Oils (orange, lemon, etc)

This is what the Lakland FAQ is telling me to do:

Q. What recommendations do you have for maintaining the neck on my Lakland Skyline bass?
A. The necks on our Skyline series are relatively maintenance-free but should be cleaned with pure orange oil periodically. Avoid cleaners that contain added thinners or silicone.

We also recommend orange oil for cleaning the fingerboards. The maple fingerboard does not require any sealer after cleaning. We recommend Howard Brand Feed N Wax after cleaning for our rosewood and ebony fingerboards.

I can’t find orange oil anywhere. All I see is lemon oil. Is that as good as orange oil? What’s the difference? The Dunlop 65 Lemon Oil specifically mentions that it’s not suitable for maple, so I assume it’s not equivalent to orange oil.

Or how about this one? The reviews sound good, but it seems to be for ebony specifically, and it doesn’t say anything about the ingredients.

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There are many options on Amazon that I see for wood grade that don’t specifically state they are pure.
But if you are worried about purity, go the food grade route like this I guess. Not sure what’s available by you but should be able to find something.

I just use the Music Nomad F-One oil. I have not obsessed over this quite yet.

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The Lakland faq mentions “Avoid cleaners that contain added thinners or silicone”, so I’m avoiding anything that says “with orange oil”.

Not sure if those aromatherapy oils are suitable for this either…


Not sure for maple. For Rosewood: No. You absolutely do not want a pure citrus oil. They are astringent and will dry out the wood.

Nearly everything marketed as lemon oil is actually mineral oil with a slight lemon scent to it.

Which is what I use for rosewood fretboards; simply D’Addario Lemon Fretboard Oil.

I have heard rumors of people cleaning lacquered maple fretboards with windex :rofl:

Sweetwater has some recommendations:


Silly question…but I got my Bass second hand…and wasn’t told what wood she’s made out of…is there a way to ‘tell’?. The body alone is made up ‘three’ planks!. If this is for another topic, ignore me, I just thought I’d ask!. I would love to clean mine up abit…as I seen some dirt or…something on the fingerboard. Id appreciate it =3

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It’s not so much about which wood it’s made of, it’s more about how it’s finished.

Nitrocellulose, Polyurethane, Lacquered, Oiled, Waxed, Gloss, Satin, Matt… It’s the finish that determines how you care for it, unless the wood is bare and unfinished.

That said, post details of your bass and some pics and I’m sure we’ll be able to figure it out.


This is the one I use on all my rosewood, ebony and pau ferro fretboards. I have not had any problems with it and it makes the boards look and feel great.


@cobaltblue13 Show us your bass. Its always an adventure to figure it out with this friendly bunch.

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Alright, I can try!. I wasn’t sure if it was the wood that mattered or what…I forgot finish can make a difference too, whoops =/.

How’s that?…I’m not sure about details, since I’m a complete noob…not sure if the ‘make’ helps or ‘model’?…she’s a Washburn Bantam…I think I was told it was a 2000 release?…like the year she was made?…I hope that shines some light XD;.


That looks like a satin lacquered finish on the body so nothing special required to clean it.
Music Nomad “all-purpose guitar detailer” should do the job.

For a dark unfinished fingerboard, Music Nomad “F-One oil” will bring it up beautifully. (as will a multitude of other ‘oils’ from other manufacturers).


Oh good…I’m glad it’s nothing too…like fancy…not that I wouldn’t want a fancy Bass, but starting out, I’m good with ‘basic’ at the moment, lol. Thank you! =3


Doesn’t your Lakland have an Ebony fingerboard?
If so, either of the oils you linked should be fine on it. (Although I’d stick with the F-One oil personally).

I’m guessing they’re referring to cleaning the back of the maple neck rather than the fingerboard. Is that bare unfinished wood or satin lacquered?

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Totally agree with @HowlinDawg. The musicnomad stuff seems to be good value and they say they use some of their proceeds to help musicians.

Stick to what ya got (looks like a solid bass) and play play play or else you’ll end up like me spending too much time looking for ‘fancy’ toys instead of doing what really will make you happy. Being a better bass player.

Have fun.


The GZ is ebony, the DJ is maple

The top half was about the neck, the bottom about the fingerboard

Wish I knew what all the various finishes look like… I’d say satin, but I have no idea.

From left to right:

  1. Ibanez SR500E, walnut neck with rosewood fingerboard
  2. Lakland DJ-4, maple neck with maple fingerboard
  3. Lakland 44-64 GZ PJ, maple neck with ebony fingerboard


Huh that’s pretty cool, I’ll definitely try that, I wrote everything down, so I can get it later, lol. Though I definitely will, I already love my Bass and I got her in August, I been practicing away!. Though I have been looking at others…figure I’d learn to take care of ‘this’ one first and the basics before I really put out some dough for something more expensive. Including a ‘bath’ lol


In case you’re interested, this article is about the guy that designed the Bantams for Washburn.

Builder Profile: Sherman Guitars - Premier Guitar

He had his own Luthier business in Connecticut but the link seems to be dead.

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Huh I actually was curious, I honestly never heard of Bantam or Washburn, only when I got my Bass, so I wasn’t quite sure about it. I wanted a Fender, cause it was better known and a pretty good brand. I only looked up the name after my purchase, I couldn’t even the ‘Bantam’ part, lol. But I’ll check it out, thanks! =3

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Ahhh, I didn’t realise you had two. :sunglasses:

If the neck is lacquered (looks like it) then a wipe with a barely damp cloth should do the job.

I’ve never seen an unfinished maple fingerboard. If it’s sealed then there’s no need to oil it and, again, a wipe with a dry to barely damp cloth will clean it. If it’s unfinished then yeah, lemon oil would discolour it, and it’s going to be an absolute pig to keep looking nice. :slight_smile:

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I haven’t seen an unfinished one either, @HowlinDawg . . . and that’s one of the reasons I’ve always preferred maple over any other type of fingerboard . . . :wink:



I very much doubt that there is ever any lemon in any lemon oil, and for good reason!(don’t use any orange oil either). It’s almost certainly just chemical scent.

And don’t use anything on maple. It doesn’t need it. A quick wipe is enough.