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This is one of those ideas that makes you wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?"
A Brooklyn-based company called ToneGear recently introduced a new string-cleaning tool called—appropriately enough—the String Cleaner, which slides between the fingerboard and the strings, then closes to completely incase all six strings. Once closed, you guide the tool up and down the neck several times, cleaning the full length of the strings in the process.
The new tool was awarded "Best in Show" for "Company on the Rise" during the recently completed Summer NAMM '08 in Nashville.
"I couldn't believe there wasn't an existing tool in the marketplace that effectively cleaned the strings by getting underneath them," said Dave Chiappetta, founder and president of ToneGear.
The new tool will soon be available at music stores everywhere. Chiapetta already has one U.S. patent secured and two more pending, and has already inked distribution deals with Canadian-based D'Addario, and with other companies in Sweden, Denmark, Japan, and Ireland.
For more information, visit the company's website at—what else—www.thestringcleaner.com. —Gabriel J. Hernandez
KEEPING YOUR strings clean may be a bitch, but it beats buying a new set every few weeks. Fortunately, the String Cleaner makes the process of keeping your strings neat, tidy and shiny as simple as swiping a credit card, and without the painful economic aftereffects. The String Cleaner is a dry microfiber pad housed in a plastic device that looks like a mini sanding block. The plastic housing clamps around the strings and places the pad in contact with the strings. Simply glide the String Cleaner up and down your strings a few times, and you're done. The guitar version works on any guitar—even seven-, 12- and nylon-string models— while the bass version features a pad that also cleans the instrument's fingerboard.
The pad is reusable and can be cleaned with warm water and liquid soap. It uses no harmful chemicals that can dry out your fingerboard or ruin your finish. And when you consider that using the String Cleaner after every time you play can extend the life of your strings by three times the normal length, the device will have paid for itself by the time you need to slap on a fresh set. —Chris Gill – Guitar World
The String Cleaner in another one of those products to keep in your gig tool box! It is a product that will clean your strings a full 360 degrees with out any chemicals! Your non coated strings will last so much longer and your coated strings will last even longer! just simply run the unit up and down your strings about 3 times and that's it! Will keep all the dirt and grime off your strings preventing rust! Uses cleanable micro-fiber pads that will last! Also made in bass models! will word on all guitars even 12 strings! A must have! I want to thank Dave at Tone gear for sending one to review! My Rating, 5 out of 5 stars! – MMR Magazine
ToneGear's The String Cleaner™, a groundbreaking string-cleaning product that was awarded "Best in Show" for "Company on the Rise" at NAMM 2008, is introducing a second instrument to its repertoire—The String Cleaner for Bass Guitar. Like the original, The String Cleaner for Bass Guitar utilizes a revolutionary 360-degree cleaning process to preserve and maintain the tone and integrity of guitar strings. This year's introduction features an advanced design that additionally and simultaneously cleans the fret board.
"Our mission is to become the go-to manufacturer of innovative and quality-driven stringed instrument cleaning tools," says Dave Chiappetta, founder and president of ToneGear. "Our goal is to improve musician's lives by providing thoughtful and effective solutions for maintaining and preserving the life of stringed instruments, thus allowing users to concentrate on creating music and not maintenance."
The String Cleaner for Bass Guitar extends the life and preserves the tone of bass strings by up to four times compared to conventional untreated strings while cleaning/protecting the fret board from serious damage and expense in the long-term.
Created with specially designed microfiber pads that remove and hold debris sans cleaning solution, The String Cleaner for Bass Guitar was created for long-term, low- maintenance usage. Users simply open the tool, slide it underneath the strings, close and secure the latches, and then slide the device back and forth along the full length of the strings and fret board. The String Cleaner should be used after each play to ensure optimum performance; to clean the device, simply hand-wash with warm water and a drop of liquid soap.
Additional introductions to The ToneGear family are currently under research and development and are expected to be brought to market in 2010. The String Cleaner has one US patent, two patents pending and is distributed in 45 countries; The String Cleaner for Bass Guitar has one patent pending and will be available where The String Cleaner is sold with a list price of US$19.99 (MAP price of US$14.99) and also available at www.thestringcleaner.com.
Voted Best in Show, the String Cleaner promises to dramatically extend the life of your strings. A microfiber pad made up of hundreds of thousands of little loops is pulled across your strings, soaking up all the oil and dirt without chemicals or solutions. The pads are cleanable under water or in the dishwasher, and we're told that the pad itself can last for several months.
