Cleaning strings without removing them

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by johnvice, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    I would be interested in hearing how people clean their strings in between replacing them.

    Most of the previous discussion on this topic deals with removing the strings first, which I’d like to avoid in this thread as its already been discussed to death.

    The techniques I have culled from previous posts (and my own comments) are below.

    1. Clean your hands first with rubbing alcohol. (I do soap and water wash first. Then rubbing alcohol, which is 70% alcohol, so its tolerable to your skin) I sound like a woman but I like to put a moisturizer on my hands after playing as I have dry skin. There is an alcohol based hand cleaner you can buy in small bottles that contains a gel that can combine these two steps.

    2. Use GHS Fast Fret, Never tried it. Any comments would be appreciated.

    3. Here is my technique: Wet a cloth with isopropyl alcohol (99% alcohol) and pinch the string at the bridge and pull it up to the nut. Repeat for the other strings. I start at the bridge because you pick/pluck from there so the grime is more concentrated there; hence it gets the benefit of more alcohol and a cleaner cloth. The alcohol might be bad for the fingerboard so any excess alcohol will have come of between the bridge and the fingerboard.
  2. Blademaster Dez

    Blademaster Dez

    May 12, 2004
    GHS Fast Fret's alright, but eventually the tip gets "linty." I prefer to use FingerEase spray and a lint free cloth every time after I've finished playing.

    And since you mentioned hand maintenance, I keep a towel and some Herco hand powder in my case so I can dry my hands between sets at a gig, because I'm a profuse sweater. If I didn't do that, my toxic sweat + strings= dead quicker.
  3. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    After years of using Finger Ease I have switched to Fast Fret. No smell, no buildup on fingerboard, works great.
  4. david tapogna

    david tapogna

    Aug 13, 2004
    I clean my strings without removing them in this way.
    First I place a large piece of thin plastic between the strings and fingerboard/body. Then I soak a clean cloth in denatured alcohol and scrub the strings followed by a dry clean cloth. Quick and they come out squeeky clean. :bag:
  5. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Alcohol swabs, the kind the nurse or lab tech rubs on your arm before inserting a needle. you can get them at any drug store for about $1.50 for a box of 100. I just started wiping down my strings after every gig, about a month ago and it seems to be working fine.
  6. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    +1 on the swabs. I also use one of those handy dandy micro-fiber miracle cloths to wipe my strings off. I wipe em down every break, and even several times during a set if necessary. :bassist:
  7. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    +1 on Fast Fret. I use it before & after I play & wipe down
    with an old fashioned cotton diaper. Best method I've found
    in almost 30 years of playing. Works great at extending string

  8. bassplayer347

    bassplayer347 Guest

    Dec 24, 2003
    One trick I used to use on round wounds was to dip a toothbrush in rubbing alcohol and brush across the strings.
    you wouldn't believe the junk that comes flying out of grooves!
  9. radi8


    Feb 10, 2004
    I put a cloth between the strings and the fretboard--i use Dunlop String Cleaner..just roll the applicator ball down each string.
    I use another cloth to wipe away the excess.
  10. Rhythmalism


    Sep 25, 2004

    Dry 100% cotton t-shirt wipe down for me.