Should You Wax Your Bowstring?


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Last updated : November 12, 2023
Alexander Knobloch

Hi, I'm Alex, the owner of BowAddicted. I've been shooting recurve bow since 2019 and recently got into string walking. I'm passionate about archery, the outdoors, and my kids. This journey has had its share of ups and downs, but the moments spent outside with friends and family are truly worth it. Feel free to get in touch!


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You just got started with archery? And now you are wondering if you should wax your bowstring? This article will explain why you need to wax your bowstring and what kind of wax works best.

Bohning 1306 Tex-Tite Bowstring Wax 1oz,...
.30-06 Outdoors String Snot Bow String...
All-purpose Archery Bow String Wax 1.5...
Allen Company unisex adult Bowstring Wax...
Bcy X Wax
Bohning 1306 Tex-Tite Bowstring Wax 1oz,...
.30-06 Outdoors String Snot Bow String...
All-purpose Archery Bow String Wax 1.5...
Allen Company unisex adult Bowstring Wax...
Bcy X Wax
Bohning 1306 Tex-Tite Bowstring Wax 1oz,...
Bohning 1306 Tex-Tite Bowstring Wax 1oz,...
.30-06 Outdoors String Snot Bow String...
.30-06 Outdoors String Snot Bow String...
All-purpose Archery Bow String Wax 1.5...
All-purpose Archery Bow String Wax 1.5...
Allen Company unisex adult Bowstring Wax...
Allen Company unisex adult Bowstring Wax...
Bcy X Wax
Bcy X Wax

Before we dive into the article – here is your answer: yes! You should regularly wax your bowstring. Why is that so, and how do I know whether my bowstring needs waxing or not? Let’s get started…

Do I Really Need a String Wax?

Yes! String wax will help keep your string elastic and from getting fuzzy and fraying. String Wax is typically waterproof – which is especially important if you are shooting outdoors. It is safe to say that the regular usage of string wax will enhance the durability of your string. If you don’t feel like constantly replacing your bowstring – use a string wax! 

And think about it this way: string wax generally is cheaper than a new string! Why not invest five bucks and get some extra life out of your bowstring?

Four Reasons for Using Wax on a Bowstring:

  • Maintain lubrication of the fibers and prevent abrasion “from fiber to fiber.”
  • Prevent the strands from separating from one another
  • To prolong string life
  • To prevent water absorption

What’s a Good Substitute for Bowstring Wax?

There are some options available when it comes to string wax substitutes. Some people swear by pure beeswax, while others prefer paraffin wax. Alternatively, you could use hockey-, surfboard-, or ski wax.  

But I strongly advise you to invest a couple of bucks and stick to (yeah, I know) natural string wax! I personally use Bohning TEX-TITE. It’s a natural-based wax made for synthetic bowstrings. I bought my last one over a year ago – and it’s still lasting. 

Can you use Candle Wax on Bowstring?

Maybe – But you shouldn’t. At least not regularly. The reason being is because if you apply candle wax, you will have a hard time making the wax penetrate the fiber. The melting point of candle wax is higher. You need to warm up any string wax, so it can cover/penetrate the string better.

If you are using a regular string wax, all you need to do is to apply it to the bowstring and start rubbing briskly – you’ll notice how it “melts” in no time!

Additionally, paraffin in candle wax is a petroleum product that could degrade your string’s synthetic fibers. I recommend sticking with a dedicated bowstring wax.

How Do I Apply String Wax?

The bow needs to be strung. Then, the next thing you want to do before applying any wax to your bowstring is to make sure that it is clean. A dirty bowstring will not absorb the resin as well as a clean one. So, take a little bit of time to thoroughly clean your string. Using a thin string to run down your bowstring as a string cleaner is a simple way to accomplish this.

After that, you literally just liberally apply the wax and rub it. That’s about it. Here is a short video that shows you how to do it. 

Places to Avoid Waxing

  • Center Serving 
  • Peep Knots 
  • Any areas close to stuff you don’t want to move

I do believe (and maybe I am wrong here) that waxing the exposed strands is enough. 

Summary 

Waxing your string will keep the string elastic, prevent fuzzy strings, extend its life by a few months, and save you money in the process! It is straightforward to apply with just some rubbing involved. Make sure to apply wax only to a clean bowstring.

You can wax the entire string, except for parts that get in contact with cams, wheels, etc. Also, I would not recommend waxing areas close to stuff you don’t want to move (peep knots, etc.). So there you go. Now you know more about waxing your bowstring. Hopefully, this helped you understand why you should wax your bowstring. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

FAQ

What is Bowstring Wax made of?

Most bowstring waxes are a blend of beeswax and pine rising. For synthetic bowstrings, silicone-based wax is widely used. Bohning, for example, also offers a hydrocarbon-based, non-tacky wax.

Different waxes are available depending on the string materials and if you are shooting a recurve bow or compound bow. However, manufacturers are constantly coming up with new products, so you may want to check their websites to see what they offer.

How to keep your Bowstrings from getting Fuzzy?

Keep them waxed. Lack of wax or aging causes strings to become fuzzier. Usually, bowstring abrasion is not a big problem, but it can cause damage too.   

Can you Over Wax a Bowstring?

Nope – I don’t think so. I mean, you definitely do not want to put wax anywhere on parts that get in contact with cams, wheels, etc. But if you apply the wax only to the string, there shouldn’t be a thing such as “over-waxing.”

Liquid Bow String Wax

Liquid bowstring wax is a silicone-based wax – meant to saturate synthetic bowstrings and the individual strands. Don’t use it on areas where the string touches the cam or wheel (or serving).

How Frequently Should I Wax my Bowstrings?

The answer to this question is quite simple. The more time you spend sending arrows down the range, the faster you need to wax your bowstring. So, when it comes to waxing your bowstring, the rule of thumb is to wax it every three to four weeks.
Of course, depending on how often you are practicing and if the string starts looking fuzzy or feels dry. Boning, for example, recommends waxing your bowstring approximately every 200 shots.

How long does it take to string a bow?

Restring a compound bow takes something like 20 minutes. If you are unfamiliar with the process it can take longer. Restringing a recurve bow should only take a couple of minutes – But again, if you’re stringing an unfamiliar bow, it could take longer.

How do you restring a bow without a bow press?

To restring your compound bows, I highly recommend using a bow press – No way around it! The bow press is needed to hold tension on the limbs, so you can replace the string. If you haven´t done it before, go and seek professional help. Recurve bows can be restrung using a bowstringer, the push-pull or step-through methode

How long should a bowstring last?

As a general rule of thumbs, three years is the maximum you should use the same bowstring. If you notice a broken strand or frays in the string, then it’s time for a replacement. If you are not sure if the string is worn out, check with your local archery store.

Is beeswax good for Bowstrings?

Yes. Generally speaking, beeswax is good for your bowstring. Should you use 100% pure beeswax? Nope – You probably should use beeswax where further ingredients were added to soften the wax. If you are shooting a compound bow, don´t forget about the cables … 

Should you wax your D loop?

No. I wouldn´t. Rather replace the loop once you notice any frays. The wax might smoothen the loose fibers down – so you won´t notice fraying – Don´t punch yourself in the face … 

Can you use chapstick as bow wax?

You could. But chapstick has another melting point as “regular” string wax. This will lead to more dirt and dust on your string. And if you think about it, would you use bowstring wax on your lips?  


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