How to Clean Nylon Guitar Strings

Updated February 21, 2017

Playing your guitar with dirty strings can alter and distort the sound of your instrument. Keeping your strings clean will prolong the life of the strings and therefore save money. The oils from your fingers start to adhere to your strings the first time you play your guitar, so proper maintenance after every playing is the first step to keeping your guitar strings sounding perfect.

Loosen your guitar strings so you can properly clean them.

Put some professional string cleaner or rubbing alcohol on a cloth diaper. Professional string cleaner can be purchased at any music shop where guitars are sold. Alcohol works just as well and is a cheaper, more convenient option that you may have on hand already.

Rub the cleaner up and down the strings removing dirt and oils. Clean the entire length of the strings for best results. Repeat until the cloth comes back free of dirt.

Tighten the strings, retune your guitar and go back to playing.


To keep your strings clean daily, wash your hands with hand sanitiser before you play your guitar, and wipe the strings down with a dry cloth diaper when you are done playing.


Once your strings are worn out completely, replacing the strings is the best option for quality sound.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning cloth or cloth diaper
  • Rubbing alcohol or string cleaner
  • Hand sanitiser
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About the Author

Christi Aldridge has been writing professionally since 2009. She graduated from Texas Christian University, where she was a featured contributor for several campus publications and won an award for best columnist.