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Hey, I've been hearing from some friends that cleaning your guitar is extremely important for a long time now but I never used to listen since I owned an Ibanez that I didn't care for much (since i bought it used about 3 years ago) but now that I bought a fender which I love I'm getting a little paranoid. I have a Fender American series strat with a rosewood fret board and I really want to keep it nice since I use it for gigs, but I also want it to stay in good condition. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to clean it (please give examples of types of cloths or types of oils for the fretboards and such) thanks.
 

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Wiping it down with a damp clean cloth (I just use a tea towel) fairly often is your best bet.

As for the fretboard, I have been told that clarinet bore oil is among the best substances for this.

Some people use lemon oil but (again I'm told) it tends to leave residue.
 

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New guitar, I never use any products unless I'm cleaning the fretboard (not oiling... not yet, anyway). I take Dan Erlewin's advice, from day 1 of having a new axe (key word new... I use products with a used axe) just use moist breath and a cloth or rag (nothin' special) after every practice session. Works fantastic.

I also clean the strings with a cloth (just put the cloth around each string one at a time, apply pressure with the fingers and just go up and down the string (from the bridge to the headstock) after every session so all that gunk and skin doesn't build up. Plus I have acidic sweat so pretty much all my shit rusts. I got a new Ibanez a couple months back and one of the fine tuners are already rusting.

If you don't have any products with you, check out the Dunlop kits you can buy. They have seperate ones if I recall correctly, one for your finish and one for your fretboard. Very reasonably priced, they're awesome. The only ones I've ever used... except GHS Fast Fret which I'm no longer a fan of. Check 'em out on JimDunlop.com... comes with everything you'll need!
 

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IMO Fret Doctor for the board, you can order it online. I think it's basically bore oil though, as mentioned above.

For cleaning cloths, I use old towels, cut them up. If the guitar is pretty dirty, change the cloth often - you don't want to scratch the finish by swirling dirt around.

For cleaner and polish I use the Fender/Macguires kit, except for the back of the neck, I prefer a Guild spray polish.
 

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hey MetallicaRHCP....
I find microfibre cloths work great all by themselves....for polishing
they are less abrasive than regular cloth made of cotton or polyester

Auger
 

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Also from Dan Erlewin's book, go to your closest fabric store and buy a yard of flannel - shouldn't cost more than $4.00. Then cut it up into smaller usable pieces; should last you for months and it will never scratch your finish.
 

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What is most of the dirt on your guitar from?
- The oils (grease) from your hands.
What cuts grease?
Dish liquid

In my experience a good quality, worn-out cotton t shirt cut up with the seams removed, soaked with water and squeezed out and a squirt of dish liquid worked into it does the trick for cleaning both the body and neck. It does a pretty good job of removing that nasty crud that gets deposited near the frets. Just use the side of a thin/soft guitar pick to rub off the really thick crud! (My guitars never get that because I wash them completely at each string change). I dry it with a fresh piece of that same t shirt. Since you are removing some moisture by de-greasing your fretboard (if it's rosewood - it doesn't matter with maple) I always follow with a good rub or 2 of lemon oil. I usually wait over night or at least a couple of hours to soak in before re-stringing. It doesn't leave a residue on the wood - just the frets so wipe the whole board down.

I use what seems like flannel as a dry buff whenever necessary in between washes. You'll find these in a 3-pack at the dollar store. Just throw one into your case. I do sometimes wipe down my strings with it so it doesn't last all that long - but hey, they're only 33 cents each! These are especially good on acoustics!
 

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i polish my les paul every once in a while with my ernie ball polish cloth and liquid, it came in a nice little box. someone also bought me gibson fretboard conditioner, which i put on every few months. so far so good. you should be able to buy the EB kit at any music store that sells EB stuff, and you can probably pick up some dunlop fretboard conditioner anywhere that sells anything guitar :p
 

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I'll second the micro-fibre cloth. They seem to take all the grease,sweat, and finger prints off with almost no effort or polishing compounds. As for the fret board, I use Dunlop 65. The important thing to remember when cleaning your fret board is to only wipe in the direction of the grain. The greasy build up on the sides of the frets can hold dust that can be abraisive and it might leave visible scratches.

J
 

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A little Martin Polish sprayed onto a soft cotton cloth for cleaning the neck and body (same as Maguire's Quick Detailer) every once in a while...rub down the neck and strings after playing (with some Fender clothes that I've accumulated over the years or shoe shine rags from a hotel supply company). Then, 1-2 times a year, some fret polishing with steel wool (remember to put the lowest tack masking tape on either side of the fret) and a light coat of Gerlitz Guitar Honey (Mike Macleod sells this...www.acousticguitar.net) on the rosewood or ebony fretboards.

I'm not too concerned about which clothes I use as long as they are soft. On my nitro finished guitar, my shirts and various other things are going to leave more scratches than a cleaning cloth. My other guitars are some form of poly or urethane (whatever the modern thin finishes are than aren't nitro)....those are pretty hard to scratch.
 
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