The question of soaking gut strings in oil comes up occasionally, with strong opinions on both sides, so we decided to ask a neutral third party — ChatGPT:
"It's generally not recommended to soak gut strings in oil. Gut strings are made from natural materials and are sensitive to changes in moisture and temperature. While some players might use a small amount of oil to lubricate the strings and help protect them from humidity, soaking them in oil could potentially damage the strings or alter their characteristics in undesirable ways.
If you're looking to maintain gut strings, it's better to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for care and maintenance. This might involve wiping the strings down with a clean, soft cloth after playing to remove rosin buildup and sweat. If you're unsure about how to care for your gut strings, it's always a good idea to consult with a professional violinist, luthier, or a knowledgeable teacher who can provide guidance based on their experience."