If you own a violin, you also own the bow. You need to take good care of both the instruments. Here, I will outline the key points you need to take note of to keep your violin bow in good condition.
1. Store your violin bow properly
The violin bow is very fragile. This is especially so when it is made of wood. Ensure that you store it in a place that will not be stepped on or sit on. The best place to store your bow is in the violin case.
2. Ensure your bow is stores in the right temperature
Like your violin, the bow is made of wood which is very organic. As such, do not expose it to extremes in temperature. The best decision you can make is to get a violin case that is made of carbon fiber and which is air tight. So in case you drop your violin case or someone accidentally fits on it, your violin and bow are safe.
The case should also have a humidifier so your bow is kept at optimum environmental condition
3. Do not over tighten the bow
Many beginner violinists make the mistake of over tightening the violin bow. This warps the bow and it will not play properly. In addition, remember to always loosen it after playing.
4. Clean your bow after each use
As you need to rosin your bow before it can play on your violin, there will be rosin dust on your instrument after each play. Always use a soft cleaning cloth to clean your bow. Do not let the rosin dust to accumulate, as you will need to engage the professional help of a luthier to clean this up later on.
5. Handle your bow with care
Do not start the habit of tapping your music stand with your bow, in many cases bows have broken this way. Do not hold on to it when you are not playing, as you may accidently drop it and break the wooden tip. Always lay it on a flat surface when not playing.
In addition, do not grab the bow with the palm of your hand as you will transfer oil and dirt from your hand to the horse hair of your bow. When this happens, the horsehair will not grip the violin strings properly when you bow the violin. You will then need to rehair it.
6. Repair your bow if damaged
Finally, if you notice cracks along your bow, send it to a luthier to repair it as soon as possible. Do not continue playing with your damaged bow as this may cause the crack to worsen. It is best to arrest the problem immediately and get it repaired.