Printer-friendly version

How To Clean Your Violin or Viola Bow

Zlata Brouwer

Written by
Published: May 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM [UTC]

In this video I teach you several ways to clean your violin bow.

Tighten your bow, put a clean dry cloth between the wood (or carbon) and hair and wipe the rosin remains of.

This is enough to do weekly and keep your bow nice and clean.

If you want to clean your bow more thoroughly, you can use a special fluid for stringed instruments. You can buy several types of cleaning fluids especially for stringed instruments here.

Be careful that the fluid doesn’t stain on the bow hair. The best way to prevent it is to remove the frog from the bow (I explain how to do this safely in the video below). In this way you can separate the hair from the bow.

Only clean the stick of the bow with this fluid. Use just a little back of fluid. Let the fluid dry before you put the frog back on your bow.

When your bow hair is so dirty that you can’t play with it, it might be time to have a rehair as your hair will be worn down at this point anyway.

If something happens and you need to clean to bow hair, but you don’t need a rehair, you can clean your bow hair. Do this with a tooth brush with some alcohol on it. Brush the bow hair (remove the frog from the bow first, so the bow hair is loose and separated from the bow). Make sure the bow hair is dry before you put the frog back on the bow.

The alcohol can damage the stick of your bow. Don’t do this too often as the alcohol will damage the core of the bow hair and makes it more vulnerable, which means you are in need of a rehair faster.

Is this useful to you? Please let me know in the comments below!



PS: Do you have questions or struggles on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to and I might dedicate a Violin Lounge TV episode to answering your question!

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine