How to look after your fretboard
Ebony, rosewood or maple: here’s an easy guide to de-gooping your fretboard
It’s pretty rough to pick up someone’s guitar and find ancient strings and crud build up on the fretboard. That nasty stuff is sweat, dirt and oils from your fingers in solid form! What’s worse is that this will start to wear out new strings really fast and it can also pollute your case.
Keeping your rosewood fretboard clean is also making sure it stays healthy: if the fretboard dries out too much that’s bad news. A dried-out rosewood fretboard is susceptible to shrinking as the natural oils escape over time; sometimes you’ll find a guitar with its fret ends sticking out. Now that’s shrinking! Even worse, a shrunk fretboard can open up the fret slots causing frets to become loose! Maple fretboards are hardier than rosewood as the tougher maple has a protective lacquer applied, so cleaning those is even easier.
Basically, there’s no excuse not to clean your fretboard and this simple guide will show you how to clean a rosewood ’board and – as a bonus – a maple ’board too.