How To Clean Maple Fretboard: 5 Easy-to-follow Steps To Restore Shine To Your Frets! 

If you’re a guitar enthusiast who wants to maintain the pristine condition of your Maple fretboard but doesn’t know how to, you’re in the right place! With available tools and cleaning solutions, let me show you easy-to-follow steps on how to clean Maple fretboard.  

Before we begin, you should know that Maple is a delicate tonewood, and it accumulates dirt quickly. So, what happens is if we don’t clean it regularly, it loses the appearance that we fall in love with the first time. Besides, a dirty Maple fretboard affects the way the strings vibrate, resulting in a less clear sound. If you leave the dirt to gather, grime may build up on your fretboard and damage the frets. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of Maple fretboard care! 

Related Post: How To Clean A Guitar Fretboard

How To Clean Maple Fretboard? 

Cleaning a Maple fretboard is an important part of keeping the instrument looking and sounding its best. Mainly there are two types of Maple fretboard; glossy or finished and raw or unfinished. Both fret types require a different process to clean properly.   

To clean a Maple fretboard, you need to use a gentle cleaner that will not strip the wood of its natural oils. But too much cleaner or applying it too aggressively can damage the wood and leave a residue behind. But how to clean Maple fretboard the proper way? Below find the easy-to-follow steps to clean a Maple fretboard; finished, unfinished, or roasted. 

How To Clean Finished Maple Fretboard: 5 Easy-to-follow Steps 

Cleaning a glossy or finished Maple fretboard is relatively easy. You just need to use a fretboard cleaner which is suitable for finished woods. The following steps will help you clean your glossy Maple fretboard well. 

Step 1: Remove the strings from your guitar. If you don’t want to remove strings, loosen them enough that you are able to move them when you clean. 

Step 2: Wipe down the fretboard gently with a microfiber cloth to remove any dirt or grime on the surface. 

Step 3: Take a small amount of fretboard cleaner on a soft cloth or a toothbrush and scrub the cleaner into the wood. 

Step 4: Wipe away any excess cleaner with the microfiber cloth, using gentle circular motions to remove any remaining dirt or grime. 

Step 5: Repeat the process, if necessary, until the fretboard is clean and free of any visible dirt or grime.

How To Clean Unfinished Maple Fretboard: 5 Easy-to-follow Steps 

To clean an unfinished Maple fretboard, you need to use an oil-based fretboard cleaner as this type of fretboard is made of raw wood and typically oil-finished by the manufacturers. Now, follow the below steps carefully so that you don’t damage or remove the finish. 

Step 1: Remove or loosen the guitar strings. 

Step 2: Take the cleaner and apply small amounts directly between the frets. 

Step 3: Use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe around each of the spaces between the frets. You may not see an immediate shine due to the cleaner being absorbed by the Maple. 

Step 4: Allow the cleaner to sit for 2-10 minutes to remove dirt and grime effectively. Then, use a dry cloth to remove excess oil. 

Step 5: Restring and retune your guitar, and you’re all set! 

How To Clean Roasted Maple Fretboard?

The first and foremost thing while cleaning a roasted Maple fretboard is to be gentle. Because the heat treatment process used to roast the wood can make it more brittle and prone to damage. The cleaning process is nearly the same as cleaning a normal Maple fretboard. The only difference is to use lemon oil instead of a fretboard cleaner. Take a small amount of lemon oil to the surface and rub it onto the fretboard with a soft cloth. Let the oil sit for a few minutes, wipe the fretboard down with a clean cloth, and you are good to go. 

Final Words: How To Clean Maple Fretboard 

Following the steps outlined in this post, you can effectively remove dirt, grime, and sweat build-up from your Maple fretboard, keeping it looking and feeling brand new. So, take some time out of your day to give your guitar the TLC it deserves, and get rewarded with a smooth and shiny fretboard to enhance your playing experience.  

FAQ: How To Clean Maple Fretboard 

Can you clean Maple fretboard with water? 

It’s not recommended to clean a Maple fretboard with water as it may cause the wood to warp. Instead, it is best to use a fretboard cleaner or conditioner. Alternatively, you can also use a soft cloth or toothbrush with a small amount of lemon oil to gently clean the fretboard. 

Does lemon oil damage Maple fretboard? 

Lemon oil is safe to use on Maple fretboards, but it is important to follow the cleaning process carefully. Overuse or improper application of lemon oil can potentially damage the fretboard. 

Can I clean my fretboard with vinegar? 

Yes, you can, but you should use caution. Vinegar is an acidic solution, which, if not used correctly, might damage your fret. Make sure to dilute the vinegar with water and use a soft cloth to avoid scratching the fretboard. Don’t let the vinegar sit on the fretboard for too long, as it can strip away the finish or discolor the wood. Also, you shouldn’t use vinegar on a fretboard that has a lacquer finish, as it can damage the finish. In that case, it is best to use a cleaning solution specifically designed for lacquer finishes

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