How to Clean a Martin Guitar Fretboard

Written by carl hose
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How to Clean a Martin Guitar Fretboard
Cleaning the fretboard of an acoustic guitar is a simple process. (acoustic guitar image by Jim Mills from

The C.F. Martin guitar company, established in 1833, makes high-quality acoustic guitars, typically using rosewood or ebony materials for the fretboards. Cleaning the fretboard on a Martin guitar isn't a difficult process and can help you ensure your guitar maintains its natural beauty, sound and playability.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Canned air
  • Guitar polish
  • Alcohol
  • Soft cloth
  • Cotton swabs

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  1. 1

    Remove the strings from your guitar. It's a good idea to go ahead and replace the old strings with new ones while you have them off, but you can return the old strings to the guitar if you choose.

  2. 2

    Blow canned air over the fretboard of your guitar, paying special attention to the edges of each fret, because dust can collect there. Hold the air nozzle close to each fret and run it along both sides. This should remove a lot of embedded dust.

  3. 3

    Dampen a soft cloth with alcohol and wipe down the fretboard of your guitar. This will remove any dirt or oil left behind from your fingers. Use a cotton swab dampened with alcohol to remove any trace dirt around the edges of your frets.

  4. 4

    Spray a light coat of guitar polish onto the reverse side of your soft cloth and wipe it over the length of your fretboard. You can purchase this polish at just about any music store. The polish will help seal your fretboard and give it a shine. It will also help facilitate smoother action when you play.

  5. 5

    Replace the strings on your guitar, tune up, and you'll be ready to play again.

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