Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter and Outdoorsman.
When you have a bow, you need to make sure that you’re taking care of the strings. This will ensure that the bow will continue to fire correctly.
But how do you wax bow strings the right way?
First, you’ll need to apply the wax to the string. Then, you’ll need to rub it in using your fingers. To finish, you’ll need to tie a leather loop around the string and use it to wipe away the excess wax. You’ll need to keep an eye on your string, so you’ll be able to spot the signs that the string needs to be re-waxed. In most cases, you’ll need to re-apply the wax every two to three weeks.
There’s a lot you need to know about waxing strings to make sure that you can keep them in excellent condition. Let’s look at everything you need to care for your bowstrings.
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In this post, we'll cover:
How To Wax A Bow String?
Waxing your string is one of the most important parts of maintenance. So, you’ll need to know how to do it properly. There are three parts to the waxing process:
- You’ll need to make sure that the string has been thoroughly cleaned.
- You’ll need to apply the wax.
- You’ll need to wipe off the wax.
Learning how to wax a string is essential for any archer to develop. Though this process might only take a few minutes, it will make a world of difference when you are shooting. It will also ensure that you are kept safe when you are shooting.
How Do You Clean A Bow String?
To clean a bowstring, you’ll often just need to use a damp cloth, rubbing it along the string. If the dirt is firmly embedded, you’ll need a bowstring cleaner. Finally, you might want to use a corded rope, which rubs along the string, removing stuck dirt.
Before you start waxing, you’ll need to make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned the bow. This will ensure that you aren’t accidentally embedding dirt into the string, causing it to age faster. Cleaning the string doesn’t need to be a complicated process.
First, you’ll need to get a microfiber cloth and rub it up and down the bowstring. You’ll often need to wet it a little. You want the cloth to be damp but not dripping wet. Then, you’ll need to rub the cloth along the string lightly. Avoid putting too much pressure on the string.
You should notice that this will be successful in removing all the dirt and debris from the string. In most cases, all you’ll need will be a damp cloth. However, on some occasions, there might be a lot of dirt and mud on the bow. In this case, you might something a little more substantial. There is a range of bowstring cleaners available.
You might want to use a corded rope. These are often used at the end of the waxing process. You will be able to use them at the start if you still have a lot of dirt pressing into the string. The corded rope will wrap around the string, helping you scrape off all the dirt. You will often remove some wax, so you’ll need to make sure that you re-wax after doing this.
Before you move with the process, take some time to inspect the bowstring. First, double-check that all the dirt has been removed. You’ll also need to check the servings on the string are in good condition. If they aren’t, waxing won’t be able to fix it.
As a result, you might need to replace the string. It’s also important to check that the string has the right number of twists. When you are happy, you’ll be able to move on with the waxing process.
How Do You Apply Wax To Bow Strings?
The next step in the process is to apply the wax to the string. To do this, you’ll need to put the wax onto the string. Use either use a cloth or your fingers to massage the wax into the string.
Once you’ve cleaned the string, you’ll need to wax it. Thankfully, this is a relatively simple process. First, you’ll need to pick the right type of wax. We’ll discuss the different options a little later, so you can find the one that’s right for you.
Once you’ve got your wax, put it onto the string. It’s often best to use a relatively liberal amount. Make sure to cover the string. The only part of the string that won’t get waxed is the serving. If you wax this part, it will become more slippery. There’s also a chance that they will unravel faster.
After the wax is covering the string, you’ll need to use your fingers to rub it in. Make sure that you’re only pressing lightly. Too much pressure can end up damaging the string. Use smooth strokes to move the wax up and down the string. If you don’t like the way the string feels, you might want to use a cloth when doing this.
Keep rubbing the wax into the string. As you’re doing this, you’ll notice that the friction will start to heat the string. This is good; it ensures that the wax penetrates deeply. You’ll need to keep rubbing until you notice that all the strings have joined together. There shouldn’t be any strands sticking out. When this is the case, you’ll be able to move on to the next stage of the process.
How Do You Remove Wax From A Bow String?
The process’s final stage is removing any excess wax from the bowstring. To do this, you’ll need to use a cord. Wrap this around the string and scrape downwards. After you do this, you’ll be able to start shooting with the string again.
Lastly, you’ll need to get rid of any excess wax. If you don’t, the string will be slippery, making it more difficult to fire the bow. Often, this means wrapping a piece of corded rope around the string. While this is the most popular option, there is a range of other materials that you can use.
If you prefer, you can also use a piece of leather. If you’re in a hurry, you might be able to use a piece of paper.
Once you’ve got the cord around the string, slowly pull downwards. Remember, you don’t want to put too much pressure on the string, which will shorten its lifespan.
As you pull downwards, you should notice that the string is picking up all the excess wax. When you’re finished, you might want to clean the cord using a paper towel.
In some cases, you might notice lumps of wax that are still on the string. You should be able to use your fingers to remove these. At the end of this step, you’ll have finished waxing the string. It will not be safe to shoot on the range. However, it’s best to let the string sit for a while before you try to shoot with it.
How Do You Know It’s Time To Wax Strings?
