How to Maintain Archery Bows and Arrows

By Shannon C , last updated December 28, 2011

In order to practice archery safely and effectively, you need to learn how to maintain your archery equipment, including archery bows and arrows, properly. Proper care and maintenance of archery bows and arrows will not only keep expensive equipment and supplies in good working condition, but it can ward off potential safety concerns by allowing you to identify potential problems before they become full blown safety hazards. Learn how to maintain your archery bows and arrows regularly and well as you pursue the sport of archery.

How to Maintain Your Archery Bow
Caring for your archery bow involves several steps. Your first step will be care and maintenance of the archery strings. Experts recommend that you use a bow stringer, which is a special device for restringing your bow, when you are cleaning, maintaining, and restringing your archery bow. You should also make sure that you never use any other strings except those that are the specific length your bow takes. You should regularly wax your strings with string wax or beeswax, and if you are not planning to use the bow for some time, the best course of action is to unstring the bow.
Caring for your bow itself requires knowing how to properly clean, store, and care for an archery bow. You should find a cool and dry storage facility for your bow, and avoid any exposure to heat, humidity, or direct sunlight if at all possible. You should also regularly oil your bow so the wood stays supple and waterproof. When you are using your bow, you should never do what experts call "dry firing", which is to shoot your bow with no arrow in it. The arrow is an essential part of keeping the bow in balance, and if you shoot your bow with no arrow in it, you risk injury to yourself and damage to the bow.
When you are ready to store your bow, be sure you store it flat and horizontally. Never hang your bow up unless you have a clip hanger specifically for archery use. Also never store your bow when it is damp or wet.
How to Maintain Your Archery Arrows
Learning to maintain your archery arrows is just as important as learning how to properly maintain your bow. The most important facet of arrow maintenance is regular, routine inspections to detect safety issues such as fractures, severe dents that could cause the bow to snap, or mangled or damaged shafts or arrow points. These arrows should be promptly replaced. Also, be sure you are shooting the right style arrows for your bow. Arrows are most commonly made of carbon, aluminum or wood. If you use carbon or aluminum arrows, you should clean your arrows with a soft cloth and water. If your arrows are very dirty, you can use some non detergent soap diluted with warm water and a soft cloth. For wood arrows, use wood oil for cleaning. You can also use oil to clean the tips of all arrow types. Finally, regardless of what type of arrow you use, never store your arrows in their quiver.
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