5 Tips To Care For and Clean Your Fingerboard

by Carolina Bridges

Banjos are played and banjos get dirty; that is just a fact of life with banjo.  Cleaning your instrument can be easy if you just have the right tools.

Here are 5 tips on caring for and cleaning your fingerboard.

The fingerboard on the banjo gets the most wear. Keeping it clean and moist is not as difficult as you might think.

1.  Deering Pink Care Cloth: Truly this is the easiest way to do it. Just wipe the fingerboard and the back of the neck with the pink care cloth that already has the safest kind of wax to keep it clean and shining.

2.  Almond oil: You want to use food-grade almond oil like you find at the health food store. Just take a soft white cloth and put some almond oil on it.  Rub it down the fingerboard and follow up with a dry cloth. This will keep the ebony nice and moist and prevent cracking.

3.  Yamaha Bore oil: This oil has been used to protect the inside of woodwind instruments from drying out. Guitar makers also use it on their fingerboards to protect them during the finishing process.

  • Put some of the bore oil on a paper towel or soft white cloth.
  • Rub lightly over the fingerboard.
  • Remove excess with a clean towel/cloth.

4.  Cut your fingernails regularly. You may have seen banjos with little valleys in the space between the frets. Believe it or not, these are worn down by the fingernails.  Cutting them will keep this wear to down and make your fretting cleaner and crisper as well.

5.  Don’t press so hard on the frets - this will prevent the steel strings from wearing grooves in the frets that can cause buzzing.

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