Using bow wax is very important as not only does it protect against fraying, but it can also add a waterproof element to your bow string. This is particularly important if you plan to shoot outdoors, whether you are shooting practice targets or hunting.
There is a lot of difference in opinion when it comes to choosing the right bow wax. Some people swear by normal household products, whereas other people state that you should only ever use a product that has been specifically designed for waxing your bow string. Let's find out, as Archery Edge explores this topic!
In this article, we are going to be answering once and for all whether you can use vaseline as bow wax. We will also be exploring the use of candle wax as a bow string wax, which is yet another frequently asked question.
Can you use vaseline as bow wax?
No, it is not recommended that you use Vaseline as bow wax. Vaseline will melt very easily, and will not provide the precise protection you need to keep your bow string free of frays. It is also not the best option for waterproofing.
The same goes for any other petroleum jelly substances, skin balms, lip balms, and chapsticks. Whilst they are protective to some extent, they will not hold up well against the elements.
As well as this, the heat of your fingers and hands will certainly cause an issue. Your skin may cause the Vaseline or other balm-like products to melt, rendering the string and your fingers too slippery to shoot.
As well as this, the added chemicals in products such as Vaseline and Chapstick can do more harm than good for your string. For example, synthetic flavorings and scents are not designed for use on delicate strings and can cause wear.
As tempting as it can be to choose a nicely scented balm to use instead of an actual string wax, we recommend just sticking with the designed products, or else you risk ruining your bow string completely.
Can I use candle wax on my bow string?
Yes, you can use candle wax on your bow string, but we advise you to be aware that that is not the intended purpose of candle wax, and these days there are much better options out there.
In days gone by, candle wax was a great product to use on bow strings, and many people still use it to great effect. It certainly helps to prevent fraying and does an excellent job of weatherproofing your strings. As well as this, it is cheap and easy to get hold of. However, it is not without its faults.
Candle wax is not designed for bow strings, and so there is nothing in there designed to protect your strings. It is also messy and very difficult to get off your strings when the time has come to clean and re-wax them.
You should also bear in mind that candle wax has a high melting point, especially in comparison to actual waxes designed specifically for your bow strings. This means that getting them onto the string can be quite tricky.
Whereas a specifically made string wax will melt in your fingertips as you apply it, making application easier, candle wax needs to be heated with a flame or other heat source and applied quickly before it solidifies again.
Can I use beeswax as a bow wax?
Yes, beeswax may be able to be used as a bow string wax, but should only be sought as a last option if you cannot get your hands on some specially designed bow string wax. Like candle wax, beeswax was often used as a bow string waxing method in days gone by.
Beeswax is a protective substance and provides great protection against fraying and water. It is very easy to apply and can be melted between the fingers in order to get it onto the bow strings. It also has the added benefit of smelling divine!
However, the issue with beeswax is that it is a little more expensive to get hold of and very difficult to remove from your wax strings. It can get very messy compared to bow string wax and takes a little bit longer to wear off. It is also unsuitable for vegans, which may cause an issue for some people.
How often should I wax my bow string?
You should wax your bow string every two to three weeks, depending on how often you use it. You can do it sooner if you notice that it is looking particularly dry or you begin to notice some fraying.
Before you do this, you should remove any of the old wax and any grime build up, giving it an adequate clean before reapplying your chosen wax. We recommend that you use a string wax made especially for bow strings that you can buy from the store you get your bow and arrow supplies from.