How to Properly Wax Your Bowstring

By Andy Ryan


Updated at
wax solution

To keep your bow in good condition, you’ll need a good-quality silicone wax, which usually comes in tubes similar to roll-on deodorant. For you to avoid fraying and other issues, give your bowstring a good polish once every two weeks or so.

Stick with me, and I will be teaching you step-by-step how to wax your bowstring like a pro.

Why Wax Your Bowstring

Regular waxing provides necessary lubrication that reduces friction between the bowstring’s fibers. This, in turn, prevents them from breaking apart and wearing out quickly. Additionally, waxing your bowstring helps repel moisture and dirt, which can both lead to the string’s deterioration.

Here are some key benefits to waxing your bowstring:

  • Life extension: waxing prolongs the life of your bowstring and helps it maintain peak performance.
  • Less friction: waxing reduces friction between fibers, preventing them from breaking and wearing out.
  • Moisture resistance: a well-waxed string repels water and prevents it from being absorbed into the fibers.
  • Dirt repellant: waxed strings are less likely to collect dirt, which can also damage the fibers over time.

Remember to wax your bowstring regularly to ensure that it remains strong and reliable. By taking the time to perform this simple maintenance task, you’ll keep your bow in top shape and avoid costly string replacements.

Things to Prepare

Although the procedure is straightforward, there are still a few things below that you should get together for an effective bow string waxing:

  • Bowstring
  • Silicone type wax
  • Spare cloth
  • String cleaning fluid

You may also use a chunk of string cord to cover the string with wax evenly.

Selecting the Right Wax

When it comes to selecting the right wax for your bowstring, there are a few factors to consider. The type of wax you choose can make a difference in the longevity and performance of your string.

  • Ingredients: Look for a wax that contains natural ingredients like beeswax or plant-based waxes. These ingredients provide better protection for your string and have a more pleasant smell. Synthetic waxes may be cheaper, but they may not provide as much protection and can be difficult to apply.

  • Stickiness: The wax should be slightly tacky but not overly sticky. This allows it to fill in the gaps between the fibers of your bowstring and provide a good seal. If the wax is too sticky, you may struggle to apply it evenly on the string.

  • Ease of use: A wax that comes in a convenient applicator or tube is easier to apply consistently than a wax that requires you to use your fingers for application. Look for waxes that come in a twist-up applicator, which is convenient and mess-free.

For the best results, don’t forget to check out our detailed guide on “Top 3 Best Bow String Waxes to Buy” your go-to resource for choosing the right wax for your bow!

A Few Things to Remember

The most crucial component when waxing your bow is wax. These items come in tubes with a wax stick inside, similar to roll-on deodorant. Silicone-based wax is required to lubricate the majority of bowstrings. These waxes are explicitly made for use with a bow and provide the ideal blend of coating and humidity resistance.

The sensation of a properly waxed bowstring is smooth and slightly sticky. It’s time to wax your bowstring again if it seems dry or if it starts to discolor or fuzz out.

Stay away from candle wax at all costs. Although these waxes are popular, they can harm your bowstring by dissolving the fibers that make it.

Unless you are using a classic longbow or a similar weapon, you should avoid beeswax. Beeswax does not address the unique requirements of bowstrings.

Learn How to Wax Your Bow String

The wax protects the strands of your bowstring from ripping and damages. It also tends to preserve humidity out of the bowstring, which can lead to complications. Doing this regularly is recommended.

Waxing a bowstring might sound like a simple process. However, it is essential to know how to perform it correctly. With all that in mind, here’s a step-by-step procedure on how to perform proper bowstring waxing.

Step-by-Step Guide to Waxing a Bowstring

Clean the Bowstring

Before you begin waxing your bowstring, it’s important to clean it to ensure optimal performance. Gently remove debris and dirt by using a soft brush or a clean cloth. You can clean dirt and old waxes by doing a half wrap with the bowstring serving and lightly pulling it down the string.Be careful not to pull or snag the individual strands while cleaning.

Step 1: How to Apply Bow Wax

Apply the Wax

Once your bowstring is clean, it’s time to apply the wax. Choose a high-quality bowstring wax and follow these steps:

  1. Take a small amount of wax using your fingers or a wax applicator.
  2. Start at one end of the bowstring and work your way down to the other end.
  3. Apply a generous amount of wax that should cover the entire string in a thin layer.Make sure to get between the individual strands. Remember to only wax the exposed piece of the bowstring and don’t overdo it. 

You should also make sure you don’t wax any of the bowstring servings when waxing.

