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The 6 Best Guitar String Cleaner Reviews

Best Guitar String Cleaner If you’re actually trying to find the best guitar string cleaner you can get, you have our congratulations. At least you’re actually aware of what proper guitar maintenance means.

You can hardly find any newbie guitar player today who knows that you need to clean guitar strings. Even some guitarists who have been playing for years don’t even know that this is needed.

Of course, in today’s brave new world of global pandemics, you now certainly understand why you’d want to clean guitar strings these days. That’s especially true if somebody else played your guitar—they may have left some nasty viruses behind for you to touch.

Also, clean guitar strings just sound better. Dirty guitar strings tend to give you flat-sounding tones that aren’t as nice to listen to.

You also don’t have to deal with “finger drag” issues as well. You’re able to slide your fingers along the strings more easily as you swiftly switch from one chord to the next.

Finally, clean strings also tend to last longer. That means you can save money in the long run when you’re not buying guitar string replacements as frequently.

Top 6 Guitar String Cleaner: Comparison Chart

Product Cleaner or Cloth? Cleans What? Guitars Only? View on Amazon
Dunlop 6582 Ultraglide 65 String Conditioner Cleaner Strings Any-steel-stringed instrument Check Price
Music Nomad MN205 Cloth (and brush) Strings and every other part of the guitar Any instrument (or any electronics) Check Price
The String Cleaner by ToneGear Cloth Strings Guitars only Check Price
Music Nomad MN103 Guitar Cleaner Strings and guitar body Not recommended for matte finishes Check Price
GHS Strings FAST FRET Cleaner and cloth Strings, fretboard Best for guitars only Check Price
Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes String Cleaner Cleaner and cloth Strings and guitar body Best for guitars only Check Price

Best Picks of Guitar String Cleaner

#1: Dunlop 6582 Ultraglide 65 String Conditioner

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Features
  • Comes with a felt dauber top.Dispense enough liquid to soak the dauber before using

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dunlop is one of the more popular string cleaners around, and one of the reasons for this is because it’s not just for guitar strings. You can use this for your bass guitar strings, for the banjo, and even for violins.

Basically, this is okay for any instrument with steel strings, provided the strings have not been especially treated with compounds such as Cleartone. If they’ve been treated with Cleartone, then this Ultraglide won’t be good for the treatment.

For every other steel string, this is terrific. In fact, quite a lot of people have commented that this is the best cleaner they’ve ever used for their guitar strings.

Usage

This comes with a felt dauber, which you need to soak in the cleaning solution. The solution is somewhat soapy, and you apply it to the strings.

This keeps the waste to the minimum, since you’re able to apply the solution only to the strings. Afterwards, you just wipe off the excess, and the grime comes out with it.

Results

The strings come out extremely clean, as if they’re brand-new again. Your fingers are able to slide along the strings more smoothly.

The effects can last for several days, so you don’t need to clean the strings with this too often. As you don’t really need a lot of the solution for the strings, each container can last for a very long while.

What I Like
  • Extremely effective
  • Strings stay clean for days
  • Minimal waste
  • Durable dauber
  • Very little smell
What I Didn’t Like
  • Fingers may feel greasy when playing the cleaned strings afterwards

#2: Music Nomad MN205

Features
  • Innovative design extends the life and preserves the tone of strings, and also cleans the body and hardware without any cleaning solution
  • Premium quality washable microfiber pad cleans on top and underneath strings in seconds
  • Quickly cleans dust, grime, and fingerprints on the instrument's body and hard to reach areas
  • Turn it around to use the super soft, natural fibers to safely clean dust build-up on the body, bridge, pickups, saddles, tuners, and headstock
  • All-in-1 tool can be used on all electric and acoustic stringed instruments, drums, mixers, computers, pedals, and more

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This one isn’t actually a cleaning solution for your strings. Instead, it’s the cleaning tool you use instead of a cloth to apply and wipe off the cleaning solution.

The design has a microfiber pad on one end. The other end has brush bristles, and together you can use these to clean the whole guitar.

You can use it without the cleaning solution to take out the dirt. You’re not even limited to using this for just your strings, since you can take out the dust with this for all the parts of your guitar.

Where to Use This

You can use the microfiber pad for the strings, as you can insert it between the strings and the fretboard. That means you’re able to clean both the top and the bottom part of the strings at any time.

The microfiber pad can clean the body surface of the guitar, even the pickups and the areas under the strings right by the saddle. This pad is even thin enough to clean under the saddle and in the hard to reach areas on your guitar pedals.

The soft bristles of the brush work to remove the dust from the bridge, saddles, tuners, and the rest of the guitar body. This also works very well for the knobs in your amplifier.

What I Like
  • Offers both microfiber pad and soft-bristled brush
  • Cleans every part of the guitar
  • You’re able to clean hard-to-reach surfaces
  • Works with the amps and the pedals too
  • You can use this for just about any type of electronics
  • Can be used at any time
What I Didn’t Like
  • Good only for surface cleaning

#3: The String Cleaner by ToneGear

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Features
  • 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

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is another microfiber pad that you use for the strings. You don’t absolutely need a cleaning solution for this to work, though of course that can still help.

