Is string oil a thing?
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Thread: Is string oil a thing?

  1. #1


    Join Date: May 2019
    Location: Harrisburg, PA
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    Is string oil a thing?

    I got my guitar professionally set up back in August, and it has played fine since then, but it's developed a bit of a buzz here and there, so I decided to learn how to do my own setups. I like playing on 8s, so I'd rather handle the setup myself than give it to a tech at a shop that doesn't even sell 8s.

    I picked up a copy of How To Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great and a cheap $10 set of guitar tools off Amazon. The main thing I wanted in the tool kit was the little credit card sized metal ruler, and that seems to be good, but it also came with this tube of oil with an applicator. I'm not sure what to make of it.

    Here are some pictures of what I'm talking about.

    If I push the buttons on the side of the tube one way, a dry felt comes out. I can see using that to clean things like the fretboard. If I push the buttons the other way an oily felt comes out the other side. According to the seller on Amazon, this oil is string oil. He doesn't say what the oil is made of, he just says it's for the strings.

    Now... I'm not exactly a guitar expert, but string oil sounds like a joke to me. I mean, is it made by the same company who makes the blinker fluid for my car?

    Am I way off on this? I mean, should I be oiling my strings? That sounds kinda crazy to me.

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubblesort View Post
    I got my guitar professionally set up back in August, and it has played fine since then, but it's developed a bit of a buzz here and there, so I decided to learn how to do my own setups. I like playing on 8s, so I'd rather handle the setup myself than give it to a tech at a shop that doesn't even sell 8s.

    I picked up a copy of How To Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great and a cheap $10 set of guitar tools off Amazon. The main thing I wanted in the tool kit was the little credit card sized metal ruler, and that seems to be good, but it also came with this tube of oil with an applicator. I'm not sure what to make of it.

    Here are some pictures of what I'm talking about.

    If I push the buttons on the side of the tube one way, a dry felt comes out. I can see using that to clean things like the fretboard. If I push the buttons the other way an oily felt comes out the other side. According to the seller on Amazon, this oil is string oil. He doesn't say what the oil is made of, he just says it's for the strings.

    Now... I'm not exactly a guitar expert, but string oil sounds like a joke to me. I mean, is it made by the same company who makes the blinker fluid for my car?

    Am I way off on this? I mean, should I be oiling my strings? That sounds kinda crazy to me.
    A couple companies do the felt string cleaners. Most of them look something like this.



    Basically none of them are worth it. The only time I would maybe use them is a really expensive set of bass strings. Guitar strings are cheap enough that the time and effort something like that takes is more of a waste than just buying a new set. You aren't going to extend their life by enough to justify it.

    If you really want to extend old strings life, boiling them is more effective, which, once again, is something you really only see people doing with bass strings, since guitar strings are cheap enough it's a non issue.

  4. #3


    Join Date: May 2019
    Location: Harrisburg, PA
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    Thank you!

    Yeah, using oil to avoid changing strings sounds crazy to me. I mean, strings are like $10 a set for the really good strings. I can't imagine trying to bend an oiled string, LOL

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Jun 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    A couple companies do the felt string cleaners. Most of them look something like this.

    Basically none of them are worth it. The only time I would maybe use them is a really expensive set of bass strings. Guitar strings are cheap enough that the time and effort something like that takes is more of a waste than just buying a new set. You aren't going to extend their life by enough to justify it.
    I actually use one of those cleaners every time I play. It has added life to my strings, particularly after gigs where they're covered in sweat. I recently used it on a sweet blue 1990 Rhoads. YMMV.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
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    Quote Originally Posted by Überschall View Post
    I actually use one of those cleaners every time I play. It has added life to my strings, particularly after gigs where they're covered in sweat. I recently used it on a sweet blue 1990 Rhoads. YMMV.
    Well, it's ok to be extra cautious with that one, since it's hard finding Jacksons with frets the proper size. Don't like the Jumbos I have on other Jacksons as much.

  8. #6


    Join Date: Jun 2009
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    I see no need to pay for a device when a simple lint-free cloth will take that sweat'n'dirt off the strings just fine.
    And yes, the cleaning lady does prolong string life.
    (not the G-string, though)

  9. #7


    Join Date: Aug 2016
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    I bought some Fastfret. It's main ingredient is mineral oil. I bought some mineral oil and put it in an spray bottle.
    Spray it on a rag and wipe the strings. If you do it before you play it make postion changes smoother. Good for cleaning off the gunk.

  10. #8


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Longtime FastFret user

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