Step 2: Rubbing the Wax In

Now that your bowstring is covered in wax, use your fingers or a wax applicator to rub and smooth the wax into the fibers of the string. Follow these steps:

  1. Pinch the bowstring between your thumb and index finger, then run your fingers down the entire length of the string, applying gentle pressure.
  2. Repeat this process until the wax is evenly distributed and no excess wax remains.
  3. Use a clean cloth or a dedicated serving string to remove any remaining wax residue.

Several people wax a bowstring with a piece of leather rather than their fingers. Working in the archery industry, I’ve found that leather allows you to build up a lot more heat than you need. Excessive heat can cause premature wear, and controlling the heat with your fingertips is much easier. If you’re concerned about your fingers getting injured, a quick solution to that is to stop if it gets too hot. (1)

Step 3: Getting Rid of Extra Wax

Take a cloth or use the one you started after waxing the bowstring. Wipe away any excess wax that has accumulated. The bowstring will typically meet the servings at this point.

String Maintenance Tips

Inspect for Damage

Regularly inspect your bowstring for any signs of damage, such as fraying, broken strands, or serving separation. Look at the string, especially around the nocking point and loops where wear is common. If you notice any issues, it’s essential to address them before they become worse.

Adjust Timing and Synchronization

To ensure consistent performance, your bow’s timing and synchronization must be maintained. Check the cams’ alignment at full draw, and when at rest. Verify that the draw stops contact the limb or cable simultaneously. If any misalignment or discrepancies are present, consult your bow’s manual or visit a professional to get it adjusted.

Replace the String When Necessary

A worn-out or damaged string can greatly affect your bow’s performance. Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacement intervals. General guidelines suggest replacing the string every two years or every 10,000 shots, whichever comes first. However, depending on your usage and conditions, you may need to replace more frequently.

By following these basic maintenance tips, you’ll keep your bowstring in optimal condition, ensuring a smoother shooting experience and prolonging your bow’s longevity.

What Are The Benefits of Waxing Your Bowstring?

String wax keeps your bow from fraying, adds a protective layer to keep water out of the strands, and keeps twists in place. Skilled archers wax their strings every two to three weeks and before the competition especially when they expect rain. When not waxed water seeps through the string, it becomes heavier, causing the arrow to depart the bow at a slower speed, affecting sight marks and grouping.

What Wax Product Should You Use?

There are many different types of bowstring waxes available at the market, but as someone who works in this field, I’ve discovered and determined the best wax product to use on a bowstring. Don’t worry, because I’ll be sharing my discoveries with you.

Before anything else, the Scorpion Venom Polymeric Bowstring Wax is the product we recommend most. Manufacturers make these types of wax with various additional natural components, including Shea, kokum, and mango conditioning oils. Mango oils are an excellent conditioner, and you commonly find them in a variety of treatments.

This wax product doesn’t freeze, it’s moisture resistant, and unlike some lower-grade waxes, it doesn’t get brittle and flake off. It’s also unscented, so you can use it while hunting without scaring prey. It’s also softer than the other waxes, making it simpler to apply on your string.

How To Wax A Bowstring: A Recap

To give your bowstring the best care, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the bowstring: Before waxing, take a moment to inspect the string for damage or wear. Look for broken strands or frayed areas. If you notice any, consider replacing the string.

  2. Clean the bowstring: Remove any dirt or debris using a soft cloth or a small brush. This ensures a smooth application of the wax.

  3. Apply the wax: Choose a high-quality bowstring wax. Gently rub it on the string surfaces with your fingers or a wax applicator. Work it in a back-and-forth motion to cover all strands.

  4. Massage the wax: After applying the wax, use your fingers to massage it into the string fibers. This helps the wax penetrate deeper and secure the fibers more effectively.

  5. Remove excess wax: With a piece of serving thread, dental floss, or a soft cloth, remove the excess wax from the string surface. This ensures a smooth finish.

Remember to wax your bowstring regularly to prolong its life and maintain optimal performance. On average, wax your string every two weeks or after 100-200 shots, depending on your shooting frequency. Keep an eye on the condition of your string and adjust your maintenance schedule accordingly.


Why Should I Wax My Bowstring?

Waxing bow strings reduces breaking, adds a protective layer preventing water from seeping between the strands, and keeps twists in place. If water gets through the string, it becomes heavier – and the arrow leaves the bow at a slower speed, affecting sight marks and grouping. Waxing your bow string does not only enhances your accuracy but also keeps your bowstring last longer.

When Should I Wax My Bow Strings?

Top archers wax their strings every two to three weeks and before competitions if rain is forecasted. Furthermore, the easiest way to avoid fraying or water damage to your bowstring is to wax it regularly. The more you shoot, the more wax you’ll need. An excellent habit to develop is sitting down and waxing your bowstring at least once every two weeks. Environmental factors may also affect the frequency with which you must wax your bowstring. (2


(1) controlling the heat –
(2) Environmental factors –