View Full Version : over humidify?

12-04-2009, 11:51 AM
Evening all my question is simple like me. I live in the south UK where the average humidity is in the 70 to 80 percent. My house is very hot due yo the heating being on for my children. I have bought a herco humidifier as I have a all solid mahogany kala. Can o damage that by using the herco unnecessarily?

12-04-2009, 12:27 PM
Not really (caveat: Hawaii is pretty humid and ukes seem to do fine there).

The nice thing about passive humidifiers, like the Herco, is that moisture isn't forced out of them. The moisture moves out of the Herco when the surrounding air is drier than the clay material inside. If the surrounding air is more humid than the Herco, then moisture won't move out of Herco. So you can't really over humidify with them.


The best thing to do is purchase a hygrometer and put it in the room with your uke so you know what the humidity level is in that area. Once you know that, then there won't be a question of when you need to be using the humidifier in the uke case.

12-04-2009, 12:31 PM
i'm happy to stand to be corrected, but I am in UK (albeit, in the North West).

I have played acoustics for 20 years and have NEVER met anyone who has felt the need to humidify their instruments. A mate did once refer to a guy who did, but he had bought a vintage Martin for about 4000...

That said - heating habits can ruin instruments in any environment. Whilst I REALLY dont think UK climate should be a cause for concern (hey, this isnt Nevada!) - central heating needs to be taken into account.

I always keep my instruments when not being played in spare room - whilst spare room has radiator, it is turned off (or very very low) and door shut. That room therefore keeps a typical UK climate going on (ie Humid in summer, and cold, but wet and damp in winter). My instruments are fine.

If you cannot isolate them, and you find yourself (particularly in winter, not summer) having to keep them in central heated, warm rooms, you may want to either consider another storage room, or humidifying.

Hope that helps- I think my jist is this- if you have another room, and you are in UK - dont worry too much!

12-04-2009, 02:31 PM
Rae, you probably won't need the humidifier. I'm in Herts and I rarely use mine.

Personally, I go by a meter, and only break out the humidifier if things get below 35%. Never had any probs in nearly 40 years of guitar (and a few years less of mandolin, fiddle and uke).

12-04-2009, 03:29 PM
I don't live in the UK, but I wanted to chime in a bit about humidity in general. As Paul suggested, you can't really tell what the humidity indoors is from the humidity outdoors, because indoor conditions are subject to things like heat and (at least here in San Francisco) protection from things like fog. Even when the outdoor humidity in the SF area is upwards of 70 percent, the humidity in my apartment is generally below 40 percent and tends to hover closer to 30-35 percent.

To measure indoor humidity, I have this room hygrometer (humidity meter) that I bought at a Radio Shack


and I and bought one of these to keep in my ukulele case so I know precisely what my ukulele is experiencing.


Maybe this is overkill, but I'm new to the wooden stringed instrument world and I sleep better at least knowing what humidity my ukulele is exposed to.