Violin / Viola rental

Violin Care

How to care for violin and bow

The best, and only, way to clean your bow hair is to use denatured alcohol and Kleenex. There are two kinds of denatured alcohol: wood and ethyl; ethyl (190-200 proof grain) is the best. In some states it's available only in liquor stores. Other denatured alcohol can be bought in paint stores. Do not use rubbing alcohol, as most rubbing alcohol's have baby oil or soap and other added ingredients that you don't want on the bow hair. Separate the hair from the stick and clean hair. Alcohol will damage or remove varnish from the stick, so let the hair dry before attaching to stick. After the hair dries tighten the bow and rosin. Cleaning will help the hair to last for years. Anyone telling you to re-hair every 6 months, or any time less than 10 years is just after your money!

Many people want to know how to polish a violin. Most of the time I tell them to wait a few years because all polishes have some kind of oil or wax in them. This is good and helps the violin look better, but it doesn't help it play any better. Therefore, it is best to keep your NEW violin dust-free with a soft, dry cloth. If you get oil or wax on the strings or bow hair the violin will not play correctly. If you must clean and polish the violin be very careful not to get any polish on the strings, or bow hair. I always clean the violin with Xylene. Most good paint stores have Xylene. TEST A SMALL AREA FIRST (near the chin rest and end button). Certain varnishes can be damaged. Use a small amount with a tissue in a well-ventilated area, very briefly. Breathing it can be hazardous to your health.