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Cleaning Bow Hair

"How do I clean my bow hair?"

While it is not too highly recommended due to the fact that a bow can inexpensively be rehaired every 6 months or so, cleaning the hair is relatively simple if you are careful. Remove the frog and submerge the hair in water with a little bit of detergent mixed in. Wash it just as you would your own hair, working in the soapy water to get all the excess dirt and rosin off the bow, but BE CAREFUL not to get any water on the frog or on either wedge (frog or tip). When the hair appears clean, rinse with bowls of clean water and dab dry with a towel. Put the hair back on but do not tighten the screw too tightly as the hair will then stretch and dry in this stretched stage.

Contact cleaning can be done with alcohol and a towel, but be careful not to get any of the alcohol on the stick. This "spot cleaning" should not be done very often, if at all, due to the drying effects of alcohol. Once again, I stress that rehairing is much preferred, and, since most luthiers charge between $30 and $50, it is not a major expense that one might worry about.

Todd French

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Tim Janof, ICS Director
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