Violin/Cello Cleaning



     I have a few questions regarding a cello rather than a violin but it was the only relative category available.  After much research there doesn't appear to be much online on what products to use to clean the strings or fingerboard of an instrument.  I have always used separate rags to clean the body, strings, bowed area (rosin buildup) and body of the cello.  The cello is in great condition, no cracks or anything.  I've heard of cellist using an oil to help preserve the fingerboard...true/false.  I have an ebony fingerboard.  I keep seeing "use alcohol" on the fingerboard but I am pessimistic about alcohol and wood.  I'm also a guitar player and I use Music Nomad F-One fingerboard oil on my guitars.  Is this a quality solution as I have seen others use "bore oil."  Any input is appreciated

I would not recommend oil or similar products on the fingerboard.  I don't think it is necessary and may do more harm than good.  A little rubbing alcohol for built-up residue is fine on the fingerboard or strings and will not harm the wood because fingerboards are made of very dense and rugged wood; just wipe it off immediately after cleaning.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Todd Sullivan


Hello, I am a NYC violinist performing for Broadway shows, symphony orchestras, opera, and sundry theatre/pop tours. I would be happy to answer your questions about anything related to being a performer in the music business. I play both violin and viola professionally, so questions on playing either instrument are welcome. The only thing I am not well informed on is information concerning instruments/bows...those questions are best left to luthiers.


Professional experience includes a variety of on/off Broadway tours and shows, numerous orchestras, tours with Ray Charles and Ann Murray orchestras, leader of the 20-piece Todd Sullivan Orchestra.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (violin) with honors from Carnegie Mellon University (1999)

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]