Cleaning strings

Help for new hammerers of all ages!

Cleaning strings

Postby BobbaSkywalker » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:21 am

I found some green Scotch-Brite scouring pads inside the bag for my dulcimer. I'm pretty sure it's not for scrubbing the floor.

"The Google" (as one of our presidents would say) tells me that some people use scouring pads to remove rosin from strings. Except I've never heard of anyone using rosin on dulcimer strings.

So when might I use these pads? I have noticed that there's some discoloration on the lower, thicker strings.
BobbaSkywalker
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 12:00 pm

Re: Cleaning strings

Postby dholeton » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:03 am

The pads might be used to clean the unwound strings. Some people use a soft cloth to clean all of the strings after playing to remove perspiration and anything else that might come off of the fingers and onto the strings. Scotch-Brite pads might be used lightly (very lightly) to finish cleaning the unwound strings but they probably won't do well on the wound strings. If you open the case and notice some strings look tarnished or rusty, the pads or steel wool might be used for cleaning the tarnish and rust. Be careful not to rely on the pads too long. The pads will remove some metal from the strings and sooner or later it will be better to replace the strings rather than clean them.

Dave
User avatar
dholeton
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Clinton, TN

Re: Cleaning strings

Postby danc9 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:46 pm

Agreed, replace them.

DAN
www.dulcimore.com
User avatar
danc9
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:04 pm
Location: New Tazewell, TN

Re: Cleaning strings

Postby BobbaSkywalker » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:01 am

Wound string ... unwound strings. What's the difference? Do you mean secured to the board through the tuning pegs versus not on the instrument?
BobbaSkywalker
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 12:00 pm

Re: Cleaning strings

Postby dholeton » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:00 am

The wound strings have a metal wire for a core and brass, nickel, phosphor bronze, or other material wound around the core. Wound strings are used often for the third string or bass string on mountain dulcimers.

Dave
Attachments
Wound_String.jpeg
Wound string
Wound_String.jpeg (3.05 KiB) Viewed 933 times
User avatar
dholeton
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Clinton, TN

Re: Cleaning strings

Postby dholeton » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:04 am

Since the windings are so tight and close together along with being mostly horizontal to the motion for wiping the wound strings, it might not be easy to clean wound strings with a Scotch-Brite pad.

Dave
User avatar
dholeton
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Clinton, TN

Re: Cleaning strings

Postby dholeton » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:35 am

Sorry, I just noticed this post might be related to a Hammer Dulcimer. My answers were related to a mountain dulcimer but still valid for metal strings on any instrument. For cleaning rosin off of metal strings on a bowed psaltery (or other bowed instrument with METAL strings) I use alcohol wipes.

Dave
User avatar
dholeton
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Clinton, TN

Re: Cleaning strings

Postby BobbaSkywalker » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:43 pm

My dulcimer is a 14/13, and the bottom 3 strings have a bronze look and I'm guessing those are the wound strings. The others have a nickel look to them.

Thanks for the answer. It helps.
BobbaSkywalker
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 12:00 pm

Re: Cleaning strings

Postby elmasula » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:59 pm

Owl Mountain Music - check on line - sells hammered dulcimer string cleaner/brightener. Use it like an eraser without too much pressure to clean & polish regular strings - not wound.
elmasula
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:48 am


Return to Hammered Dulcimer Beginner's Area

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest