String Instrument Care and Cleaning Tips

Are you planning to buy a new string instrument? 

There are so many great options to choose from in the realm of string instruments, including the guitar, violin, viola, cello, bass and so many more. 

Regardless of which instrument you choose to learn, the maintenance steps are similar. It is important to clean your instrument regularly to keep it looking as good as it does brand new. 

To help get your started we’ve compiled a list of important care and cleaning tips. 



A great rule of thumb to remember is to wipe down your strings after each session. This makes it easier to remember when it was last done and ensures excess rosin doesn’t build up on your strings and affect its sound. 

If you do this regularly then you can use a soft, dry microfibre cloth to wipe the strings. If it goes for extended periods of time without a wipe down you may need to use pure alcohol cleaner or string cleaner to get them clean. 

If you choose to use alcohol cleaner then be sure to keep it only on the strings so it doesn’t damage your instrument. 



If you have a bow then it requires similar treatment to the strings. Rosin can build up on your bow the same way it accumulates on the strings over time and can affect the way your instrument sounds.

To keep your bow’s strings in great playing condition it is important to wipe it down with a dry cloth regularly and with alcohol or string cleaner every few months. 



To keep the wooden body of your instrument looking great it is important to wipe it down regularly and polish it. 

Make sure you wipe the entire instrument down with a cleaning cloth after every use. Ensure you pay particular attention to the areas which are subject to the most physical contact, including the shoulder rest, chin rest, and face. 

You can give your stringed instrument an extra shine by using a specialised polish. It is important you don’t use generic furniture or wood polishes or water as they may cause damage to your instrument’s veneer.



The fretboard of your instrument can get dry over time which can lead to damage. To ensure your fretboard stays in great condition it is important to keep it hydrated. 

To do this you can use specialised hydrating fretboard cleaners such as the D'Addario Hydrate Fretboard Conditioner to maintain your instrument. These cleaners remove dirt and grime while restoring natural moisture to leave your fretboard smooth and looking great.



If you find that your pegs get stuck and are hard to adjust you can apply a coat of peg paste to keep them smooth. New paste should be applied every couple of months to ensure they are easy to use. 



Storing your instrument in its case can help to keep it clean and protected. However, this is only true if you also keep your case clean. 

It’s a good idea to empty and vacuum your case once a week or whenever you start to see dust or dirt accumulating.

Keeping your case clean will also ensure that your instrument is stored in a clean environment which in turn will help keep it protected.


For more tips on maintaining your instrument or help choosing the perfect one you can visit our website. Or if you prefer a more personal, face-to-face experience you can visit our store in Nambour and chat with our experienced team.