Fretboards get dirty over time, and will become disgusting to play on and diminish the lifespan of the brand new strings you just installed.
The best method (other than using fretboard cleaners, of course), will depend on the material the fretboard is made of. For example, rosewood fretboards can be cleaned with lemon oil, while maple fretboards can be cleaned with baby wipes.
Lemon oil as a fretboard cleaner alternative
Lemon oil is a popular alternative to commercial fretboard cleaners. It is easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
On the other hand, It is gentle and effective at cleaning away dirt and grime. Many players prefer it because it is natural and safe for use on wood. Lemon oil is a great option for keeping your fretboard hydrated. It is a natural product that is non-toxic and will not damage your fretboard. Lemon oil will help to keep your fretboard from drying out and cracking.
Yes, lemon oil can be expensive. The price of lemon oil depends on the quality of the oil and the country of origin. While lemon oil is definitely not the most expensive oil out there, it’s still not exactly cheap. A good quality lemon oil can cost anywhere on from $10 to $30 for a small bottle, depending on where you live.
Using a toothbrush to clean your fretboard
If you want to keep your guitar in top playing condition, it’s important to clean it regularly.
A new but inexpensive toothbrush is a great tool for cleaning not only your fretboard, but also your strings, and some of the electronics in your instrument.
To clean your fretboard, simply remove the strings and use the toothbrush to scrub the board. Be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. For this purpose, you’ll want a toothbrush that is not too soft, but at the same time, you must make sure it won’t scratch the finish on the fretboard (if any).
You can also use the toothbrush to clean the strings. Just run it up and down the length of the string, but this makes it a little more difficult to clean underneath the strings.
To clean your electronics, you can use the toothbrush to scrub the Volume and Tone pots. Be sure to get in all the cracks and crevices.
You can also use the toothbrush to clean the input jack and switch. Just be careful not to damage the delicate components.
Using baby wipes to clean your fretboard
If you want to clean your fretboard without taking it off the guitar, baby wipes are a great option.
Just be sure to use plain, unscented wipes, as scented wipes can leave a residue that can be harmful to your guitar. lightly wipe down the fretboard, taking care not to press too hard and damage the delicate finish. After wiping down the fretboard, use a clean, dry cloth to remove any residue.
While this method might make it easy to clean most parts of the fretboard, you’ll still need something else like a toothbrush in order to get those spots where dirt has accumulated around the frets themselves.
Using a cotton swab to clean your fretboard
If your guitar frets are anything like on most guitars, they start looking pretty grungy after just a few weeks of playing.
And no matter how much you clean them, it seems like the grime just gets harder and harder to remove.
A cotton swab is a great way to clean your guitar frets without damaging them.
To clean your guitar frets with a cotton swab:
- 1. Wet the cotton swab with some water.
- 2. Rub the wet cotton swab on the fret. You may need to apply some pressure to get the grime off.
- 3. Use a dry cotton swab to wipe away any residue.
- 4. Repeat steps 2-3 until all frets are clean on both sides
Using rubbing alcohol to clean your fretboard
While it seems like common sense to use alcohol, since it acts as a disinfectant, rubbing alcohol is not recommended as there are other fretboard cleaner alternatives better suited for cleaning your fretboard because it can dry out the wood and cause the finish to dull.
Additionally, rubbing alcohol can remove the protective coating on your fretboard and make it more susceptible to damage.
Using WD-40 as an alternative fretboard cleaner
Another option that is not recommended is to use penetrating oils similar to the famous WD-40. These products are intended to lubricate, convert and remove rust from metal, and its effects on the fretboard’s wood can be somewhat unpredictable, depending on the wood in question.
While WD-40 may be a versatile product that can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks, it is not recommended for cleaning guitar fretboards. The oil in WD-40 can linger on the fretboard and attract dirt and grime, making it more difficult to keep the fretboard clean in the long run. Additionally, WD-40 can damage the finish on a guitar’s fretboard if it is not wiped away completely.
For these reasons, it is best to stick to using other alternatives to guitar fretboard cleaners and conditioners, which are specifically designed to clean and protect your fretboard without damaging it.
In conclusion – fretboard cleaning alternatives
We all know that keeping our guitars clean is important. But sometimes, our fretboard cleaner just doesn’t work or is just too expensive or inaccessible to keep buying repeatedly.
Luckily, we have plenty of fretboard cleaner alternatives out there to get the job done right. From lemon oil to baby wipes, there’s bound to be a fretboard cleaner alternative that’s perfect for you and your guitar. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find the one that works best for you. Your guitar will thank you for it.