How to Wax a Bowstring

May 1, 2023Archery Equipment, Bow Tuning and Repair

Whether you are an experienced archer or brand new to the sport, learning how to wax a bowstring is an essential skill for anyone who wants to get the most out of their archery equipment. By regularly waxing your bowstring, you can help to extend its lifespan, reduce friction, and improve your overall accuracy.

This makes it a crucial step for maintaining a bow, and it pays to know how to do it right. To help you out, we’ll walk you through all of the steps you need to wax your bowstring properly. With the right knowledge and technique, you’ll be able to prepare for any shooting situation with confidence and know that your bow is ready to perform at its best!

Why Wax Your Bowstring

So why do you need to put wax on your bowstring? There are actually a few reasons why you should make waxing your bowstring an essential maintenance task. First, it will help to extend the lifespan of your bowstring.

With time and extended use, bowstrings can become dry and brittle. This leads to an increase in friction and wear. If you have noticed any breaking or fraying on a bowstring, this is generally due to a dry bowstring that is wearing out. By regularly waxing the string, you will keep it much more supple and flexible. This will reduce friction and unnecessary damage to the string.

Waxing your bowstring can also help improve your accuracy by reducing string vibration as the arrow is released. Again, wax on a bowstring keeps it supple, flexible, and strong so you will see a smoother, more consistent shot. This can make all the difference when it comes to hitting your intended target. By regularly waxing your bowstring, you can ensure your equipment is always in top condition. This will help you shoot with more confidence in your equipment and reduce the anxiety of equipment failure.

Bowstring Wax Types

There are a few different types of bow wax that you can use on your bowstring. Each one has its own unique properties and benefits. Choosing the right wax for your bowstring depends on what type of string you have, weather conditions, and personal preference. A few of the most common types of bowstring wax include:


Beeswax is an old and iconic type of bow wax. It is made from the wax produced by bees and is a natural option that has been used for centuries. Beeswax is great for penetrating deep into bowstring fibers and proves long-lasting protection. It also does an excellent job of reducing friction. Beeswax is a good option for archers who value a more traditional and natural approach to maintaining their bowstring.

Synthetic Wax

Another type of wax is synthetic wax. This can be made from a variety of different materials, including Teflon, silicone, and other polymers. These waxes are made to provide superior protection against wear and tear, and their formulas allow them to be very resistant to moisture and other environmental factors. Synthetic waxes are a favorite choice amongst archers thanks to their long-lasting abilities and their ability to protect strings in wet or humid conditions.

Combination Wax

Combination waxes are blends of both natural and synthetic waxes. These can provide the benefits of both and are often formulated to be long-lasting and reduce friction. Combination waxes are a great choice for most archers as they provide a great balance of protection, longevity, and ease of use.

How to Wax a Bowstring

Waxing a bowstring is extremely simple and only takes a few minutes to do. It can be done at home and with minimal equipment by following a few simple steps:

1. Clean the Bowstring

Before applying wax, it’s important to take off any old wax. You will also need to ensure that your bowstring is clean and free from any debris. I love to take a small piece of dental floss, wrap it around the bowstring once, and pull it along the string to remove old wax, dirt, and grime. Afterward, take a clean cloth and wipe down the string to make sure it is cleaned and ready to go.

2. Apply Your Wax

After picking a wax that you want to use, it’s time to put it on the string. Press it gently and move the wax up and down the string, ensuring that a thin and even layer of wax is coating it. Be careful not to apply too much, but if you do happen to overcoat the string you can use your fingers or a cloth to remove it.

3. Work the Wax Into the String

Once you have a coat of fresh wax on your bowstring, it’s time to work it into the fibers. To do this, you can use your fingers, a cloth, or the best tool which is a piece of scrap leather. Simply go up and down the string, rubbing the wax onto every surface and inch that you can. This will work the wax down into the string and ensure it penetrates the fibers, allowing for better protection and longevity. The leather works great for this as it creates enough friction actually to melt the wax and absorb it into the string. This means better penetration and longer string life.

4. Reapply as Needed

From here, you can apply new wax as often as needed. If you did not apply enough wax in the first steps you can add more until the string has a thin layer of wax covering its entire length. Depending on how often you shoot your bow and the conditions you shoot in, you may need to wax the bowstring more or less often than others.

How Often Should You Wax Your Bowstring?

Most archers will have different answers on how often you should wax a bowstring. It really depends on how often you are shooting your bow and what kind of conditions it is exposed to. For example, archers in wet or humid environments may need to wax a bowstring more frequently in order to prevent moisture from damaging the string.

On the other hand, a bowstring can also dry out and become brittle when left out in heat or arid environments. This means more frequent waxing is typically required as well. As a general rule of thumb, however, it is a good idea to wax your bowstring after every 100 to 200 shots or every couple of weeks if you regularly shoot your bow.

Best Bowstring Wax Recommendations

There are plenty of great options out there when it comes to bow wax, but finding the right one can be a challenge. To help you in your search, here are our recommendations for a few of the best wax products out on the market today:

1. Tex-Tite Bowstring Wax

Tex-tite bowstring wax

Tex-Tite is the tried and true gold standard when it comes to bowstring wax. This stuff has been around for decades, and for good reason. It’s affordable, easy to use, and works great at keeping a bowstring strong and protected from the elements. Designed specifically for synthetic bow fibers and made in the USA, this natural-based wax will not let you down.

Amazon.com : Bohning 1306 Tex-Tite Bowstring Wax 1oz, Clear : Archery Wax : Sports & Outdoors

2. Scorpion Venom Polymeric Bowstring Wax

Scorpion Venom Bowstring Wax

Specifically made for bowstring manufacturers, Scorpion Venom has quickly become one of the most popular options for archers all over the world. Made in the USA, it changes things up and does not come in a large “chapstick” type tube like the others, and instead is contained in a metal container that makes it easier to apply with your fingers. Of course, it also does a great job at protecting your bowstring and keeping the moisture out!

Amazon.com : Scorpion Venom Polymeric Bowstring Wax : Archery Bow Maintenance Products : Sports & Outdoors

3. Three Archers Natural Beeswax

Three Archers Bowstring Wax

A natural option for those wanting something more traditional, Three Archers has a very sleek design to their container that makes applying their wax super easy. The natural beeswax will protect and prolong the life of your string and like the others, it is made right here in America.

Amazon.com : THREE ARCHERS Archery Bowstring Wax Recurve Bow Wax Pure Natural Beeswax : Sports & Outdoors

When to Replace Your Bowstring

While wax will go a long way in helping to protect and prolong the life of your bowstring, it’s still important to know when to replace a bowstring if it is too worn out. If a string is showing signs of wear and tear that can’t be fixed, it may be time to replace it. Some of these signs include frayed or broken strands or visible damage such as nicks, cuts, or abrasions.

If you happen to notice any of these signs on your string, it’s a good idea to replace it before shooting the bow again. Shooting a bow with a damaged string is a recipe for disaster. A worn-out string can cause it to snap or break during a shot, resulting in injury to the archer or damage to the bow.

Even if your bowstring looks to be in good condition, it is still a good idea to replace it every few years depending on its use. Over time, a string will start to stretch and lose performance and accuracy. By periodically replacing your bowstring, you can make sure your bow is always performing at tip-top shape!

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, waxing your bowstring is one of those maintenance items that you can’t afford to ignore. Not only will a properly waxed bowstring protect your gear, but it will ensure you get plenty of use out of it and enjoy peak performance. So, make sure to take the time to wax your bowstring properly and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained bow!

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