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Cleaning upright bass strings

Cleaning your upright bass strings is a good way to keep them sounding good for a longer time. Even with our low prices, bass strings are not cheap!  One way to help keep your upright strings last longer is to wipe them off after playing.  The best way (and only takes a little more time), is to individually grab one string, and run a dry cloth up and down. Some player's skin can be so acidic that it can wear out a string in just a 2 or 3 short months.

Another way to rejuvenate bass strings:  Loosen one string, (for example: loosen the G string down to an 'F').  I loosen the string a little so that I have enough working room and can get under the string. Then take a cloth and just put a dab of Vaseline or mineral oil on the cloth.  Run the cloth (with your fingers and cloth wrapped around the string) up and down, a few times) with a fairly good amount of pressure.  This could be from about an inch from the bridge, up to the nut.  Then tighten the string back up and go to the next string.

If you have too much rosin caked up on the string you can use a light steel wool or a copper scouring pad first. You will notice, that the cloth will definitely turn black from all the soil on the strings, not to mention the burn from the friction!  For some strings that are super 'gunky', you can use fine steel wool.   You can finish this cleaning by carefully moistening the same cloth with a little rubbing alcohol. (You can also use this to clean the fingerboard underneath and around the string. I clean the whole board this way and have never had a problem.  Take special care to keep the alcohol away from the bass.  I actually moisten the cloth I am using in another room, so that I don't knock or splash any alcohol on the bass varnish.  This will leave a spot (and will not go away!) so be careful. 

When you are all finished, give your old (now clean) strings another try!  This should bring back some new life to your old strings and actually make the bass feel much more comfortable and easier to play on.