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How do you clean synthetic bow hair?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Kevinlee, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. Kevinlee


    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    I have a seriously gunked up with rosin cheap synthetic bow that I need to clean.

    What should I use to do this.

    Also is it a complete waste of money to have a cheap synthetic bow restrung with real hair?

  2. You can clean your synthetic bow hair with denatured alcohol. An easy way to do it is to wet a paper towel with alcohol and rub up and down the hair with moderate pressure while the bow is under tension. Refold the towel after each pass so that you are not reapplying the gunk. Add more alcohol and change towels as required. On a wood bow, you would have to worry about damaging the finish on the bow stick. That's not really a problem with most synthetic (i.e. Glasser) bows. You can clean the old rosin off the stick with alcohol too.

    Unless the bow is damaged in some way, there is nothing wrong with rehairing with horse hair. I rehair bows for a local school district, and they use horsehair in all their sythetic bows. There is no good reason why you shouldn't too.
  3. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Mix a little comet in a small bowl, take your frog off and work it in with an old toothbrush.

    Then wash it out over the sink, put the frog back on and let it dry.

    Works for real hair too!

    Don't get water in your frog or tip.
  4. While it may work on real horse hair, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. The problem is the water. Horsehair absorbs the water like a wick and then it stretches. If you do not tighten the bow while it is drying, it will leave you with a very uneven strand of hair when it dries. If you do tighten the bow while it is drying, you have to be careful. As the bow hair dries, it shrinks. If you don't loosen the bow while the bow is drying, you risk the bow getting so tight that it can actually pull the head off the end of the bow. Bow hair drys slowly, so you have to relieve the tension every hour or so until it is dry. Depending on the humidity, it can take up to 8 hours or longer to dry. It's also a good idea to have a fine tooth comb or brush to run thru the hair from frog to tip occationally while the hair dries. This will help keep the individual hairs straight from end to end.

    Alcohol evaporates much faster than water, so hair shrinking is not as much of a problem.

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