To give your guitars an extra layer of protection, investing in the best guitar string cleaners around can make a massive difference when jamming on stage.
The best guitar string cleaners cover all 360˚ of the string itself and remove a wide range of debris, including dirt, dust, and sweat marks, as well as being reusable.
Cleaning your guitar strings can make a difference to their overall longevity. Cleaning them removes any minuscule particles that could erode at their casing or weaken their structural integrity.
All this soon adds up when you are playing on the road. Therefore, you may need tools like this to prevent unwanted breakage mid-set. So what are the best guitar string cleaners available today?
Our pick of the best guitar string cleaners!
The Popular Choice: Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes
- 20 individually wrapped wipes
- Maximizes life and tone
- Lubricating formula
- Eliminates acid, dirt, and grime
Ernie Ball tends to dominate the market when it comes to guitar strings. It’s why the Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes are some of the most popular cleaning wipes around today. Sold in a pack of 20, these individually-packed wipes maintain a moist appearance straight out of the packet to ensure that users get the best results.
These wipes are pre-soaked in a lubricant designed to tackle all forms of debris on a string. This includes removing acid marks, sweat drops, and dust particles. The wipes are disposable, meaning that you don’t run the risk of sabotaging your strings each time you open a packet. It’s an excellent offering designed for all types of guitarists and instruments.
|Lots of wipes in one pack||Only partial longevity provided|
|Pre-lubricated||Leaves fretboard looking washed out|
|Designed to remove all types of grime|
The Liquid Choice: Dunlop Ultaglide 65 String Conditioner
- Comes with a felt dauber top
- Dispense enough liquid to soak the bauber before using
- Model Number 6582
Sometimes, all you need is a liquid solution to give your strings some extra strength. For that, you can consider using the Dunlop Ultraglide 65 String Conditioner. This 2-in-one solution acts as a string cleaner and conditioner to clean and shield each string as it is applied. You will need to use a microfiber cloth to apply the solution.
The bottle is sold in a 65ml bottle and is easy to use. The oil itself leaves a silky after-feel which gives an extra slick feel when playing after they have been cleaned. It’s a simple DIY approach that allows you to always keep your instrument sharp and strong when you play—an excellent liquid option for the cleaning process.
|Easy to use||Need own cloth for application|
|2-in-1 product||Leaves an odor on some materials after use|
|Silky feel after application|
The Combo Option: D’Addario Planet Waves XLR8 Cleaner
- Planet Waves XLR8 lubricates and cleans your strings for faster playing and longer life. Simply wipe the easy to use applicator up and down your strings and enjoy the frictionless feel of the strings allowing you to play faster while also experiencing less finger noise and enhanced tone. Packaged in an airtight metal tin that will prevent XLR8 from drying out prematurely. Planet Waves, part of the D’Addario family of brands, is known for innovative, problem-solving, quality musical accessories. Planet Waves offers a complete line of award-winning accessories including cables, picks, tuners, capos, straps, humidifiers, maintenance tools and more.
- Removes friction for faster playing
- Enhances string life and tone
- Reduces finger noise
- Easy to use applicator
Some string companies look to offer an ensemble set to help get your strings restrengthened. This combination is best seen in the D’Addario XLR8 cleaner. The kit comes in two forms: the lubricant and a unique applicator. The lubricant polish is designed to remove friction and allow for effortless playing once the strings have been cleaned and polished. To aid this, the applicator is designed to clean multiple strings and make the process twice as quick.
What helps with the lubricant is that it re-oils the string helping reduce playing noise like when you first play on new strings. What makes D’Addario’s offering extra impressive is the longevity of the product. The applicator can be reused repeatedly while the lubricant sits in an airtight container to stop it from drying out—an excellent product with a good lifespan.
|Long shelf-life||Not suited for coated strings|
|Cleans multiple strings at once|
The All-in-One Approach: SAPHUE Guitar Cleaner
- ♫ 【Guitar String Cleaner】These guitar string cleaner can keep the guitar strings clean and increase their lifespan. Cleans all-round the strings,frets and They can also preserves the tone of guitar strings at the same time, board preserving original tone.
- ♫ 【Convenient to carry】Ergonomic handle, a handy gadget which cleans your strings and fretboard. You can use these guitar bass string cleaner anywhere. They are portable and easy to use. Lightweight and pratical. Convenient for carrying out with your guitar. There is no extra tools required with its good cleaning performance.
- ♫ 【Cleanable Microfiber Material】The guitar string cleaner with dual side is made of durable microfiber material. You will be amazed by its excellent cleaning effect. Never worry about the dust on the guitar again.
- ♫ 【Take Good Care For Your Guitar】360 degree clean on your guitar or bass. More efficient and save your time. The superfine fiber mat is easy to clean. Great for long-term use with low maintenance.
- ♫ 【Multifunction】Great for acoustic,bass andamp,electric strings and bodies.This string scrubber can be used for acoustic guitar, electric guitar and basses.
Sometimes, a universal approach can work wonders. That is one of the highlights of the SAPHUE Guitar Cleaner. This string cleaner not only suits all stringed instruments but can also clean all strings at once. The applicator is essentially two grooved pads that clamp onto each other and slide up and down the fretboard.