THE STRING CLEANER, a groundbreaking string-cleaning product by ToneGear, was awarded "Best in Show" for "Company on the Rise" at the summer NAMM show in Nashville. The String Cleaner, the first effective tool of its kind to hit the marketplace, utilizes a revolutionary 360-degree cleaning process to revitalize used, old, and damaged strings. The String Cleaner also extends the life and preserves the tone of guitar strings by up to four times compared to conventional untreated strings. "After exhausting all home remedies, including boiling strings, jamming rags between the strings and fretboard and scraping my fingernail against the strings," said ToneGear founder Dave Chiappetta, "I couldn't believe there wasn't an existing tool in the marketplace that effectively cleaned the strings by getting underneath them." After five years of diligent research including focus groups, countless testing sessions, and more than 15 prototypes, Chiappetta was ready to bring The String Cleaner to market.
Created with specially designed microfiber pads that remove and hold debris sans cleaning solution, The String Cleaner was created for long-term, low-maintenance use. Users simply open the tool, slide The String Cleaner underneath the guitar strings, close and secure the latches, and slide The String Cleaner back and forth along the full length of the strings. The String Cleaner should be used after each guitar play to ensure optimum performance. To maintain The String Cleaner, simply place the tool on the top rack of a dishwasher and run in a regular cycle or hand wash with warm water and soap.The String Cleaner has one U.S. patent and two patents pending, with signed distribution deals with Canadian-based D'Addario in addition to country-signed deals including Sweden, Denmark, Japan, and Ireland. The String Cleaner retails for $12.99.
The String Cleaner is a very unique product. I got it a few months ago and have noticed a huge difference in how long my strings last and much longer they maintain that crisp "new" sound. The String cleaner works a lot better than some of the other products I have seen. It cleans all the strings at once and gets all the dirt and grime from the bottom of the strings. I am a huge fan and would recommend this product to anyone looking to maintain their strings the way they should be. - Chip
This tool has made it extremely fast to clean my strings before I play my guitar. It seriously only takes a few seconds and your strings are clean with no worries on looking for build up that's hiding on the back of strings. The tool is so simple you'll wonder why it hasn't been on the market for much longer. A must have for your guitar tool box. - Jay Rivera
It works. It works well. Everyone should get this. It is incredibly effective at cleaning strings without requiring strange chemicals or solutions to assist it. I fully recommend it. – SPG
I never thought strings would get dirty and corroded so quickly! But now my strings seem to last 3 times longer. This is my favorite string cleaner because it's small enough to fit in my guitar case. I take it to band practice and it's amazing how well it works.It takes a few seconds to do its job and you can literately see all the grease and corrosion come off after running it through the strings a couple of times. Another great thing about it is that you can simply wash the cloths with a dropof water and soap. It's just great - Nestor
I purchased the string cleaner about a week ago and got it in the mail the other day. I used it on the set of strings that were already on my guitar and immediately noticed a difference. The entire string including underneath where the dirt and grime accumulate the most was wiped clean. Not only were the strings cleaner, but they sounded new again. I am going to use this product for a long time. 5 stars! - Robbie B.
The string cleaner is in my hand. not lurking around somewhere in some forgotten guitar case. IF YOU ARE A SERIOUS GUITAR PLAYER and want your strings to be in the best condition they can be at any given time you MUST USE ToneGear's string cleaner. You are not in anyway 'damaging' your frets (hahahahahahaha! I ask you!!!). I would be proud to be able to endorse this product. Finally a string cleaner that WORKS! - Muzz Murray
Friend of mine turned me on to this thing, and I was skeptical at first, but it's awesome. Actually, I can't believe how well it works. Finally, something that cleans underneath the strings. Ridiculous that no one thought of this sooner. - Guitar Hero
This thing is weird at first but it makes my string last at least twice their life time, wash the string cleaner is better than spending more money in strings…" - Tiago Fonseca
"Before buying any musical instruments or accessories on line, I often check out the product reviews. After doing a little bit of research, I decided to invest in the ToneGear The String Cleaning Tool, mainly for my guitars….So far, this item exceeds my expectations and I'm impressed." - Patrick James McKenna
"I used to have to get strings every two weeks. Now the strings last twice as long with this thing. Its pretty cool…" - IbanezXPT700
