The number one enemy of iron is rust and your typical electric and acoustic guitar string is made from steel. And guess what? steel is primarily made up of iron! Your guitar strings are very prone to rust. Some guitar strings are coated with a thin layer if rust-preventing chemical. It costs more than your average strings but in the long run, you'll be saving a lot more since you won't be replacing your strings that often. These strings does work for some people. But if you are like me, who has very acidic sweat, it's a pain in the pocket! The acid in my sweat probably just melts away that anti-rust coating!!! But following my few simple tips can prolong your string life and maintain a high quality tone.
1. Always wipe your strings with a clean dry cloth after playing.
2. Keep your strings away from moisture. Humidity can pretty much hurt your strings so always keep it inside your gig bag or guitar case.
3. Wash your hands with soap and water before playing. Of course, let it dry first! Water + Iron = Rust!!!
4. Buy some string cleaner. I personally prefer "Dunlop 65 Ultra Glide String Cleaner and Conditioner". Apply it before and after playing. It doesn't just clean and protect your strings, it also lubricates the string surface so that you can play easier and faster.
5. Never use WD40 on your strings! WD40 is specially formulated for rust. But it might damage the wood on your guitar.
So that's it. My steps for prolonging your strings. If you have your own tips, just comment on this post.