How often you need to wax depends on how frequently you shoot. You’ll most likely need to wax the string every two to three weeks. When deciding if you need to wax, look at the condition of the string. If you feel it’s dry or notice it is starting to frizz, it’s time to start waxing.
As an archer, you need to take care of all your equipment. It will get frayed if you don’t wax the string often enough. This can pose a significant safety concern on the range. When a bowstring breaks, it will often cause serious injuries.
Sometimes the string can snap towards you, hitting your face. This can cause bruising or bleeding. In other cases, it might hit your eyes. This can lead to permanent loss of vision. If there was an arrow in the bow, it can sometimes fly erratically or fall straight down, hitting your foot.
The best way to prevent this damage is by keeping an eye on your strings. You’ll need to know the signs that it’s time to wax the strings.
First, you’ll need to check for signs that it’s starting to fray. When you see this, you’ll need to take urgent action. As we discussed, the friction applied during the waxing process will join the string together again.
You might also want to look for any dirt or debris on the string. If you’ve been in rough conditions, you should wipe down the string before putting the bow away. However, if the build-up of dirt is too much, the waxing process can be a great way to get it clean.
When you decide to wax can often depend on how you use the bow. In most cases, it’s recommended that you wax the string every two to three weeks. If you plan to attend a competition or go on a hunting trip, you might want to wax the string the night before. This will ensure that you can get the best possible performance.
Do You Wax All Bow Strings?
All types of bowstrings will need to be waxed, regardless of the type of bow you are using. This will ensure that you are getting the best performance from the bow. It will also make sure that you are safe when shooting.
All types of bowstrings can benefit from regular waxing. You’ll need to use the procedure that we discussed above. All bows will place a strain on the string, as you draw it back then release the tension. As a result, you’ll need to make sure that you’re maintaining the string, allowing you to continue to shoot accurately and safely.
Often, the more powerful the bow, the more often you’ll need to wax the string. There are a few reasons for this. First, you’ll be putting more tension onto the string when you draw back. This can mean that it will wear out faster. Secondly, there is a greater risk of injury if the string breaks when you fire it. As a general rule, you’ll want to wax strings every two to three weeks. The more often you shoot a bow, the more frequently you’ll need to wax the string.
Can You Put Too Much Wax On A Bow String?
In some cases, it’s possible to put too much wax on. In this case, you’ll risk gumming up the bow. When this happens, it will no longer shoot properly. When this happens, you’ll need to remove all the wax from the bow before you can use it again.
While not waxing your string enough is a significant problem, so is waxing your bow too often. Thankfully, this is rarer, and, as long as you follow the procedure described earlier, it shouldn’t happen to you.
If too much wax is applied, the bowstring might get gummed up. This will make it impossible to shoot correctly. The longer this problem continues, the worse the bow will get. The key to preventing this is wiping away the excess wax when you are finished. As long as you do this, the bow won’t get gummed up.
If you have put too much wax on the bow, it can be a significant issue, particularly if it has hardened. In this case, it might impact the bow components, making it impossible to shoot correctly. In this case, the solution is simple. You need to clean off the wax. Go slow, so you don’t do any further damage to the bow. It might be easier to take it to an archery store to get professional assistance in some cases.
When Do I Need To Replace The Bow String?
While waxing is an integral part of bow maintenance, it’s equally important to know when to replace the string. You should replace the string when you notice too much fraying. You might also want to replace it when it has a broken strand. Typically, strings will last around three years.
The more often you use a string, the more frequently you’ll need to replace it. How often you need to replace the string will often depend on the amount of force you’re putting on it and the type of arrow you’re using. Typically, though, you’ll need to replace the string every three years. By regularly waxing the string, you’ll be able to make sure that it lasts for a long time.
There are a few signs that you might need to replace the string. First, you might notice fraying. A little bit of fraying can often be fixed by waxing. However, if the fraying doesn’t go away, or it doesn’t take long for the string to start fraying again, it might be time to replace the bow. Over time, the fraying is just going to get worse.
Another warning sign is that there are broken strands. The more broken strands there are, the less power you’ll be able to get from the bow. Also, there will be a greater risk that the string will snap when you’re using it.
You must replace the string before it snaps. If you aren’t sure whether the string needs to be waxed or replaced, you might want to talk to an archery professional. They will be able to assess the string and help you decide what you should do.
4 Best Waxes For Bow Strings
There are dozens of waxes for bowstrings to choose from. Unfortunately, they aren’t all created equally. Some of the best waxes are;
- Tex-Tite Bowstring Wax
- Outdoors String Snot Bow String Wax
- Scorpion Venom Polymeric Bowstring Wax
- LimbSaver Bow String Conditioner and Protectant
Choosing the right wax can have a significant impact on how you shoot. You’ll be able to make sure that your string stays lubricated for a long time. You’ll also be able to make sure that you’re giving it the maximum protection, ensuring that the string will last for a long time.
What Should I Look For When Choosing A Wax For My Bow String?
There are several factors to look for when deciding what bowstring wax you want to use. First, you want to try and get something that will be unscented. You also need to make sure that it’s waterproof. It’s also crucial that you choose something that will be easy to transport.