"This microfiber material is great and leaves nothing behind. It also lasts far, far longer than any Fast-Fret or String Ease…Recommend." – ZR
I keep one of these in my case and use it just after playing each jam or gig. It has increased the life of the strings more that I would have dreamed, just make sure you use it while the finger oils, etc. are still fresh. Also, keep it fresh by cleaning it per the instructions when you do change strings. – jimmylogan
I Definitely found [The String Cleaner] worked positively. By using it after every playing session, the strings resisted corrosion for a noticeably longer period of time and retained their punch longer as well. Regarding ease of use, there really wasn't any difficulty or high time requirements. Overall I would say that it was very effective and did not add any cumbersome rituals to my playing. - Justin Kinchen
I have had the string cleaner for a few months now and have been very happy with the results! I have been using it on all of my guitars after every time I play and always notice a significant tone improvement from my strings. I love that the string cleaner does not use any chemicals or solution and cleans all 360 degrees of the strings getting all the grime from the bottom. I have never seen a string cleaning product that works as well as the string cleaner. 5 Stars! - Sir Shreds A lot, NY, NY
Giving your strings a couple swipes with the String Cleaner after every use is an easy and effective way to keep grime from accumulating, and keep the strings sounding bright. I far prefer this to chemical-based cleaners, and even though it's more expensive than a rag (duh), it's so much faster to clean with the String Cleaner that it encourages good "string hygiene"... plus, I've been using it for over 6 months and it doesn't seem to be cracking or fraying or anything. - BPHomer
"I have used the device for a month now and have to say that I am truly amazed by how well it works. Having almost destroyed my neck with other products, I was forced to clean my strings with a cloth or my fingernails, which is nasty. I have been waiting for something like this for a loooong time. It is so easy to use, highly efficient, and it cleans the strings underneath! I also like the fact that you can just clean the microfiber cloth every month or so and then it is brand new again(although, you should really let it dry properly before using it again!). I guess you can probably get around 6 - 8 months out of this little device, which of course saves some good time and money. I think this product will become a must have for all serious guitar players. At least it is for me. Way cool!" - J.Schneider"shredder"
This thing works great for me. I like how it's chemical free, and I've been washing it off regularly and using the same one for a year now...The bass version works just as well, and has another pad on the bottom that cleans the fretboard. This is a really good option for anyone leery of getting all sorts of chemicals near their instrument. - A Kid's Review
I always used a microfibre cloth to work on the string cleaning. The underside of the strings were always were neglected and thats where the corrosion starts. The ToneGear string cleaner is handy and seamlessly does the job... Overall-a must have for players of steel stringed instruments. - Vinod K Ethirajan (Highlands Ranch, CO)
First of all as a former touring guitarist and a guitar tech junkie, I have a toolbox with every tool you can imagine. I have to say this string cleaner is a must have! I say this because in the long run, it will save you money on strings, save you time with changes, and will keep your strings sounding alive. Most guitarists don't realize just what they are doing to their strings when they play. You are leaving behind a world of sweat, dead skin, and all kinds of nasty elements. The oils/fluids you leave behind can be very acidic and contain plenty of things that will build up and corrode your strings. I've seen people who change strings every week because the strings keep going dead. I've seen mold and and all kinds of garbage build up on strings so bad I thought a sloth may be living on it. This little tool will prevent that. I have a routine with mine. Before I play, I run the cleaner over the strings a few times. Whenever I'm done playing I make sure to spray a string cleaner fluid onto the pad and run it over the strings again until I feel they are completely clean. You will not believe the extension of your string life or the quality of sound you will get following these cleaning practices...This is a great, cheap, handy little product that all guitarists should keep in their pockets. - Matti_Ice "xxMatti*Icexx"
It works. Plain and simple. I have a set of Thomastiks on my main guitar, the Jazz 13s with the gold tone unwound 13 and 17, and after a month they're still gold - no tarnish yet. This little tool is well worth the money. If the electric bass version is available, I would strongly encourage bassists to pick it up - you'll stretch out your string life and save cash.
