Best ways to clean Gibson Fretboards

Best ways to clean Gibson Fretboards

Best ways to clean Gibson Fretboards. Gibson Fretboard materials are an integral part of the sound and feel of your guitar. They are designed to help you create your signature tone and are a significant factor in your guitar’s overall performance.

Gibson is well known for using rosewood and ebony for their fretboards, but the company has recently made an effort to use more sustainable alternatives. These include Richlite paper phenolic, which is pressed with a phenolic resin in a low-impact and energy-efficient process.

Best ways to clean Gibson Fretboards

The different Gibson Fretboard Materials



Rosewood is one of the most common guitar fretboard materials used, and it’s also one of the easiest to care for. This wood is renowned for its rich sound, smoothing over harsh highs to deliver a clear and balanced tone that complements almost any guitar.

Another benefit of rosewood is its naturally oily pores, which re-amplify the fundamental tones of the guitar and tame unwanted overtones to create a more neutral-sounding guitar. It also does not require a finish, which makes it a more natural option and a favorite among many players.

Rosewood is also very durable and can stand up to heavy use and frequent tuning changes without losing its shine. In addition, this wood has a naturally dark grain which adds to its appeal and beauty.



Ebony is a dense black/brown hardwood, coming from several species in the genus Diospyros (family Ebenaceae). It is an ornamental wood and has been used for musical instruments, furniture, chess sets, canes, and wands for thousands of years.

It has a fine, smooth texture with a high sheen and is extremely durable. This makes it an excellent material for guitars and other instruments with stringed instruments, such as violins.

But despite its many benefits, this wood is at risk of extinction. This is because of its low supply and high demand, which leads to over-harvesting.

The extinction of this valuable species is a critical sustainability issue, as 60,000-80,000 wood carvers in Africa make their living from it. The slow growth of ebony trees also means that they don’t grow enough to meet the demand.

Baked Maple

Baked maple

Baked Maple is a newer alternative to Rosewood and is a great substitute for players who are concerned about the environmental impact of using Rosewood. The baking process gives it a darker brown look although some inconsistency can be seen as a result of the process.

Despite its appearance, it is not a direct replacement for Rosewood as it still requires a finish to protect it from humidity, but it is a good choice for players who want something a little more natural looking. It feels smoother and faster than traditionally treated maple fretboards, with a more organic but subtle glide.

While many people are skeptical about the use of baked maple as a Gibson Fretboard material, there are several benefits that it can offer. For one, it is much more resistant to humidity and temperature changes than normal maple, which makes it a good option for frequent travelers or those who live in areas with large fluctuations in climate.


Richlite e1675337802181

Richlite is a composite material that is made from recycled paper and phenolic resin. It is a strong and durable wood that can be used to make many different kinds of products, including guitars.

Richlite can be used in a variety of guitar parts, including the body (back, sides, and top) and neck. It is relatively heavy, though, and does not have the tone projection that softer hardwoods tend to offer.

It does hold up well to temperature changes, however, and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, so it’s a good choice for small-shop luthiers and large-scale manufacturers alike.

It’s also easy to repair, which is another benefit of using it. The only downside is that it can’t withstand the pressure that wood can when it’s being played aggressively, so it may not be a good choice for guitarists who want to play a wide range of genres. For that reason, it’s probably best to stick with a traditional wood fretboard if you’re planning on playing multiple styles of music.

Best ways to clean Gibson Fretboards

Choosing the Best Product to Clean Your Fretboard

Choosing the right product for cleaning your fretboard can be confusing and paralyzing. There are so many opinions and different products on the market that it can be hard to know what works best for your bass.

The best product depends on the type of fretboard material your bass is made from. So before you buy anything, be sure to find out what kind of fretboard it is!


Rosewood is one of the most common types of wood used in guitar fretboards and a very popular material choice for a wide variety of guitarists. This is because it offers a deep, rich, and natural tone that many people love to play.

However, like any other wooden guitar, rosewood fretboards need to be cleaned regularly to keep them looking their best. Dirt, sweat, and dead skin collect on a guitar’s fretboard over time and can corrode the wood.

When this happens, it can ruin the tone of the instrument and leave you unable to play it well. To avoid this, it’s important to clean your rosewood fretboard at least 1-3 times per year, depending on how often you play.

The best product to use when cleaning your Rosewood fretboard is 0000 steel wool, which can remove dirt and gunk without damaging the guitar’s delicate frets. This particular type of wire wool is extremely fine and can easily be found at any hardware store, as it’s the same stuff that’s used to polish furniture!

You’ll want to be gentle when using this, and only rub it against the rosewood fretboard in a circular motion. This is because rubbing the steel wool against the grain of the wood can scratch your rosewood fretboard.

Another good option for cleaning your rosewood fretboard is lemon oil, which will help it to shine and look brand new again. This is a great option to use if you have any dulling or discoloration on your rosewood fretboard, and it can be applied with a cloth.

But make sure you choose lemon oil specifically for guitars, as other types of lemon oil that are used to polish furniture may contain additives that can be harmful to your rosewood fretboard.

If you’re unsure which lemon oil is the best for your guitar, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts. They can advise you on the best product to use for your guitar’s needs.

Washing your hands before you play your guitar is also a great way to prevent grime and dirt from building up on your fretboard. This can reduce the amount of cleaning you need to do, as well as reduce how often you need to change your strings.


