#1
ive heard ppl say before tht when guitar strings get kinda old and dirty/kinda rusty to clean the off with rubbing alchohol and theyre as good as new. is this true? or not really?
#2
Never heard that one before!
Something I've heard which supposedly does something similar is to remove the strings, boil them in some water for a few minutes, then quickly replace the boiling water with cold water.

I guess in theory both would remove any dirt/sweat etc, but when they're getting old the best thing to do is replace the strings.
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#3
I don't know how well the alcohol works, but I'm pretty sure that is essentially what string cleaner is. (Not to be confused with fretboard spray/cleaner)
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#4
I would´nt say as good as new but it´ll work, string cleaners like planet waves string cleaner have acitified isopropanol.
#5
boiling helps but they don't sound fresh for very long. I also would be afraid of using rubbing alcohol on My fretboard as it tends to dry things out.
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#6
Boiling strings is BS, just buy a new set when they start losing their tone.
#7
Boiling strings is BS, just buy a new set when they start losing their tone.

That's what I do - never tried it, I'd only heard about it.
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#8
I remember my brother boiling bass strings in white vinegar. It certainly made them sound brighter but not so much as new ones. But bass strings are more than 3 times the price of guitar strings and brightness isn't the only reason to change strings.

Don't bother, buy new ones.
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#9
boiling strings is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard of... What a proposterous idea. Boil these and their like new... haha. What a joke. New strings are like 6 bucks for GOOD strings. Who would waste the time and effort doing this>
#10
Quote by jsspang
boiling strings is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard of... What a proposterous idea. Boil these and their like new... haha. What a joke. New strings are like 6 bucks for GOOD strings. Who would waste the time and effort doing this>

because some people aren't rich?

get off your jackass horse. it does clean the strings and removes almost all of the dirt and oil from your fingers = it works.

yes, good strings will be better, but you are sounding like an ass.
#11
Quote by jsspang
boiling strings is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard of... What a proposterous idea. Boil these and their like new... haha. What a joke. New strings are like 6 bucks for GOOD strings. Who would waste the time and effort doing this>

strings def arent 6 bucks, esp acoustic (wat i mainly play) theyre like 12
#12
raising the temp of the metal would tighten them up a little and the vinegar would remove rust or corrosion. In theory it makes sense... also after they cool slightly pull them through a scotchbrite pad once or twice to knock off some of the grime.

i use rubbing alcohol to clean video game system insides and vinyl records with no problem.

I would just throw on new strings but i always have them around, when i was younger and money was tight i would have boiled them or pretend they are fine and keep playing them until they broke.
#13
Quote by jsspang
boiling strings is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard of... What a proposterous idea. Boil these and their like new... haha. What a joke. New strings are like 6 bucks for GOOD strings. Who would waste the time and effort doing this>

Generally, yes. I have about 30 or 40 sets of new strings of various types sitting around, so it's no big deal for me to change if I get the urge. However, for my classical guitar, some strings can cost about $35 a set. People who buy those tend to clean them a couple of times by boiling in an ammonia solution. Even the ones I use tend to cost upwards of $15 a set, and as well-paid as I am, I don't just change them on a whim.

To the OP: isopropyl alcohol will clean oils off, but it is hard to get between the windings of the bass strings, hence the methods discussed that will involve complete immersion in a cleaning solution. The ultimate, of course, would be an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner.
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Last edited by Vulcan at Aug 7, 2011,
#14
I boiled my acoustic guitar strings once in a pinch and it worked pretty nicely. The strings were clean though I wouldn't say they were as good as new. In a tight situation sure, but I would just buy new strings.
#15
Quote by 00_hns_00
because some people aren't rich?

get off your jackass horse. it does clean the strings and removes almost all of the dirt and oil from your fingers = it works.

yes, good strings will be better, but you are sounding like an ass.

You think $6 dollars is expensive? Go ahead and compare the price per hour of those strings versus a current movie ticket and tell me which one comes up on top. If you still think it's too much, go work for an hour once a week and you could be changing those strings every week.

Quote by j1o1s1h1b1
strings def arent 6 bucks, esp acoustic (wat i mainly play) theyre like 12

You really need to quit buying those strings. Hell Martin strings only run $6 on MF. Please don't post stupid comments until you see how stupid they are.
#16
i using alcohol pads on mine strings if they get very old and start to get black/rusty to get me by until i can buy a new set, however good as new definitely not, it works pretty good but its not a very big difference just slightly better, not my favorite method but it gets the job done temporarily. Never tried boiling them but i heard it works well
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#17
If you have an OLD Fast fret dispenser (or even a new one, just let it sit out of the container to dry out) recharge it with corrosion-x ( http://www.corrosionx.com/corrosionx.html ) use AFTER every time you play. It will remove any rust, and prevent new rust. works it's way into the windings, and leave a smooth semi-slick surface. NOT the grab/release/grab/release feel of whatever Fast fret uses.
Used it for years, NO harm to either my rosewood or ebony fretboards.
keeps strings from getting rusty or dirty in the first place.
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#18
cleaning alcohol is something i don't want anywhere near my fretboard. it's kinda chemical and that often doesn't work well with stuff that came out of mother earth , a.k.a. woods in you guitar.
just change strings and if you need to wipe your strings just use a clean cloth.
#19
Just keep them wiped with a little mineral oil and they won't get rusty in the first place... GHS Fast Fret is just scented mineral oil... Wipe em off when you're done playing
#20
Wow, I just change my strings... If I don't have money for strings I wait a week and look in couch cushions again. Let's see: $6 every 2-4 weeks... Not very much upkeep for a musical instrument.
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#21
The boiling strings thing was meant mostly for bass guitar strings, which cost significantly more than guitar strings.

Rubbing alcohol might work on guitar strings as a regular thing to do after every guitar session though, as it is a good solvent for cleaning oil off of stuff.