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Nov 24, 2020 - 12:44:29 PM
3965 posts since 10/13/2005

I recall a few years back there were problems with a certain brand of strings turning to rust very quickly, but I forgot the brand – what brand? Apparently it was caused by the packaging (supposedly from China, not sure), the paper envelopes they were in that were too acidic. So I ordered some extra GHS PF 180 mediums and darned if they didn't get rusty too, but they were in the same box as some older Vega strings. Was it Vega? banjered

Nov 24, 2020 - 1:02:04 PM

Lost 54


798 posts since 2/9/2007

I live in australia ,i bought 30 packs of the brand strings you mentioned ,they were stored still in their separate paper packets inside a plastic sleeve,and i stored them in an airtight container with no moisture able to get in ,the whole lot went rusty .contacted the supplier ,just a waste of time and effort ,threw the lot in the bin .

Nov 24, 2020 - 1:25:31 PM

504 posts since 2/21/2005

I remember having a problem with GHS strings a few years ago. I would take a new string out of the paper envelope and there would be black spots all over it. I was about to change brands when GHS seemed to have addressed the problem and changed over to sealed plastic envelopes. I haven’t had a problem with GHS strings since.

Nov 24, 2020 - 2:01:58 PM

R Buck


2872 posts since 9/5/2006

It was with the core steel for brands GHS, D'Addario and all of the brands they make for others. I have found strings with both brands and some of the private labels that had this problem. The string world is very small so it effected almost all brands of strings.

Nov 24, 2020 - 4:56:41 PM

10998 posts since 10/27/2006

D'Addario packages their sets in hermetically sealed bags with an unspecified "inert gas" (helium?) to prevent rust and corrosion.

I would think that keeping silica de-moisturizing packets in a string box should help.

Nov 25, 2020 - 10:36:07 AM

56460 posts since 12/14/2005

About 30 or so years ago, someone told me that ALL the strings were made by ONE company, packed in different labels.
I was never able to verify this.

Nov 25, 2020 - 12:01:18 PM
like this

8032 posts since 8/28/2013

Originally posted by mike gregory

About 30 or so years ago, someone told me that ALL the strings were made by ONE company, packed in different labels.
I was never able to verify this.

You were probably unable to verify this because it's not true.

Nov 25, 2020 - 11:27:27 PM

10998 posts since 10/27/2006

MAPES makes much of the wire used in strings but each manufacturer winds to their own specifications — or has them wound— and specifies the exact alloys they want. A few offer plated plain strings—again, to combat rust. It's not a one formula for all situation.

There are other wire suppliers besides MAPES as well including European and Asian companies.

Nov 26, 2020 - 7:00:18 AM
Players Union Member

Lew H


2573 posts since 3/10/2008

I've had trouble (and music stores have had trouble!) with strings rusting in paper envelopes. I have used GHS strings for years and I'm happy that they now put each string in a plastic pack with (I think) nitrogen rather than oxygen inside. I suspect that it is nitrogen in the D'Addario string packs mention by mikehalloran. Nitrogen is not inert, but it doesn't oxidize or rust steel.

Nov 26, 2020 - 10:37:58 AM

1213 posts since 8/7/2017

Whatever the strings, if you wipe them down after each playing session, you will help them stay rust-free longer. I cut up an old, clean t-shirt for cleaning patches. I change patch with a change in strings. I wondered why a D-28 in the store sounded so bad, compared to my own D-28....I wiped the store guitar's strings, and got black and Red rust. No wonder it sounded crappy :-)

Elixir strings seemed more rust-free when installed than D'Addario strings, at least 4 years ago. I think Elixir quality may have slipped, though, since I get black deposits on the patch with new strings. For the past 5 years I almost always get black from new D'Addario strings( EJ60&EJ60NY), see black spots, etc. I tried stainless steel, but did not like the sound (forget the brand). It's possible that the black is lube from the drawing dies, but that is a guess.

Clean your new strings, and clean after every play. Also, move to a dry climate *smiles*.

Hope this helps.

Edited by - BrooksMT on 11/26/2020 10:42:37

Nov 28, 2020 - 6:42:34 PM
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Players Union Member

Lew H


2573 posts since 3/10/2008

A guitar picker and collector friend of mine, now deceased, used WD40 to clean the strings on his guitars. He would slack the strings, wipe WD40 with a cloth over and under them. Then he would pull each string away from the fretboard and release it to whap against the fretboard. A lot of finger gunk and oxidation would come off the strings. That had to be cleaned up of course and the strings wiped with another clean cloth, but the result was a set of strings that sounded almost new.

Nov 29, 2020 - 7:54:11 PM

919 posts since 6/6/2008

I like those cryogenic strings from I use 10-11-13-20-10. Been using them for over 10+ yrs and never have had a set rust. But I also agree with the previous post, always wipe down your strings after you play. It’s Just a good habit.

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