View Full Version : Sending Wood Uke from Warm Weather to Cold Weather

02-10-2016, 05:06 AM
I am sending a Uke to Canada today and the temperature difference between there and here (South Florida) is huge. I have a Oasis Humidifier that I have never used and don't know how to use it.

First, can I fill it with regular water or does it have to be distilled?

Second, after I put the water in, I am supposed to stick in the whole and have two strings support it with the plastic clip? Am I correct so far? Instead of putting it in between the strings, can I put it in the inside storage lid?

The YouTube video says to leave it on it's back when the humidifier is in. In transit, that won't happen. Should I even use it? I was going to wrap it in a blanket, put some plastic around most of the case and then pack the shipping box with packing material.

Being in South Florida, I don't have to worry about this.

Thanks in advance..

02-10-2016, 06:13 AM
I wouldn't put a humidifier in there. I've never seen that done during shipping. It could come loose and cause some damage.
Wrapping the whole case in plastic isn't a bad idea...even a plastic garbage bag. The better it is sealed, the more safe it will be. Also, you will want to mention to the person receiving the instrument that they should let the package sit unopened for several hours in their home before opening it. This will allow it to acclimate slowly and avoid finish cracks etc. that could come from a big immediate change.

02-10-2016, 06:14 AM
I received an ukulele from warm climates recently--currently living in Chicago where it is like 18F outside today. The was packed with an oasis humidifier inside of the case compartment (which I think was wise because it'd be bouncing around inside of the body if it had been suspended). No problems to report. The humidifier seems to work from even inside of the case compartment because it is shriveling up as it should over the past few days.

I've also been using regular tap water in my humidifiers--it's probably less than ideal, but I also use tap for my iron...and I've been fine so far.

Just one data point.

I've also shipped ukes from Hawaii to cold climates in the past with no issues using humidifiers within the case compartments.

Joyful Uke
02-10-2016, 11:31 AM
I recently bought a ukulele from the UU Marketplace, and it shipped from CA to IL. It shipped with a guitar humidifer in the case compartment, and arrived safe and sound.

I was probably overly cautious, but let it sit for a total of 12 hours before opening the case. It sat in the box for a few hours, then I opened the box a bit, and gradually opened it a bit more over a few hours, then it sat in the unopened case for a few hours.

It was hard to wait, but I kept reading horror stories on the internet of people getting guitars shipped to them in winter, (and cold climates), and terrible things happening when they opened the case too soon. Every time I thought I couldn't wait any longer, I went back to reading horror stories. LOL.

Fortunately, all is well with my new addition, and I'm happy as can be with it.

Uke man
02-10-2016, 01:35 PM
My take on this is to place the humidifier in the storage compartment and to loosen the strings a couple of revolutions. Wrapping the whole case in plastic will keep moisture out and bubble wrap or double boxed is also helpful.
I'd mention what the previous poster stated about letting it sit overnight to acclimate to the new environment before opening too. I hope it has a safe journey.

Peace Train
02-10-2016, 02:02 PM
To echo what everyone's saying, HMS shipped my uke to me with the Oasis humidifier in the storage compartment. I always use distilled water. I'm sure the Oasis will serve you just fine, even with longer shipping and/or customs times.

Using styrofoam peanuts and/or bubble wrap around the case will help insulate the uke. You could also give the pros at HMS' shipping department a call to see what they recommend.

02-10-2016, 02:10 PM
Just package it properly like you would any other uke you are sending. In a hardcase with the humidifer in the compartment will do the trick. It is all about the person receiving it and waiting 4-8 hours for everything to come up to room temperature. I have bought a number of ukes in the winter time, guess I get bored up here in the cold and snow. All of them have been just fine as long as I let them come up to temperature before opening.

If you are concerned about keeping the humidity levels up just slide the hardcase into a garbage bag before putting it into the cardboard box.

02-10-2016, 02:15 PM
I have those Oasis humidifiers for all my Ukes. I have them suspended by the centre strings only when they are in storage, in the case, in my home. I've learnt to take them out even when I am going to a gig.
I'd put some sort of humidifier in the case (maybe near the headstock) with a bit of bubble wrap to stop it from flying around but with enough air space around it to do its job) when I post a Uke. I usually; wrap the case in bubble wrap(not the Uke as it can leave marks on some finishes), double box and put Fragile stickers on all the outer box's surfaces. So far all the Ukes I've sold have arrived safely to destinations around the world.
Also suggest that you tell the buyer about allowing the package to acclimatise slowly and that any damaged caused by the failure to do so will be on their dime.

PS. I use distilled water in the all humidifiers.

02-10-2016, 03:21 PM
I'll echo the advice to allow the instrument to come up slowly to room temp. I have received a couple of guitars and now a ukulele didn't the winter months, which meant that the box was quite cold when it arrived.

I like to take the case out of the box, and let it sit for a few hits in my guitar room. Then I'll crack one the case, just unlatching it to allow air to flow in a bit. I like to let it sit this way for 10-12 hours before opening it and taking out the instrument. If the instrument still feels cold when I open the case I will let it sit longer, until it no longer feels cold.

02-10-2016, 03:57 PM
Thanks for all the advice.

I sent it this afternoon. Now I have to wait and see it's condition upon arrival. I'm sure all will be well.

Good advice. This is why the forum is great. Quick answers covering all the bases.