Oiling the fretboard

I’m going to change the strings for the first time on my electric guitar and I was wondering, do I oil the fretboard like I do when I do my acoustic?

Thanks. :slight_smile:

Yep. :slight_smile:

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I oil mine, but not every time I change strings. Plan is to probably oil it once a year, but not sure.

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Speedy replies. Thanks guys. :+1:

Hi Stefan,
I will but beware of which fretboard and which oil…not all types go well together


@roger_holland that’s a very good point

The correct answer is what is you fret board made of.
If it is Maple as on some Strats and Teles No you never oil Maple fret boards. If your fret board is Rosewood or Ebony and is properly humidified there is no need to oil it.


Oh, never simple is it? :confused:

I’m using some lemon oil and this is what it say’s my guitar neck is… NECK WOOD: Hard-Rock Maple w/ Maple board.

That answers that one then. Thanks everyone. :slight_smile:

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I’ve read that if you over-oil your fretboard the wood can become soft and the fret wires can become loose.
The tinyest bit of fret oil enhances the appearance of rosewood and ebony. You don’t oil maple.


Gordon this is the only real reason to oil a fret board and bridge on a properly humidified guitar. The main reason given for oiling a fret board is that it is dry. If your fret board is dry so is your guitar so humidifying it would be the correct thing to do.
Other than Maple, Fret Boards are unfinished wood just like the inside of your guitar and nobody oils the inside of their guitars do they. If you like the look of an oiled fret board and bridge there is nothing wrong with Like you said the Tiniest bit of oil. But it is not necessary for the health of the fret board.


It’s not about oiling, but the last time I took my guitar for a setup to the luthier, I was quite surprised to see he used a sort of big fluffy buffing wheel thingy. I asked if it makes the fretboard more slinky, and he said it indeed does and helps with string bending and makes larger movements on the neck more comfortable.

I found this article which explains why the frets may need to be cleaned sometimes.


From my Fender manual:

“And remember- no oil on finished surfaces (including maple fingerboards)”


Yeah, my guitar came back from its latest service with cleaned/polished frets. I don’t know what kind of tool they used, might have been a buffing wheel like you describe. The frets look great and feel great.

Oil is a wood finish, not a cleaning/maintaining product. I’d never oil any wood unless the finish is wearing off - and even then would be super careful.

Over oiling creates a sticky mess.

However I would buff the fretboard with a micro fibre cloth. And if sticky id personally use a tiny bit of windex but that’s just me, I don’t like a greasy surface.

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I never oil fretboard and I think one should be careful about using oil on fretboard.

You don’t oil maple indeed but once in a while, an ebony or rosewood fretboard needs a bit of swiping. Just a bit of designated lemon oil based product (not actual 100% pure lemon oil) works nicely to clean the gunk and leave a nice finish. If you play a lot in a dry country, you might want to check on that every six months but still, don’t use too much. Otherwise less frequent treatments of the fretboard are needed. Too much will make it sticky and gooey. If it is just for cleaning, just use z tiny bit

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My Revstar Standard RSS02T electric guitar spec says Fingerboard Material Rosewood
so is it safe to use Dunlop 65 lemon oil because on the oil it says do not use it on finished fingerboard but I have no idea if my fingerboard is finished or unfinished :slight_smile:

Rosewood is unfinished wood but there is no need to oil a fret board unless the fret board is extremely dry. Even then humidifying the fret board would be the correct thing to do. If you like the look of an oiled fret board it won’t hurt it unless you use to much. Using oil to clean a fretboard is completely wrong all that does is force the dirt into the wood. So make sure you clean the fret board first before you use any oil.

yep I have all those stuff but not using it . the more I think about it the possibility of bringing harm is more :slight_smile: