I've read I should rub my strings with a clean soft cloth after practicing. I do this with my Fiddlerman microfiber cloth, and the strings make excruciating noises of protest. If I continue anyway, and rub with a fair amount of force, they eventually quiet down. I assume that when they quiet down, they are clean.
It scares me to be rubbing with a fair amount of force on wound strings. Am I in danger of harming the strings? Would it be safer to use less force, and leave some rosin on the strings?
Also, should I ONLY use this cloth on the strings, and have a second cloth for wiping down the body of the violin as I've seen suggested elsewhere since they say using a cloth that has collected rosin could scratch the varnish on the body? If so, which cloth gets used on the fingerboard, and what about the body between the fingerboard and bridge where rosin obviously falls since it's directly below where the bow moves on the strings?
I'm likely overthinking this since that's what I do, but as long as I'm trying to keep it clean, I'd like to do the cleaning correctly.
@Mouse [email protected] Thanks for your replies. I thought the Fiddlerman cloth was a fine microfiber cloth, but you referred to it as a polishing cloth. I have microfiber clothes from an auto parts store. Would that be better to use on the strings?
@ABitRusty Do you rub your strings til they stop squeaking and squawking? That's what I've been doing.
@Mouse Thanks for the link to the string cleaner. How often do you use this?
Here is a link to the string cleaner sold on Fiddlershop. It is great. I think there is a video on the page, also.
I bought one of these from Fiddlerman a couple of months ago. It does an excellent job.
Thanks so much for the responses. I may get the string cleaner. It looks like a nifty gadget.
It seems I'm mostly doing the right thing, but I think I'll try a regular microfiber cloth instead of a polishing cloth since I have omeclean ones in my garage.
And if I use alcohol, I'll definitely go light and be careful to protect the violin's body.
This is how I clean my violin strings. Microfiber cloth under the strings and then I use an alcohol prep wipe on the strings. I am on the fiddlershop website frequently, I did not know they sold the string cleaner. I plan on purchasing one in the future, easier process for cleaning. I have been playing a year and I probably put too much rosin on my bow and more ends up on the strings but when they have too much rosin, I do notice a different sound.
Great advice above.
Two rags/clothes, one for the strings and one for the body of the instrument.
What's your view on microfibre vs soft cotton, Pierre?
I remember my violinist friends in the 70s all had those yellow cotton dusters, lol.
(For that matter, they all had those black wooden violin-shaped cases too. You don't see those any more do you! Is that a good thing or just fashion? My case is Styrofoam. I hope it's protective enough)