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I'll take my strings shaken, not boiled

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Cornbread, Aug 17, 2000.

  1. Cornbread

    Cornbread

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    Yesterday I tried to boil my old set of strings using advice from talkbass. I guess I left them in too long, because when I took them out, they were a bit rusty! And, they still weren't clean. However, I found a pretty good method of cleaning them. Here is the recipe:
    1 bottle (a jar is better)
    rubbing alcohol
    water
    "Comet" cleaner
    "Lemon Suds" pan cleaner
    "Power Powder" stainless steel cleaner
    shake vigorously for a couple minutes
    bake in the oven at 300degrees F for 10 minutes

    That's it! The strings are clean and bright again! I should note that I don't intend on replacing the flatwounds that I'm using now with the old Ibanez roundwounds, but if anyone wants to know a good method for string cleaning, just remember: "shaken, not boiled"

    Dave
  2. ONYX

    ONYX

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    Dude! Where did you come up with that concoction?

    I'd be afraid that it would explode or generate some type of poisonous gas!
  3. Cornbread

    Cornbread

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    That would explain the colorful animals I'm seeing!

    Actually, when I was mixing the stuff in the bottle, it heated up a little bit. It's an exothermic reaction, but not explosive.

    I got the recipe from Martha Stewart from her special on bass string cleaning and floral desiging.

    Dave
  4. Hambone

    Hambone

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    By the way, it did release a poisonous gas! That would be chlorine. The chlorine is in Comet and I would bet that the stainless steel cleaner was the catalyst.

    You might also be interested in knowing that chlorine can be deadly to stainless steel if left in contact with the metal for a long period of time. It literally eats stainless of certain alloys. You might have noticed this sometime on flatware that has little pits in it. That's from the chlorine.
  5. ONYX

    ONYX

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    Hey Hambone, it's good to know that at least one of us payed attention in chemistry!! LOL.

    But you're right. Chlorine gas is pretty bad news. I think I'd rather just plunk down 20 bucks and buy new strings.:)
  6. Spike

    Spike

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    I just put mine in the dishwasher when they start getting dull. This really brightens them up for a couple weeks after which I discard them.
  7. Cornbread

    Cornbread

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    Well, that's interesting! I should have looked at the labels before mixing. The stainless steel cleaner doesn't list the ingredients, but Comet says it contains bleach. The other ingredients say right on the container "do not mix with anything other than water". Oh well. I'd be surprised if I created chlorine gas though. I know mixing bleach with ammonia will create chlorine gas, but I'm not sure about bleach and alcohol and the other things.

    Thanks for the advice; next time I'll make a less toxic mixture. I never liked chemistry - I'm a physics guy!

    Dave
  8. RickenbackeR

    RickenbackeR

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    You boiled your strings and they rusted?? Thats very weird, man, did you leave them overnight or something?

    You should only boil them for a few minutes, and them dry them thoroughly before putting them back on your bass.

    Anyway, i'm glad you are still alive and didn't die from chorine poisoning :).

  9. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

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    Disclosures:
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Use a little (maybe an ounce) white vinegar with the water when boiling strings...
    I have found that it works marvelous..
    It's the acidity in the vinegar that helps the strings get cleaner..
    Also, for standard cleaning use a WD-40 dampened towel. (be careful to NOT touch the body, neck or fingerboard with WD-40)
    WD-40 is a Rust stoping/protective oil.
  10. Cornbread

    Cornbread

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    It's also an effective blowtorch. :)
    For now, I don't worry about cleaning my flatwound strings because I like their dead sound.

    Dave
  11. Rob W

    Rob W

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    I just soak my strings in a small pail of methyl hydrate for a few hours. You don't need to do anything but leave them in there for a little while and the strings clean up really well. It's really cheap too (at your local hardware store).

    As someone mentioned before, methyl hydrate is quite flammable, but since you don't need to apply heat, you should have no problems as long as you follow good sense precautions. In other words, keep the stuff away from heat or open flame.
  12. Matthias

    Matthias

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    I've heard that people have good experience with cleaner for third teeth (denture)- no joke.
    I didn't try this yet, I'm always boiling the strings for a couple of minutes with wash up liquid. Then I rinse them and dry them with a towel.
    But I do this only once with each set and don't use it too long after this, because it's not only the dirt wich influences the sound, it's also fatigue!

    Matthias


    [Edited by Matthias on 09-05-2000 at 05:27 AM]
  13. Bass Guru

    Bass Guru

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    I seriously hope you guys are joking about boiling your bass strings. I have been playing for several years and have never heard such a stupid idea. Either you guys live in Hickville, USA, and have to be resourceful when you can't make the two hour drive to a real city with a real music store, or you're just ******. If you're just starting out, but a $20 set of Fender bass strings, and in six weeks when then start getting dull, TRASH THEM and put on a new set. If you're serious about bass playing, spend the $40 on the best strings on the market, Elixirs, and when they start getting dull after three months, TRASH THEM. Then, take the time you shared between your kitchen and the internet finding the right concoction to boil your bass in, and spend that time actually learning how to play.

    [Edited by Big Wheel on 09-17-2000 at 03:14 PM]
  14. Cornbread

    Cornbread

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    I guess some people just don't appreciate gourmet bass string recipies.

    :rolleyes:

    Dave
  15. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

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    I agree that using (boiling) water is bull...
    But I clean my strings with a solvent(?), e.g. nitro thinner(?) which is great for getting sweat, dirt and skin fat off...I play my strings up to 12 months (unless recording or important gigs require new strings) and am always able to get serious (pre-Fender)Stu Hamm/Vic Wooten-like high-end with very well-balanced overall sound...

    [Edited by JMX on 09-17-2000 at 01:36 PM]
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

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    Bass Guru:

    First of all, I'd like to welcome you to TalkBass. It is always good to see new members who bring a new perspective on playing the electric bass; HOWEVER,

    Name calling of any kind is not alowed or tolerable under any circumstances. This is a place where people communicate and many fine friendships have begun. Of course, being the new member that you are, you are not aware of the social dynamics of this newsgroup, but believe me, if you want your opinions to be respected and your posts to be answered in a way that is helpful, I suggest you learn to disagree respectfully.

    One more thing, Please fill your profile.

    Will C.:cool:
  17. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

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    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    In respect to BassGuru's comment.
    There are some people that do not have lots of money to spend so much in strings.And people like me that do not live in Hicksville, but in ECUADOR, South America. Here we DO have Bass Strings, not many brands(About 3) but the price is High, (Say,, $34 for a Smith Burner set) so I have to manage with them for some time.
    Actually I think its not "stupid" to boil strings, but "Smart", "inventive", "wyse", whatever, You get more time playing, for the same dough.

    If I want a good set of strings I would have to:
    Pay $24 for a GHS Boomers Set at Marsmusic.
    Pay $2 for taxes
    Pay $8 for shipping
    Pay $10 for shipping to Ecuador from miami
    that makes $44 for a set.
    So... DO I HAVE TO PAY THAT EVERY TWO MONTHS because you THINK that Boiling is STUPID???

    I dont think So.
  18. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

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    Boiling water destroys the strings!!!

    Use a solvent (nitro thinner(?), turpentine or sth like it) - you don't need to heat it and it really does the job without ruining your strings.

    [Edited by JMX on 09-19-2000 at 08:38 AM]
  19. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

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    Disclosures:
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Stainless get ruined/stained by Boiling too long.
    Nickelplated/Nickel just get a good bath, like any woman may enjoy.
    :)

    About the Turpentine stuff..
    You still have fingertips?? I use to work with turpentine, paint remover and stuff like that.
    But using turpentine in your strings... please.. Wanna kill your hands and fretboard?
  20. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

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    No probs yet! Of course you have to rub them dry! Always carry your towel with you, like a good hitchhiker :D

    And my ebony fretboard is still in mint condition!

    [Edited by JMX on 09-19-2000 at 02:27 PM]

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