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Nickel Strings -- Anyone Allergic?


(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1689
Topic starter  

I'm allergic to jewelry with any nickel in it. My skin reacts badly and even scars from it.

Granted, the skin on fingertips is much tougher than the skin that jewelry typically contacts, but I'm wondering if anyone else with nickel allergy (which is quite common) has any experience with nickel strings.

Do all electric guitar strings generally have nickel in them? It wouldn't surprise me if they do. I currently have Fender Super Bullets on and they don't cause me any trouble, but I don't know if they contain nickel and I don't have the packaging anymore.

I'd like to try Ernie Ball Super Slinkys Nickel strings, but not if they are likely to cause me problems.

Anybody have any experience to share?

Thx!

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

The usual electric strings (which I also like on resonator and acoustic guitars, due to their bright tone) are nickel-plated steel.

There are also strings made of magnetic stainless steel. You'd be less likely to get nickel exposure from those, IMO, but there's nickel in the alloy.

I think my trick of rubbing down new strings with olive oil and wiping them off would also reduce the dissolution of nickel by your perspiration, and promptly washing your hands after playing should help.

I've never run across anybody saying the nickel on guitar strings had broken their fingers out.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1689
Topic starter  

Thx for the response, Ricochet!

Ricochet wrote: my trick of rubbing down new strings with olive oil and wiping them off

Curious--why do you do this? Do you think it slows down corrosion? And do you do it after you've put them on the guitar, or before? Do you ever re-oil them after some use? Or only when the strings are brand new? Do you do it on both electric and acoustic?

I'm a little skittish about olive oil for off-label uses (I cook with it all the time--popcorn popped in a skillet with it is great!). On the advice of a friend, I once olive-oiled a brand new leather leash and rendered it unusable. It must've absorbed so much of the oil that it continually seeped it, greasing up the hands grossly. Pretty disgusting.

I know guitar strings are an entirely different matter, however. :D

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

I don't think it slows down corrosion, I know it does. Strings last at least twice as long. I also lube my fretboard with it. Don't leave a greasy oil slick on, you wipe it off aferwards. It's no greasier than any other string/fretboard lube, it doesn't get sticky or go rancid, either. I've been doing it for years.

I pull them between my fingers dipped in oil before I put them on. Once in a blue moon I re-apply it on strings that are already on.

I also use it on leather, like my belts and rifle slings. If you overdo it, some's going to have to be soaked back out. That's true of any oil.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@fierce_teapot)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8
 

I'm a little skittish about olive oil for off-label uses (I cook with it all the time--popcorn popped in a skillet with it is great!).

I run my car on vegetable oil with no issues! And err, I know people who have found other uses for vegetable oil too lol


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

LOL!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@presbystrat)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 28
 

I also get a rash from nickel plated jewelry. I have never had any trouble with electric guitar strings. I don't think there is long enough skin contact and I don't get the perspiration buildup like I do underneath a watch band or ring.


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