Boiling? Does it work?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sloppysubs, Mar 4, 2003.

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  1. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    I was told by a friend the other day that you can boil yoru strings in a mixture of water and vinegar. does it actually work, he said it makes the strings as new as they can be. but does it work? anyone do this at all?
  2. It cleans the crud out of the strings, but the fret wear on the strings can't be washed off.

    People do it. It works for them.
    I don't.
  3. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    Soaking the strings in a solvent is much more effective, and doesn't physically weaken the strings like boiling does.
  4. Ziggy


    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA
    I have done this on occassion or in a pinch... yes, it's the 'cheap' way around dropping another $20 or more on a new set of strings. But, as DD points up, the tiny indentations / wear from the fret wires, is permanent and won't boil back into shape.

    While PrimusDude suggests that; .."boiling 'weakens' the strings.", this is the first time I've heard of anyone even considering that aspect. Would be interesting to get some 'real poop' on boiling vs. chemical solvent's effect, if any, on strings?

    Frankly, if you're not working enough to afford replacing your strings as often as you'd like, perhaps you're pulling them off the axe prematurally...

    michael s.
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The thread which way_of_opiatism linked in his post has all of the info you need on boiling vs. soaking in solvents.

    I can tell you from experience that boiling will bring the brightness back a little bit, but then after a day or two, the strings are deader than before you boiled them. And water is very corrosive. Boiling water ruins strings.

    I have also soaked strings in denatured alcohol. They sound almost like new strings, and keep the brightness a lot longer than boiled strings.

    Whatever you do, don't use rubbing alcohol. It is 70% water, and will cause the strings to die quickly, almost as quickly as boiling them in water.
  6. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    check the FAQ, or go to the link posted.

    tons of stuff there..

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