Guitar Maintenance

How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard With Household Items

If you play your guitar often, you might be looking for ways to keep your fretboard clean. It’s a small piece of wood which is susceptible to grease, dirt, and germs. Fortunately, there are several household items that can help you with this task.

Well Known Household Items You Can Use To Clean Your Fretboard

Warm Water

The best way to clean a wooden surface is by using warm water. Actually, you don’t need any special suppliers or brand-name products. You can use the regular water from your kitchen or bathroom. But you should be careful about the temperature of the water. It should be hot to avoid damaging the wood fibers and ruin your music experience altogether. Moreover, it is vital that you clean the wood regularly. If you are using a home-based method, make sure to wash your fretboard once in a while.

Water and Vinegar

A mixture of equal parts warm water and white vinegar can help you clean your fretboard. Wipe the board with a damp towel then use the solution on individual spots such as rusty stains and nicotine marks. You can also use this solution for removing fingerprints from plastic rods or other instruments also made of plastic material.

Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent can also help you clean your fretboard. It is not only a good cleaner for dirty garments, but also for oxidized stains on the wood. Make sure that the detergent doesn’t have any color or scent to avoid ruining the look of your guitar.

Scouring Pads

If you were playing in a very dusty environment or if you are dealing with other forms of dirt, you can use a damp cloth along with a square of scouring pad or steel wool. Scrub the guitar gently, but avoid using too much force as it might damage the wood.

Hair Conditioner

Hair conditioner can be used to clean sticky substances off the fretboard of your guitar. All you have to do is dip a soft cloth in a mixture of conditioner and water then wipe it on your fretboard. It can also help clean oily fingerprints left by fingers on the neck and string area of your instrument.


You can use alcohol to remove grime, dirt and nicotine marks from your fretboard. All you have to do is soak a cloth in alcohol then wipe it gently on the wooden surface. You may need to repeat this process multiple times for effective results.

Final Notes

If you follow these tips, you can easily clean your fretboard without damaging it. Please be sure to avoid using harsh detergents or cleaning supplies since they may leave traces of chemicals or residue on the wood. Keep a close watch if you are using alcohol and vinegar since they may damage the color or surface of your guitar. If you feel that the fretboard is becoming damaged, please get a professional repairman to fix it instead of trying to do the job yourself.