Bow Maintainence Question

July 10, 2018, 1:43 PM · What do people use to polish and maintain the silver on their bow? I got a new bow a few months ago and it’s starting to tarnish. Was going to use some household silver cleaner but thought I had better ask around before I destroy my bow!

Replies (11)

Edited: July 10, 2018, 3:05 PM · Handling in the normal course of playing should be enough to keep the tarnish under control. Wiping the bow off carefully after using it will also keep the tarnish away. Polishes are micro abrasives and cause unnecessary wear. For those rare times when I feel that a rehair is needed, I always tell the person doing it that I have no expectation, and they are under no obligation to polish the metal parts. I tell them to use their judgement. Also, are you certain that your bow has solid silver fittings? If not, you might be in for a distressing surprise if/when you polish through the plating. I really think it's best to leave it alone.
July 10, 2018, 8:00 PM · When you come to sell a bow, the tarnish may be the strongest evidence that its really silver, polished silver and polished nickel sliver are hard to tell apart, especially from pictures.
July 10, 2018, 10:01 PM · He said it's new. I don't think selling and authenticity are what he's asking about.
July 11, 2018, 9:18 AM · Try the Connoiseurs Jewelry Wipes, does wonders and really easy to use.
July 11, 2018, 10:12 AM · I agree - jewelry wipes are great. Muji sells a pack of very small ones that would tidily store in your case.
August 3, 2018, 7:27 AM · I would wait until it's in for rehair and ask the shop to do it. Too much polishing on the fine and delicate silver wire isn't a good idea.
August 3, 2018, 7:42 AM · plus the wrapping might be silver plated only and you could polish right through the silver.
August 3, 2018, 8:10 AM · I think the situation Lyndon describes is probably fairly common.
August 3, 2018, 8:51 AM · Jewelry wipes sound to me like a rather bad idea. They contain alcohol and several chemicals which could seriously damage the varnish on your stick, if you accidentally touch it with the wipe. A great way to degrade your bow.
Edited: August 3, 2018, 12:36 PM · And, as an after-thought, jewelry wipes will leave a residue that will accumulate between the windings of the silver thread. Mark and Lyndon are right on all points.
August 3, 2018, 12:38 PM · If you go to a music store that sells band instruments, specifically silver instruments such as flutes and trumpets, they'll typically have a silver polish cloth (normally a $10-$20 purchase). They are dry and very gentle. I use them on these instruments, as well as silver-wrapped violin strings, and my silver-tipped bow.

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