The Cook Trio

How to Clean Maple Fretboard

Do you want to learn how to clean maple fretboard? What is a maple fretboard? A fretboard is a device for playing a stringed instrument. It is a metal strip with holes where the strings go through. The fretboard is where you hold the strings to make them vibrate, and you push the strings down on the fretboard to make the strings make the sound. The guitar’s fretboard is popular with most people who own electric and acoustic guitars. 

The maple fretboard cleaner is a small plastic block that will hold the strings while you clean the fretboard. There are different cleaners, but the most common is a plastic block with a small spongy piece of foam. Some cleaners have a little brush on the side to clean the strings. Some cleaners have a little tube to keep the strings in place. This piece shall discuss how to clean a maple fretboard effectively to maximize the guitar’s life. 

Let us focus on clean maple fretboards. Depending on the maple fretboard surface, which could be either: 

A glossy/ finished maple fretboard or a raw/ unfinished maple fretboard 

Cleaning these surfaces will guarantee that dirt and grit are removed from the unfinished maple neck and frets, extending the instrument’s life. 

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    Glossy/finished maple fretboard

    Maple Fretboard

    This style of finish makes cleaning these fretboards a simple task. Glossy maple fretboards may be cleaned with any normally finished wood cleaner. Don’t apply rough material that can ruin the surface of a glossy maple fretboard; use only a lint-free cloth like a microfiber cloth. Also, clean the guitar’s neck and fretboard after each use to remove dirt and dampness from the areas and the finished woods in general. 

    Use these procedures to clean your glossy maple fretboard thoroughly. 

    • To facilitate access, remove or loosen the strings on the maple fingerboard. 
    • If your fretboard has any gaps, the cleaning cloth can be used to clean in between the gaps. 
    • Spray a fretboard cleaner on the cloth you’re using; avoid spraying directly on the fretboard. 
    • Clean the neck of the acoustic guitar horizontally with a soft cloth. 
    • Turn the cloth, spray more, and perform a second cleaning touch if required. 
    • When finished, toss away the dry cloth or the dry microfiber cloth. You can use a damp cloth to clean the glossy finish, satin finish, or nitro finish.  

    A raw/ unfinished maple fretboards

    Raw maple fretboards are composed of unfinished wood and unfinished maple neck. They must be cleaned and conditioned using an oil-based cleanser. Because this type of fretboard is usually oil-finished, any non-abrasive treatment compatible with the fretboard should work. The unfinished maple fretboard should be cleaned tenderly. 

    Because this type of fretboard is often oil-finished, any non-abrasive treatment compatible with the fretboard should work with the unfinished maple neck. Here are simple ways to clean a raw maple fretboard; 

    • Apply brushstrokes of any suitable oil-based cleaner evenly between the frets. 
    • Clean around each spot with a new lint-free cloth. 
    • Because the cleaning product seeps into the raw wood, you may not notice an immediate sheen. 
    • Allow a few minutes to clean the maple and gently remove any remaining oil using a dry towel. 
    • When you are done cleaning the maple fretboard, toss away both towels. 

    How to Clean Maple Fretboard

    If the maple fretboard or maple fingerboards are too grimy, try removing the strings for thorough cleaning of the fretboard directly. This is accomplished by loosening each string and pulling it off the fretboard. Turn the keys counterclockwise to loosen the bass strings, then clockwise to relax the treble strings. Starting with the thickest string, work your way down to the thinnest. You can easily remove the bridge pins and then take the strings out of their holes with a tool. 

    Once the strings are off the fretboard, you can now clean each string one at a time. You can use a cloth or a clean rag. You can also use a fretboard cleaner, but you must be careful not to get the cleaner on your hands. The cleaner will help get all the dirt off of the strings. 

    When cleaning maple fretboards, remove the guitar neck and keep it a safe distance from the cleaning area. Apply a uniform coating of vegetable oil soap on the fretboard to clean it. Consider spreading it with a paper towel or cloth, starting at the base and working your way up to the last fret. Scrub in tiny circles with fine steel wool immediately after applying the soap. Scrubbing straight with the grain might drive dirt further into the fretboard and harm the wood. To remove the soap and any residue, use paper towels. 

    You will have to put the strings back in the fretboard without putting them back on the wrong holes. To do this, you will have to feel the strings with the tips of your fingers. The strings should go on the holes on the fretboard that you want them to go on. 

    Best Maple Fretboard Cleaners

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    Dunlop Manufacturing produces many ideal solutions for cleaning ebony or rosewood fretboards. However, steel wool may be required when you’ve been negligent and a lot of dirt has accumulated on your instrument’s fretboard. If you do, make sure to use just ultra-fine steel wool. Its tiny steel fibers will clean any dirt without damaging or wearing down the frets. To some extent, it will make sure the instrument is well polished. 

