The Top 3 Reasons You Need a Ukulele Humidifier
Many ukulele players often ask us what the best ways are to care for their instruments. One of the most helpful tools for any wood instrument is a humidifier. Here are the top three reasons you need a humidifier when storing your instrument, and our favorite ukulele humidifier that won’t break the bank!
1. Dry air can warp or even crack wood instruments.
Keep your instrument in an environment that neither gets too hot or cold. If your instrument is kept in an environment that leans too dry or humid, your ukulele could experience damage. Dry air is the most common culprit. During hot or cold seasons where heaters and air conditioners are left on more frequently or in states with dryer climates your instrument is more susceptible to damage. This happens when moisture in the wood leaks out because it’s exposed to dry climates. When the wood gets too dry itcan shrink or crack. A humidifier will protect your instrument from reaching those levels of dryness.
2. Having a case is not enough to protect your instrument from humidity damage.
For many living in particularly dry climates one strategy might be to place an instrument in its case, place it in a dark closet, and forget about it. This is not a substitute for a humidifier. Any significant increases or decreases in humidity in the instrument’s environment can still have an effect on the instrument. The ideal humidity is between 40% and 55%. Too little humidity leads to cracks and low action, if the wood gets over exposed to moisture it can swell or bloat causing buzzing and raised action. A humidifier keeps the moisture in your instrument case at the proper levels.
3. Your instrument will feel and play more consistently even if it is not at risk of damage.
While cracking and warping are the worst results of a ukulele that’s been exposed to dehumidified climates there are smaller problems that can arise that a humidifier can help with. Changes in humidity can affect your action by either lowering it as the instrument drys out or raising it as it swells. Your frets might begin to feel sharper as the wood contracts away from the metal giving you a rougher feeling fretboard over time. The bridge may also dip causing intonation issues while you play. By using a humidifier you’ll have a more comfortable and consistent experience with your instrument because you won’t be dealing with changes in your instrument’s condition on a regular basis.
We recommend the Ukulele Humidifier Pro by D’Addario.
The Ukulele Humidifier Pro is D’Addario’s first ukulele humidifier designed to fit in the soundhole of the instrument. Based on the design of the Guitar Humidifier Pro, this version contains an easy-to-remove rubber cap and a hydrophilic sponge in a much smaller size that is perfect for a ukulele. The hydrophilic sponge holds up to 12x its own weight in water, which means it will hydrate the instrument over a longer period of time. This means you won’t have to worry about rehydrating your humidifier as often, giving you a better piece of mind while storing your ukulele. Still, check your sponge regularly to make sure your instrument is getting moisture from the device. This humidifier is designed specifically for the soundhole of a ukulele and can be used on the Acoustic-Electric Kala U•BASS models as well. You can check it out here: https://kalabrand.com/products/ukulele-humidifier-pro
While less common, some instruments are put in situations that are too humid. For these climates D'Addario also offers a dehumidifier on their website as well.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about humidification, let us know what you’d like to learn about next, and remember to stick with Kala for all things ukulele!