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Use a Guitar Humidifier and Your Guitar won't Crack Up!

What is a guitar humidifier, how does it work, and why should I spend my hard-earned money on it? Those are all good questions. Let's look at the answers.

A guitar humidifier in its most basic form is a sponge in a plastic housing. When you get it damp and suspend it in your guitar in its case, it keeps your guitar from getting too dry.

What's too dry and how does it happen? Ideally an acoustic guitar should be kept at a relative humidity of 40-50%. In arid areas like the American Southwest or in climates that get cold enough to need a lot of forced heat in the winter, low humidity conditions occur.

Some people use whole house or room humidifiers and that really helps. Guitar humidifiers are for those who don't use them or who think that they could use a little boost.


Guitar humidifiers fall into several different types. One type is kept in the case but not in the guitar itself. The advantage of this type is that there's less chance of moisture coming into contact with the instrument.

It will also help to treat the entire guitar since it isn't confined to the inside of the guitar body. The disadvantage is that if however it's attached to the case stops working, you end up with a hard plastic object banging against your guitar.

The next kind that we'll look at is the type that covers the soundhole.

The benefit of this type is that all of the moisture that is released is kept in the body of the guitar. That's also the problem with it.

None of the moisture is allowed out to keep the rest of the guitar humidified. They may or may not fit based on the size of the soundhole of your guitar.

The final type that we're going to look at hangs inside the body of the guitar. The classic in this style is the Dampit.

With these humidifiers, you dampen them then suspend them from the strings. They dangle inside the guitar. Like the others that we've looked at, there are pros and cons to these.

The advantages are that they don't come into contact with the wood of the instrument itself. Since they don't cover the soundhole, they allow moisture to treat the rest of the guitar.

Let me explain. For the Dampit to work like described, you have to get rid of the little plastic cover that comes with it. Instead of clipping the humidifier to the cover and covering the soundhole, clip the humidifier to one of the strings.

The disadvantages of these guitar humidifiers is that if you don't check it every couple of days it can dry out and you won't know it. They also seem to only last for a couple of seasons. However, they have been around the longest and a lot of people are very comfortable using them.


Here's a sad and scary story. I know a man who bought a nice Taylor nylon string guitar right after that model was introduced. He bought the guitar for his adult niece.

The man who bought the guitar also bought a guitar humidifier and instructed his niece on how to use it. This happened in the upper Mid-west in the U.S. The winter temperatures were very cold and most homes and businesses were heated so much that Satan would have felt right at home.

The niece had the mistaken idea that since her home was on the bank of a river that there was enough humidity to take care of her guitar. So she didn't humidify her guitar.

I had seen the guitar new. The next time I saw the guitar, it had collapsed on itself. I could look into the soundhole and read a newspaper through the hole in it's side. Taylor repaired the damages for a moderate cost. It was the best of a bad situation type ending. So, that's a long winded way to say "use your humidifier".

Finding the right guitar humidifier for your needs will extend the life of your guitar and your enjoyment of it.

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