Flatwounds feel sticky

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Broke, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Broke


    Sep 9, 2015
    I bought a set of Daddario Chromes light to try out. My fingers feel like they stick on the strings and they make it impossible for me to play. Is it just me or is this the way they normally feel?
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It's normal. It goes away.
    Atshen likes this.
  3. J.D. Detroit

    J.D. Detroit

    Nov 12, 2015
    You can always clean and prep your flats prior to install.

    Take a folded scotch brite pad and lightly pass each string several times between the silks (mind the silks!)
    You're essentially polishing the string, removing any grime, dirt and particles from the manufacturing process.

    Next take a towel with some string cleaner or dab of all purpose metal polish and clean the strings.
    Makes a huge difference.

    I also put a small dab of superglue at the ends of the silks. Helps stop unraveling.
    physics and shawshank72 like this.
  4. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    +1 on the scotchbrite pad. Lots of manufacturing residue on new strings.
  5. Broke


    Sep 9, 2015
    I'm a newbie so I want to make sure this is real. Because if it is I'll do it later this evening.
  6. Based on my own experience, I always recommend flats be wiped down thoroughly with dry cloth BEFORE INSTALLATION.

    If you find your finger tips turning black, it's the residue of the compound used in the final polishing at the factory and the reason for the initial stickiness.

    As already mentioned, it will eventually go away.
  7. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    Indeed it is. I always polish new flats with a scotch brite pad. Following that I clean the strings by wiping them down with rubbing alcohol or naphtha. Metal polish should be just fine, just make sure you get all of the residue off. You'll have silky smooth flats that don't stick to your fingers.
    J.D. Detroit likes this.
  8. J.D. Detroit

    J.D. Detroit

    Nov 12, 2015
    Absolutely. I've always cleaned strings and polish flats before install. Learned that trick back in High school.

    I listed some common items you can find around the house to use to clean after polishing with the Scotch Brite. As StevieMac said, make sure you clean all residual if you use metal polish with a dry cloth (should have mentioned that, thanks Stevie!)). Also his mention of naphtha is what I actually use myself.
    In a pinch polish is fine, but Nap/Alcohol is an easier way to go.
  9. gjohnson441496


    Dec 14, 2014
    It's not you. I had the same experience. That stickiness will go away.
  10. I was going to try (after doing the above) wiping/polishing the strings down with food-grade silicon spray before putting them on.
    Haven't tried it yet.

    But you have to be really careful you don't get silicon on the paint job.

    Ask any guy who paints cars for a living. They hate cars that need to be repainted, but the owner had used polish that contains silicon. Gets right in the paint and you have to take all the paint off the car right down to bare metal before you can start again.

    Seriously though....I find a wipe down with Rubbing Alcohol was all it ever took .
    Always works for me.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  11. Broke


    Sep 9, 2015
    Guess I'll put my flats back on and see what happens. I appreciate the advice.
  12. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Like others said, the stickiness will go away. I don't think there is any need to get fancy and do any special preparation before installing them. Just play the dickens out of your bass for a couple of days and no more sticky.
  13. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    I suppose if you get enough silicone on the strings, some could migrate between the windings and lubricate the core wire, which might lead to slippage. IDK, just a thought.
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Huh. In many years of bass playing, I've never felt that flats were sticky. Go figure.
  15. Planespotter


    Oct 11, 2015
    You could go old school: eat some food that leaves a ton of grease on your hands and then play 3 sets in a sleazy dive bar all without ever washing your hands. Done!
  16. physics


    Aug 7, 2009
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm on my 2nd set of D'Addario Chrome flats and on both sets there was quite a bit of grayish residue on the strings when I scrubbed them with alcohol wipes. i like to use cotton bore patches moistened with 91% alcohol and just make several scrubbing passes until they come clean. After that I like to wipe the strings with some Dunlop 65 string conditioner and lubricant. The strings come out shiny and very smooth.
  17. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009