All about string rust

arthexcalibur

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I always keep my guitars inside a soft case or hard case because they easily rust in less than a month, played or not played at all. It may have something to do with my geographical location because I am just about a kilometer away from the ocean.

How long do you guys often change strings? Any great tips about keeping them alive longer? I really like to get a rack so I can easily reach out on any guitar but the string rust is just a real problem for me :rolleyes:
 

70Seven

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I started keeping my guitars in their cases too and noticed string rusts faster now.. I also live close to the ocean, not sure its related to the issue. My guitars area is in a basement so that could also be a factor. I read on some site that when keeping guitars in a case, if the case applies pressure to the strings and they touch the frets it can accelerate string rusts, apparently the metal on metal contact aids rust.

I change my string as soon as string wear/rust is visible or when tuning stability suffers. For the amount I play that usually translate to changing every 3 weeks. Sometime a little more than that but not by much.

There are some coated string that can last longer but I never enjoyed any of them. I do use GHS fast fret to help keep string clean every now and then but don't over do it on this.. Also washing your hand before playing and wiping the string after you're done can extend your string life a little.

Nothing beats the feeling of a fresh pack of string so I recommend just playing it and change string often.
 

Blood Tempest

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I highly recommend wiping down your guitar immediately after you are finished playing it. I usually take a dry (and clean) microfiber cloth and wipe the strings, bridge, body, and back of the neck when I'm done for the day/night.
 

arthexcalibur

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I highly recommend wiping down your guitar immediately after you are finished playing it. I usually take a dry (and clean) microfiber cloth and wipe the strings, bridge, body, and back of the neck when I'm done for the day/night.

I do this everytime as well as it has become a habit of mine, but it still kinda rusts relatively fast. By that, I mean around a few weeks only especially if I haven't played my axe for a few days I can already notice a few rust spots. Do you still wipe your strings even if you don't play them? Maybe that works? I want to try it as well.
 

High Plains Drifter

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If you're wiping off your strings and they're still rusting fairly quickly, then it might be the humidity. I have a hydrometer ( cheap $8 investment) that accurately reads the humidity level in my guitar room. When you see a great deal of fluctuation or very high/ very low humidity levels, you can follow up by investing in a humidifier or ( as in your case) a dehumidifier. The one that I have was about $180 but it works. I really think that may be a big part of your problem. I've got guitars that I haven't changed strings on in a year+ but I have absolutely no rust issues.
 

Blood Tempest

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I do this everytime as well as it has become a habit of mine, but it still kinda rusts relatively fast. By that, I mean around a few weeks only especially if I haven't played my axe for a few days I can already notice a few rust spots. Do you still wipe your strings even if you don't play them? Maybe that works? I want to try it as well.

Nope. Besides regular play, I don't wipe them down outside of that. Maybe a yearly thorough cleaning, but that's it in addition. It's also got a lot to do with your sweat. Some people's sweat is much more corrosive than others. That could have something to do with it in your case as well.
 

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You can try coated strings and see if they last longer. When i gigged i changed string every 2 weeks, now that im a living room player, strings are changed probably every 6 weeks. Thewiping down definitely helps, especially in summer when hands get sweaty easily
 

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it's your location, I think. I never had rusty strings my entire life until I lived in sticky, humid Kyoto, Japan. I think it's simply the humidity of living where you do. Try keeping them in another room, or perhaps a closet? I dunno

In Japan, Big Boss sold "string de-rust-ers". It was like a wide clip with some abrasive material inside. You clamp it down on you strings and slide it to remove rust. I never got one.

The coated strings did help!
 

arthexcalibur

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If you're wiping off your strings and they're still rusting fairly quickly, then it might be the humidity. I have a hydrometer ( cheap $8 investment) that accurately reads the humidity level in my guitar room. When you see a great deal of fluctuation or very high/ very low humidity levels, you can follow up by investing in a humidifier or ( as in your case) a dehumidifier. The one that I have was about $180 but it works. I really think that may be a big part of your problem. I've got guitars that I haven't changed strings on in a year+ but I have absolutely no rust issues.

Sounds like a very good suggestion, I will try looking into that. Also, were the guitars that you haven't played in a year+ stored inside a case? Or were you just hanging it or putting it in a stand?

it's your location, I think. I never had rusty strings my entire life until I lived in sticky, humid Kyoto, Japan. I think it's simply the humidity of living where you do. Try keeping them in another room, or perhaps a closet? I dunno

In Japan, Big Boss sold "string de-rust-ers". It was like a wide clip with some abrasive material inside. You clamp it down on you strings and slide it to remove rust. I never got one.

The coated strings did help!

