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    Default what do you use.

    good morning to all. what do you guys use to clean your mandolin & fret board. I would hate for my mandolin to look like Chris Thile's. would not mined having his mandolin, but one would think he would wipe it down.

  2. #2
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    microfiber and water.
    damp microfiber with dish soap.
    Lighter fluid.

    I pick one of those.

    f-d
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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Dry cloth for all wooden parts.
    Dr Duck's Ax Wax for strings.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    microfiber and water.
    damp microfiber with dish soap.
    Lighter fluid.

    I pick one of those.

    f-d
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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    good morning to all. what do you guys use to clean your mandolin & fret board. I would hate for my mandolin to look like Chris Thile's. would not mined having his mandolin, but one would think he would wipe it down.
    I rarely clean mine* but if I do it's just a cloth slightly dampened with water. A friend of mine who owned a high end guitar shop used to recommend Windex and he used that on instruments up into the tens of thousands of dollars.

    *people pay good money to buy instruments that look distressed by years of playing, so why clean off all that valuable mojo?
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    were does one buy Dr. Ducks ax wax. boy do I like the sound of that.

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    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    I use a microfiber cloth. A bit of warm water to dampen it (occasionally).

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    Default Re: what do you use.

    OK .... go to the store and buy a bundle of inexpensive wash cloths preferably white... wash them in the machine to remove any residual chlorine .... use one damp on to clean with and a dry one to buff with. Once a year or so take all the strings off and clean the fingerboard the same way .... then lightly use... a few drops ... of mineral oil to keep it from drying out ..... yes you will have to reset your bridge... the bridge is in the correct place when the tone of an open string is the same as that string noted on the twelfth fret ... the harmonic matches tonally as well ...... R/
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  11. #9

    Default Re: what do you use.

    an what do you guys use on the fret board.

  12. #10
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    were does one buy Dr. Ducks ax wax. boy do I like the sound of that.
    I get mine via Amazon.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    "lighter fluid" = Naphtha, which is a very good cleaning solvent for removing body oils if used sparingly. For people who are using lighter fluid or naphtha as a cleaning agent, I'd strongly advise against leaving any naphtha rag in your instrument case as you could be asking for trouble if you expose a finish to the off-gassing in an environment where evaporation is inhibited (as in a closed instrument case). This will be a problem if a dampened rag is left against the finish for a time, but why take chances even when it's in the little storage box?

    I use a dry, soft, lint-free rag for dusting. For cleaning, at home and not left in the case, I'll use naphtha or other suitable solvents for removing gunk and body oils.
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    I use guitar polish.

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    Eschews Obfuscation mugbucket's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Maybe Chris Thile is on to something. I'll report back when mine is as filthy as his - maybe it will sound just as good...
    Despite the high cost of living, it still remains popular...

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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Gentle cycle on my Whirlpool, then line drying...

    Seriously, I only clean instruments when I'm changing strings. Then I wipe down with a damp cloth, sometimes with a drop of dish detergent, dry thoroughly, then a light spray of Martin guitar polish.

    I rub the cloth a bit harder on the fingerboard, to get rid of any accumulated finger gunk. And I'm frequently amazed, since I sing with guitar accompaniment quite a bit, how many little saliva flecks appear on the side of the guitar that faces up when I play. Who woulda thunk it?
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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by mugbucket View Post
    Maybe Chris Thile is on to something. I'll report back when mine is as filthy as his - maybe it will sound just as good...
    All you'd get is a big muddy mandolin.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Default Re: what do you use.

    I will sometimes clean a dirty fingerboard with scotchbrite. The green for really dirty and white for lightly dirty and after the green. It has the added benefit of polishing the frets.
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  21. #17
    Jim1Hays
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    I use a Product called "Lizard Spit" to clean the entire mandolin. I use fretboard oil once it has been cleaned. Both of these can be purchased at your local music store $12.95 for the Lizard Spit and $8.95 for the fretboard/fingerboard oil.

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    Default Re: what do you use.

    I haven't cleaned my mandolin yet but I've only had it for a year . I don't really clean any of my instruments very often at all except for wiping away the dust from under the strings by the bridge and/or on the headstock (I hate dust). I'll also lightly steel wool any fretboard grunge if it accumulates and oil board if dry but so far there is no grunge on my mando yet.

  23. #19
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    For the body it's just a little condensed breath moisture and a microfiber cloth to remove hand and arm gunk.

    I seldom clean the fingerboard because I'm usually changing one string at a time without full access to the board. On the rare occasions when I do clean the whole board, it's just a dry scrub with a scotchbrite pad. With a super-tight grain ebony fingerboard and a stable humidity environment, I've never felt the need to oil the board.

    My octave mandolin and acoustic guitars have more surface area, and I'll sometimes use stewmac Preservation Polish, more as a cleaner than a polish. There just isn't enough surface area on my mandolin to bother using it, especially with a ToneGard blocking the rear of the mandolin and a bare unfinished back of the neck.

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    Default Re: what do you use.

    I'm with Fatt-Dad and that advice (in that order) is what luthier John Hamlett (Sunburst) provided. I've never had to go so far as naptha.

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    Registered User peterleyenaar's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    I use fast-fret for the strings, a string cleaner , cleans the strings and makes them last longer, after playing, for the mandolin a microfiber cloth slightly damp and with a dry one after, probably every 2 or 3 months.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    OK - If i'm giving any one of them a spring clean (every 3 to 4 months) = no strings / bridge removed :- 1) Polish the frets with a Silver Polishing cloth to get them nice & clean it cleans off any gunge as well. 2) Wipe the fingerboard over lightly with 'Teak Oil (or any natural 'veggie' type oil) & immediately wipe it off - it restores the look of the f/board. 3) I use a spray Beeswax furniture polish on the body & neck. Spray onto a clean cotton cloth,wipe on & polish off with a yellow duster. For cleaning the strings,i use either WD40 sprayed onto a cotton cloth, or Servisol Elec.switch cleaner. Both contain substances that will remove crud from the strings & also leave a microscopic film of anti-oxidant on them.
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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Usually just a dry flannel cloth. They used to give them away at guitar stores years ago. Occasionally will use a microfiber cloth.

    Have been known to occasionally spray some sort of cleaning fluid like Martin or Fender guitar polish on the cloth before wiping down. Don't do that too often, as I never trust liquids around older, crazed finishes on vintage instruments.

    As for cleaning fingerboards, haven't had to do it on mandolin. Yet. On guitar if it looks bad, will used 0000 steel wool rubbed lightly along the length of the board to clean it up. Then compressed air to blow off the little metal fibers that get everyplace. If a fingerboard looks bad after that, then a little bit of lemon oil, rubbed lightly on the board, again along the length. And yes, I've had some repair people tell me to never use lemon oil. And others have told me it's fine.
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    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    an what do you guys use on the fret board.
    Lemon oil, maybe a couple of times a year. and applied sparingly.
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    Default Re: what do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelly View Post
    Lemon oil, maybe a couple of times a year. and applied sparingly.
    When I bought my son his Larrivee guitar a couple years ago, it had been laid up in a case for about twenty years and had a very thirsty fretboard. I was out of lemon oil, my normal go-to, and used some olive oil out of the kitchen in its stead. It was good stuff and seemed to work ok. Just an FYI in case you ever run into the same situation.
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