Whether you’re a seasoned shredder or just a novice strummer, you know how important it is to keep your fretboard clean. It’s a crucial part of your guitar’s sonic identity, and keeping it looking its best is a good way to increase playability and prolong its lifespan.

Ebony is an exotic wood that is prized for its dark heartwood and its durability. It’s often used for musical instruments, as well as a variety of other wood products.

Many different species of ebony grow in forests around the world. Diospyros ebenum (Ceylon ebony) is the most common, but others include Diospyros crassiflora (Gabon ebony), D. humilis (Queensland ebony), and D. celebica (Sulawesi ebony).

The Janka hardness of ebony is generally lower than rosewood, but it can be higher than Indian rosewood. In addition to being extremely hard, ebony is also highly water-repellent.

This makes it a great choice for guitar fretboards because it will stand up to moisture better than most other woods. However, it’s important to note that ebony can become dry in climates with low humidity.

Because of this, it’s essential to regularly rehydrate your ebony fretboard using 100% food-grade mineral oil. This will help to prevent the board from drying out and will also provide a layer of protection that will make it more resistant to damage in the future.

Another option is to use lemon oil, which will give your fretboard a clean look and a nice shine. However, lemon oil isn’t an optimal solution for a long-lasting finish.

It is better to use a specialized ebony fretboard oil that will protect the wood from water and moisture loss, as well as leave it with a soft sheen. The best thing to do is to apply a small amount of the oil and let it soak into the wood for a few minutes before wiping it down with a dry cloth.

As long as you follow these simple steps, you can maintain your ebony fretboard like a pro! With regular care and maintenance, your ebony fretboard will look beautiful and last longer than ever before.

Les Paul Custom with Ebony Fingerboard Gloss
Les Paul Custom with Ebony Fingerboard Gloss

Baked Maple

Maple fretboards are a popular choice on electric guitars due to their attractive tone and ease of maintenance. As you’d expect, they can be prone to dirt and marks when played, so it is important to keep them clean at all times to extend their lifespan.

The best way to clean a Maple fretboard is with a non-abrasive cleaner that is compatible with this type of wood. This can be as simple as using a spray or even a small amount of oil, depending on whether you have a raw or finished fretboard.

For an unfinished Maple fretboard, it is also possible to rub down the board with a fine 0000 steel wool. This will remove any dirt that may have accumulated, while also conditioning the material and preventing it from shrinking or lifting fret ends.

If you’ve got a finished Maple fretboard, it’s still worth investing in some good guitar cleaner or polish to use alongside a clean microfiber cloth for a more thorough job. These products will not only get rid of the dirt, but they will also help preserve the shine and gloss that Maple fretboards have become famous for.

Another great option is to simply wipe down the fretboard with a bit of lemon oil. This will not only clean the fretboard but will rehydrate the wood as well, making it easier for the wood to maintain its shine and sheen.

This will be a lot easier and quicker to do than the alternative of trying to sand down the fretboard. As long as the oil is well diluted, you should be able to easily apply it over the entire board with a soft cloth.

You’ll be able to leave the oil on the wood for about 5 minutes, after which you can wipe it down again with a dry microfiber cloth. This will take the excess oil off and leave your fretboard looking great again!

Baked Maple is a great substitute for Rosewood, and it’s becoming increasingly popular as a result. It’s a good choice for those who prefer the darker, more richly colored tone of Rosewood without its hassles. However, it can be difficult to tell if it’s the right choice for you because the tone can vary quite a bit from one guitar to the next.


When choosing a fretboard material for your guitar, you need to consider what it is made from and whether or not it’s durable. The materials you choose for your fingerboard are important to your sound and playability. It should also be a material that is easy to care for and maintain.

There are many different types of materials used for guitar fretboards. These can range from natural woods to man-made products. Each type of material has its specific qualities that contribute to a guitar’s sound and playability.

Richlite is a man-made fretboard material that’s been around for over 70 years and is a very popular alternative to ebony. This paper phenolic material is made from recycled paper and is an acoustically superior and sustainable option for many guitarists.

Like ebony, Richlite is incredibly durable and can withstand temperature changes without breaking down. The material is also resistant to chipping when refretting and is a good choice for small shop luthiers and large-scale manufacturers alike.

Unlike natural wood, Richlite does not absorb oils from your hands. This makes it easier to clean off with a soft cloth and avoids the use of oil-based cleaners or fingerboard conditioners.

While Richlite is a great material to consider for your fretboard, it does require maintenance regularly. It is best to choose a cleaning product that’s compatible with Richlite. The wrong product can damage the material and make it difficult to repair.

The best product to clean your Richlite fretboard is a simple wipe with a cloth and water. This will help keep the material looking and smelling clean while keeping it safe to play on.

Another option for your guitar is a fretboard that’s made from a carbon fiber composite called Micarta. This material is similar to Richlite and has a smooth surface that looks and feels very much like ebony. It’s a very popular choice for Martin and Taylor and has received positive feedback from players, even those who prefer to stick with traditional woods.

In 2012, Gibson decided that it was no longer cost-effective to obtain ebony and began using Richlite as a replacement. This was a significant move for the famous guitar brand, as it means that one less ebony tree is harvested each time a Richlite fretboard is manufactured.

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