How to Clean your Violin Bow Hair and Stick | Violin Lounge TV #290

by | Nov 21, 2018 | Maintenance | 17 comments

You can save yourself that expensive rehair

Improve the response of your violin bow by cleaning the hair yourself

In this video I demonstrate and explain how to clean your violin bow hair and stick accompanied by beautiful and relaxing classical music 🙂

When do you clean your violin bow?

You clean your violin bow when it looks dirty. Often the bow hair gets dirty near the frog. When your bow slips over the strings without a good sound and more rosin doesn’t work, it helps to clean the bow hair.

When do you need to rehair your bow?

If the response of your bow is bad, cleaning the hair is most of the times the solution. You only need to rehair your bow when there are too many hairs broken. 

How do you clean the bow stick?

In daily use you clean the stick with a dry cloth to take off rosin remains. When this doesn’t work, you can clean the stick with a cleaner. You just need a couple of drops. Make sure you don’t spill cleaner on your bow hair. Click here to get a good cleaner and cloth for your violin and bow.

How do you clean the bow hair?

Turn the screw all the way to the left, so you can take out the screw and the frog. Dip a toothbrush in alcohol and comb through the bow hair to remove rosin remains and other dirty stuff. In the video I show how to do this. Make sure you don’t spill alcohol on your bow stick or your violin.

When you’re done, remove the alcohol with a dry cloth and leave the bow hair to dry. When the bow hair has dried completely, put back the frog and the screw. Rosin your bow and you’re ready to go!

How was your experience with cleaning your violin bow?

Share in the comments below how it went and what difference you noticed in the playability of your bow. If you have additional questions, feel free to ask them. I’d love to hear from you!

Featured in this video:

Zlata’s round Arcus S9 violin bow, a cleaner and cloth and Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold rosin (my favorite!). The background music was the Larghetto from Serenade for Strings opus 22 in E Major by Antonín Dvořák performed by the Advent Chamber Orchestra.



Hi! I'm Zlata

Let me help you find a great bow for your violin, so you can improve your bowing technique and sound quality:


  1. Bonnie Short

    Thanks, Zlata! I really do appreciate everything you do to make Violin Lounge and Bow Like a Pro such excellent programs for violinist!

  2. Elena Huie

    Thank you! Going to save $70 next year.

  3. Terry Armstrong

    Thank you for sharing this. Ziata cleans the stick and bow hairs exactly like my violinmaker showed me.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Thanks for your comment, Terry, good to have the confirmation that your violinmaker does it the same way!

  4. Gerard Brunel

    Thank you very very much Zlata for all you do to help violin player along the way.
    I am 75 year old and started with the violin one year ago, your advice and help is much appreciated, you are making an incredible contribution.
    Greeting from Vancouver BC Canada.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      How good of you to pick up the violin, Gerard, great that my videos are helpful to you. Good luck and enjoy!

  5. Violinist Zlata Brouwer

    How good of you to pick up the violin, Gerard, great that my videos are helpful to you. Good luck and enjoy!

  6. Marco Simoes

    Thanks so much, Zlata! Excellent video and article – both very clear and useful. I look forward to one regarding cleaning the violin itself. I’ve found different advice on this subject over the internet…

  7. Edgar

    What type of alcohol works best? I have a bottle of peroxide but I don’t want to cause damage by assuming.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      I use medical alcohol with the highest percentage as possible… but (although I’m half Czech) I’m not an expert on different kinds of alcohol.

      • Guy

        I just saw your response here and would like to know the percentage of alcohol you use.

      • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

        I believe it’s 99%, but I’ve heard 70% works just as well… couldn’t tell you the difference.

  8. Guy

    Ms. Brouwer: I would like to clean my bow hair but would like to know if using rubbing alcohol is the right alcohol to use. I would greatly appreciate your advice. Thank you


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