    Wrap your instrument’s pickups using masking tape to stop tiny metal particles from binding to their magnets. After that, slip on some rubber gloves and carefully work the wool further into the fretboard in a rotational movement for maximum efficiency. Brush away any dirt and ensure the board is clean when you’re finished. 

    Compared to ebony wood or rosewood fretboards, maple fretboards are more prone to grime and scratches. Furthermore, it necessitates specialized cleaning and polishing products such as pump polish, guitar polish, and lemon oil for the maple board. 

    You may now treat the fretboard, which plumps the wood and deeply polishes it to make it seem new. Cleaning and conditioning products such as Dunlop’s Guitar Fingerboard Kit and Lemon Oil are ideal for use as fretboard polish.  

    You may use a moist cloth or brush to apply it, or mix it with the preceding step and brush it into the board with extremely fine steel wool. Nevertheless, be gentle with the quantity you intend to use. You don’t want to immerse the fretboard since this might cause a warp fully. Using a little measure makes a big difference in the intended outcome. 

    While extremely fine steel wool can remove grime from an unfinished fretboard, finished boards will only be cleansed with either a dry or moist cloth. Avoid domestic cleaning products because they readily wear down the polish and ruin its shine. 

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    Maple Neck Care and How to Maintain the Maple Fretboard

    cleaning a mapple fretboard

    The quantity of dirt that your guitar strings accumulate will vary greatly depending on the setting you play the most and how long. For example, if you go out and perform most weekends, you’re undoubtedly used to facing a thousand-degree set and standing under so much light to direct a flight in for a landing. Sweating while playing on set under the harshly bright lighting is a big problem for the guitar. 

    Performing in these conditions leads you to sweat profusely, which is dynamite for the guitar. Moisture from sweat and grease on the guitar’s finish not only looks terrible, but it may also wear away the varnish and inflict irreversible damage to the fretboard specifically. This could also damage the instrument’s hardware and electronic parts, thus causing corrosion and additional trouble. 

    If you practice every day in a cool, well-ventilated environment, such as your home, your instrument will usually not need to be cleaned very often. It all comes down to context and surroundings. 

    Because of their softer wood tone, maple fretboards are more prone to exhibiting dirt and grime than rosewood or ebony boards. To make matters worse, conditioning treatments cannot be used to clean maple fretboards. 

    The glossy maple neck and fretboard are low-maintenance and require little attention. The maple fretboard finish protects the wood and usually lasts with little maintenance. Ensure you have clean hands before playing the instrument to keep the instrument’s gloss and appearance intact. When changing strings, dust the instrument’s neck and fretboard using a clean, dry microfiber towel to remove grime and dirt as you clean a maple fretboard. 

    The fretboard and unfinished maple neck are prone to absorbing moisture, grime, and grease from hands and the environment. When not in use, keep it dry and store it in a case. This will prevent humidity from affecting the maple. The fretboard and neck of this sort of guitar should be maintained regularly. To clean them, rub them with fine steel wool. This ensures all the dirt is removed. 

    Use naphtha solvent or mineral oil with a microfiber cloth to clean sticky oils and grime from the fretboard and neck. Finally, apply a guitar polish to smooth out the neck and shine the fretboard. Spray an appropriate oil-based cleaner on a cloth and smoothly polish the neck to make the surface shine and clean. Applying a small amount of oil straight to the surface of a raw maple fretboard and rubbing it smoothly using a paper towel can polish it until it sparingly shines. Do not apply abrasive materials as a cleaning agent. 

    If you want to see a more detailed guide on how to clean your maple fretboard check this video below.

    Final Verdict of Cleaning Maple Fretboard

    Maintaining a fretboard and maple neck is simple; just a few measures will keep your guitar in like-new condition with minimal effort. Consider using the right cleaners and conditioners other than water or household cleaning soap to clean a maple fretboard. Also, each time you clean it, use a fresh lint-free cloth.  

    A clean instrument feels and looks nicer than a dirty, soiled one. It’s essential to keep your instrument tidy if you want it to last and limit the urgency of having to replace any of its components sooner. We hope this information on how to clean a maple fretboard is of help so that you can clean and preserve your maple fretboard well, thus resolving the cause of damage to your acoustic as well as electric guitars. 

    Simon Mattav

    I am the owner of The Cook Trio, a three-piece band that has been performing in the Chicago area for over 10 years. I have a passion for music – everything from guitar to songs. I graduated from the music University of Chicago! My passion is writing songs about my life experiences, feelings and emotions through different genres. My inspirations are some of today’s popular songwriters such as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez among others.

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