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How can I clean my acoustic guitar strings?


Most guitar players focus on expensive and high-quality guitar strings. However, after a period of use, dirt on the strings will cause the sound quality from the strings to be affected. Moreover, the high humidity of the air or the sweat from the hands also causes the strings to change color or oxidize.

Since then, the sound of the acoustic guitar is not as resounding and dazzling as the original. Typically, manufacturers recommend changing the guitar string after about 50 hours of playing. However, this becomes very expensive if you often use your guitar.

On the market, a set of guitar strings costs between $7-12. In case you have to change the strings constantly, this will become a huge expense. Therefore, in order to extend the life of the string, you need to have proper methods of cleaning the strings. In this article, we will show you a simple and economical way to clean your guitar strings.

The simplest method of cleaning guitar strings

It’s important to clean your guitar strings because when you play the guitar, there are lots of bacteria on the strings. Therefore, you should keep the momentum clean. We introduce you a quick way to clean your guitar strings:

The first thing you need to do is wash your hands. Hand wash will help remove bacteria and oils on your hands. Hand washing water is popular in supermarkets and drugstores. Using hand wash water with water will soften the skin on your hands, thus making it harder to play your guitar. Instead, use alcohol-based dry hand cleaners.

The easiest way to clean the string is after every time you play, wipe it off with a towel. You wrap the cloth around the string and wipe along the string. Dirt will remain on the fabric by the friction between the string and the cloth.

Here are detailed instructions:

You put the guitar on a flat surface like a table or floor. Make sure that the top of the guitar does not get caught in any object to make sure that the adjustment knobs on the neck of the guitar are not altered or damaged during cleaning. Cleaning tools can be a dry cloth or paper.

You should prioritize the use of microfiber cloths, which help attract and hold dirt better Then, spray a sufficient amount of cleaning solution onto the fabric, not the guitar string. If sprayed on the guitar strings, the detergent will be stuck on the strings and wear out, causing the strings to deteriorate quickly.

For each type of guitar string, there is a different type of cleaning solution. There are 2 popular types of strings: plastic strings and steel strings. For plastic guitar strings, you can use water or cleaning solution to clean.

In contrast, for this guitar made of steel, you can only use specialized cleaning solutions to clean because water can cause the strings to rust or not completely clean. Alternatively, you can use alcohol to clean the guitar strings.

The way to clean is quite simple: You put half of the cloth under the guitar string at the body of the guitar, then cover the rest of the fabric on the strings so that the cloth covers the whole string. Next, pull the cloth along the string with your hand.

You should take care not to use force too strong to avoid overlapping or breaking the cord. For the guitar string in the neck of the guitar where there are the most stains, you need to pay attention to clean both the top and bottom of the guitar string by controlling the cloth up and down.

In addition, you also need to clean the sides of the cord, although this can change the volume knobs. Don’t worry, you can completely fix these pins later. The dirt will stick on the cloth, which is a sign that your guitar string is being cleaned.

One trick to making guitar strings easier to clean is to lubricate the strings. However, this method should only be applied to steel guitar strings. The lubrication will help prevent the strings from getting dirty and corroded by the cleaning solution.

As for the guitar strings made of nylon, you do not need to lubricate them because they are not subject to corrosion. To distinguish what material your guitar strings are made from, read the product details on the packaging. In addition, each type of guitar has a specific string.

For example, acoustic or flamenco guitars often use strings made from nylon. For electric and bass guitars, these guitars often use strings made from steel.

After you’ve cleaned the guitar strings with a cleaning solution, use a clean cloth moistened with lubricant, then rub gently on the strings. The lubricant that you use must not contain petroleum because oil can damage your guitar after a period of grip on it because it has penetrating properties.

For cleaning products, we recommend using GHS Fast Fret or Dunlop Lemon. For lubricants, you can use specialized oils, either olive oil or baby oil, all of which have a lubricating effect.


This article is a guide to cleaning an acoustic guitar economically and effectively. Strings are considered to be the most important part of the guitar. You can’t play the guitar without strings. Therefore, the maintenance of wires is always a very necessary task. Remember that strings are easy to get dirty, so we recommend cleaning them twice a week.

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