I recently had a little mishap while cleaning the fredboard and spilled almost half a bottle of lemon oil over my guitar. Unfortunately lemon oil has the word "oil" in it, therefore it takes a lot of patience wiping it off with just a moist cloth.

How can I, without harming the materials, remove the excess lemon oil from the following guitar parts:

  • String posts (makes the strings slip when tuned too strong),
  • Strings (makes the fingers slip) and
  • Body (just doesn't look good)

The guitar in question is a Yamaha CX40 classical guitar with plastic string posts and flatwound strings.

  • 1
    Just a paper towel and/or a paper towel with a little mild dish soap and water on it - just so it's damp, not fully wet. Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:18
  • Sounds like you need some Lemon aid! Sorry, couldn't help myself. Try a small absorbent camping towel.
    – Dedwards
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


Body & string posts...
Microfibre cloths*, one wetted then squeezed as dry as you can get it, the other completely dry. Wipe over with the damp one, then dry with the dry. Repeat gently rather than scrub.
If that isn't completely effective [it should be with patience rather than elbow grease] then add a squirt of clear window cleaner to the wet cloth.

[or if you must try it, boil in water with washing up liquid, which I've never found to be successful]

*The best microfibres for this type of task are actually the cheapest ones, available from any supermarket. They have lots of 'fluffy loops' that cling to your fingers when you pick them up [weird feeling, like picking up tiny velcro]. The specialist glass-cleaner cloths with a smooth finish can be too harsh on softer surfaces.

  • I admit, i was hoping for a miracle solution, but there is problably no way around several wet and dry microfibre cloths and a little patience (especially on the hard-to-reach string posts). A pity for the strings though, they are new and expensive. Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:49
  • I had a late thought of electrical degreaser spray for the posts. Shouldn't harm the varnish, but be sparing.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:50

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