I suffer from hyperhyrdosis which means my hands sweat quite a lot. The problem is that because of this my electric guitar strings seem to rust quite quickly because of this. Is there anything I can do to stop my strings from rusting so easily? Perhaps a spray or solution I can wipe over even after or before use.

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    I tried some coated strings, but didn't like the way they felt when I played. I found some guitar lubricant which also acts as a protectant and it allows me to reapply it without having to buy new coated strings every week. The bonus is I can use my Dean Markley DT strings which are awesome and not change to something else. Commented May 10, 2011 at 7:06

11 Answers 11


The one and just about only suggestion I have is to use coated strings such as Elixirs. I used to have 'em on my #1 and #2 acoustics, and I liked the feel of them. I never had your problem, so don't know if that's an acceptable solution to you.

  • I have a similar problem, and the Elixers pretty much solved it. I'm using them on a Gibson ES175 which is played between one and six hours daily, and they last for months. Uncoated acoustic strings, played less frequently, only last me a week or two, and (particularly in summer) sometimes only hours.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 16:19
  • I know that there are some who feel that the Elixir Polywebs sucked the high end out of their guitar tone and felt dead, which is why there are now Nanowebs, which use a much lighter coating. I hope Dwayne strings some up and tells us how he likes 'em. Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 19:14
  • I'll order some and let you guys know how I go. I play thick gauges so something along the lines of 0.13-56's would be awesome in the Elixers. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give them a try. Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 22:22
  • +1 for elixers if the math works out. I use nothing but on my acoustic. Electric strings, however, I run through about a pack a week when I'm playing heavily.
    – Jduv
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 2:25
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    Quite a delayed update here, but I have been using Elixir coated strings after they were suggested and now it is all I use. You get used to the coating feeling quite quickly as well. They definitely last a few weeks with moderate playing, heavy playing would definitely wear them down quite quickly like Jduv mentions. Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 5:37

You can use for example GHS fast fret to clean the strings before and after playing. This should do the trick...

Also wash your hands before playing. As VarlogRant points out coated strings will be better as well.


Some alloys are more resistant to rust and corrosion as well. Nickel strings are available and should be quite resistant.

  • You can also find stainless steel strings. Those might help too.
    – Joel
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 16:07

put on a new set of strings, and make it a habit to clean the strings after each use. It'll keep dirt from building up and corroding the strings.

I recommend this: http://thestringcleaner.com


I have the same problem you do. If I forget to wipe down anything metal I've sweated on, it rusts/pits/etc. I experimented with different brands of strings and found that of the uncoated strings, DAddario lasts the longest for me.

Also, Old School Aqua Velva after shave works great to clean up the strings after a session. I sprinkle a little on a lint free cleaning rag and wipe down each string after each playing session. I still have over half the bottle of Aqua Velva left that I bought in roughly 1985. Use it sparingly.

Hope this helps.

  • Nice. I used to use DAddario strings a long time ago, but moved onto Dunlop Extra Heavy 0.13-56 (themadape.com/product_p/den3756.htm) strings as I love the tone they give me. Might give DAddario strings a try again, never tried the heavy gauge Ddadario's before. Thanks JimR. Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 22:20

Guitar strings are, to an extent, sacrificial. As in, they're not expected to last too long. When I was gigging often and regularly, they would get changed every other gig. The tone of new strings has that 'twang' that older strings have lost. Pro's change every gig, but they can afford it !
Washing your hands before and even during your play time will help,and keeping the strings dry is also good. I used to play with a guy who would splash French chalk (baby powder to you and me) all over guitar , strings and hands (and us if we were in range!), to lubricate and keep his strings dry.

WD40 is a water repellant, good for spraying on strings after playing, BUT - slip something under your strings, over the fretboard to stop it reaching the wood. It may not be detrimental, but could be seen as mental.

Completely off the wall, you could try surgical gloves that are a good tight fit, for at least part of your practice time.

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    Guitar strings are dirt cheap! Try buying a decent set of cello strings :-( Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 13:25
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    Yes, I know that they are not expected to last too long, but even with that taken into account, they are worn out very quickly. I would be satisfied if they remained tunable for 3 weeks, but currently it's half of that and I don't even play too much anymore (it's OK that they lose the "twang", I just want them reasonably tunable). What I was thinking (if it really is acidic fingers) is that there might be some sort of ointment with an alkaline active substance that mitigates the effects of the acid. Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 14:16

Someone I know carries Talcum Powder (I think this might be the same as baby powder?) as part of his electric guitar "kit bag" and is very fastidious about using it to keep his hands dry. So you might try that.


Does anyone use the "eyebrow" trick? Basically just rub your fingertips against your eyebrows, that oil adds a nice slippery feel as you slide across the (mostly e B G) strings.

Admittedly this doesn't prevent rust, but I thought it worth mentioning since it helps the strings feel "less rusty". I've tried Finger-Ease lubricant, and there's no comparison. I know it sounds dumb, but give it a shot you might be surprised.


When I moved back in with my parents living near a lake after living in a third floor apartment in the city my guitar strings rusted stupidly quickly. You have to remember that the humidity in your region is going to affect your strings. Strings that I could go two months with no rust in my apartment would rust after two weeks living with my parents.

Sealed container, wiping your strings, buying coated strings, these usually work.


You can use “fast fret”enter image description hereenter image description here And or finger ease Both work great for this I hope it helps you 😊

  • You can also use “fast fret”
    – Rob jakala
    Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 12:07

If your fingers appear to be too acidic one must ask the simple but direct question - how is your digestive system? The easiest way to minimise acid at the fingertips is to minimise acid at the other end of your fingers. I too had suffered for years with the 'Pig Pen' acidic rain going on all over my strings. I then discovered through research, as a Martial Artist and Fitness Leader, adjusting the intake of food and beverages to a more alkaline ratio, 60 to 80% Alkaline depending on body type, or liver function. One other reason may indeed be a bio chemical reaction between your fingers, and the materials coating the string, or the material the string is made of. Perhaps you may have a high static electricity field causing a polarity shift that draws moisture and cell salts from your finger tips. Follow the prompts - wash hands and dry thoroughly. Keep an absorbent cloth or hand towel in your kit. After many years of trying and buying, don't bother with adding stuff to your fingers - 'cover and smother' might work for the CIA, but gunk won't work. Get a string cleaning gizmo that slips under and over the strings and run it up and down the neck - its soft on the outside (won't damage the board) and rough on the inside to grab the grunge.

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