Protecting Your Valuable Musical Instruments This Dry Season

    To many musicians and collectors, our instruments are everything to us. They bring joy, inspiration, and to some, income.

    Musical instruments made from organic materials, like wood, are sensitive to the amount of moisture in their surroundings, even more so than people and animals.

    For those who have invested much in your instruments, keeping them “healthy” is crucial to avoid unnecessary costs (and possible heartache) down the road.

    Why do guitars and other wooden string instruments need humidifying?

    Like humans, guitars, basses, pianos, and other wooden, stringed instruments are the healthiest in an environment of 45- 55% RH (relative humidity).

    In the colder months, when the air is dryer, humidity can drastically drop, causing a series of unpleasant issues to your instruments. Some may require costly maintenance; others, more severe, permanent damage.

    Instruments exposed to severely dry air are susceptible to a plethora of problems, including:

    • Uncomfortably high action: (The distance between the string and the fretboard, making the instrument more difficult to play.) High action can also cause hand cramps and fatigue.
    • Annoying fret buzz: Notes don’t ring out freely.
    • Warping/twisting of the neck
    • Intonation/tuning issues
    • Sharp fret ends: When a fretted instrument’s neck becomes too dry, the neck will shrink, exposing the metal fret ends to stick out from the sides. When this happens, it can be painful or uncomfortable to play. Depending on the severity of the protrusion, it sometimes is irreversible, requiring a fret dressing and additional work to restore the moisture in the wood of your instrument.
    •  Cracks in the finish or actual wood: It’s common to see older acoustic instruments with a hairline crack going through the top of the body. This is evidence that it was either not cared for or left in varying, extreme environments throughout the years. On electric guitars, cracks in the finish, especially in nitrocellulose, are common due to exposure and storage in extremely dry environments where the humidity level is quickly changed.
    top of acoustic guitar body damaged by dry air quality

    Cracks in wood and finish from prolonged exposure to dry air.

    Keeping your guitar and other wooden stringed instruments in the “healthy zone” of humidity all year round helps protect them, significantly improving their lifespan and playability.

    I haven’t used a humidifier before, and my acoustic guitar seems dry. Is it too late to use a humidifier?

    We recommend rehydrating a dry guitar promptly with a humidifier to maintain optimal humidity levels in dry climates.

    Introducing Wood’s Vienna HSW100 Humidifier – Made in Sweden

    Wood’s Vienna HSW100 humidifier is a dedicated humidifier used to help rehydrate and protect acoustic/electric guitars and other wooden, stringed instruments in dry, indoor environments.

    Order your Vienna HSW100 here!

    At home, the Vienna HSW100 is quiet and reliable, giving musicians and collectors the perfect solution for protecting their investments.

    Humidification is also beneficial for homeowners, as it adds moisture to the air, preventing dryness that can irritate our skin, lips, throat and nasal passages.

    Ideal for studios and music shops

    Wood’s Vienna HSW100 in a music store

    Music shops and studios are susceptible to erratic humidity and temperature changes by having cold, dry air enter through entrance doors several times a day. These changes can drastically affect guitars, basses, and other stringed instruments, causing them to need service or, in worst-case scenarios, permanently damaged.

    Key features:

    • Large area coverage
    • Easy, one-knob operation!
    • A “Low water” alert light 
    • Evaporative humidification: Unlike ultrasonic humidifiers, where white mineral dust can emit into the air, affecting allergies, asthma, and electronics, the Vienna HSW100 releases pure steam without any contaminants and does not require distilled water.
    • Antimicrobial filter: to protect from moulds and bacteria in the air. (Needs to be replaced after every season). Incredibly low energy consumption and noise level.
    • Made in Sweden, made to last!

    Vienna HSW humidifier protecting acoustic guitars

    Music shop using humidifiers

    Music shop using and selling Wood’s Vienna HSW100 humidifiers.

    Check with your favourite online music stores and larger brick-and-mortar shops for these models, or see our list of retailers where the Vienna HSW100 can be purchased.