Kris' Tech Tips: Fret & Fingerboard Care

Picture the scene, you’re just about to plug in the guitar you love to play but like most of us it’s the workhorse of your guitar collection and doesn’t get the TLC it deserves. 

You pick it up to play that first windmill chord, only to find that it sounds rather dull!

“Why is this happening, it’s not been long since I put new strings on?” is the comment we get from many a customer.

There are several reasons why it could be happening, and most remedies are simple and can be done at home, but of course we can do it for you... 

Dirty fretboard

Over time the fretboard can accumulate dirt (it's not mojo!) from your fingers and every time the strings are fretted, that dirt can accumulate underneath. This can cause the strings to buzz and sound dampened if left uncleaned over a period whilst also making them harder to play. 

A Strings Blog: Tech Tips

A dirty fretboard can also present a variety of issues when playing but is most notable when bending strings, where normally it should feel smooth it can feel uneven and harder to glide over. 

What can I do?

Simply wiping down the strings after use will help the prolong longevity and reduces the chance of buzzing, there are also other products that can help penetrate the dirt on those strings.

Here are a few good products we use to consider:


Keeping the fretboard clean can feel like more of a task than just keeping the strings clean but during a string change a quick wipe down can help reduce build up of dirt but when it gets past the point of a quick wipe down then a helping hand is needed.

With use of an old toothbrush and some fretboard cleaner/oils the grime that was once causing you issues will wipe off. 

A Strings Blog: Tech Tips

For fretboards with excessive amounts of dirt please see your local service centre.

Here are some products to help you clean that dirty fretboard:


Dirty frets

While most of us don’t really take notice of how the frets on our guitars become dirty or corroded, it is an essential part of the guitar to regularly clean as the build-up of dirt and corrosion can create an uneven surface for the strings to rest on. Take for example a sharp knife, it will easily cut through most things but add some corrosion to the equation and it becomes harder to glide that knife through and that just doesn’t cut it for us!

A Strings Blog: Tech Tips

What can I do about it?

There are hundreds of products on the market designed to combat the issues of dirt and corrosion, some of these products are simple to use but can present a danger of damage to the lacquered fretboards if used incorrectly.

Using light grit sandpaper or wire wool can quickly clean up the frets but a lot of preparation needs to go into protecting the guitars fretboard and body, there are protective tools that can be bought to aid with this.

A Strings Blog: Tech Tips

Below are just a couple of products we recommend for cleaning those dirty frets:

As always, if you are unsure please contact your local service centre.




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