Dampit! Remember To Humidify Your Instruments

Posted on December 10, 2010


With winter right around the corner, I wanted to write a blog about proper guitar humidification.  Acoustic instruments and hollow bodies are the instruments most at risk for damage, but you should keep an eye on your solid body guitars as well.  Failure to do so will result in damage to your instrument’s playability, cosmetics and structure.  Too humid conditions will cause warping as your instrument expands, but a dry instrument will shrink and crack.

Thanks to Jim Boon for this heartbreaking photo of what happens when you don’t keep an eye on the humidity levels.  All is well, a couple of man tears, clamps and wood glue will save this guitar.

Dampit was kind enough to send me some guitar humidifiers so I will discuss their product and how it can help your guitar.  There are other guitar humidifiers on the market, but I found Dampit was simple to use, price effective and performs flawlessly.  Inside the Humidifier Kit you will receive one green humidifier, one sound hole cover and a humidity indicator card.

Step 1

You must dampen the humidifer.  I soaked it in a cup of water for a minute. (The package suggests 20 seconds)  Afterward I squeezed the excess water off and wiped it down with a towel.  Remember you only want the product damp, not dripping wet.  A good test the instructions suggest is setting the Dampit on a sheet of paper if the paper is not wet, then the product is dry enough to use.

Step 2

Connect the hook on the edge of the Dampit with the string on the sound hole cover.  Then carefully put the the humidifier inside your guitar body and put the soundhole cover in place.  The sound hole cover is a thin plastic.  It is held in place by the strings resting on top of it, thus not putting any great force onto your instrument or leaving any marks.

What Is a Safe Humidity Level?

Ideal humidity for an instrument is 45%-55%.  To go the extra mile, I made this pie chart.  Not just any chart, I made a legit pie chart!

Exhibit A – Legit Pie Chart.

The Dampit provided a card that changes colors depending on if your room is above 50% (too humid), 40% (ideal) or below 30% (too dry).  Personally I keep many instruments in one room so I purchased a Hygrometer at Walmart for about $5.  You’ll note my hygrometer reads a 32% humidity level.  Since that is too low, I pulled out my room humidifier.

Why and When To Use The Dampit?

The Dampit is not limited to guitars, it will also work great for your: Violin, Viola, Cello, Upright Bass, Mandolin, Tympany and Bass Drum.  I prefer to humidify the entire room that I store my instruments in, but for someone with only one guitar or when you take your guitar out on those cold winter nights: the Dampit works out great.  For around $15 I can easily buy one for each acoustic guitar case I own.

Other Humidity Tips:

Storing your guitars in a cool, dry climate is best.  The further away from exterior walls, heaters and air conditioners, the better.

If you choose a room humidifier, keep it at a reasonable difference from any walls as moisture can build up and cause mold.

Never leave your instrument in a climate you wouldn’t be comfortable in.

When you bring your guitar in from an extreme climate (heat or cold) let it sit in the case or gig bag for a few minutes to slowly bring it closer to room temp.

Street Price: $12-$17
Web: dampits.com

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