Posted on January 11, 2010April 12, 2023 by Dale Phillips Letter: Cleaning/Polishing of Violins Letter: Cleaning/Polishing of Violins by William T. Walls Originally published in American Lutherie #12, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000 Dear Guild Members, Reference is made to George Manno’s “Violin Q&A” regarding cleaning and polishing violins. I have been making, repairing, and restoring bowed instruments professionally for over fifty years and would like to offer my 2¢ worth. I strongly recommend that xylene and similar products for cleaning caked-on rosin be used with extreme caution, as some varnishes will dissolve or become tacky when wet with them. Test them in a small place in an area that will not be noticed if the varnish is susceptible to damage. If it appears that xylene is safe, rubbing with a cloth may require a lot of rubbing, and a lot of rubbing may damage the varnish. I have found the following to be completely safe, effective, and fast for any instrument regardless of how bad the rosin build-up is. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.