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How to clean weedwacker/nylon strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by GKon, Dec 20, 2016.


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  1. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Hello all,

    I've looked through the stickies and found nothing, and next to nothing when doing a search on TB and with Google, so I would like to know if anyone can tell me the best way to clean finger oils, general dirt and grime, and bow rosin from weedwacker nylon strings without doing any damage to the strings themselves.

    The only info I've found mentions simply wiping them down with a rag that is damp with water. This, however, doesn't clean the strings as good as I would like.

    I did some experimenting with rubbing alcohol, and with "fast fret", on some spare pieces of weedwacker I have. The alcohol did a good job but as well as cleaning off the oils, dirt, and rosin, it also took off a small amount of the red color of the strings (my strings are red, and it's not a coating, as far as I know).
    Since some color came off, I can only assume that a minute amount of string material is being removed. Although this should not make much difference for a small amount of cleanings, I would think that, eventually, it will damage the strings.

    "Fast fret" is a string cleaner designed for steel strings. I've used it on my EB's for years. It cleans the strings well, but it leaves a coating on the strings that is pretty slick. That is not the feel I want on the weedwackers. I also don't know if the cleaner in it is compatible with nylon strings.

    Does anyone have any experience with cleaning this type of string? Any information would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Konstantine
     
  2. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Side cutters?
     
  3. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    That's a bit too permanent.
     
  4. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Sorry it's all I had right that second....o_O

    I've used hot water and a rag to clean out of hand rosin build-up off steel wrapped strings (can be a bit of work) and I doubt that would hurt the weedwackers. If that didn't work I might be inclined to go to the trouble of taking the strings off and soaking them for a few minutes in hot water from the tap. I'd sure be cautious about too much heat or any chemical products unless you know for sure for sure it's ok to use on nylon.

    If the color is leaching it be that they just get stained from use in which case it's super cool "patina"?
     
    GKon likes this.
  5. If the colour doesn't leave anything on the rag after several cleaning attempts, it might be that only the outer colour particles have been removed in the first few times of cleaning. And you will see if there was a coating when the colour gets completely removed from the string.
    You can try this at the very end of the string in the peg box, worst case you can cut that end after you tried that.

    Until then for the string hot water (probably with soap for removing the grease) and (if needed) alcohol only for the rosin.
     
    GKon likes this.
  6. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    That's totally ok. I laughed when I read it. :)

    I guess I can try warm water, rather than something too hot.
     
  7. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I've been doing my testing on extra pieces of string I had to cut off when I strung up the bass. The strings come in 4/4 size and you trim them down as necessary.

    Looking at the extra pieces I have, the string color goes through the whole string, it's not a top coat.

    I'll keep experimenting with the extra pieces and see what I come up with.

    I find it interesting that there is so little info out there regarding cleaning nylon strings. I couldn't even find much info regarding nylon guitar strings.
     

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