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Lemon Oil

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(@kblake)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 323
Topic starter  

Hi all,
Regarding Lemon Oil for fretboards.
Is this a special mix you get from guitar shops or a general thing you can get from a grocer?
Keith

I know a little bit about a lot of things, but not a lot about anything...
Looking for people to jam with in Sydney Oz.......


   
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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

You can get it anywhere, but you have to make sure that it's lemon oil made for care of wood products. The kind you want is NOT from lemons. It is lemon scented mineral oil, very similar to baby oil just with a different smell. Real leomon oil is an astringant or solvent or something and would dry out and damage a guitar. I used to use lemon oil but Ric has me converted to moisturizing my fretboards with extra virgin olive oil now. It is not petrolium based and it tastes better. :lol:

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

What TR said.

Be very, very careful NOT to use the oil that's actually extracted from lemon (or other citrus) peels. It's a powerful solvent, closely akin to turpentine. Likely to damage guitar finishes.

I often eat lunch with ice tea served in Styrofoam cups. After squeezing lemon into the tea, if I don't carefully wash the lemon oil off my fingertips, my fingerprints eat through the foam cup and it'll leak. Leave the tea sitting for a while, and the lemon peels resting against the side of the cup will erode into the foam.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

good thing guitar fretboards are not made of foam. :lol:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Yeah, but guitar necks get finished with various sorts of films that I wouldn't put citrus peel oil (or turpentine) on.

I think that's likely what happened to the guitar neck pictured in another thread about "chipping around frets" or some such.

The most proper way to lubricate and condition your fretboard and strings is to eat fried chicken and/or ribs while you're playing.
:mrgreen:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@kblake)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 323
Topic starter  

Thanks for the info guys....
I am glad I asked and did not go and pillage the neighbours lemon tree and mix up my own LOL
Keith

And Ric,

I'll take the ribs anyday.

I know a little bit about a lot of things, but not a lot about anything...
Looking for people to jam with in Sydney Oz.......


   
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(@bluezoldy)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 329
 

Be very, very careful NOT to use the oil that's actually extracted from lemon (or other citrus) peels. It's a powerful solvent, closely akin to turpentine. Likely to damage guitar finishes.

A very popular product in hardware stores here is one based on lemon or orange oil and it's great for removing sticky labels, chewing gum etc.

Keith, I use Kyser Dr Stringfellow Lem-Oil which I got from Haworths in Kiama.

Cheers, Ron ..

♪♫ Ron ♪♫

http://www.myspace.com/bluemountainsblues


   
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(@mmoncur)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 168
 

I like Fret Doctor. $20 for a lifetime supply. It soaks into fretboards nicely, looks great, loses its oily external texture after a day or two, and even smells good.


   
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(@eadgber)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 43
 

Ok yea I def understand that any citrus acid is bad (anything with silicone too is bad bad bad). Is anyone really using regular mineral oil like found in any store? I was always afraid of that. I guess I thought it has to be impure. What's this Olive oil talk? Have I been over spending for gtr cleaner & conditioners? What are you all using & swear by? just wondering


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

I've used olive oil very satisfactorily for years. I have a bunch of Fender and Gibson stuff for guitar cleaning, string and fretboard lubes that I've never gotten around to trying. Haven't needed them.

Mineral oil as sold in the drug stores for a laxative and baby oil are both essentially the same stuff as "lemon oil." Lemon oil is white medicinal mineral oil with a lemon fragrance, baby oil is the same with a floral fragrance, and the laxative stuff has no fragrance.

There are no cleaning, lubrication or finishing products made specifically for guitars, nor is there any need for such. The guitar and accessory companies repackage standard bulk products.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Yeah, laxative .... ummm so does that mean it's the s@#t? :lol:

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@crate1)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 13
 

I bought a small bottle at the local music store labeled under the store's name "Musik Alley" that says fretboard restore by DMC products. Seems to work pretty well for fretboards... as a laxative, further testing would be needed. :D


   
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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Well keep us posted crate 1 ! :lol: As I said above, Ric converted me to olive oil and it took a while. Like a year or two, but I've used it without issue. Even used it to set up a friends guitar when I installed a pickup. I did the setup as a courtesy, he was blown away. When I told him what I did he was like ... Olive Oil????? :lol: He really appreciated the action and intonation though. 8)

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@bmancv-60)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 135
 

Ok, this is too much. I love to cook, and I love playing around (and learning) on guitar. Now you tell me I can use one oil for both??? Heaven! :lol:

Can't wait to try it!

"...I don't know - but whasomever I do, its gots ta be FUNKY!"


   
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(@gnease)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

This topic comes up often enough to be a sticky in Repair and Maintenance. A summary, with additions

Acceptable oils for care of fretboards:

:) Olive oil,
:) Mineral oil - plain or lightly scented

Cleaners for guitars

:) Clean, slightly dampened-with-water cloth, microfiber is very good (NO silcone-treated polishing cloths),
:) Naptha (cigarette lighter fluid) -- sparingly, on clean cloth for the tough jobs; test on small area

Unacceptable/damaging to guitars/finishes:

:evil: Citrus-based cleaners (e.g., Goo Gone, and other oils of lemon/orange),
:evil: silicone-bearing polishes/cleaners and cloths,
:evil: turpentine, mineral spirits, paint remover, acetone (e.g., finger nail polish remover) -- somewhat obvious

... and from very recent experience I will add to the bad list:

:evil: spray-on insect repellent - hard on some finishes, esp nitrocellulose lacquer

-=tension & release=-


   
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