This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you. Learn more.
Pure, Full-Strength Lemon Oil
Pure, full-strength lemon oil, cold-pressed directly from lemon peel, is indeed bad for your guitar’s fretboard. You’ll sometimes see it labeled as “essential oil.”
It’s intense stuff. Despite being an oil, pure lemon oil can cause drying of your fretboard and, with excessive or long-term use, can break down any adhesives that might be holding your frets or fretboard binding (if yours has it).
This kind of pure lemon oil, as well as other citrus oils pressed from peels, contains d-Limonene. D-Limonene is a key ingredient in products like Goo Gone, Simple Green, 3-IN-ONE Degreaser, etc. and for good reason.
At full strength, pure lemon oil can be used to remove adhesives, grease, and even sanitize surfaces. Great for cleaning and sanitizing hard, non-porous surfaces. Way too intense for the fine wood of your guitar’s fretboard.
These sites, articles, and PDF’s all played a role in informing the research of this blog post: