anybody know about boiling strings??

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bassdogEmer, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. bassdogEmer


    Sep 14, 2005
    San Francisco
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie Amps, Bag end,Thomastik - Infeld Strings
    anybody know how long you boil them for and if it's a good thing to do or or not?/ does it hurt the strings?
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Searching this forum with "boiling strings" gave me six threads, besides yours. Maybe the answers are there!
  3. M Ramsey

    M Ramsey

    Mar 12, 2005
    North Carolina
    If it were me, I'd try boiling some gut strings for the first experiment. That way, if it ruined the strings, maybe you'd have some soup when you were finished. :hyper:
  4. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    Vice President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    Not really a help here, but I once traded a set of Helicore Hybrids to Bruce Harvey (Orcas Island Tonewoods) for a box full of big leaf maple boards. He said he was going to boil them. I just assumed he was joking (thats the kinda guy he is), but I guess not, eh?
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I've boiled Spiros, in order to get a bit more life out of them until I could replace them. The effects don't last very long. This was when I was looking for a lot of brightness from the strings, long time ago. If you do it, it's good to keep the windings out of the water with some clothespins, or they fall apart.

    Gut soup....mmmmm....
  6. +1

    I used to boil my slab strings, though, back when I thought $25 was a lot to pay for a set of strings.
  7. I've boiled strings 5x and reused them and they always sound pretty good when I put them back on.
  8. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    i used to boil em all the time just before a gig ..usually rotosounds....add a bit of washing up liquid to kill the grease...

    and they lasted the whole a set of strings could last quite a long time doing this.

    no danger whatsoever and if they are old strings...whats the risk??
  9. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    I did this consistently back in my starving student days. It always worked fine for me. I was using GHS boomers mostly.

    A certain amount of string deadness comes from oil, sweat, skin cells, etc. getting deposited in the windings of the strings, and that is what boiling works to undo. That should be a repeatable process. Eventually, I think the metal fatigues, and then you just need new strings.
  10. I boiled el. bass strings years ago. They sounded good for a bit then died hard shortly after. I'd suggest, 1) not eating food before you play, 2) washing you hands, 3) carrying a cloth you can wipe your strings down with after playing, 4) don't let anyone else touch your instrument, no matter how much they wine. 5) Don't be nervous and don't sweat.
    Worked for me
  11. What thread?
    I thought the same thing. I wouldn't boil upright strings, even though I use steel. But I'm sure there's some starving students out there with dead string and an audition or performance mark coming up that need to know if it's cool to do. I have heard of cats using very light, like sewing machine, oil to wipe their strings down with. That would help clean them.
  12. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I do it quite a bit. Saves you big cash if you play full time and dont have a string deal. Over time, they will start to fall apart on you. Maybe 4 or 5 boils is ideal. Id say 10 minutes should do it generally. Dry them real good, reinstall Enjoy

  13. i let mine sit for 24 hours in a jar full of denatured alcohol. removes the cruddy buildup without having to boil the strings. you can get denatured alcohol in your local hardware store, usually in the paint section.
  14. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Moving this to the BG side.
  15. bassolf


    Jan 25, 2008
    anybody know how long you boil them for and if it's a good thing to do or or not?/ does it hurt the strings?

    Hi! Put them in a kettle and take them out when the water has boiled for 30sec. Dry them off! Has always worked well for me with roundwound strings. If it is strings with fabric/tread on, make sure that it doesn`t touch the water, then the string will be useless
  16. YourNoose


    Apr 23, 2007
    I posted this on another board a few days ago.

    Quote from

  17. Use denatured alcohol. makes the strings brand new again. Soak em for 24 hours and wipe em off and put em back on again. Ive cleaned the same pair of strings more than three times and keep using them. Makes em like new every time.
  18. yea use the denatured alcohol method
    boiling is a sort of a disaster as you dont want metal and water to come in contact at high temperatures
  19. rawdogg


    Feb 12, 2008
    I usually use the Diaddario XL's. They are great for boiling because they don't have the fabric windings at the ends. Boil them for like 20-30 minutes The denatured alcohol works great too but it takes longer. Either way, they sound brand new.
  20. I tried to wash my strings with dishes cleanser (Fairy), it helped. for some time strings had sounded like brand-new, but it lasted not so long.