How To Clean Guitar Strings With Tools From Home

guitar string scrubber

Having a guitar string scrubbing tool is by far the best and the easiest way to clean your guitar strings. No matter whether you have an electric guitar or a bass guitar, a tool like this will do the trick. This is the best guitar string cleaner on the market that you can find.

cleaning your guitar strings, guitar fretboard, and guitar neck after playing is one of the most important things to do as a guitar player. Here are some reasons why you should regularly maintain your guitar, no matter if it's electric or bass.

  1. They will last longer, which means they will also sound better for longer. Nothing sounds worse than dead strings.
  2. Remove the buildup of gunk and grime that is sitting on your fretboard, making it look ugly.
  3. Get into good habits that will serve you later.

If you get into the habit of maintaining your guitar (doesn't require too much effort), you will save hundreds of dollars in guitar strings, and also hundreds of hours in time. Constant guitar string changing is expensive. So it's important to learn to be efficient. When you leave gunk and grime unattended on your guitar, then your lacquer finish on the fretboard will start to diminish. The grime from your fingers has a natural chemical that eats away the coat of lacquer that sits on your fretboard, ultimately killing your guitar tone.


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How to clean guitar strings

How To Clean Guitar Strings With Household Products

One easy way to clean guitar string without purchasing any items is to simply loosen the strings of your guitar then lift them off the fretboard and release. By loosening your guitar strings, then releasing it; it will whack off most of the grime that has accumulated. You will notice that your guitar strings sound almost like new.

The downside to this, of course, is that you have to loosen your guitar strings in order to get the grime off. Doing this for each and every individual string can be time-consuming, not to mention tuning it back up and making sure that it stays in tune.

That's why a guitar string scrubbing tool is recommended. You will remove EVERYTHING with literally one swipe. No de-tuning needed. No hitting guitar strings. Just one swipe is needed.

If you are an overthinker and not sure how to do it, here is an easy demonstration that you can follow:

Step 1) Loosen the guitar string until it's loose. Don't loosen it all the way! Just enough so it can move around freely.

how to clean electric guitar strings
As you can see the guitar string is been loosen. Enough so the string can move around freely.
Step 2) Lift the string and release it! Try to lift it up as much as you can and release it. Do this 5-10 times in various areas of the strings to make sure that the dirt that has accumulated on your guitar fretboard is gone.
how to clean electric guitar strings
That was a guide on how to clean guitar string with household products. You can use obvious tools to clean your guitar strings like a cloth, which are also common.

The Best Guitar String Cleaner Lubricant

There is a bunch of cleaning products that talk about how to clean your guitar strings, but most of them are unnecessary. Fast-fret is a very popular tool but is not a "forever-use" tool and is not what you need to maintain your guitar strings.

There are other methods such as lubricating your guitar strings with oil, but this also is unnecessary. If you want to know how to clean your guitar strings with a cleaner lubricant, the best lubricant is none at all! Your guitar strings do not need any.

There are guitar strings that come with their own lubricant, such as the Elixir Nanowebs, and the Elixir Polywebs. If you want long-lasting guitar strings, these might be your best bet.

best guitar strings

At the end of the day, there is nothing as good as a new set of electric guitar strings. It can get expensive if you are replacing guitar strings so often. These little hacks can save you a lot of time and a lot of money.


Make sure your guitar is on a flat surface! If you hold your guitar while trying to clean the strings you might drop it by accident. Put your guitar on a solid surface, then begin your work from there.

Don't forget to clean your guitar fretboard as well. By maintaining your guitar fretboard, your guitar will sound much better (it will also look much nicer). If you have a maple guitar neck, you will see the grime everywhere. With rosewood, it is much harder to see but it will still affect your sound.

If you play songs that have a lot of distortion, you won't have to change your guitar strings so often, because the difference will be minimal. Unless you are going into a recording situation, then it will probably be a good idea to change your strings over.

If you are wondering how often you should clean them, it really is up to you. Every time you start playing your guitar, your guitar builds up dirt and grime. Have you ever wondered why your room has so much dust on the floor? It's because of your dead skin cells. When you are playing the guitar, you are constantly losing skin.

Keeping this in mind, it's a great idea to clean your guitar strings regularly, once a day should do the trick.

how to clean your guitar fretboard



How To Clean Your Guitar Fretboard

Cleaning your guitar fretboard is just as important as cleaning your guitar strings. Now you know how to clean guitar strings, now comes the fretboard (remember to clean your fretboard every time you put a new set of strings on).

Cleaning your guitar fretboard is very simple as well. Simply remove all of your guitar strings and start wiping down every fret individually with a wet rag. You might be thinking, "Should I use some special lubricant on my rag?" No!

Lemon oil, fast-fret, all of that jazz is just a gimmick to make money. Also, you need is a cup of water. Here is an easy demonstration that you can follow.



As you can tell, I have gotten a glass of water and a microfiber cloth and have dunked the edge of the cloth into the water. Make sure that it is not dripping. Squeeze out any excess water.


Don't use alcohol for your fretboard or your strings. You have probably heard that you can use alcohol to clean both areas. You can but it's not a good idea.  The problem with alcohol is that overtime like lemon-oil can suck out the moisture from the guitars wood even if it's lacquered.

The next step is simply to start wiping in between the frets, you will all of the grime build up. After you are done with the rag, use the dry end to dry off the fretboard and you are finished.

That's all! Hopefully, this has been a useful guide on how to clean guitar strings and I hope that you have enjoyed the bonuses. How do you clean your guitar strings and fretboard?