Knowledge Base

How to clean Ebony Fretboard ?

In the history of instruments, ebony fingerboards and fretboards have always been a convenient option. Most guitarists are attracted to them because they have a stylish appearance, sturdy construction, and a polished finish. To maintain their best appearance, they do need specialized treatment. In this Article , we’ll discuss how to clean ebony fretboards and some basic maintenance tips for ebony fretboards.

Guitar fretboard

A usable guitar depends on the fretboard, also referred to as the guitar fingerboard. You can play a wide range of notes on the guitar thanks to it. The fretboard must be flawlessly clean and keep the frets level in order for the guitar strings to vibrate freely and generate a soothing melody.

Hardwoods like ebony, rosewood, or maple are typically used to make guitar fingerboards so that they can withstand the continual movement of fingers over them. The less probable we are to encounter some frets breaking out or noticeably different sounds as a result of temperature changes, the much more firm the fretboard is. As a result, ebony fingerboards are frequently found on premium guitars. To maintain the beauty of this musical instrument one should know how to clean ebony fretboards

How to clean ebony fretboards?

Fretboards made of ebony don’t need any special care. They can be cleaned with a gentle cloth, little water, and mild detergent. Use a small brush to lightly clean the fretboard if you see any accumulation there.

It’s up to us to decide whether we choose to use soap. Frankly, I find the idea repulsive and prefer to limit myself to using a wet cloth or washcloth instead.

Ensure that the washcloth is only very damp; whether you use soap or otherwise, you don’t want it to be overly wet. Also, if you do use soap, use very little of it. Here, less is more.

For cleaning the frets and fingerboard, use an old toothbrush. If absolutely necessary, slightly wet it with water, mild liquid soap, or even mineral spirits. Nothing more potent. You probably won’t need any polish, oil, or other products of the sort.

Nothing will be harmed if all the strings are removed. Even while the instrument might need some time to adjust to the new strings if they remain off for a few days or longer, it won’t harm anything. The saddle can come out if all the strings are untied. That’s not an issue, just watch how you insert it and make sure there are no obstructions when you reinsert it. This is one of the answer of the question how to clean ebony fretboards

How to clean ebony fretboards using lemon oil

There are two types of lemon oil

  1. 1.pure 
  2. Lemon oil product

How to clean ebony fretboards using pure lemon 

The fretboard of your guitar should not be exposed to pure, full-strength lemon oil that has been cold-pressed directly from lemon peel. On occasion, the label will read “essential oil.”

It’s serious stuff. Pure lemon oil, despite the fact that it is an oil, will cause your fretboard to dry up and, with frequent or prolonged use, can dissolve any adhesives that may be keeping your frets or fretboard binding in place (if yours has it).

This pure lemon oil contains D-limonene, as do other citrus oils that are derived from the peels. D-limonene is an essential component of products like Goo Gone, Simple Green, 3-IN-ONE Degreaser, etc. for good reason.

This is the method of how to clean ebony fretboards using pure lemon oil .

how to clean ebony fretboards using lemon oil product

As a result, a lot of the popular guitar lemon oils offered by well-known guitar manufacturers are mostly made of other oils, typically mineral oil, which is a decent (and affordable) fretboard conditioner by itself. Only a small amount of actual lemon oil is present, and the yellow color is a result of artificial coloring.

In fact, some don’t even have any actual lemon oil. Instead, they are simply mineral oil or other fretboard-safe oils that have been coloured yellow and given a lemon fragrance.

Due to this, the majority of guitar lemon oils available today are completely safe when used sparingly to rosewood or ebony fretboards. The teeny-tiny amount of lemon oil they may contain will aid in removing grime and perspiration, and the vast majority of them, which aren’t lemon oils, will condition your fretboard and restore a rich shine.

Therefore, when renowned guitar authorities like Dan Erlewine, Bob Taylor, Godin Guitars, and others recommend using “lemon oil” to smooth your instrument’s fretboard, they are not referring to real lemon oil. They are encouraging you to purchase one of the many fretboard-specific guitar lemon oils that are readily accessible; these oils contain very little, if any, pure lemon oil.

This is the method of how to clean ebony fretboards using lemon oil product

Some good lemon oils are 

  1. Dunlop 65
  2. D’addario lemon oil

This two products helps you to solve the query of how to clean ebony fretboards

The bottle of the D’Addario lemon oil bears a caution that it includes “petroleum distillates.” This implies that any rags used to apply lemon oil must be allowed to dry thereafter in an adequately ventilated location to prevent combustion. Despite the lack of a caution on the bottle, be cautious and use the same caution when applying the Dunlop 65 lemon oil to any rags


It’s important to take good care of your ebony fretboard. It’s crucial to revitalize acoustic steel string and classical guitar fingerboards before they become dry even though they typically only have an oil texture.

The fretwire will stick out from the ends of the fretboard if it becomes too dried, which will cause it to shrink along its breadth and give your fingers a harsh and uncomfortable feeling. This can result in an unusual fret sitting ahead of the rest, which could lead to buzz issues (which nobody enjoys!). The best thing you can do to maintain the quality of your ebony fretboard is to wipe some mineral oil on it about every 3 months, burn it off, and then change the strings. This will maintain the fretboard of your guitar.

Yuvraj kore

Welcome to our blog! My name is Yuvraj Kore, and I am a blogger who has been exploring the world of blogging since 2017. It all started back in 2014 when I attended a digital marketing program at college and learned about the intriguing world of blogging.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button