How to clean violin strings

By | April 6, 2021


Hold your violin after you finish the show and give it a quick visual inspection. You will probably notice some raisin sticking to the strings. This must be cleaned off. If left-handed on the strings, rosin can cause them to deteriorate faster than they should. Even if you allow a thick layer of old rosin to build up, it can actually muffle the sound by preventing vibrations.


Wipe the strings with a clean cloth. Clean the entire length of your strings, not just where the frame hits. The parts of the strings over the neck of the instrument must be wiped down as they come into contact with the fingers. Sweat and body oils can eventually damage your strings. Be prepared, as drying the strings often causes an unpleasant squeal reminiscent of the fingers on a painting. Pressing down on the strings a little with your free hand can alleviate this. Dry until most of the rosin is gone.


Give the strings another inspection. Pay attention to the underside of the strings as well. If there is rosin under it, gently hold your cloth between the strings and the body of the violin and rub the underside. You can also hold a corner of cloth between the lower end of the neck and the strings, if necessary, but be careful.

4. If there is a stubborn rosin that still follows your strings, use a nail to scrape it off.


The best cleaner for a violin and its strings is your own skewer. Contradictory, though it may seem, the skewer is a great cleaner because it is acidic enough to cut through rosin and body oils, but not strong enough to damage the strings or finish of the instrument’s body. Go ahead and spit on your violet, wipe it off with your cloth and give the strings a final drying as well.

Tips and warnings

  • Cleaning your strings after each use is better for the instrument and less time consuming for you than temporary but more involved cleaning sessions. Even if you do not perform the entire routine listed above each time you use your instrument, dry the strings together to remove excess rosin before putting your violin back in its case.
  • It is best to avoid commercial polishes and cleaners on your violin and its strings, even those formulated for the specific use. These cleaners can be too caustic and stop damaging the strings and / or the finish line. When cleaning your strings, you must also be careful not to knock the bridge out of place. Even if you only come across a small piece in place, you will need to adjust it and retune your instrument.
  • Violin strings are in regular contact with rosin and with sweat and oils from the fingers. This makes it important to clean the strings regularly, to keep them from deteriorating and to avoid loss of sound. Cleaning the strings is a simple, uncomplicated process, especially if it is performed after each use.