A few years ago when I got married, my wife and I decided to get each other personalised gifts.
I am obviously into guitars, while she likes classic leather-bound books.
Anyway, I had recently purchased a rg550 in RFR at a steal of an auction on the bay.
New and tagged from a dealer on an auction.
I was the only bid and walked away with a brand new 550 for (you guessed it) $550 starting price!
My lady didn't care for the color, but I told her the history of the guitar and how my first guitar ever was an rg1550 from like 2004, and how that model was special to me, comfortable, and was invented around the time I was born. (As it always happens, that guitar is no longer with me for different financial reasons that happen to college students)
Fast forward a few months and I'm getting married.
That's when we had agreed to get each other gifts that are as old as we were. (I got her a large leather bound set of Edgar Allan Poes collections.)
She surprisingly tracked down something super rare (for a lefty anyway).
She got me a 1990 RG 550! With original case and paperwork.
Overall it was in fantastic condition. Maybe 2 or 3 tiny dings.
However, almost all metal components were rust flavored cakes.
The worst part... The fret board. It was just about BLACK.
The previous owner must have been a mechanic that never thought to wash his hands.
I've played it as it was for about 2 years leaving it alone cause it played and sounded fantastic.
One of my favorite sounding guitars I own.
Recently however, the fretgoo has been bothering me, and I feel that I go through strings on this guitar faster then my others.
I've asked around on tips to clean it up but 99% of the answers were people just saying things like "oh it's perfect the way it is", it looks great!" or "keep the mojo".
However I'm not interested in someone else's finger fret fungus, and I don't like the look of dirty guitars.
I finally got some advice from a few different sources, but there is a YouTube Guitar restoration channel, TWoodfrd that lead me down the right path. He doesn't have alot of content, but all his videos are great.
I sent him a message and he mentioned using oxalic acid to kill any kind of fungus, and bleach the board up.
That lead me to another thread of someone using a cleaning powder called Barkeeper's Friend.
After reading through his article, he mentioned that it would only work on bear wood, and that fretboards with a finish like his fender would need to be stripped.
He actually pulled his frets and sanded it down.
I was not ready to do that, my frets are actually in great shape.
I scraped it with a razor blade very carefully for a few hours.