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Denatured Alcohol - Remove Rust/Discolored Spots on Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by yellowsnow4free, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. yellowsnow4free


    Dec 2, 2009
    Hey everyone, I think this is the correct section but I apologize in advance if it isn't.

    I picked up my 1st bass this past Friday (Squier P bass) and it's in very good shape, although a lot of the metal parts in the body have some light rust on them, including the strings.

    Looking specifically at the strings, there are just some spots on them where they're dark instead of nice silver metal. I've noticed this happens on my guitar strings as well over time.

    I may very well need new strings, but I'm curious to try the denatured alcohol approach, especially if I can buy some cheap. Will denatured alcohol clean off these rust/discoloration spots?

    If they do, can I also use denatured alcohol to soak some of the other rusty components? The pickguard screws have some surface rust on them, but the main components are the springs that go with the bridge saddles. If denatured alcohol can remove rust without damaging metal, I'm tempted to remove all the rusty components and soak them. The bridge "plate" also has some rust, but I wouldn't want to soak that since I think it might be plated. Plus, I can probably polish off the rust on that by hand.

    Let me know if there's any more info you need from me. I can also try and take pics of the strings if necessary.
  2. Denatured alcohol may be helpful in removing dirt and grime, but rust... I kind of doubt it.

    As far as the strings are concerned, you're better off starting out with a fresh set.
  3. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Denatured alcohol does not remove rust.

    If your strings are rusty, that's a pretty solid indication its time for a new set.

    Metal polish will remove the rust on parts, but if the rust has eaten through the plating, you'll be down to bare metal. Also some metal polishes will very effectively remove plating from non-rusted parts if you're not careful.
  4. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Alcohol will not remove rust. Naval jelly will, but I wouldn't use that on strings - it's very hard on skin, and once it gets in between windings, you may never completely get it out, which....would be bad. On other metal parts, where you can rinse it off easily, it works well, though.
  5. yellowsnow4free


    Dec 2, 2009
    Thanks for the replies everyone. It sounds like it's time for new strings. As for the other rusted parts, I've got some metal polishes in my garage; I'll start there. I already cleaned up the surface rust on the pickguard screws.
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    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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