• Ernie Ball
  • MusicMan
  • Sterling by MusicMan


New member
Mar 31, 2021
Been playing EB regular slinkys 10\46 all my life but my main guitar now has a maple neck and the strings nickel is staining the wood. I change my strings every 6 days but my fingers and fretboard get very nickely in just hours and continue to do so requiring cleaning of fretboard and fingers evey 2 hours or less. I wash my hands several times over a few hours and the nickel turns my fingers black and has made my ebany board on a different guitar so filthy I can not possibly keep it clean. Iv used these strings almost 30 years and have not had this problem until a few years ago. Is there any suggestion on differnt strings. I love the feel of these but the are so dirty. If you have any suggestions could you explain the difference in playing feel and if the nickel mess is any better. Love EB im not trying to put down anything so please dont veiw this as a hater thread.


Well-known member
Aug 24, 2012
New Jersey
Have you made any major changes to your diet lately? It sounds like your skin is reacting to the nickel, and/or eating it away. This is definitely not something that typically happens.


Well-known member
Feb 18, 2021
Back in my teenage years, my sweat would kill strings within weeks, but that seems to have changed now that I'm older - strings don't die on me nearly as fast. However, I recently bought a new SbMM Axis, and the strings it came with were creating dirty spots all over the maple fretboard. A little Dunlop 65 got rid of the stains (the fretboard has a stain polyurethane finish). Sounds like that's your problem, although since I changed the strings out for a new set of EB slinky 9's, it hasn't come back.

EB makes string cleaner wipes - have you tried running those across your strings immediately after you put new ones on? Perhaps the strings have some sort of oil or lubricant residue on them from manufacturing that isn't getting completely washed off?

In addition to diet, perhaps air quality where you live? Has your air been more polluted lately?

Otherwise, EB makes coated strings. That was my solution when I was younger.
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