar fretboards because it is hardy, resilient, and easy to obtain. Most manufacturers use maple for the fretboard because it is durable and holds up well over time. Maple is sprayed with a clear coat to protect it from scratches and wear.

Vintage guitars should be cleaned regularly using water and a clean cloth. Do not use any kind of cleaner or polish as this may damage the finish.

Naphtha is a lighter fluid used for cleaning guitars. It’s safe to clean your guitar with this product. You don’t need to worry about getting burned or anything!

Lacquered Board

Fretboards are made from wood. Lacquer finishes are applied to the surface of the wood. This makes the sound louder.

A fretboard is a part of an instrument that holds strings. The strings go over the frets. These frets are usually made out of metal or plastic. The string goes over these frets.

Matte Finishes

Water-based products should be used when cleaning finishes. Apply product to the cloth and don’t rub directly on the guitar.

Waxes and other heavy cleaners will leave shiny spots on the guitar body. Use care during this process because it does have a protective finish.

Gloss Finishes

Water and some dish soap can be used to wipe down guitar parts. Cleaning up the guitar can make it feel better when you play it.

You should avoid using store-bought products because they may damage your guitar.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can You Use Water To Clean A Fretboard?

If your guitar’s fretboard only has a light coating of dust on it, you might be able to solve the problem using a damp cloth and nothing else. However, dirt and oil are a bigger issue and will probably need more than just water to remove. 

Basically, it’s best to follow the instructions we’ve given in this article. This is the best way to ensure that you end up with a clean fretboard and don’t have to repeat the cleaning process too soon. 

Can You Clean A Fretboard With A Toothbrush?

Some people like to use a toothbrush to clean their guitar fretboard, and in some cases, this can work well because toothbrush bristles are not too abrasive and won’t scratch the wood, but they will clean effectively for the most part. 

With that being said, if your fretboard is very dirty, you may be better off using steel wool. While steel wool is more likely to leave scratches, you can minimize the damage by using #0000 wool, and you’ll ultimately be able to take much more dirt off your fretboard this way. 

It should go without saying, but if you do decide to use a toothbrush to clean your fretboard, please make sure that it’s a brand new, unused one that hasn’t been exposed to any chemicals or products, including toothpaste. 

Can I Use Olive Oil To Clean My Fretboard?

If you don’t have any fretboard oil in your home, and you want to start cleaning your fretboard straight away, you may be tempted to try and use other kinds of oil that you have in your home. 

However, you should not use olive oil on your fretboard. You also shouldn’t use any other kind of cooking oil, including coconut oil, lemon oil, or vegetable oil, because these products are acidic and will further strip the wood of your guitar rather than restore it. 

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ll find this guide on how to clean a guitar fretboard with household items with common household useful.

As many of the steps and methods discussed in this guide are often recommended by professional guitarists, you can try them without having to worry about compromising the look and feel of your guitar.

Fretboards are important because they are the contact points between the guitar and the player.

Dirt on the fretboard makes the sound worse, but it also makes the guitar harder to hold. A dirty fretboard may also cause problems with string tension.

Cleaning guitars is important because dirt and grime can affect how well your guitar sounds. You need to clean the fretboard regularly, but you must also be careful not to damage anything.

Your guitar needs to be cleaned in a safe environment, and you’ll want to take your time. Don’t rush!

You don’t need to be a pro to clean your guitar fretboards. Just like you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to get a professional guitar cleaner.

Use common household products to clean your guitar fretboard. Make sure you know what kind of wood you’re using before doing any cleaning.

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘How to Paint a Guitar with Acrylic‘ or ‘How To Properly Repainting Guitar: A Step-By-Step Guide