I've been avoiding this issue for a long time because I never tried it and personally thought that once a string was worn out (lost it's elasticity) it was worn out.
One of the worst stories I ever heard was someone who thought Carbon Tetrachloride was the best string cleaner to use. What! That's a carcinogen that's used in dry cleaning!
Another maybe not so bad idea was using William's Lectric Shave to give the strings life for maybe a day or two. Well I didn't know what would happen to the finish on a guitar if maybe some of that got on it and besides it only gives you a day or two anyway.
More on track.
I heard a story about a guy that thought boiling his strings brought life back to them.
A couple of months ago I read a tip in Acoustic Guitar Magazine where a guy rolls up his strings, puts them in a sock, ties the end closed and puts it in the automatic washer with the rest of his laundry. Then he puts it in the dryer to finish it off. He said this works great. GMAN starts to wonder maybe he's got something there.
Read this cool letter from Sinisa Petric from Croatia.
"Strings ala Bolognese" Cooking strings like spaghetti.
Years ago, when good strings were not available in my country (or very expensive) I was not able to change my strings on a regular basis. After playing a long time, the three wound strings would become very greasy. I used to take them off and put them in warm water (with washing powder). After a few hours I would dry them and put them back on the guitar. They sounded like new. After three or four cooking operations the strings loose their elasticity.
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