With so many wax strings on the market, it can be challenging to know which one you should be using. However, there are a few things you can consider. This will help you decide which one you want to purchase. First, try to pick a wax that doesn’t have any scents.
This will often indicate that the wax is made with a lot of chemicals. More importantly, if you decide to take your bow hunting, the animals will be able to detect the scented wax. This will make them more reluctant to go near you.
Another essential consideration is picking something that will be waterproof. You want something that will protect your string if it starts to rain. This is vital if you’re planning on shooting outdoors, where there’s a good chance that the bow will get wet.
You might also want to consider the type of container that the wax is stored in. Most types will come in thin tubes. They can easily be put in your pocket or stored in your bow bag. By picking something that you can easily take with you, you’ll be able to make sure that you always have wax when you need it.
If you still don’t know what type of wax you want to choose, you might want to look at the online reviews. This will give you a better idea of what people thought about the product. If you see many people complaining about a wax drying out early or pointing out that it doesn’t last long, you might want to avoid that brand. Because there are so many options, it should be easy to find wax with many positive reviews.
Finally, you might want to think about how much it costs. Because it’s such a basic item, you don’t want to spend a fortune on expensive waxes. The amount you can expect to pay will often depend on the brand and the amount of wax you’re getting. Generally, you can expect to pay between $3 to $10 for some bowstring wax.
Tex-Tite Bowstring Wax
- Designed especially for synthetic fiber bowstrings
- Bohning textile bow string wax is a natural based wax designed especially for synthetic fiber bowstrings
- This product is manufactured in United States
Last update on 2023-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
One of the most popular types of bowstring wax is Tex-Tite. There are several reasons for this. First, it is designed to work on synthetic strings, which are found on most bows. Also, it is made from natural materials and is manufactured in the United States. It comes in a tube, which makes it easy to store and use.
One of the most significant benefits is using wax in a wide range of weather conditions. So, if you encounter a little rain when shooting, you don’t need to worry. Because of this, this wax is a great way to extend the life of your bowstring.
Outdoors String Snot Bow String Wax
- Made in the USA
- 100% Odorless formula
- Increases performance and durability
Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Another popular type of bow wax is String Snot. This type of wax is made from wax, grease, and oil. As a result, it will be able to offer more advanced protection for your strings. Also, because of the ingredients used, the wax will be completely odorless. This is great news for hunters, as there’s no chance that you will end up spooking your prey. This mixture ensures that it will be suitable for all types of strings, even crossbow strings.
This wax has earned an impressive five-star rating on Amazon. This shows that customers are pleased with how easily it can be applied to the string. It also demonstrates that this type of wax will offer good protection, helping stop the string from becoming frayed.
Scorpion Venom Polymeric Bowstring Wax
- Package length: 3.048 cm
- Package width: 9.652 cm
- Package height: 14.223 cm
Last update on 2023-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Many hunters prefer to use Scorpion Venom Polymeric Bowstring Wax. There are several reasons for this. First, it’s made in the United States, so it will be able to cope with the conditions that you’ll typically find when hunting. For example, it will be resistant to water, so you don’t need to worry about the rain. Also, it will be able to protect your string from freezing.
The type of wax is made from several natural ingredients, some of which you might not expect to find in a bowstring wax. For example, it contains shea and mango oil. Despite this, it will be completely odorless. It comes in a tin rather than a tube. While this can make it a little harder to apply, it’s still easy enough to use with your fingers. Also, the metal tub will be able to withstand being knocked around in a hunter’s bag.
LimbSaver Bow String Conditioner and Protectant
- WeatherLock seals out moisture, reduces friction
- Conditions and improves life of the string
- Odorless, non-toxic, and non-flammable
Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Lastly, you might want to consider LimbSaver Bow String Conditioner and Protectant. Like many of the other options on this list, it comes in the stick format. This makes it easier to apply. Also, it’s made from natural ingredients and is entirely odorless. It will also lock out moisture, so you’ll be able to shoot in the rain.
However, this wax has another advantage. It’s pet safe. While you shouldn’t be feeding wax to your dog or cat, it’s natural for them to try to lick it as you’re putting it on the bow. The LimbSaver variety won’t contain any chemicals which can make them sick. This can also make this wax a good choice for parents of young children.
Knowing how and when to wax your strings is one of the essential parts of maintaining your bow. As we’ve seen, it doesn’t need to be a complicated process. In most cases, you’ll just need to rub the wax onto the string. Use your fingers or a cloth to rub it in.
The friction will bind the string together, stopping fraying when you’re finished use a rope to wipe off any excess. As long as you do this whenever you start to notice fraying or before you begin shooting in competition, you’ll be able to keep your string in good condition.
It’s also essential to put some thought into the type of wax you’re using, to make sure that you’re getting the best results. Even if you do wax your string regularly, there will come a time when you need to replace it before it breaks and causes severe damage. As long as you follow these tips, you’ll be able to make sure that your string is always in good condition.
Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. Since he was a child, he has been hunting and fishing and has over 20 years of outdoor experience. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channel dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.