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Cleaning a bow?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by tplyons, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    1) How does one clean a bow? It's got rosin ALL over the place, the frog, the stick, the tip, what should I use for what parts and how to do it?

    2) How to clean the hair? It's gooky, but I don't think I need a rehair quite yet. It's only a year old with about an hour of day playing on it. At least five different kinds of rosin, so it's a bit on the wierd side.

    3) My grip is coming off, it's one of Bob G's bows with the wound grip, and I wood glued one side back to the bow, but the other side is coming off and keeps moving on me. Is there a way to replace the grip cost effectively, or should I glue it back on again?
  2. I assume you've tried a damp cloth on the stick and frog? That's what I usually use, but i don't let things get too messy. If that doesn't do it, I think there are special cleaners out there that can be used; might talk to your luthier. As for the hair, I tried deatured alchohol on a bow with really grungy hair. It didn't work so well, was a real pain to do and in the end it was a much better option just to get some nice fresh hair.

    I don't know about the grip, but if it's a german bow there's always the option of just taking it off... I know some will say it will change the feel of the bow, but I've played many bows without grips and they're fine. In fact my main bow is excellent and it has no grip.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Nope, French, and it keeps my hand in place :)
  4. I have had very good luck cleaning the bow hair with denatured alcohol, paper towels and a tooth brush and comb. No messy residue, and perfectly, separate hairs when finished, but it did take time and patience.

    For all parts of the bow, I use Kolstein's rosin cleaner. I use it on the lower portion of the strings as well as the area of the bass around the bridge.

    The truth is that since I use rosin sparingly, and I wipe down carefully after every session, I need only moisten the cloth once a week. I probably could get away without any rosin cleaner at all.
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    A good way to clean Rosin at first is to gently use the edge of a plastic credit card. It will lift all the rosin from the bow and your bass without harming it if you are careful. I then use a white scotchbrite pad 2/2" approx. square with some butchers wax. It has a little cleaner on it to help clean and polish at the same time. Then I use a wax polish (my own but any violin polish will do) on the wood and wipe clean as i spread the wax from before and use the polish the help spread the hardening butchers wax.

    Once the wood is clean from the rosin, you can maintain with regular wiping with a cloth and regular violin type polish.

    For the bow, loosen the screw and remove the frog so you dont get any wax on the hairs.

    If the hairs are very dirty and /or dont grip the rosin too well, it's time to have the Bow rehaired. On some lower cost bows, the original hair is not always of the best quality..... Take it to your Bow professional for a re-hair.