I was going to change the strings on my guitar today with older string packs that I haven't completely used and a new pack. Since the low E, A, D, and G rarely break I have an excess supply of them and tried to use them instead of using all the new strings out of a new pack. I noticed that some of my older strings have already started to rust and threw them out immediately instead of putting them on my guitar. Is there a way I can store these excess strings so they can be used at a later date or should I just buy a new pack of strings every time I change my guitar strings?

  • 3
    Change strings more often, problem solved ;). Apr 24, 2014 at 6:30
  • 1
    You guitarists are all cheapskates :-). Take a look at what it costs me for decent 'cello strings! Apr 24, 2014 at 11:57
  • Is there anything wrong with those rusted strings, besides appearance? I presume if they play the same as non-rusty ones, there should be no problem? Apr 24, 2014 at 21:02
  • @KubaOber - no guitarist that knows what he's doing would use rusty strings !Simple fact - they don't play the same as non-rusty ones.
    – Tim
    Apr 25, 2014 at 7:07
  • @CarlWitthoft - you've mentioned this before. Why not take up the guitar instead ?!Seriously, do they need changing as often ? Like 2 to 3 months if you play guitar a lot. (I used to change every other gig).
    – Tim
    Apr 25, 2014 at 7:10

1 Answer 1


I have strings which could be ten years old or more, not stored particularly well, and they are fine when they get put on, and seem to last as well as new ones. They are mostly Ernie Ball and Picato (others are available !) and stored in a conservatory which probably isn't completely dry. Put yours into a sealed plastic bag, with silica gel, that should solve the problem. A warm room ought to be a good place, too.

Because I use a strange mix of strings, as in I can't buy a set with exactly the right gauges for me, I tend to buy, for example, 10 of 008s, 10 of 010s, etc, so it's an idea for you. It's not necessary to buy a whole pack that may not all be used.Ask for a bit of discount for bulk buying !

EDIT:Change of plan here! Recently opened a sealed set of strings, and the plain ones had rust marks in certain places around the windings, so, like every 8" or so along their length. They'd been stored for several years, but still should have been pristine. Spoke to the manufacturers, who sent me replacement sets for around the half dozen affected ones - gratis! No names - as firstly it's a brickbat against them, but secondly, it's praise for 'doing the right thing'. I actually rubbed the rust off with some fine sandpaper, and they seem to be o.k., but wouldn't use them on an electric, although they seem fine on an acoustic. And no, my fingers aren't ripped to shreds. And, none have broken either. Waste not, want not...

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