Design

This is like a square compact blush, and you insert the bottom part under the strings. The top half then snaps over the top of the strings so you’re able to clean both the top and bottom parts of the guitar strings.

Once you’ve snapped the top half of the string cleaner down, you’re all set. You just have to slide the cleaner up and down the length of the strings to clean them all.

This comes with fret ramps as well, so you’re sure that you won’t damage the frets as you go along the length of the strings. The design also ensures that your hands don’t get dirty when cleaning the strings.

When the microfiber pads get dirty, you can just clean them with a drop of liquid soap and some running water.

Using with a Cleaner

You can still apply a bit of cleaner solution to the microfiber pads so you’re able to clean the strings more effectively. Another option is to use a cloth to apply the cleaner liquid, and then you can use these microfiber pads to wipe off the excess cleaner fluids.

What I Like
  • Quick way to clean the strings
  • Doesn’t get your fingers dirty
  • No absolute need for cleansing solution
  • Can be used with cleaning fluid
  • Doesn’t damage your frets
  • Reusable
What I Didn’t Like
  • With low string action, may not easily fit under the lowest frets
  • May not latch close with thick strings
  • After washing the microfiber pads, needs overnight air-drying

#4: Music Nomad MN103 Guitar

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Features
  • Complete guitar maintenance in one bottle to clean, polish, and protect
  • Streak-free, advance formula that smells great
  • Infused with white Brazilian carnauba wax for an acoustically transparent shield with a high gloss shine
  • Safe on all lacquer finishes, not recommended for matte finishes
  • Proudly Made in the USA

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Are you annoyed that you have spotless guitar strings, but the rest of the guitar looks grubby? If that’s the case, then you can use this.

This cleans off moisture, sweat, and dust from your guitar. You can apply this to your guitar strings with no trouble, since you can also use this to clean the guitar body afterwards.

Just understand that this has white Brazilian carnauba wax that’s meant for guitar bodies with a lacquer finish. This does not work at all with matte finishes.

Using the Music Nomad

First, you shake the bottle and then you spray this on your towel or cleaning cloth. Then you apply the cloth on all the parts of the guitar you want to clean, including the strings and the body.

Wait a few seconds for the cleaning solution to work, so that it can soften the dirt and sweat off the guitar strings. Afterwards, just wipe off the cleaning solution with a lint-free cloth and you’re good to go.

The good news is that this cleaning solution also works to protect your guitar from dirt and grime. Once you start using this, you may find that your guitar doesn’t get dirty as quickly as before.

What I Like
  • Works for guitar strings
  • Works for guitar bodies with lacquer finishes
  • Protects the guitar after application
  • Simple to use
  • Nice smell afterwards
  • Works for other types of furniture with glossy finish
What I Didn’t Like
  • Doesn’t work with matte finishes

#5: GHS Strings FAST FRET

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Features
  • Premium string and neck lubricant and string cleaner for all stringed instruments
  • Silicone free cleaner is liquid in an applicator, not a spray
  • Use it on strings, fretboard, back of neck
  • Lets fingers slide freely and keeps strings clean

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This package comes with both the cleaning solution and a cleaning pad. This solution cleans your strings, as well as your fretboard and the back of the neck.

Applying the Fast Fret

The design is like a lipstick with a flat end. You just slide the cleaner along the length of the strings.

This action leaves some of the cleaner on your fretboard, and that’s alright.

You then use the cleaning pad to wipe the solution off the strings, and you can use this to clean the fretboard as well.

Results

This works both as a cleaner and as a lubricant. You’re able to clean the strings (and the fretboard), and then the strings are all smooth so your fingers slide more easily over them.

Annoyingly, the pad isn’t as good. It may snag on some parts of your guitar, so you end up cleaning off the bits it leaves off.

What I Like
  • Cleans the strings and fretboard
  • Lubricates the strings as well
  • Easy to apply
  • Last for a long while
What I Didn’t Like
  • The pad isn’t as good

#6: Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes String Cleaner

Features
  • 20 individually wrapped wipes
  • Maximizes life and tone
  • Lubricating formula
  • Eliminates acid, dirt, and grime

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You know how you can buy disposable wipes for your hands or face? Well, you can also get disposable wipes for your guitar strings.

We went with the 20-pack version of the Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes, since the 6-pack may not last very long.

Using the Wipes

While you can use these wipes for the guitar strings, some people also use them for the guitar body.

These are basically disposable pieces of cloth with the cleaner already applied, so you just use them to wipe the strings and the fretboard.

Once you’re done, you just throw the wipes away.

This is great for quick cleanups, especially when you’re at a gig. During the breaks, you can just use one to quickly clean the strings.

This won’t damage the wood, because apparently the cleaner uses linseed oil. This linseed oil actually works as a wood preservative.

However, this isn’t meant for the sensitive wood found on violins and viola.

What I Like
  • Quick and easy use
  • Easy to bring along to gigs
  • Cleans strings and fretboard
What I Didn’t Like
  • Doesn’t work for violins
  • You may want to be careful using these on the wood of very expensive guitars

What is a String Cleaner?

