Many players find their strings losing brilliance after just one gig. Deposits of sweat, grease and dirt are particularly hard to remove from wound strings, and quickly affect the sound and playability of even the best guitars, resulting in a dull tone and greater friction with the fingers. Wiping the strings immediately after playing can help, but lately, a more high-tech solution has been developed by the manufacturers of Gore-Tex waterproofing. Elixir strings employ a thin plastic coating which is designed to seal the string without affecting the sound. Elixir's original Polyweb coating has recently been joined by the even thinner Nanoweb coating.
Coated strings have now also been developed by other major manufacturers including D'Addario.
Another unusual process is employed in the manufacture of Dean Markley's Blue Steel strings - rapid freezing in liquid nitrogen followed by a gradual return to normal temperature. It is claimed that this results in longer-lasting brilliance.