I live in the Philippines and my place is about a kilometer or two away from the ocean. They say that if you live near the sea, your strings would get rusty much quicker but I am really not sure about how near they meant though lol.
 

TonyFlyingSquirrel

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Sometimes it's not humidity at all, but rather dietary.
When I lived in Ca. I had a customer that could corrode his strings and hardware in a matter of weeks. Turns out he had a very corrosive perspiration that was the culprit as he lived on fast food, more specific, Taco Bell, because he was always on the run from work to rehearsal, to gigs, and rarely would eat a home cooked or healthy meal.

In later years, he did make some dietary and life changes, and he no longer sweats his hardware away.
 

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Sounds like a very good suggestion, I will try looking into that. Also, were the guitars that you haven't played in a year+ stored inside a case? Or were you just hanging it or putting it in a stand?



I live in the Philippines and my place is about a kilometer or two away from the ocean. They say that if you live near the sea, your strings would get rusty much quicker but I am really not sure about how near they meant though lol.

All on stands. I have a few in cases but at any given time there's maybe 12 on stands. Fwiw- all different strings EB's, Elixir's, NYXL's, etc... no rust. Might be the sweat as some are suggesting but I lived on the Gulf Coast... actually on an island, so I know first hand what salt/ humidity can do to a guitar as well as vehicles, tools, etc... basically anything metal. Oxidation is a HUGE factor if you're living in a salt water/ coastal environment.. outside the home as well as inside.
 

Rachmaninoff

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I am just about a kilometer away from the ocean.

Me too.

How long do you guys often change strings?

Once a year, sometimes more.

Any great tips about keeping them alive longer?

Play the damn guitar, wipe strings before and after. Use Fast-Fret when strings start to get dry. When I left the guitar for too long without playing, my strings rust, seriously. I have to play them often.
 

arthexcalibur

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Play the damn guitar, wipe strings before and after. Use Fast-Fret when strings start to get dry. When I left the guitar for too long without playing, my strings rust, seriously. I have to play them often.

My problem is I have a few guitars and I want to play them all so I want to get a rack so I can just put them there and that's when the rust issue comes in. If they leave the case, the strings easily rust :(
 

budda

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Either you buy a (de?)humidifier and keep them in a climate controlled room, or you change all your strings every month due to the rust.

I play my guitar twice a week for around 3-4 hours total, and I don't worry too much about changing them often until we are on the road. When I'm on tour I change them after every two shows - they're usually dead and nasty by then.
 

ShiftKey

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Every guitar I have lives in its case,before closing the lid I always slip a sheet of silicone paper (baking parchment) under the string from the nut all the way to the bridge,it stops the strings touching the frets& pickups poles when the case it's closed - it prevents bi mettalic corrosion has helps me at rings lot over the years. I live on the coast.
 

Nakon14

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I would put money on it happening because you live close to the ocean. Even if you're not right on the water, there's going to be more salt in the air causing them to corrode
 

Emperor Guillotine

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I live right near the ocean too. I hardly play anymore, and I keep my guitars stored in their cases 24/7. However, my strings still rust (albeit, at a slower rate since I hardly ever play).

Here are some tips:

1.) Wipe down your guitar and strings with a clean microfiber cloth before you play and after you play.

2.) Wash your hands before you play.

3.) Buy MusicNomad's String Fuel. I was never into string cleaners or things that claimed to make your strings more quiet and play faster. It just seemed like a gimmick to me based on what lack of effect I've seen from GHS's String Fuel and Dunlop's UltraGlide. But MusicNomad's String Fuel is the real deal. And it noticeably slows down the rusting process. It has kept my strings alive longer.

4.) Change your diet if necessary. Some people are cursed with naturally acidic sweat; and some people have acidic sweat due to what they intake into their body. Sometimes a simple change in your diet can help. You finger oils and sweat can decrease in acidity which can cause strings to not rust as quickly.

In Japan, Big Boss sold "string de-rust-ers". It was like a wide clip with some abrasive material inside. You clamp it down on you strings and slide it to remove rust. I never got one.
Tone Gear makes a string cleaner just like that. Clamp it on your strings, slide it up and down the fretboard, and done!
 

Nlelith

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My suggestions would be:

1) Try Elixir Nanoweb strings and see if you like their wound strings sound. Don't like them wounds? Go to step two.

2) Buy single strings: Elixir for plain ones, and your favorite other brand for wounds. Buy GHS Fast Fret & Dunlop 65 String Cleaner to treat wound strings.
 

Rachmaninoff

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My problem is I have a few guitars and I want to play them all so I want to get a rack so I can just put them there and that's when the rust issue comes in. If they leave the case, the strings easily rust :(

I'd love to have a rack too, but living close to the ocean destroys guitar hardware... so I gave up the idea... that's life. :shrug:
 


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