Have you ever wondered whether you’re able to use Goo Gone on your violin? If so, you’re absolutely going to love the thing we’re going to talk about today. Here at Music Gear Heads, you’re kinda used to seeing “imaginative” instrument cleaning solutions. Let’s check if using Goo Gone on violin is one of them.

Also, what is Goo Gone and why would anyone consider using it on a delicate item such as a violin? Don’t worry, as we’ll cover those questions too. As always, stay tuned for some useful tips & info!

Yes, you’re able to clean your violin strings using Goo Gone. However, we suggest that you don’t clean anything else with the mentioned solvent. Also, there are far easier methods of cleaning your strings. Just use a dry piece of cloth, hang your violin upside down, and clean the strings after each playing session. Easy as that! 

Now, don’t expect us to believe reading only the preview is more than enough. That’s right, read the whole thing!

Table of Contents

What is Goo Gone?

As we’ve already said, first we’ll consider the most important name in today’s article – Goo Gone. Therefore, let’s begin by asking: what is Goo Gone? You’ll want to know that Goo Gone, a household name in many homes throughout the US, is an adhesive remover. It will help you deal with things such as leftover sticker goo, crayon & ink marks, wallpaper, and other similar substances from many surfaces, ranging from finished wood through certain plastics, glass, and stainless steel, to ceramics & sealed stone. And here are the materials you’re not supposed to use Goo Gone with: silk, leather, suede, rubber, porous materials such as plywood, for instance, skin, or your hair.

Is Goo Gone toxic?

Does the name of the product itself sound a bit toxic? Well, our answer’s a YES. However, it’s best that we steer clear of assumptions and talk facts!

Since it’s something you’d call a household name, Goo Gone doesn’t really pose an acute health hazard for your everyday adult user. Goo Gone’s made from petroleum distillates, which are also used in the production of common household solvents. Now, you should keep in mind that breathing in a good amount of Goo Gone vapors might cause certain respiratory problems for the person using the product. Also, Goo Gone might “inspire” some irritation to your eyes and skin.

If you were to swallow Goo Gone, that’s a whole other story. By doing such a thing, you could cause serious stomach distress and lung damage. Not to mention the fact that, if Goo Gone enters your airways, such a scenario could have fatal consequences.

Okay, now that we’ve considered some more or less known facts concerning the product called Goo Gone, it’s about time we tackle the main question for today: can you use Goo Gone on violin? Don’t go anywhere!

An old violin cleaned without Goo Gone.

Can you use Goo Gone on a violin?

Okay, first of all, we might want to ask: why would anyone even think about using Goo Gone on violin? For instance, someone might want to deal with the sticky residue left from the fingering tape. Or someone might want to wipe off the rosin build-up on the strings? Well, whatever it is – let’s see whether you can use Goo Gone on violin!

You’ll be happy to know that you’re able to use Goo Gone on violin, but only in certain circumstances. Here’s when it’s okay to use it:

  • If your strings are sounding a bit scratchy, you might be dealing with the good old rosin build-up. Therefore, you’ll need to find a way to clean it. Needless to say, Goo Gone might be a good choice. Although, you should keep this in mind: you’ll do this by removing the strings before cleanup, while keeping the substance away from the fiddle as far as possible. Also, remove the strings one at a time, because removing them all at once might trigger the soundpost to fall down due to a lack of tension. 

Here’s another suggestion: instead of using Goo Gone, simply buy a new set of strings (even though they’re a bit expensive). Also, if you want to avoid scenarios in which you’ll have to either use Goo Gone or buy new strings, wipe your strings with a clean rag each time you’re finished with playing. That way, you won’t have to think about using any solvents to clean your trusty instrument’s strings.

Speaking of strings, here’s how hard you should press them.

What about other parts of the violin?

