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How to Humidify a Guitar & Ukulele

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Why Do I Need to Humidify my Guitar?

To keep it simple, proper humidification:

  • Prevents costly and avoidable repairs to your wooden instrument
  • Prevents lost practice or performance time
  • Keeps your instrument sounding amazing (plus it helps that you’re an awesome musician!)

Unlike metal or plastic instruments, wood instruments require a little extra care and maintenance, especially with seasonal changes. As seasons change, so does the humidity. During hot and humid summer months, wooden instruments will absorb water, causing the wood to expand or swell. Likewise, the wood will dry out during cold, dry winter months. This causes the wood to shrink and crack, affecting the instrument’s playability. 

How do you know if your instrument needs moisture?

If it’s made of wood, it needs to be humidified. If you keep an eye on the fret board and the frets themselves, you might notice over time something commonly referred to as fret sprout. If you see this, that means your instrument is thirsty! However, if you do not see fret sprout, that does not mean that you shouldn't be humidifying your instrument. Just be happy that your frets are ok and continue to humidify your instrument.

What else can you do to keep your ukulele or guitar in great shape?

  • Avoid extreme temperature changes
  • Store your instrument in a case when it’s not being played or when you are travelling
  • Avoid direct sunlight, storing close to a window or keeping it near an A/C unit or heating vent
  • Maintain your guitar regularly and bring it in to Heid Music for a status check to catch any issues quickly

What humidification tools are recommended?

Luckily, you don’t need an exact climate controlled room to ensure your instrument’s safety as there are budget friendly tools that can help. There are several simple humidification solutions that can combat the toll climate changes can take on your wood instruments. Heid Music is here to help!

D'Addario Acoustic Guitar Humidifier

The D'Addario Acoustic Guitar Humidifier is a simple way to humidify a guitar. This option is great if your guitar does not live in a case, but rather on a stand or on a hook on the wall. Simply moisten the sponge, place the sponge in the container, and place the container between the strings of your guitar into the soundhole. It will float inside the soundhole while slowly releasing moisture back into your guitar.

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MusicNomad Acoustic Guitar Soundhole Humitar

Similar to the humidifier mentioned above, the MusicNomad Humitar floats inside of the soundhole of your guitar. The main difference is in the material inside the container. The sponge holds considerably more water, allowing it to provide moisture release for a longer period of time before needing to be remoistened. 

D'Addario Humidipak Maintain System

The D'Addario Humidipak Maintain System is a maintenance free way to humidify your guitar if you store it in a case. There are no sponges that need moistening with this two-way humidity system. Simply insert the humidipaks into the provided pouches and insert them in the case. The humidipak system will do the work for you, maintaining a 45-50% humidity level inside of your guitar case. Simply replace the humidipaks with a humidipak refill when yours get crunchy and dried out, and you're ready to go!

The Boveda 2-Way Humidity Control Starter Kit is another option that operates very similarly. 

If you find that your instrument is already suffering from a lack of humidification and showing signs of being dried out, the D'Addario Humidipak Conditioner refills is a great option to help restore an instrument and case to the proper humidity levels. You would use these refills in the pouches from the D'Addario Humidipak Maintain System

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D'Addario Ukulele Humidifier Pro

The D'Addario Ukulele Humidifier Pro operates the same way as it's cousin, sized for the guitar. Simply moisten the sponge, place the sponge in the container, and place the container between the middle two strings of your ukulele into the soundhole. It will float inside the soundhole while slowly releasing moisture back into your ukulele.

MusicNomad Humilele

The MusicNomad Humilele is very similar to the D'Addario version mentioned above. The main difference is in the material inside the container. The sponge holds considerably more water, allowing it to provide moisture releasing for a longer period of time before needing to be remoistened
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If you find that your guitar frets cut your fingers due to fret sprout, that your bridge is loose or has fallen off or that it is in otherwise unplayable condition due to not being humidified, Heid Music offers guitar repair services; we would be happy to take a look at your guitar and make recommendations for the best course of action. And, estimates on repairs are always free!

Climate care for your instrument is vital in keeping a long life of great tone and playability. Even acoustic guitars and ukuleles require a certain level of humidity control. To learn more about all the different types of humidifiers, visit Heid Music’s online store or stop in at one of our five locations today!



 

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