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Boiling Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Brendan, Jul 24, 2000.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I've head it mention, and obviously you boild them, but, how do you gfo about it, anything put in the water? How long do I boil them? Do I put them in after it boils, or put them in as soon as I turn on the heat? And What does this accpomplish? It's apparently a good thing to do, so, what's the low down on boiling strings?
  2. SmartLobster


    Mar 26, 2000
    This deals with strings, so, voila...moved to strings...

    I am rubber, you are glue. Whatever you say i will store in a little box just in case i need to shove it down your throat at any given moment.

  3. Curt


    Mar 19, 2000
    Kankakee, Illinois
    OOooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! Biski's getting vicious!

    However, this guy has a good question. Would some of you please answer this for him and myself?

    All hail Biski the vicious! smile.

    If I said it, It's probably wrong!

  4. the region

    the region

    Apr 27, 2000
    1. Take your dead strings off your bass.

    2. Boil them in water for 20 minutes.

    3. Put them back on the bass. Zing!

    This removes the sweat and dirt that makes the strings go dead. But, sooner or later metal fatigue from the playing/being on the bass affects the strings and boiling doesn´t help anymore. Change!
    Callused Finger likes this.
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    One word of caution: If you do boil your strings, do not use a pan that you use for cooking.

    Will C. cool.

    I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard working guy.

  6. I put this up many months ago but it is likely buried so I'll throw it up (so to speak) again.

    I bought a set of D'Addarion Half Rounds for my fretless. I have always loved these strings and when I got back into playing after a 20 year absence, wanted to use them again. When I put them on the A and G strings were positively dead! No characteristic ring - just muddly thump. I had the bass checked out by some pro's and all (nut, bridge, tuners) was in working order. So, I took them back to Mars on the bass, let them hear the problem, and they gladly gave me a new set. When I installed these the exact same problem was still there! Talk about pi**ed off! I then emailed D'Addario and they responded by telling me that during the making of these strings an oil based coolant fluid in used in the machining process. The fluid is usually "baked" out as the last step in the manufacturing process and that it was likely that all of the coolant hadn't been vaporized. They told me to bake them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. That did the trick. Where am I going with all of this? I think the best way to rejuvenate used strings is to boil for removal of the solids (ugh!) and then bake to both get all of the water out and put a bit of zing back in the string. If you don't want to boil/bake then use denatured alcohol in a large glass jar (mayo perhaps) to remove the gunk and when removed they will dry quickly without corrosion. I've done all of these methods at one time or another and they have all worked. And if you find yourself a little light to buy a new set of $25 strings, this is the best way to get some more miles from them.
  7. I used to always boil mine in water and some sort of window cleaner, it works a treat. I'm guessing, but I always thought boiling the strings cleaned them (removed all the dead skin, filth and other rot) AND heated them so they stretched and shrunk again - this must do something to the sound(?)

    I must admit that I always boiled them in a pan that I also cook in, with Window Cleaner...

    My dog can fly, but he has no airtime voucher, sometimes I ask myself to eat worms, but only very occaisionally, as it tends to make me angry.
  8. Jazzbassman23


    Apr 20, 2000
    My method of reviving strings involves using denatured alcohol. I have a big glass jar which I keep half filled with denatured alcohol. I put the strings in to soak for 24-48 hours or so and then let them air dry on a paper towel. Seems to work better for me than boiling ever did. However, since I can usually find D'Addarios for under $15, and I typically leave my strings on for 2-4 months, I don't do this much any more. I find it useful to keep a set of "cleaned" strings as a backup in case I break one.
  9. Doug


    Apr 5, 2000
    Buffalo, N.Y.
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Wheel:
    One word of caution: If you do boil your strings, do not use a pan that you use for cooking.

    Will C. cool.


    Why not? I can understand not doing this using a Teflon coated pan or boiling strings like Elixer's. I doubt boiling stainless steel strings in a stainless steel pot would hurt anything. You MIGHT have a case with nickel strings, but then you just clean the pot really good. just curious. I've done this for years and yet to see tumors growing on my face. biggrin.

  10. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I would advise boiling strings only if you're dead broke and can't shell out for a new set. In my experience, boiling cleans the string and thus restores some brightness, but does nothing to increase its longevity. In fact, the only bass strings I've ever broken are boiled ones.
    FatDaddySam likes this.
  11. ncleonard


    Nov 18, 2014
    I just tried boiling my Ernie Ball Extra Slinkies that seem to have died after just having them on for a month.
    Not exactly boiling, but soaking them in boiled water for a good 4 mins.

    They came out sounding like new. I'll see how long they'll last from here on without needing another boiling.
  12. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    When im short on $$ i boil them. Usually gets them back to about 75% new.
    Dont tell mom i used her pot.
    I agree though, good cleaning and its fine. Raw meat is scarier.
    FatDaddySam likes this.
  13. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Its important to dry them thoroughly in an oven at low temperature for 15-20 minutes.

    The tone lasts a lot longer if they are dried.

    However, soaking in denatured alcohol for 24 hours works better than boiling.

    I've boiled my strings for years but am a convert to the denatured alcohol method.
  14. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Using the search to find and read a 16 year old thread is good. Using the search to find and reply to a 16 year old thread is weird.
  15. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Yeah, it doesn't take much effort to find a newer "Boiling Strings" thread, so someone must have been really bored. Anyway, my take on the whole subject? Don't care whether it works or not; I'm not going to stand over a hot stove, cooking/boiling anything that I can't eat...:)
  16. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    As a stuggling student in college studying music, sometimes boiling my strings saved me enough money so that I COULD eat...

    Does that count...?

  17. ncleonard


    Nov 18, 2014
    Haha well, didn't notice the time stamp on the last post. And this thread was the first that came up in Google search, so...
  18. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Of course it does; just because I'm too lazy to bother, doesn't mean no one should do it - or that it doesn't work...;)

    Hmm... I wonder if the search protocol is "oldest first". I never noticed one way or the other...:eyebrow:
  19. CarGa


    Mar 28, 2017
    Tomorrow I'm boiling my strings for the first time in my life. I saw a guy soaking he's fresh new GUITAR strings on wd40 oil and truly they lasted longer than mine ¿Do you think this could work on bass strings?
  20. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Tried it many years ago - was, for me, a waste of time.
    Just buy new strings. It's the price of doing bidness.
    el_Bajo_Verde likes this.

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