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Thread: Cleaning Bass Strings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    50

    Cleaning Bass Strings

    Hello all,
    I'd like to know if many of you boil your strings or clean them in some other ingenious way, and exacly what you to them. Personally I boil them for 5mins with a bit of washing up liquid, and then again in just plain water. I do this twice per set of strings. What do all you guys do?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    christchurch, nz
    Posts
    7
    Hey, I used to boil my strings too, but now I use cut-wax polish - the type you use to polish a car, just rub on, allow to dry, then rub off. So far it seems to work like a dream!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    9

    Boiling Strings?

    Why?
    I always wipe my strings (and guitar) after use and dont understand why you boil them, silicone spray every now and then seems to keep a sparkle in them as well. I use flat wound strings on the Sabre and at $100 odd a set i dont want to take them off more than I have to.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Upton, MA
    Posts
    9
    I stick my strings in the good old dish washer! The lye in the dish washer detergent does amazing things for the strings in terms of brightness. If your dish washer doesn't have a drying option on it though (like mine does) then be sure to get them in the oven at 200-300 degrees for a good 30 minutes after to prevent them from rusting. Occasionally I'll wrap them around the spindle of my washing machine when I'm doing laundry and clean them that way instead too. Hey it may sound like a crazy idea but I guarentee both methods work! Boiling DESTROYS your strings, trust me

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    50
    Originally posted by hofbrauhaus
    Ithen be sure to get them in the oven at 200-300 degrees for a good 30 minutes after to prevent them from rusting. Boiling DESTROYS your strings, trust me
    ?????? dry them with a towel. that oven thing is just taking the piss. And could you please tell me in what way boiling strings destroys them? Personally I've never encountered any problems. I do it 2 to 3 times per set and each time I get back a nice snappy new tone. And I don't think strings rust, as far as i'm aware Stainless Steel, and nickel don't rust. (The most common materials used, but I don't know about any others).

    Ed

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Upton, MA
    Posts
    9
    I have found that while boiling strings may still help you get back some snappy tone, it is rather destructive to the strings...meaining they will make strings more prone to breakage. I have only broken 2 strings throughout my entire bass playing career, but both times I broke them were after using the boiling technique. I have also found that the washing machine seriously works better than any other technique I've used...it restores much more tone than boiling (make sure when they're in the washing machine that the water is set to hot and the load is set to full....and find a secure way to wrap them around the spindle...I personally tie them with a shoe lace). Oh and the reason I use the oven to dry them is because I'm not concerned about the outer wrapping of the strings getting dry, but the inner core. When water gets inside the string it pretty much stays in there...and it's also the core I'm concerned about rusting, not the outer wrap (although I have seen bass strings in such bad shape that even the outer wrap is rusted). Oh and by the way...Stainless Steel still rusts, it just isn't as prone to rusting as regular Steel. Look at an old Stainless Steel car muffler if you don't believe me!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    South TX
    Posts
    1
    OK ... I'm gonna take the plunge and say, "Why not just replace them ?". Perfect opportunity to clean / oil that ole' fretboard...yes?

    I'm just a part time player, but nothing feels as good (musically speaking ) as a new set of EB's on the old 4 banger ...

    Personally, I replace my strings about once a month.
    Perhaps I should sell my old strings on E-Bay ... lol. Maybe there's a market.

    Hakuna Matada -

    Mojo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    380
    i've seen rusty guitar strings quite often, mostly the 3 treble on electrics at half ass local music stores. *yes speaking from experiance* i replace my electric guitar strings about every 2 months cause i don't like how bright new strings sound. i also like how slightly used strings feel.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    380
    oh and sadly enough its been shown that oiling *lemon oil* a fretboard often can be damaging in the long run. EB reccomends very infrequent ie. maybe 1-2 times a year. i don't undrstand how but i'm gonna do what EB says cause i think they know what their talking about......

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    309
    isnt there a good cleaner that rejuvinates the strings

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1

    Smile this the way i did mine just this second

    what i did to clean my guitar strings or bass strings is used aluminium chrome cleaner.

    it brought off all the muck and dirt and brought the strings back to shine and a good clean tone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Safe European Home, Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    4,326
    Well, if you want to cleans trings, use alcohol.
    Get a thin tube that can hold your strings, fill with alcohol and shake a bit.

    But really, unless you always play with your hands dirty and/or swet A LOT, wiping down after playing should make your strings last until you want to replace them because of wear.
    bovinehost: Yes, I do agree with that, but if there's nothing wrong then there's nothing wrong.
    Beth: I would compare Bongo to Tommy Lee Jones. Bad a$$ and just hot in a weird way...
    cheezewiz: They should take their lace thongs off and play bass.

    HEINZ

  13. #13
    Denatured alcohol is what most manufacturers recommend but I personallly just put a new set on.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    5,835
    Boiling, dish washer and oven? Man, I have only heard of the boiling method, but all these ideas are kinda interesting to hear about. Reminds me of what pro baseball players do...their rituals....lol..

    I don't do anything other than wipe down the entire bass/guitar after use. I change strings frequently on my guitars...once a week....

    On the bass side, I change out once a month.

    Still, interesting thread.
    "Welcome to the addiction!" is now patented by Koogie2k......if used by anyone other than Koogie2k....you must mail him a US nickel for each time said/typed or signed.......

    A WISE AND RESPECTED MAN TOLD ME:

    "Do something nice for someone everyday. Don't let your head hit the pillow until you do something nice for someone each day." I hope I don't let him down.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    157
    i clean mine using a cloth moistened with 91% rubbing alcohol after every use.

    i also wash my hands before handling any of my babies.
    Last edited by nicolasd; 08-03-2006 at 03:02 PM.

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