Music for a lifetime: Educating musicians to create a better world

Cleaning Your Instrument

Avoid touching the varnish of your instrument, if at all possible, to help preserve the finish. You should carefully wipe your instrument with a soft cloth daily after you have finished playing to remove any rosin dust. There are some commercial products available for this, but a clean soft rag or handkerchief will also work. However, over time a film or sticky rosin deposit may develop on your instrument, and you may wish to clean or polish it to restore a shine to its varnish. Do not clean or polish your instrument with any wax or polishing product like Pledge or furniture wax. These products can form a gooey coat that will harm the sound of your instrument and/or damage its varnish. It will also attract rosin dust! Use only a product designed for stringed instruments. Ask at a violin shop what they use in their shop, and buy what they use. You may also order good polishes online. Applying a cleaner and then a polish will give the best results. You may also ask to have your instrument polished if you need to take it in to a shop for repairs.

Similarly, if you notice a crust of rosin on your bow stick, you may wish to clean off this material. However, be extremely careful not to let any cleaning or polishing agent touch the hair, which will become slick and unplayable in the section that becomes wet. Always clean your bowstick after tightening your bow, so that the hair is nowhere near the stick.