1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Does soaking strings in alcohol work for you?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by cjazz50, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. I just tried soaking some old D'Addario Slowounds in denatured alcohol today. The results were not very good. The E string is completly dead now (sounds like a flatwound), the G is about the same as before and the others are somewhere in between. The strings weren't completely dead before but they were far from new.

    I left them in for about an hour. Was this too long?

    Please share your experiences.
  2. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Hmm,, I soak my strings in Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl) for 15-20 minutes,, shake 'em gently once or twice,, pull 'em out,, let 'em dry,, and BAM, I have almost new strings again that don't need to be stretched.


    This process doesn't seem to be as effective on the bigger strings (most noticably the B IME), perhaps because of the extra winding trapping more oil and gunk next to the core.

    I still highly reccomend it over boiling,, which IME seemed to weaken the strings,, as well as possible corrosion.
  3. of the times I've cleaned the strings in alcohol, the results were positive. A lot better than both times I boiled them.

    Honestly I don't care for it either, I let my strings die a quick non-prolonged death then I buy a new set..but if money was tighter, I'd clean 'em more.
  4. I left the strings in the alcohol overnight and that seems to have done the trick. I also did it to a D'Addario Halfround B string I had laying around. That came out pretty good too.

    Tonight I'm trying it on my DR Sunbeams, which are my main strings for now. They are about 2 months old.
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I find that just rubbing the strings with alcohol works well,,,,,,,,,,, although i dont do it often.
  6. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I clean my strings with alcohol and I SWEAR by it. It has worked for me every single time, without fail.

    I also wipe the strings down after even slightly touching them to avoid any buildup.

    Compared to a LOT of the folks on this board, my "collection" of 9 basses isn't a lot, but even so, when you have more than a few basses, you want to spend as little time and money as possible buying strings.
  7. BassJaro


    Jul 30, 2003
    at home i've got plenty of some medical dissinfecting liquid called skinsept - it's 46% pure ethanol and 27% isopropyl. might that do the trick ???
  8. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    When you put your strings back on your Bass, rotate them so that the grooves (indentations) created by the frets are facing you instead of the fretboard. This should be upside down from the way the strings were on the bass before.

    The grooves are partially responsible for strings sounding dead (as is sweat and dirt buildup).