Okay, so can you use Goo Gone to clean the sticky residue the finger tape left behind? Well, while some suggest you can, others say that you shouldn’t since it might damage the fretboard. You can use some cooking oil for this, too. However, make sure you thoroughly clean the oil once you’re done since you don’t want any of it ending up on your bow hair. Oh, and since we’ve mentioned oil, here’s whether you can use baby oil on a guitar fretboard.

Lastly, if you want to use Goo Gone on a rosin-damaged top, we suggest you avoid implementing such an idea. It will most probably damage the varnish. All in all: we recommend you use Goo Gone only to clean your violin strings once they’re removed from the instrument. Remember to never remove them all at once as it might trigger your soundpost to fall down. That’s about it!

What can I use to clean my violin?

Now that we’ve underlined that Goo Gone’s only good for cleaning the strings of your trusty instrument, it might be nice to see what is a proper method to clean a violin. In other words, what products you can use to get the job done? Let’s find out!

#1 Gather the ingredients you’ll need for the task

That’s right! The first thing you’ll want to do is gather the ingredients you’re going to need to handle the regular violin cleanup process:

  • Some soap. 
  • Warm water. 
  • Specially-designed violing polish. 
  • Three pieces of clean, lint-free, microfiber cloths. 

Got everything ready? Let’s begin!

#2 Wash your hands

Before you continue to clean your trusty instrument, thoroughly wash your hands! We didn’t mean to sound like your parents, but it’s necessary you don’t handle your violin with dirty hands.

#3 Wipe your violin with a cloth

Next up, use a clean microfiber cloth to do away with any loose dirt or grime present on the instrument’s body. Basically, it’s like sweeping up the floor before you mop it since you’ll add some special violin polish later on. Of course, that polish won’t do much in removing dust, so… Yeah, first you’ll use a clean, dry cloth.

#4 Apply polish

Now, once you’ve wiped the dirt off your trusty violin, it’s time you apply some special violin polish to your instrument. Also, be careful if your instrument has a grain to it. If that’s the case, it’s crucial that you wipe the violin down along the grain in long strokes to make sure that the special polish finds its way into every little crevasse in the wood. On the other hand, if your violin doesn’t have a grain, rub in the special polish using small circles and ensure that you’ve applied it deep in each area.

Try not to add too much polish to your violin as that can leave a sticky film on the top of the instrument’s body. That kind of situation will attract more dirt to your violin and might cause permanent damage to it.

#5 Proceed to clean the strings

Here’s a quick disclaimer before we begin: there’s no need to use Goo Gone in the method we’ll show you. Okay, so did you know that the dirtiest part of your instrument is actually the strings? Whether we’re talking nylon or catgut strings – it doesn’t matter, the title stays.

Anyway, you’ll need to use a microfiber cloth that you still haven’t used up until that point in the cleaning process. Also, it’ll need to completely dry. To continue: hold the violin upside down, put the cloth between your thumb and forefinger and simply run it along the strings. This will remove any rosin that’s present on it. Why should you turn the instrument upside down? Well, you’ll need to ensure that none of the material falls off in the direction of the body and ends up going through the f-holes.

Speaking of hanging your violin upside down, here’s whether you can hang it on a wall. Oh, and it seems that we’ve got a bonus round coming up!

Can you use alcohol wipes on violin?

So, here’s the thing: we don’t suggest you use alcohol wipes to clean your violin, but it’s doable to a certain degree. Anyway, you might be able to use alcohol-based sanitizers on your violin, but only to wipe the chinrest, strings, fingerboard, or pegs. Noticed something? That’s right, there’s no wood.

You should absolutely steer clear of using alcohol-based sanitizers on the varnished parts of your violin (scroll and body), or the bow. Just don’t do it since you don’t want to cause permanent damage to your instrument.

Final thoughts

Okay, folks, that’s about all there’s to say on the subject of whether you’re supposed to use Goo Gone on violin. If you’re on the lookout for more tips on playing and caring for your violin, feel free to follow this link.