- Martin S. Power (Chittenden County Vermont)
The string cleaner is a great product. It does a thorough job in a few seconds and it is very easy to use. I have tried just about every other device on the market and nothing comes close to the ease of use and the results of this little device... A set of bass strings is $35-$50 and anything that will extend the life and sound will save me money. I highly recommend the string cleaner! - G. Miller (Houston, TX)
cleaning the top art of the strings is no problem. It's the underside that gathers all the grime. The first thing you'd see when you look at the guitar is the top part right? don't forget that all stuff you can't see that get's pushed underneath is weighing down on your tone the most. I recommend using this with some type of a string oil to help break up anything that might be gathering. even the unseen can change your tone before you would see it was there. - Cory M. Salles
I bought The String Cleaner about 2 weeks ago and have been using it after every time I play ever since. It is the first string cleaner product I have ever seen or used that gets 360 degrees of all six strings at the same time. I really notice the difference in how long my strings maintain their "like new" sound. I love that it uses no chemicals and is safe on my fretboard. Very cool product! 5 Stars! - Mr. Sweet Licks
Simply the easiest, no hassle, no mess, way to clean your strings. I have used on all my guitars. It even fits my acoustic 12 string! - J. Greenwood (Mpls, MN USA)
Update: 1 year later and the string cleaner is going strong. Wash up in soap and water and let dry. I bought a 2nd one! - J. Greenwood (Mpls, MN USA)
Brilliant Idea! Just a few wipes and it removed a lot of the debris from the strings that wouldn't come off before And it took about a quarter of the time to give them a really good clean. I haven't had time to do my bass with the other one yet but I'll get stuck into it soon. Such an easy way of doing the small but necessary cleaning jobs. - Bob Sayer
I have purchased three [String Cleaners] so far (one for each guitar I use for practice and gigging)... The product works as advertised and it might be #1 in that department among all the gear items I use. I tell all my friends that play guitar and bass about the String Cleaner and the stellar results I get with mine. The String Cleaner is a great product that lives up to the claims of the company. Thank you very much again. Sincerely a satisfied customer. - Bob Eaton
I've been using your string cleaner for about a year now and love it. I do a lot of couch playing for short periods and it's great to just pick it up and swipe my strings clean between mini-jams. It really extends the string life immensely... congratulations on a successful product, and my thanks for all the time and energy it has saved me. - Rick Jasonis Middletown, CT
I love The String Cleaner! It's one of those products that makes you say, "Why didn't somebody think of this sooner?" For years, I've been wiping down my strings after playing, trying to prolong the life and the tone. It didn't take me long to realize that wiping the top of the strings didn't adequately do the job. The gunk that collects on the fretboard is clear evidence of that. I'd try to get a cloth under the strings to clean, but it's tough to do. Plus, the fabric tends to snag on pole pieces, screw heads, etc. I'd spend as much time picking threads off the guitar as I did cleaning! I read about The String Cleaner on a music message board and ordered one right away. I've been using it for close to three years now. It works exactly as it is advertised and it is well worth the money. The design keeps it from damaging guitars. The microfiber fabric is easy to clean. When I play a gig, The String Cleaner is always on my amp, ready to wipe off the strings after each set. This is a great product that should be in every guitarist's case or gig bag. - Michael Menege in St. Paul, MN
Just a shout about a cool thing my girlfriend gave me for x-mas. It's appropriately called "The String Cleaner". My body chemistry does not quite agree with steel strings: I'll typically change my strings once a week, and by the time I do, that one-week-old set looks nearly ancient. I have used FastFret for a few months now and have been scouting around for something else. I've never been quite happy with FF because the applicator always seemed to dry up completely within a few weeks. The String Cleaner actually closes around all the strings, and two pieces of microfiber cloth wipe excess skin, dirt, and oils from all sides of each string. Not to mention there is no cleaning agent with the string cleaner, so you won't end up with residual gunk on your neck, strings, or hands. It's a neat idea, and I have a feeling I will convert totally to this product. If you're looking for something to keep your strings clean, check it out. – WHERE?!
"I still have some Fast Fret in my gig toolbox, but you couldn't pay me to use that or anything like it now. Adding substances to your strings won't do your tone any good. I use The String Cleaner."
"The micro fibers get into the nooks and crannies of the strings and removes the dead skin, dirt, oils, and other contaminates on the strings. The strings stay bright and shiny and hold their tone much longer as a result."
"Use it after each time you play and your strings will last longer and sound better than any other products can claim. NAMM doesn't give out its "Best In Show" award lightly, but they gave one to The String Cleaner by ToneGear."
"The money you save on replacing strings pays for the String Cleaner in a very short time."
"I am still on my first ones (I have one for each guitar that I actively use) which I have had now for over a year. Buying a String Cleaner and using it will be the best maintenance you'll ever do for your strings and your tone. And there is no muss and fuss, just clean strings."
"This isn't an ad, I'm not selling these things, I just think they're awesome and some of you might too." - Rookie Davis
"There's one thing about playing I've always had trouble with, it's going through strings. My hands sweat. A lot. And sweat really breaks down strings, especially in places where the humidity can be really bad (such as the Midwest, where I live). I've played every brand and type of string: coated, uncoated, steel, nickel... the whole spectrum, and I've never found strings that could hold up. I just started playing strings that were cheap so that I could replace often (in the heat of my tours, I would replace strings about every month, and sometimes more often). Having string endorsement deals really helped this, but it isn't an option for everyone. I must concede, however, the thing I didn't do often enough was wipe down my strings. Any time I ever tried to do this, it was a very tedious task to wrap a cloth around each string and go up and down a few times. After doing this once, I got fed-up with it, and just started wiping down the front really quickly with a cloth, then not at all. I just deal with having to replace my strings.