Cleaning multiple strings at once cleans both the strings and between the fret within just a couple of wipes. The pads are smooth, meaning they won’t leave lint fibers on the string after they have been polished. It all clamps together and comes apart easily, making it easy to clean after use so it can be reused. A great device that cleans everything with ease.
|Easy to maintain||Thick handles make cleaning under strings tricky|
|Cleans multiple strings at once||May miss some areas of the fretboard|
|Leaves no residue behind|
The Three-Piece Solution: MusicNomad Care Kit
- CLEAN STRINGS to last longer and sound better with our hybrid blend of refined naturally occurring oils and premium-quality mineral oils for complete string maintenance for electric & acoustic guitar, bass, banjo and more. Safe and works great for all string types including wound (steel, nickel, brass, bronze), nylon and coated strings.
- REDUCE FINGER NOISE & SQUEAKING that you and your audience hear when changing chords and playing up and down the neck. String Fuel lightly lubricates the strings to reduce finger noise.
- PLAY FASTER after using String Fuel because cleaner strings with the light lubrication enhance your sliding speed.
- KEEP RE-FUELING as the String Care Kit comes with String Fuel Re-fill (.5 fl oz./15ML) giving you 100’s of applications.
- OTHER BENEFITS: Large pad covers all 6 strings in one swipe, does not hurt the fretboard, comes with a premium lint free microfiber cloth to wipe strings and neck and cleverly stores in the handle, use before & after you play.
It’s always handy having a kit that has everything you need. If you need something like that, then the MusicNomad Care Kit is well-suited to your needs. It has three parts: a brush applicator, 15ml lubricant, and a polishing cloth. The lubricant is designed to re-oil your strings and remove the grit as applied. The bottle also has a dropper release system helping to prevent unnecessary liquid from being wasted.
The applicator is easy to use, with its brush pad able to clean multiple strings at once. The oval head of the applicator keeps everything in line, and the round handle is easy to use. You will also find that the applicator handle stores two polishing cloths to remove excess grease off the strings leaving them in tip-top condition for when you want to play again—an excellent all-around kit for anyone needing to perform some routine maintenance.
|Dropper prevents wastage||The applicator is big for smaller fretboards|
|Applicator easy to use||The solution doesn’t fit in the handle|
|Easy to store|
The Brillo Approach: ToneGear String Cleaner
- Extends The Life And Preserves The Tone Of Guitar Strings
- Revolutionary Design Provides Unprecedented 360 Degree String Cleaning Action
- Cleanable Microfiber Pads For Long Term Low Maintenance Use
- No Solution Necessary
- Revitalizes Used, Old, And Damaged Strings
The ToneGear String Cleaner may be a great option to explore if you want to clean everything in one go. Comprising of two pads attached, The String Cleaner slides underneath the strings before covering them and cleaning all sides at once. A dry pad leaves little to no residue once the cleaning is complete.
By completely covering the strings as they are cleaned, they remove all forms of dirt from the strings during the process. This cleaning system is also designed for use over and over again. As the pads only need to be rinsed with water after use, they are easy to maintain and be used for multiple cleans as you need them.
|Reusable||Doesn’t cover joining near the body|
|Easy to use||Plastic may scratch some finishes|
|Leaves no moisture marks|
The Quick Option: CheeRock Fast String Cleaner
Sometimes, if you are on the road, you need something that can clean strings in a hurry. For that, CheeRock’s Fast String Cleaner comes in handy. Containing a rustic brush design, the end pushes along the string, quickly removing any dirt and grime from the string. The felt end of the rush absorbs any grim as it moves along but is soft enough to avoid damaging the string or its casing.
It’s not just a cleaning tool, as it can also polish strings. The other end of the cleaning tool has a small polishing tip that can quickly re-oil strings without any issue. With the entire device reusable and easy to store, this is a quick and easy way to provide maintenance whenever needed.
|Dual heads for cleaning and polishing||The cleaning end is fragile|
|Easy to store||May not remove all grime|
The Glide Approach: Baroque Fast Guitar String Cleaner
- Applicable scope: guitar, cello, violin in hand, zither, piano and other stringed instruments
- The shell is made of high quality plastic, durable and not easy to damage
- Double headed design, two kinds of functions, not only can derusting for strings, and the felt brush head with lubricating oil, it can be antirust
- After use, the strings feel will become smooth and incomparable, suitable for you feel the strings of the stiff
- Light weight, storage is simple, can be placed in the bag, easy to carry, anytime, anywhere can be used
To make cleaning your strings easy, it helps to have tools that move fluidly. Baroque’s Fast Guitar String Cleaner is an excellent example of this. The dual-ended applicator brush is designed to glide over several strings, cleaning and lubricating them in one fluid motion. Baroque put a lot of thought into how they created the applicator too. One end has a dark, coarser end, removing dirt and rust along the strings. The other end is a lighter, felt brush that is pre-lubricated to polish and strengthen the string coatings.
