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String Cleaner

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Llaslo, Jan 25, 2013.


  1. Llaslo

    Llaslo

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    TX
    I just bought some new DR Hi-Beams for my bass that I'm going to install this weekend. I was curious what string cleaner you all recommend for these?
     
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Southern California
  3. bunkaroo

    bunkaroo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Location:
    Downers Grove, IL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I tried cleaning my Fat Beam with the BassBrites and they didn't seem to do much. The wipes feel fairly dry so I don't know if that's a problem or not. Looks like it will continue to be denatured alcohol soaks for me.
     
  4. droo46

    droo46

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Sting cleaner = snake oil
     
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  6. 4-string

    4-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Location:
    Norway
    I don't quite get it either. Clean hands before you start playing, wipe down with a dry cloth when you're done. Keeping the bass in its case when not in use also helps string life.
     
  7. AwesomeWithAQ

    AwesomeWithAQ

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    I really like XLR8 from Planet Waves. I apply some of that and then use a treated string cloth before and after playing. You can see the gunk that comes off and it makes a very noticeable difference in string life.
     
  8. Llaslo

    Llaslo

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    TX
    I wondered about it, but a friend told me you should definitely do it every time you play. I haven't been, but as these were new strings, I figured why not, but it seems kinda unnecessary, i guess.
     
  9. bunkaroo

    bunkaroo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Location:
    Downers Grove, IL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I do all these things, and my strings still go from new zing to dull within a few hours. In fact I am usually using a dry cloth in between songs and wiping my hands on a different towel. So it gets to be quite frustrating.
     
  10. carl h.

    carl h.

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Location:
    Willmar, Minnesota
    A little alcohol - not booze - on a clean rag and gently wipe. But really, just wash your hands.
     
  11. 4-string

    4-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Location:
    Norway
    Absolutely, I've seen that happen. I just don't understand how a cleaner could fix that problem. Once the string is dead like that there's no return ime.

    Coated strings might do the trick though.
     
  12. OzzyGreg

    OzzyGreg Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Illawarra, NSW, Australia
    .
    I'm a string cleaner/lubricant virgin. Until yesterday I'd never bought any.
    All I've ever done to date is the old rub-the-fingers-across-the-forehead trick for lubrication and occasionally wipe the strings with a cloth, though I rarely remember to do the latter.
    I sometimes boil them in water and mild detergent, which really cleans them well.
    (Yes, I'm one of the string boiling advocates, ok?)

    I'm going to try out a few brands/types over the next 12 months, looking for a product that both cleans the strings and lubricates/protects them a little.
    As with anything to do with bass playing, opinions vary wildly and I take all advice with a grain of salt.
    I need to prove things to myself!

    Yesterday I bought GHS's Fast-Fret
    [​IMG]

    and Tone Finger Ease
    [​IMG]

    First impressions?
    Fast Fret is good, but it's pretty dry and I can't see how it's going to clean down in the grooves between windings, because it only really contacts the outer surface of the string. Also, it only cleans the top surface (and maybe down the sides a little), not underneath where gunk is going to collect just as much as the top.

    Finger Ease is messy, because it's a spray product. I sprayed the strings (and fretboard!) then wiped over/under/around them with a clean cloth and there was definately crap on that cloth!
    The strings had a lovely smooth/slippery feel to them after re-application. It lubricated the back of the neck very well after I'd polished it.

    So far, for me, it's Finger Ease ahead by a nose.
     
  13. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Location:
    Metro Chicago Area
    Disclosures:
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    I use Dunlop ultraglide on new strings to get the oxidation (or crud or whatever it is) off.
     
  14. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Huntington WV
    I made myself one of these.

    Every time I play, I wipe the strings with a clean cloth. When they get too dull for my liking, they go into the alcohol soak tube. Alternating sets like that (one on the bass, one in the soak tube), I'll get about three uses out of each before the windings deform too much from contact with the frets.

    I've tried a bunch of string cleaning products, but this routine has worked the best for me.
     
  15. rodl2005

    rodl2005

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Tasmania, Australia
    I use the denatured alkyhole too. Works better'n boiling. I soak em 24hrs only, then hang to dry.
    Saves me hundreds $$/year & the strings come out virtually new. Works on flats, coated, tapes etc.

    I also keep an old jar (plastic) in my bass gig bag pocket with a rag that's dampened with alkyhole & wipe strings down after use.
    I get sweaty man! Altho I wash me hands, after 1 set, they're as sweaty as Betty :D
     
  16. milosinka1

    milosinka1

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Location:
    New Port Richey, FL
    I use denatured alcohol from recently. Good stuff, soak strings in it for 12 hours and you will hear the difference ....
     
  17. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Location:
    St. Louis

    Finger Ease has silicone in it. If that matters to you ( it does to me).

    Fast Fret on the other hand, if used after you play every time will significantly increase string life. It will also keep your fretboard clean.

    My suggestion to the OP was going to be Fast Fret and a clean towel.
     
  18. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    +1 these work great they get dirt that you don't think is there love them use them once a week on all of my basses.
     
  19. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    That is how they should be they work great for me you don't want them to be too wet because they will just leave a residue that will attract more dirt.
     
  20. bgavin

    bgavin

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Location:
    Orangevale, CA 95662
    Take a trip to Walmart and find the diabetic section.
    You can buy a box of BD Alcohol Swabs for a bit more than $1 for 100.
    These are individual packets, and perfect for a quick string wipe after a gig.
     
  21. Richard Sabines

    Richard Sabines

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007

    how many times can you put a roundwound set to the denatured alcohol? is there anytime (months, years)when they don't respond to the alcohol after several times soaking them?

    Interesting that you mention it works with flats too, I can't imagine
     

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