Boiling your strings; Fact or Fiction?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Frei-bag bass, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. Frei-bag bass

    Frei-bag bass

    Jul 16, 2005
    supposedly like new;
    unmucked and strengthened?
  2. Frei-bag bass

    Frei-bag bass

    Jul 16, 2005
    i just read a very extensive conversation about this on the next page
  3. This is a complete waste of time - don't try it.This myth has been circulating for years, it probably used to work with old fashioned flat wound strings where tone just wasn't an issue because it didn't exist, but in modern roundwound strings what damages them and reduces the tone is playing ie physical damage.The build up of sweat and grease from your fingers, and outside influences such as moisture from the air and pollution.Boiling your strings will not remove these and it certainly won't repair any wear in the strings.It will only add to the damage by soaking the strings - you will never completely dry them.I have tried it some years ago.You are better off by LOOKING AFTER your strings.Wash your hands before you play wipe your strings off with a dry cloth after playing/gigging. :bassist:
  4. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    I don't think I could disagree with you more. I used to boil my strings all the time, since I couldn't afford to replace them often, and they always came out sounding brighter, although the brightness faded more quickly with age. I also didn't have a problem with them drying, although I lived in Southern Arizona at the time, and that may be why. I wouldn't say it strengthens them, though, just that they sounded brighter for a few days after boiling. I still do it if I have a show and my new strings are still in the mail.
  5. Fred312b

    Fred312b What if I want to play jazz precisely? Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    i also must disagree- while it does not make them "like new" it DOES put some life back in them- for the 20 minutes of effort it takes, you could do much worse. :bassist:
  6. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    the above post is erroneous. Boiling your roundwound strings will bring a little high end back to them. Not all the way to new, but fairly close. Might work on flats, I haven't tried them. Boiling does remove the crud that builds up on your strings, try it. The scum that forms floating at the top of pot is the stuff gunking up your deadened strings. Boiling will reduce the overall lifespan of strings in the sense that they will tend to break more quickly. That has never bothered me as dead strings will get taken off my bass long before they break. They can be almost completely dried out if you are thorough, but it is a PITA. Oh, and of course you should take care of your strings.

    A few people have posted about using some type of spirits to remove the gunk more gingerly than boiling. Haven't tried this yet but, assuming it works, it sounds like a better method than boiling. I keep meaning to get around to trying that.
  7. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    I believe it is denatured alcohol of which they speak. Haven't tried it either. I am just picking up the bass again after a 13-year hiatus, but I used to boil a set of strings once (with one drop of dishwashing detergent - any more will make a huge mess) before I threw them away. Always gave me a few more weeks' worth of life.