Can I Use (Coconut, Olive, Lemon) Oil, Vinegar On My Guitar

Many people try to use household oils or products to maintain their guitar hoping to lower the costs. If you own a guitar you might ask yourself if I can use any of them it in order to clean and maintain your guitar.

hoping to lower the costs. If you own a guitar you might ask yourself if I can use any of them it in order to clean and maintain your guitar.

So, Can you use coconut oil, olive oil, lemon oil or vinegar on your guitar? You must NOT use coconut oil, olive oil, lemon oil or vinegar on your guitar either the strings, fretboard or any other part. all of these products can cause unrecoverable damage to the wood of your guitar because they are acidic.

9 Products You Must NOT Use As Cleaning Solution For Your Guitar

  • Coconut Oil:
    Your main concern should be on your wood. Therefore you need to apply oils to the right parts of the guitar which will be safe also for your guitar’s word. If you do apply some kind of oil that may cause damage to your fretboard you may anticipate that the frets may come off or even worse you will destroy the wood.
    Coconut oil is acidic but it has a longer life than the other vegetable oils. Eventually, it will decompose, and as a result, it will attract dust and dirt.
    Another issue with the coconut oil is that it solidifies with room temperature, which makes it harder to work with.
  • Olive Oil:
    Olive oil will get spoiled quickly which will result in bad smell, dirt, grime, and rust to your guitar strings, frets and other parts of the guitar if applied.
    Unlike the coconut oil, it will stay in liquid form, but you shouldn’t use vegetable oils on your guitar as it will damage your strings and other parts of your guitar that are more valuable, like your fretboard or the entire neck. The damage can we irreversible to your guitar’s wood if it is absorbed enough over an extended time of use.
  • Lemon Oil:
    The lemon oil is acidic as the other vegetable oils. Therefore should avoid putting it on your guitar as well.
    However, there are some commercial solutions that are labeled as lemon oil but really are mineral oil with a lemon scent. These solutions are mainly used as a conditioner for the fretboard.
  • Vinegar:
    Like the other vegetable oils, it is acidic. It will damage your guitar. Not to mention the bad smell it will leave on your guitar for several days.
  • WD-40:
    Cleaning guitar with a WD-40 shouldn’t be considered at all, even if some guitarists do clean the strings it. The WD-40 is intended to use on metal parts only, as your guitar mainly made of wood and these solutions can cause irreversible damage to your wood, you should stay away from this.
    The WD represents “Water Displacer” which means it can dry your guitar wood and as a result, your guitar can crack up.
  • Rubbing Alcohol:
    Although it may seem to be a good idea at first, as the rubbing alcohol can clean all the dirt and the grim from your guitar, overall it can be very destructive to your guitar.
    When you apply the alcohol on your guitar directly or not to the wood. Some of it will get on the wooden parts of your guitar than the wooden parts will suffer from this because the alcohol will dry the wood and it may cause fractures in the wood.
  • Grease:
    The main ingredients that compose grease are dirt, humidity, and salt. when those come in contact with the metallic strings you can be sure that it will get rusty quickly. not to mention it is quite sticky and can damage other wooden parts of your guitar that are more valuable than your strings.
  • Linseed Oil:
    This kind of oil meant to be used on unpolished wood. using it as a cleaning solution shouldn’t be considered on any part of the guitar.
    In addition, this oil smells really bad so you may also want to avoid using it on the right guitar parts.
  • Tung Oil:
    If you want to use the tung oil you should only use it on unfinished wood parts of the guitar. this oil isn’t supposed to clean or maintain your guitar in any matter what so ever.

What Can I Use To Clean My Fretboard?

First of all, it depends on your fretboard wood. If your guitar fretboard is made of maple you can’t use any type of solution to lubricate it. Wiping your fretboard with cloth thoroughly would enough. However, if it is made from Rosewood, Pau or Ebony you can use any commercial solutions you will like. one bottle will not cost much and will last you for years as you need a few drops once a year.

The fretboard oils also referred to as conditioners are mineral oil or neutral oils that are extracted from tree or seeds

What Can I Use To Clean My Guitar Strings?

Mineral oil is one of the common ingredients in commercial products for guitar maintenance. Well established manufacturers that make products for you guitar maintenance put their longtime knowledge into their products so you will not have to overthink if one of the products can damage parts of my guitar or not, every product has a single purpose of use. Therefore you should use the appropriate solution for the relevant task.

How To Properly Clean Guitar Strings

what do you need to clean your guitar strings?

  • Cloth to wipe your guitar strings
  • A mineral-based solution.

The Steps To Clean Your Guitar Strings

  1. Free your hands
    Place your guitar face-up on a solid surface so your hands will be free to work on your guitar.
  2. Rap your string with the cloth
    Take one end of your cloth and place it under the strings and with the other end cover the strings. The end result should be that the cloth will cover the strings from the bottom and the top.
  3. Slide the cloth across the guitar
    Slide the cloth up and down the strings a few times. Don’t repeat it to many times three times should suffice. Pieces of cloth might stick to the strings and it can be hard to remove them. Therefore you should not apply too much pressure when you perform this action.
  4. Apply the solution to the cloth
    Don’t take off your cloth just yet. Open the top part of your cloth. Apply a little bit of cleaning / lubricating solution on the cloth. Close the top part. Your cloth should be raped around the strings.
  5. Slide the cloth across the guitar
    Repeat action number three with the solution applied to the cloth
  6. Solutions with a sponge
    There are solutions that will have a sponge attached to them. In that case, apply the solution using that sponge directly to the strings. Slide the sponge applied to your guitar strings by going up and down a few times.
  7. Remove extra solutions from the strings
    Take your cloth off and flip it to the other side where it is still dry and doesn’t have any solution to it. Of course, it would be better to keep another dry cloth for this process. Rap the cloth around your strings like on step number two and slide the cloth across the guitar as in action number three.


You shouldn’t take slightly the maintenance of your guitar, if you will apply the wrong substance on your guitar it can cause irreversible and costly damage to it. Therefore you shouldn’t apply anything on your guitar that you are not familiar with or did a reacher on it.

You should stay away from all the vegetable oils of any kind. Don’t use any woodworking oils on your guitar as well. Of course, you extremely advised not to use wd40, grease or rubbing alcohol in order to maintain your guitar.

Overall, the oils that you can safely apply to your guitar are mineral-based oils. They won’t harm the other wood of your guitar in that process. I recommend to use a well known commercial product and avoid homemade and unknown manufacturers.


I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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