I was recently presented with the ToneGear's The String Cleaner. I've seen these used, and never really picked- one up because I wasn't convinced it would work. When I was wiping down my strings with a cloth, I could never get every angle of the string, so I thought this piece would be just another piece of gear that would find a spot in my junk drawer. After trying it out, I have to say, I'm pretty impressed. It's simple, but does the job and does it well. The String Cleaner is easy to pop open, just use your thumb and first two fingers. With a gentle squeeze, it pops right open. Then you close it around all your strings, give it a few passes up-and-down, and all the strings are free of sweat and grime; no solution required. It even hits your fingerboard! So no more grime building-up on the fingerboard from dead skin cells.Plus, you only have to clean the cloth every two months, or when you change your strings. The important thing to note, however, is that this is purely a preventative measure, and can't clean rusty, corroded strings. By that point, it's too late. But it is a hassle-free, much more effective method of preventative maintenance. The Bass String Cleaner fits all standard 4 and 5-string models (I tried it on my Lakland 5-string with broad string spacing), and is a must for every guy who sweats and hates wiping down their strings. It's also good for those of you who hate fingerboard gunk! The Bass String Cleaner is a small investment that will pay for itself in the amount of money you'll save on strings." - Jeff Gorham
"The String Cleaner by Tone Gear boasts it's "The Ultimate String Cleaning Tool" How can I dispute a claim like that? After trying it out on a few guitars and basses I will say it is the easiest. What makes it stand out is it's ability to clip into place while it wipes my strings down at a full 360 degrees with no messy cleaning solutions whatsoever.
The String Cleaner can easily be tossed in your gig bag or case and is recommended to be used after each use of your instrument. The whole process takes about half a minute." - Billy Voight
"The String Cleaner was voted Best in Show at The 2008 Summer NAMM. A cool little device that claims to extend the life of your guitar strings. According to their web site The String Cleaner, extends the life and preserves the tone of guitar strings. Revitalizes used, old, and damaged strings. Works with, or without, any guitar-string cleaning solution. It's created with a specially designed micro fiber pad for long-term, low maintenance use. The String Cleaner can be washed by hand."
I remember seeing the advertisements for The String Cleaner when it first came out a couple of years ago, and being pretty skeptical that it would do any better job than the old washcloths, baby diapers or microfiber cloths that I tossed in all of my guitar cases. A friend of mine, who can't help but try everything new that comes out, ordered a couple and gave me one and I've been using it ever since! I am fanatical about keeping my strings clean and wipe them down thoroughly after every set or rehearsal. And even with that I change strings every show or two as I hate to deal with dead strings, and especially hate breaking strings live!
So one day I pulled out The String Cleaner just to see if it could get anything that the towel hadn't and I was amazed at how much more stuff came off the strings, especially on the underside. I now use The String Cleaner at the end of every show and I've noticed a difference the second night on a set of strings. Will that old rag in the bottom of your gig bag work? Sure, but if you want to go the extra mile, you won't be disappointed with The String Cleaner. Voted Best in Show at NAMM. - Paul Schille
What would you do if you want to clean the dust off of your guitar strings without removing the strings? Use a dry or damp cotton t-shirt and run it up and down?
I used to take a thin cotton cloth and wipe the guitar strings up and down, and slide the thin cloth under the strings as well to remove the dirt as best as I could. But I found it is tough for me to clean my guitar strings completely because there are still some dust under the strings and other areas which I'm not able to get rid of. I have to wait until the day I'm changing my guitar strings, then only I could clean these areas thoroughly. Ever since I had been introduced with this cool little device called The String Cleaner, strings cleaning seem to be so easy than anything else. This guitar string cleaner is so convenience to use and saves me lot of trouble and time. It makes string cleaning a whole lot faster and is real useful for impatient guitar player like me, because most of the times I have to set up and pack up real fast.
Quick and Easy - The String Cleaner is a flat little cartridge that opens and closes over the strings on both top and bottom. Slide it underneath your guitar strings and run it up and down a few times, it will clean up your strings in a few seconds. This guitar string cleaner works just great! Plain and simple.
Environmental Friendly - Another cool feature of The String Cleaner is the microfiber pad is washable. This makes the device environmental friendly and not just another disposable item in store. It is a chemical free product. Just wash up in soap and water and let dry. You can re-use this guitar string cleaner without any problem. The String Cleaner is definitely an interesting approach to an old problem. This device is simply the easiest, no hassle, no mess, way to clean your guitar string - D. Burns "Nashville Player"