Regular bass guitar maintenance can mean tweaking your truss rod, but at other times – and too often ignored – it just means keeping the dang thing clean.
And it’s more than just having your instrument look good. A clean instrument will also be a better sounding instrument.
Today we’re looking at how to clean your fretboard.
First of all, and we hate to harp on you about this, but you should really wipe down the fretboard after playing the bass. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
And as we talked about regarding keeping your strings clean, wash you hands before you play. That junk doesn’t just magically appear on your bass overtime, it comes from the dirty, oil, and dead skin from you hands.
When it comes to cleaning your fretboard, the first thing you want to do is wipe the whole thing down with a dry cloth to remove all loose grim and dirt. If there is a build-up on gunk, an old toothbrush usually work well.
To keep the wood of your fretboard healthy it is important to keep the moisture level consistent. Dry wood shrinks, and a shrinking fretboard is no good.
You can use oils to maintain the wood, but you’ve got to be careful. There are quite a few oils marketed specifically to guitar-players, along with other lemon and mineral oils that players use. With the different types of woods and oils, it can be helpful to test out the oil in a inconspicuous location to see how the wood reacts to the oil. If it darkens the wood, and you’re not looking for that, it’s probably best that you test out a different oil.
Be conservative in your use of the oil, rub your fretboard down with it, and give it a few minutes to absorb. Afterwards take a clean towel and rub down the fretboard again to remove any excessive oil.
Jewelry polishing clothes work best for cleaning the frets. You can use different cleaners on the frets, but you have to be careful not to get them on the wood, as they may contain harmful chemicals.
And after you’re done, and your bass’ fretboard is looking grand, remember to keep it that way by washing your hands and wiping off sweat and oil after each use.