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Do not use cork please.


Bohdan Warchal
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Hi colleagues, after publishing the article about strings care and cleaning a few days ago, we have got plenty of e-mails from our customers. They refer we have forgotten to mention cleaning strings by a cork. They were allegedly advised such method on Maestronet. I have to admit we have not included this method, since I did not suppose it could be so popular. In fact, this turned to be the least effective and most string damaging method ever, unfortunately. We will publish more details soon. 

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Bohdan, that was a great article, by the way. Every bowed instrument played should read it. It confirmed what I've long believed about the detrimental effects of using solvents to clean strings, and enhanced my understanding about why not to. I'd bet that the other major violin website would be happy to post your article as a front page feature. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 10. 3. 2018 at 11:47 PM, Bill Merkel said:

Then maybe I'd just treat the core.  That might let you clean the string with solvent.

This is what we have done with Amber W-core®. However, there are also at least two layers of windings that need to stay open. We could seal the gaps of course, but you would certainly not enjoy playing such string...

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  • 2 weeks later...
24 minutes ago, DavidHickss said:

A debt of gratitude is in order for the notice about damage...I didn't think that its powerful either. I have utilized your Amber strings for a couple of years now and think they are awesome

DavidHickss; Please do not include product links in your posts.  Link removed by edit. Further messages will only be approved if they lack the advertising.

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On the other violin site there are still people saying to clean your violin strings with various solutions such as alcohol or acetone despite all the harmful effects and photographs to show this internal damage. I guess that strings are so expensive people just want to do what is best to get the maximum life out a set. I do thank Mr. Warchal for putting this information out there for everyone to learn from.

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  • 1 year later...
On 4/27/2018 at 10:03 AM, Jeff Jetson said:

On the other violin site there are still people saying to clean your violin strings with various solutions such as alcohol or acetone despite all the harmful effects and photographs to show this internal damage. I guess that strings are so expensive people just want to do what is best to get the maximum life out a set. I do thank Mr. Warchal for putting this information out there for everyone to learn from.

Yeah, while alcohol obviously isn't the best thing to do every day to a string, once they're dead, and you're about to toss them, why not see what it does? Not hard to improve on the string about to go into the trash.

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I have used alcohol to clean my strings since the 1960s. I actually did this about weekly in the early years, but much more rarely this century, perhaps less than once every few months. (I have been playing since 1939.)

I hypothesized after using a cloth (cotton in those earlier days, microfiber for the past 20 years or so) and also a nylon scrubbie (followed by a cloth) in this century when the rosin crud was too tough for a cloth, that rosin between the metal windings of the string was not touchable by those methods and a solvent was needed to remove it.

For the past 40 years I have applied the alcohol from (non-drip) pads sold in drug stores for injection prep (so there is no surplus solvent) and I immediately wipe each string off with a (absorbent) cotton cloth to remove the rosin and any dissolved rosin. I did this because I wanted to minimize any penetration of alcohol to the string cores  (my idea from the beginning) - gut in the '60s, synthetic since.

I have noticed only improvement in instrument sound from this practice and no problem with string endurance.

(During performances I use my right thumbnail to scrape rosin from strings if my sound seems to be failing.)

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