What do you use on your strings when finished playing?

So I have received advice from two bass players that I respect. One is my dad who has been playing for 50 yrs. He uses Pledge furniture polish on his strings/fretboard when he is done playing for the day.

The other is a buddy of mine who has been playing for 30+ yrs. He uses a lint free rag and some lemon oil (the kind you get from a hardware store in the furniture finishing area).

Any advice from vet players here? For now I just wipe the strings and body off with a lint free cloth…

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I just wipe with microfiber.

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Same here, @faamecanic!

Don’t think I’d want oil on my strings. But, it is good for the fretboard, I hear, so apply it when you change the strings!

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Hey, @faamecanic . . . :slight_smile:

I just wipe my strings with a microfiber cloth, but once a week or so I use a product called “MusicNomad String Fuel” which is a string cleaner and lubricant. Here’s a link to it:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MN109

HTH and all best, Joe

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What? After EVERY session? :open_mouth:

Both of my basses got dusted before I hung them on the rack early this year (or possibly late last year). One hasn’t been off the rack since about September but came down yesterday and I blew the cobwebs off - literally. It’s a very dusty house so I’d only be fighting a losing battle if I picked a fight with it.

I would imagine care regime needed would depend a lot on your climate: it’s cool enough here all year round that we don’t have aircon or humidity issues, and the house rarely goes about or below the 10-18degC range. I suppose that means the strings aren’t exposed to moisture issues so no treatment needed.

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Strings will rust here if you don’t take care for humidity and also wipe them down. That said I haven’t had a problem, and all I do is a quick microfiber wipe every couple sessions.

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Strings can be replaced, but it is important to take good care of the fretboard, such that it doesn’t dry out, cracks or pushes out/ up the frets!!

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I should probably buy some fretboard oil at some point.

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Thanks for replies all…

Both my dad and friend are gigging bassists…so they get a lot of sweat and oils on the bass and strings. Me not being a gigging bassist (yet) I probably woulnt need to go to the extreme of wiping the strings down with a cleaner/preservative yet after every session.

I do live in Florida where humidity is always high and I live fairly close to the beach so we tend to have a slight saltiness in the air depending on wind (20 miles from gulf).

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I’ve used “Guitar Honey” on the fretboards of all my stringed instruments. High heat and humidity here in Middle Georgia is horrendous! I do wipe down the strings and fretboard frequently with a microfiber, but the one thing I try to do consistently is to wash or wipe my hands down with cleaner wipes before I play. I keep a plastic container of those throw away wipes in my music room at all times…

Keeping your hands clean will extend the life of your strings… Just my opinion…

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Is anyone oiling down the fretboard during a string change? If so, what are you using?

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Yes, and Dunlop Lemon fret board oil.
Use sparingly, and wipe off any excess after applying it. You don’t need to marinade the fret board.

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Thanks for the info!

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Yup, either the Dunlop or the Ernie Ball.

You can buy the Ernie Ball in a set with string cleaner and fret board conditioner wipes - good for an occasional spring clean.

I’ve used Dunlop, Ernie Ball, and Gerlitz on all the fretboards of my stringed instruments at one time or another, but several years ago I’ve been using what I always use on all my firearms… Hoppes Gun Oil Field Wipes. I wipe it on the fretboard, let it set for 15-20 min, then wipe off the excess.

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Wait, I’m supposed to be putting something on my fret board and strings??? I’ve only been doing B2B for 2 weeks…

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No, you don’t need to put anything on your fretboard yet, @rae_kristine . . . :slight_smile:

Washing your hands before you practice, and wiping down the strings and neck with a clean microfiber towel when you’re finished is plenty for now.

Cheers, Joe

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Thanks, Joe!

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I have Dunlop Ultimate 65 on the way. My new Hofner looks like the fretboard could use a little something and as soon as the oil arrives, I’m going to change to the flat wounds and give it a rub down.
Thanks @Lanny

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But… but… I’m NEVER finished.

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