Mudcat Café message #1756017 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #92078   Message #1756017
Posted By: Richard Bridge
09-Jun-06 - 03:34 AM
Thread Name: rejuvenating old guitar strings.
Subject: RE: rejuvenating old guitar strings.
I'd expect it not to work with Elixirs - their coatings need to stay on. If they have dulled, the grease will be under the coating so removing the grease must affect the coating.

My late wife used (before I first met her) to protect the fretboard with plastic carrier bags and then clean the strings with a kitchen cleaner called "Ajax Ammonia plus". That cleaner went off the market and the replacement Ajax liquid cleaning products were not as effective. I had heard her speak of boiling strings too.

You can get bottles of "string cleaner". Use as described above. I have tried them and found them to give a slight improvement that only lasted a couple of days. I suspect the problem is they are only solvents, without emulsifiers so they do not fully "strip" the long chain grease molecules. It might be worth trying some of the "Mr Muscle" cleaners, because they are grease solvents designed to strip the grease. Maybe the kitchen or bathroom cleaner, or the glass cleaner. You could also try methylated spirits - very effective on stubborn grease on mirrors.

If you want to boil you should realise that water left under the windings may tend to accelerate corrosion on the cores, leading to breakage. Subject to that, I'd suggest boiling twice, the first time in a water with washing up liquid, to break down the grease, and the second time in clean water to remove the washing up liquid.

I don't think the temperature of boiling water is going to be hot enough to affect the temper of the strings or to anneal them.