A string is cleaner is a specially designed product that you use to clean your guitar strings. Its features take into account your needs and takes care not to damage your guitar, and it’s what you use instead of just any rag and some sort of household cleaner.

You can’t use any random household cleaner because its ingredients may damage the condition of the wood. That then can make the tone of your guitar sound worse, and you basically end up ruining your fantastic guitar.

You’re not even supposed to use just any cotton cloth around the house. That can leave lint on the strings that’ll make it even dirtier.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Guitar String Cleaner

You have lots of options available when you’re picking among the best guitar string cleaner brands. So, which one of them is the top guitar string cleaner for you?

To find out, you should read the various guitar string cleaner review articles and product descriptions closely. Focus your attention on the following factors when reading each guitar cleaning kit review:

Which Part of the Strings Does the Cleaner Clean?

Some cleaners can get rid of the dirt on both the top half and the bottom part of the strings. This gives you a complete cleaning, while you’re also able to get the best tone from your strings.

Other cleaners, however, only clean the top of the strings. This may work for you if you’re in a hurry and you don’t want a hassle.

Application

The top-half cleaners are easy enough to apply, since you basically just run the cleaner up and down the fingerboard. It’s quick and easy.

The top-and-under cleaner is a bit more time consuming and more of a hassle. You’ll have to use a camp for this.

Other cleaners are spray-on variants, so you just spray the strings and then wipe off the excess cleaner fluid with a cloth. This does take a bit more time, and it can be quite messy.

Safe Ingredients

You’ll want to check out the reviews to confirm that the guitar string cleaner ingredients don’t damage the quality of the guitar wood. The oil for guitar strings should have only safe ingredients for your guitar wood.

Does It Come with A Cloth?

It’s best if it does, or it comes with some sort of dauber. That saves you the trouble of finding a cleaning cloth that you know won’t leave any lint on your guitar strings.

Of course, the cleaner may actually just come with the cloth (or some similar variant). If that’s the case, you then need to see if it can clean the strings or anything else.

Does the Cleaner Act as a Lubricant?

If it does, then it will help you play better as you’re able to slide your fingers on the strings during swift chord changes. Also, you’re able to minimize the squeaky noises you may make as your fingers slide up and down your guitar strings.

How Much Does It Cost?

The best guitar string cleaner for the money will offer easy and effective cleaning for your strings without costing you a lot of moolah. Check the price against the volume of the cleaner—obviously, a larger cleaner volume will cost more.

Is It Recommended by the Guitar or Guitar String Manufacturer?

Some guitar manuals or guitar string reviews may have instructions on what the best cleaners are for your guitar strings.

How to Clean Your Guitar Strings

Your particular guitar string cleaner may come with specific directions on what you’re supposed to do. If that’s the case, all you really need to do is to follow those directions.

However, in most cases you’ll need to follow these standard steps:

  • Ready your equipment, which also means checking if your guitar cleaning kit includes a cloth or a dauber. If it doesn’t, then you need something that won’t leave any lint on the strings.
  • In fact, if you can find 2 pieces of cloth that won’t leave any lint on the strings, so much the better.
  • Start by laying down the guitar on a steady table, or even on the floor. That way, your guitar is in a secure position while your hands are free to do the cleaning.
  • Now pull one end of the cloth under the strings, while part of the cloth also covers the top part of the strings. That way, you’re covering the strings in all directions.
  • You can then slide the cloth up and down the length of the strings about 3 times. Don’t do this too much and don’t use too much pressure, so you reduce the chances that you leave the bits of the cloth on the strings.
  • Now you can take off the cloth from the top part of the strings, so that you can apply some of the cleaning solution on the cloth. Then replace the cloth on top of the strings.
  • You can then slide the cloth up and down the length of the strings a few times.
  • If your cleaner comes with a sponge, then you can use this to sponge along the strings to apply the cleaner.
  • If you have that second piece of cloth, take out the first cloth around the strings and then replace it with the 2nd piece of cloth. If not, then just take out the cloth and then flip it when you place it back around the strings, so that the dry portion will clean the strings.
  • Whether it’s the original cloth or the 2nd piece of cloth, just run it up and down the length of the strings to wipe off the excess cleaner.

FAQs

What cleaners and ingredients should you avoid?

Don’t use furniture polish, grease, alcohol, and any cleaner with silicon.

What about WD-40?

While WD-40 is a miracle product that can do many things, it’s not good for your guitar strings and for your guitar wood either.

What should you do to minimize the dirt that you’d have to clean off the guitar strings?

You can start by washing your hands first before you play the guitar. Have some lint-free cloth handy to wipe down the strings after each playing session.

Then make sure you keep the guitar in its case when you’re not playing it.

Final Verdict

Every guitar tool kit needs some sort of cleaner for your guitar strings, if you want your whole guitar to remain in tiptop shape. No guitar cleaning kit will be complete without it.

For just your strings, you may want to go with the proven Dunlop Conditioner. It works to really clean your guitar strings, and your strings will last longer and sound better.

Of course, the choice of the best guitar string cleaner is up to you—we have options for cleaning the guitar body as well on our list!

 

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