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Denatured alcohol on wood?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by BassFromHeaven, May 10, 2006.

  1. BassFromHeaven


    Jan 7, 2006
    Does have any insight about whether or not denatured alcohol affects a maple neck, and if so how much is harmful? I like keeping my strings clean and wiping them off with alcohol, but I certainly don't want to ruin my bass. I've tried the method of using two pairs of strings and switching off but it wasn't really working for me. Any thoughts are appreciated.
  2. I don't know about maple, but on a rosewood board, it really dries it out. I assume it wouldn't be as bad on maple, because it doesn't rely on moisture as much, but it still can't be good for it.

    There are string cleaners out there that are made to be used while the strings are on the bass. GHS fast fret and that Jim Dunlop stuff come to mind. Both clean the strings and help the fretboard at the same time.

    I'd also try to "pinch" the strings with the alcohol cloth and run it up and down the strings, pulling each one away from the fretboard at a time. I don't know if you do this already, but that should help keep it off the wood more so than other techniques.
  3. BassFromHeaven


    Jan 7, 2006
    Does rosewood absorb more mositure than maple? I've tried fast fret and other products like that and can't get the same sound that denatured alcohol gives you. Thanks for the suggestions.
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I wouldn't use it if I were you. There have got to be better alternatives available...

  5. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    i think its more of the fact that a maple board is usually finished, and a rosewood board is not. then again, i could be wrong.
  6. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Bass builder/luthiers use stuff like denatured alcohol and mineral spirits on bare wood to get an idea of what the grain and figuring will look like after a finish has been applied. Denatured alcohol evaporates very quickly, so on bare wood, it's OK, but it may dissolve your finish as it is a mild solvent. For cleaning strings, I use nothing more than a microfiber cloth after each playing. For a deep clean, I use Formby's build-up remover, which also works wonders on the fingerboard.
  7. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Take your strings off if you are going to clean them in this way. A lot of us use a denatured alcohol soak to get more life out of older strings. But make sure they are dry before putting them back on. Just a dry cloth after playing is usually enough to keep them alive longer.
  8. Puru


    Mar 13, 2006
    Alachua, Florida
    I bought a cheap $2 plastic placemat at Walmart to slide in between my strings and fretboard/body so I can wipe down strings periodically with denatured alchohol, without damaging the bass. Works for me as a touchup between soakings.

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