What to use to clean bare wood?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by lightningsmith, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. lightningsmith

    lightningsmith Member

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    What do you use to clean the exposed areas of your guitar like the back of the neck and fretboard?

    I sometimes worry about using certain fluids cause they can get absorbed into the wood and I heard that lemon oil is big no no.
     
  2. AS193

    AS193 Member

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    TSP or Oxalic acid is usually used to clean bare wood. You can get it at the hardware store. The only problem with this is that it gets mixed with water, which on bare wood will raise the grain.

    There is no oil in lemons, it is mineral spirits with lemon scent added to kill the odor of the spirits. The mineral spirits will not raise the grain on bare wood, but will not necessarily clean the wood.
     
  3. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    Oxalic acid is used to clean iron oxide off of rocks and quartz crystals--I can't imagine using it on wood.

    The proper thing to use is naptha.
     
  4. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Real lemon oil is fine on bare wood, to clean and help protect. It's the lemon scented petroleum distillates that are bad news.

    Murphy Oil also works well. As do Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes fretboard treatment (on bare or oiled wood only).
     
  5. koa

    koa Supporting Member

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    +1 on Lemon Oil, plus it smells real nice :D
     
  6. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd use naptha.
     
  7. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    You may want to put some tru-oil or something like that to keep the moisture out.

    I use Naptha to prep wood prior to applying a finish. Naptha removes any grease or oils that your hands may leave behind. It is also VERY important to use a silicate-free tack cloth prior to finishing. Automotive paint stores sell one called "surgical blue".
     
  8. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    I'm really not sure there is such a thing unless you're rubbing lemon rinds on your axe. Anything I've ever seen marketed as "lemon oil" turned out to be scented mineral oil thinned down in mineral spirits or naptha. If you've got a source for actual lemon oil, please let us know so I can use it the next time I mix up a batch of limoncella - but it's never getting anywhere near my guitars.

    Now to answer the question, I like to use naptha to clean fretboards since it won't affect the nitrocellulose finish on the neck if it runs. A toothbrush or toothbrush-sized stiff cleaning brush will help to get the unidentifieable gunk that builds up against the frets.
     
  9. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Culinary stores (online too) sell 100% lemon oil. Works great for rosewood boards and unfinished or oil finished necks.
     
  10. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    Interesting. Usually you see "lemon" oil on a bottle that actually contains furniture polish. As far as the real oil is concerned, there are some who have used some of the exotic nut oils like almond oil or walnut oil but as long as you're on that road I just use boiled linseed oil (sparingly and rarely). Lots of people recommend "bore oil" sold for woodwind instruments, but I'll stick with naptha for cleaning, boiled linseed oil if the fretboard is really sad, and mineral oil if I feel like making it shine.
     

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