Deep Cleaning Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by bejoyous, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    I wash and dry my hands before I play my bass. I regularly wipe off my strings, neck and belly of my bass after practice or rehearsal. I also use a bit of methyl hydrate on the strings every week or so to keep the finger gunk from building up.

    My strings have been on about 10 months and I was noticing the strings were starting to get dull. I used to boil my all-steel strings occasionally but I thought that might damage a hybrid string (EP's). The water might soak into the filaments and swell them under the windings. I think the same would happen if I soaked them in methyl hydrate.

    So instead I loosened a string until it was quite floppy then took a terry cloth that was quite wet in a small area with MH and ran it up and down many times. I bent the string so it was an "S" between my thumb and forefinger. This opened the windings so the MH could clean between them.

    Wow, I couldn't believe the amount of goo that was hidden in there!! It took about 5 minutes of rubbing the string and using different parts of the cloth before the dirt stopped coming out!

    After I finished the first string, I tightened it back up and compared the feel with the other strings. The clean string was definitely smoother and shinier. The others looked duller, felt rough and not actually sticky but definitely resistant to my finger sliding up and down. And I thought I had good string hygiene!

    After the rest were done, I played it for a while and it's like I have a new set of strings - bright and clear sounding, responds fast, and it's easier to shift because my fingers aren't dragging on the string.

    The tuning should stabilize in a day or two. Hopefully, the honeymoon phase will last a while.
  2. jacoman


    Sep 7, 2007
    at the risk of sounding like a moron, what is methyl hydrate?
  3. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Methanol, the kind of moonshine you DONT drink :p

    Im thorough with string hygiene too, I use regular metho.

    Unfortunately the brightness is short lived, but what your doing is ensuring maximum string life anyways. I like the feel of a clean bass too.
  4. bassphase

    bassphase Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    San Francico Bay Area
    Same as methanol or methyl alcohol. Similar to denatured alcohol except that the latter starts out as ethyl alcohol if I remember corectly.

  5. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    Yep, take off the old set and install new strings.
  6. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    I rub my strings from time to time with very fine steel wool. it works fine.