Nickel plated guitar strings have never been the best of friends with my grubby fingers. I have the sort of corrosive finger oils that routinely turn a shiny, new unwound string a unique shade of brown-red in less than an hour.
And for as long as I've been playing, I've always had to pre-treat new strings with some sort of corrosion inhibitor -- WD-40 and lemon oil being among my earlier investigations. But I needed something that didn't leave a residual smell that followed me to bed and continued to linger around for that morning coffee.
Since the WD-40 and Old English lemon oil debacles, I've been an enthusiastic tester of nearly every commercial product marketed as a 'string cleaner' -- everything from ozone-eating aerosol fingerboard sprays, to wooden dowels with pre-soaked cotton applicators that dried out too easily, to a slew of plastic bottles filled with mysterious liquids that would have Erin Brockovich breaking down the front door.
I could probably do a string cleaner shootout review of products past and present from memory alone.
But we won't go there. Yet.
Having gotten hold of a 2 oz. bottle of Dunlop 65 Ultraglide recently, I can honestly say that this is the best string cleaner that I've tried.
Ultraglide. Gotta love that name!
It takes a few hard squeezes of the bottle to get the Ultraglide flowing to moisten the built-in cotton applicator which is then run along the length of each string. And other than providing a slick but not overly-greasy feel, my strings stayed shiny after a sweaty 3-hour workout at my regular blues-rock gig without so much as a wipedown between sets!
I've really become a fan of these Dunlop conditioning products. Check out my earlier review of Dunlop 65 Lemon Oil for fretboards here.
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