Bowstring: A how to guide on waxing


No matter what shooting you do: compound bow, traditional, or Recurve, the essential part is keeping the bow string maintained by waxing it. However, this is one thing that many archers neglect. So if you want your bow to perform well, keep bow maintenance as a priority on your list.

After all, it sends the arrow towards the target, and using a string conditioner prevents it from fraying. By adding a waterproof element, it helps prevent absorbing water from retaining twists. So if you do not want the strings to get heavier, it helps prevent water from getting in the line.

When water enters the cables, it makes the bow travel slower, impacting the grouping and sight marks. An adequately waxed bow string gives a tacky yet smooth feel compared to a dry one starting to discolor or fuzz out.

As you can see, if the question of, “Should you wax your bowstring?” comes to mind, the above information is a definite yes. So if you want to know how to wax a bowstring, we have all the information with detailed steps available right here.

What Can You Use To Wax a Bow String?

You can find different types of bow string wax available on the market:

  • Bohning Tex Bowstring Wax provides excellent consistency that comes off easily with the string and lasts a long time, and works better than using candle wax.
  • Scorpion Venom Polymeric Bowstring Wax – this is a popular bowstring wax if you love to hunt. The natural ingredients used are Shea conditioning oil and more.
  • String Snot Bowstring Wax – yip string snot sounds funny, but it is another fine product with different moisture-repellent materials.

Can you use Vaseline as bow wax?

No, as it contains petroleum jelly and not a good string cleaner/wax substitute. When using the compound bows, the Vaseline gets pushed back, building up inside, and with time it collects dust and dirt. A great idea; instead of using Vaseline rather invest in some bowstring wax instead. Make sure to wax the strings every three weeks or before a competition and a rain forecast. Further, if you notice frays or loose strings, then it’s time to throw them away.

two bows

Steps to Wax a Bowstring

Before you start, you need to gather some supplies:

  • String synthetic wax, but if you are more natural, then beeswax is a great option
  • Bowstring
  • Leather, flexible card, fabric cord


Start by checking if the string is in excellent condition by ensuring all the servings are intact while the bowstring has the right amount of twist. The reason for this is that the wax can harden the string.

Step 1 Stringing the Bow

Apply wax along the cables’ length (string) and rub up/down until the wax is visible along the strings’ length. However, do not wax the serving as it will unravel faster, making it slippery.

Step 2 Waxing

With your fingers, massage the string wax into the bow strings to help push it all around the multiple strands.

Step 3 Use the Fabric Cord

Now, take your fabric cord and wrap it around the string in a loop, or you can use a flexible card instead. Push the loop up/down on the string length to even out the wax. Please do this as much as possible, pushing it into the strands while the excess wax moves away. Now remove the left-over wax using your fingers.

The string is ready to use, and you can feel assured that it will last for a while longer to do target archery.

Check out my other post on Stringing a Compound Bow


I'm Isaac Murphy and at the moment I am a student. I took up archery as a hobby about 3 years ago and built this blog to share some of the things I have learned and to help those starting out in this sport. Check out my bio here

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