It’s an excellent cleaner as well as a product that is ergonomically designed. The body of the applicator is made from a plastic composite which is lightweight but durable enough to be used plenty of times. A small switch on the body allows you to adjust the nib length to suit the gaps between the strings. An excellent and practical device that is easy to use.
|Dual nibs for cleaning/lubricating||High pressure may damage the fretboard|
|Adjustable nib length||Lubricant is hard to replace|
The Big Brush: Meccanixity Brush String Cleaner
- A guitar cleaner brush is mainly used for the daily cleaning of guitars String or other musical instruments.Widely used for Guitar, Bass
- Guitar String Cleaner, we provide here, are in the size of:Material: Plastic; Color: Blue; Size: 210*43*12mm / 8.27 x 1.69 x 0.47 inch (L*W*H)
- Double head design can clean the strings from all sides, extending the life of the strings. Good cleaning performance, small size, easy to carry, you can use it anywhere at any time
- The guitar cleaner is made of microfiber material, which cleans the strings without damaging the surface of the strings, preserving the original sound of the strings.The brush can clean the grooves of the guitar
- Usage Steps: Use a brush to clean some grooves, then wipe the surface and strings with one end of a fiber cloth
You may think that smaller might be easier to clean strings, but Meccanixity has gone against the trend. Their guitar string cleaner is a larger gadget to clean the entire fretboard. It does this in two ways. Firstly, the larger microfiber brush is designed to clean all six strings. The brush head removes all dirt and grime from underneath by using microfibers without damaging the fretboard.
The other smaller brush head also helps to remove dust and particles from the headpiece, ensuring that all the strings are clean – across the whole instrument. Alongside this, it has a sturdy plastic body which is easy to grip and use when moving the applicator up and down the board. It’s a great option should you want to clean everything in one go.
|Cleans all strings at once||It has to be used on dry surfaces|
|Covers a large surface area||Requires regular use to be effective|
|Great for removing dirt|
The types of guitar string cleaners
When searching for the best guitar string cleaners, you will discover multiple types. Some are combination kits, while others come as an all-in-one product. But what are the kinds of string cleaners available?
One of the most common designs is a stylus-like dual applicator with two heads. The dual heads are designed for two purposes: one for cleaning and one for polishing. Both heads are often made from felt or microfiber but have slight surface variations.
The cleaning head will often look darker and coarser to the touch. This allows them to remove a wide range of debris from the coatings, such as sweat marks, dust, and little bits of debris. The other head is designed for lubricating the strings after they are clean., These heads will often be pre-lubricated and should slide over the string, repolishing as it moves. It’s a great way to get everything done quickly and easily.
You will also find that many guitar string cleaners will be designed to slide and clean everything in one go. Rather than using an applicator, this method uses two cloths to surround the strings and clean them within a pad. Joined together in a casing, the two microfiber pads enclose the strings and slowly slide up and down the fretboard.
As the pads completely envelop strings, it usually ensures all sides of each string are cleaned as you move up and down the neck. These are great for removing all layers of dirt and grime, which may not be easy to reach with an applicator pen. It does mean that the pads need to be cleaned and washed after each use and maintained well if you want it to be effective long-term.
In the old-school approach, you can always look to do things manually using a cloth and lubricating oil. Many modern oil lubricants are designed with unique formulas for the process. What this means is that these lubricants can clean, condition, and lubricate the strings all at the same time. They do need to be manually applied using either a microfiber cloth or a felt pad.
You will often find these lubricants come as part of a cleaning pack. It means you will usually have everything you need in one go without buying each item. Of course, doing it manually does require a bit of skill, but it is worth learning if you like the DIY approach.
Do all guitar string cleaners need soft pads?
Yes – this is very important. Guitar strings may feel solid, but the metal coatings can become sensitive after heavy use. Using a scourer or anything hard will risk damaging the string as you go. Furthermore, rough surfaces could significantly damage the neck and fretboard if you aren’t gentle when cleaning the area.
Should I always lubricate the strings after cleaning?
Lubricating the strings isn’t essential after you have finished cleaning them. Many string cleaners require the pads to be dry to remove certain types of debris and dust. However, lubricating the strings after cleaning helps increase their overall longevity and improve the sound of your guitar as you play.
Are all guitar string cleaners reusable?
It depends on the product itself. Many applicator heads and microfiber pads are reusable and need a wipe or clean afterward to be good to go. However, some cleaning wipes come sealed and pre-lubricated to be done after one use. These are very effective but require lots of packs to be bought at once.
We’ve found plenty of candidates that we could declare the best guitar string cleaner out there today. Some designs like to clean all strings at once, and we like the SAPHUE and ToneGear cleaning pads to get things done quickly. Furthermore, plenty of dual-applicator designs allow for more precision, such as the CheeRock Fast String Cleaner and Baroque’s Guitar String Kit.
Of course, you will also find several big companies offering excellent string cleaning products. These often come in combination kits, and D’Addario and MusicNomad provide everything you need to get the job done. However, Ernie Ball has the best cleaner on the market with their Wonder Wipes. These may be disposable, but each wipe removes dirt extremely quickly and conditions strings nicely to get them looking as good as new. They are easily considered the best guitar string cleaners available today.
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