Cleaning a heavy poly maple board?

notCardio

I walk the line
What's the best for heavy poly (besides removing the heavy poly of course)?.

Alcohol? Lemon oil? Heavy poly shouldn't need oiled, I would think.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
My guitar doesn't need this yet, but this is what I would use :


 

notCardio

I walk the line
My guitar doesn't need this yet, but this is what I would use :


The Sweetwater thing says just to use a regular guitar cleaner. Iwouldn't think that Fingerboard Remedy would be good for poly with beeswax in it. Seems like that would gum it up. I've used alcohol and lemon oil on satin finish maple, but I've never done a heavy poly.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
It's compatible with all finishes, though the bottle states it's for UNfinished fretboards. Confusing. I believe you can use this if there are no cracks in the finish to let it get to the wood - that would discolor those areas.

The Guitar Remedy seems to be essentially the same as their Guitar Cleaner - both have carnuba:

 
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Gtoboy

Well-known member
I use both Fantastik and formula 409. Neither has ever messed up the poly on my guitars.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
If it's a poly finish, there's very little that will hurt it. Polyurethane is tough stuff. Isopropyl alcohol won't dissolve polyurethane, nor will mineral oil or a little naphtha.
The carnuba wax will just give the finish a bit of a slick feel if you polish it, just like car wax.

I have one guitar with a poly fretboard, and I've never even bothered to clean it. A quick wipe with a rag has been fine.
 
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notCardio

I walk the line
If it's a poly finish, there's very little that will hurt it. Polyurethane is tough stuff. Isopropyl alcohol won't dissolve polyurethane, nor will mineral oil or a little naphtha.
The carnuba wax will just give the finish a bit of a slick feel if you polish it, just like car wax.

I have one guitar with a poly fretboard, and I've never even bothered to clean it. A quick wipe with a rag has been fine.
I'm not really worried about damaging the poly so much as i don't want to gum it up and make it stickier.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
An old bandmate used to clean his Strat's maple board with something that made it slippery as hell. I couldn't play it because my fretting was to heavy - the strings would shoot out from under my fingers as soon as I formed a chord. He had such a light touch it didn't bother him.
 

notCardio

I walk the line
An old bandmate used to clean his Strat's maple board with something that made it slippery as hell. I couldn't play it because my fretting was to heavy - the strings would shoot out from under my fingers as soon as I formed a chord. He had such a light touch it didn't bother him.
That sounds more like Fret Ease, sprayed on the whole board, strings and all. Makes the strings slipperty too. But after a while, it gets gummy.
 

Davcxbr

New member
I have been a wood worker longer than I've been a guitarist. If the stuff doesn't come off with a damp cloth, don't go with more water and detergent. There may be paths where the frets are inserted into the neck that water could get in. And usually, what people describe as "gunk" will usually need some solvent. Your description is not clear that this is stuff on the finish and not the finish softening for some reason. If it is, take it to somebody that knows what to do. This is not a home remedy situation. Otherwise, like others suggested, naphtha, even paint thinner will probably be good used sparingly with a rag. Most finishes on guitars these days would be safe, but be more careful with elderly guitars.
 

Slouching Raymond

Active member
I like maple fretboards, and believe my fenders are laquered.
I just go at them with el cheapo abraisive kitchen cleaner liquid.
My nails tend to dig holes in the fretboard over time, and expose patches of raw wood.
I'm not fussy.
 

RFR

Well-known member
Heavy poly. Good lord. Yuk!

Worst finish for feel ever, why not just have a neck made out of a surfboard. Or cast resin.

Whew! That that I got that off my chest, I can give a bias-free answer.

What you can clean that with is almost anything. You could probably even use paint thinner on it. I don’t recommend that, but the only thing I’ve found that strips that stuff is heavy duty solvents such as aircraft stripper.
It’s pretty much impervious to anything else.
Practically any ordinary household cleaner will clean it up.
You gotta remember, you’re not cleaning wood. You’re cleaning a hard resin.

For especially filthy boards, Goo Gone works really well.
With any cleaner, be observant of any chips or breaks in the poly. Avoid those so your cleaner doesn’t contact raw wood.

Whatever you use, warm soapy water in a damp rag will get any cleaner residue off.

For general cleaning Naptha (lighter fluid works real well. It evaporates quickly and leaves no residue.

All in all, poly is durable stuff and just about any cleaning product will work.

But my personal preferences are GooGone and Naptha.
 

keith.rogers

Well-known member
A small bottle of mineral spirits is cheaper than GooGone, which is mostly made up of the same thing. Doesn't smell as nice, but doesn't leave GooGone's oily residue to clean off. It is more effective than naptha in some cases, but since it is "paint" thinner, you do need to check it on the finish, like under the pick guard, if you are unsure what it is. A modern, Fender poly finish is generally not going to be bothered by much short of a flame thrower or belt sander, though.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
A modern, Fender poly finish is generally not going to be bothered by much short of a flame thrower or belt sander, though.
So THAT's how they do this! 😁

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