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Tools for the Task: Fretboard Care

Show your fretboard some love, and it will love you right back. Check out this sampling of conditioners.

You change your strings regularly. Awesome! But how much effort are you putting into cleaning and conditioning your fretboard when changing said strings? Your fretboard is where much of the magic happens, so you should be doing whatever you can to prevent unwanted natural occurrences like cracks and loosening frets. You want to keep your fretboard looking nice too, right? This month, we’ve rounded up a sampling of the available products that will help your fretboard play and look its best.

Lem-Oil

Containing no waxes or synthetics, Lem-Oil is specially formulated for fretboards and other oil-finished wood surfaces. It cleans, polishes, protects against drying, and also tones down surface scratches and blemishes.

KYSER
$95

Fretboard Conditioner

Made with orange oil, this conditioner is formulated to clean and condition without residue on the frets or damage to porous woods. Regular use is intended to prevent warping.

LIZARD SPIT
$95

F-ONE Oil

This lemon-oil free conditioner is a complex mixture of ultra-refined tree and seed oils. Never sticky or tacky, the formula penetrates and conditions the wood to dry fast and give a long-lasting new look.

MUSICNOMAD
$99

Fret Board Juice

This fretboard conditioner is a safe cleaner and moisturizer, free of any solvents that can loosen frets and inlays over time. Unlike many others, Fret Board Juice contains no lemon or citric oil—only highly refined, ultra-pure mineral oil.

BIG BENDS
$75

Planet Waves Hydrate Fingerboard Conditioner

This non-buildup treatment formula removes dirt and grime, cleans and conditions dark natural-wood fretboards, and restores natural moisture to fretboards to prevent drying, cracking, and other damage.

D’ADDARIO
$29

Fretboard 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil

This formula will remove grime and quickly help bring a fretboard to its original luster. Once dirt is removed, Fretboard 65 aids in keeping it away by providing an invisible barrier against stains and moisture.

DUNLOP
$49

Wonder Wipes Fretboard Conditioner

These individually wrapped wipes quickly nourish a neck with their unique blend of orange, jojoba, and linseed oils that eliminate dirt and grime from a fretboard in one simple swipe. (Package of six.)

ERNIE BALL
$99

Ax Wax

This organic cleaning/polishing/moisturizing formula is safe for the entire instrument as it contains no wax, abrasives, silicones, synthetics, or acids. As a raw-wood conditioner, it helps protect fretboards and bridges in climates from dry to humid.

DR. DUCKS
$95

Fingerboard Conditioner

This conditioner is formulated to restore the natural beauty of porus-wood fretboards. The orange oil lifts sweat and grime from both the frets and fretboard, while the mineral oil protects against drying, warping, and cracking.

GOBY LABS
$99

Guitar Honey

This unique blend of conditioning oils for rosewood, ebony, and other exotic woods will cleanse and enhance a fretboard’s natural character, giving it a silky feel and glowing sheen while protecting against moisture, sweat, alcohol, and grime.

GERLITZ
$95

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Photo by Anna Azarov

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Photo by Matt Furman

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