How To Make A Guitar Humidifier DIY? (Process and Alternatives Explained)

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Guitar humidifiers must be on every guitarist’s list of accessories. They help maintain the health and sound quality of your instrument in varying climates. 

For example: If you live in a place like Arizona where the climate is dry, you need a humidifier.

Wood is highly sensitive to humidity changes. In dry environments or during colder months when indoor heating is used, the air becomes dry. This causes the wood in a guitar to contract. That can lead to long-term damage over time to a guitar. This is where an over-the-counter guitar humidifier comes in handy! 

What if we told you that you could make your DIY humidifier in just a few simple steps? Read on to find out more!

Quick Steps For Making A DIY Guitar Humidifier

  • Step 1: Preparing the Ziplock Bag
  • Step 2: Preparing your choice of Humidifier
  • Step 3: Insert the Towel into the Bag
  • Step 4: Position the Humidifier 
  • Step 5: Regularly Monitor

Why Are Humidifiers Necessary?

The guitar humidifier helps maintain a stable level of humidity of 45% to 55%. The weather is not the same everywhere. In dry areas natural humidity is relatively low. Moreover, when the humidity changes your guitar may be affected by fret sprout. With high humidity,  the fret ends protrude from the neck as the wood around it shrinks.

Electric guitars may be affected by humidity too but not as much as acoustic. Maintaining a moderate humidity level can help protect it. Leaving your guitar in a case can also cause problems. When traveling, the guitar case can also go through a change in the humidity.  Here is where humidifiers help out a lot.

What Are The Basics Of A Guitar Humidifier?

A guitar humidifier is generally a sponge that absorbs and releases water with time. This maintains the moisture level around the guitar. With the right amount of moisture, you can prevent the guitar wood from cracking and warping. There are two types of guitar humidifiers available in the market right now:

  • In-Case Humidifiers: These are placed inside the guitar case maintaining the overall humidity level around the entire instrument. They typically sit beneath the headstock or near the heel of the guitar. 
  • Sound Hole Humidifiers: These fit directly into the guitar’s sound hole to humidify the interior of the guitar. The unfinished wood inside can be affected by humidity the most. They help protect the soundboard and internal structure of the guitar.

How To Make A DIY Humidifier? [The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide]

A DIY guitar humidifier can be a great project you can take on to protect your guitar. It is pretty straightforward so it shouldn’t take long to get on in order! Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to make a guitar humidifier home.

What Do You Need Before Starting?

  • Ziplock bag
  • Towel or sponge
  • Scissors
  • Distilled Water 

Step 1: Preparing The Ziplock Bag

Take a standard ziplock bag and fold it twice towards the zip.  Take a pair of scissors and cut slits across the folded part of the bag about an inch apart. Make sure each slit is about two-thirds deep into the bag. These slits will act as vents that allow humidity to evenly escape the bag. 

Step 2: Preparing Your Choice Of Humidifier

Take the towel or sponge and dampen it with water. Using tap water is okay, but it is best to use distilled water. Distilled water is ideal to prevent any mineral buildup of minerals on your guitar. Once fully soaked, wring the towel out to ensure it’s no longer dripping wet. The moisture level in the towel should be sufficient to release humidity. If it is too wet, water may drip onto your guitar which is never a good thing.

Step 3: Insert The Towel Into The Bag

Place the damp towel inside the ziplock bag. The bag traps the moisture gently releasing them through the slits you’ve cut. This helps to create a controlled humid environment around your guitar without the risk of direct water contact. 

Step 4: Position The Humidifier 

To use the humidifier, do not place it directly inside the guitar or against any part of it. Position it in the guitar case near the headstock or at the bottom of the case. This placement helps humidify the entire case environment without risking any chance of slippage.

Step 5: Regularly Monitor

Regularly check the humidifier to ensure it is still moist. In case the towel dries up, re-wet the towel as needed. You might have to frequently do this depending on how dry your environment is. If you live in an area with a very dry climate you might have to repeat the humidifying process frequently. To help understand the accurate humidity level, you can invest in a hygrometer.  

If you want to watch a step-by-step guide on how to make a DIY humidifier check this video out!

How to Make A Guitar Humidifier(embedded)

Top 3 Alternatives To DIY Humidifier 

If making one yourself now is not up your alley, check out these great alternatives

  1. Zager Airtight Neoprene Humidifier

The Zager Airtight Neoprene humidifier has an innovative approach to humidifying a guitar. This system utilizes a specially designed neoprene sponge that absorbs a significant amount of moisture. Neoprene is far superior to traditional sponges. The neoprene sponge can hold a lot of moisture great for very humid weather. 

Once filled the humidifier can last up to two months without needing a refill. Its simple design focuses on the interior of the guitar, ensuring the wood stays properly humidified, it is both cost-effective and efficient, making it a great choice in the long run!

  1. Oasis OH-1 Guitar Humidifier

The Oasis OH-1 is designed like a syringe that evenly distributes moisture distribution within the guitar. What sets the OH-1 apart is its use of a hydrophilic gel material. This gel expands when dipped in water. This technology can prevent water from leaking into the guitar while releasing humidity. The humidifier attaches using the guitar’s string tension. This minimizes any potential stress on the strings themselves.

  1. Planet Waves GH Humidifier

The Planet Waves GH is a simple clip-on humidifier mechanism that attaches to the guitar using string tension. This avoids direct contact with the wood to prevent any damage. Its design is straightforward and built with user-friendliness in mind. You can remove the sponge to check the level of moisture manually. When the humidifier is equipped, it blends in with the guitar. Although the Planet Waves GH is budget-friendly, it does not compromise on quality. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Do You Need To Humidify A Guitar?

If the weather is too dry we recommend humidifying your guitar every 5 to seven days.

Can You Humidify An Electric Guitar?

A solid-body electric guitar does not need to be humidified all that often. However, hollow-body electric guitars need to be humidified as regularly as acoustic ones depending on the climate.

Can I Use Tap Water In My Guitar Humidifier?

Technically, you can use tap water to humidify a guitar. However, if you have to frequently use a humidifier, it is best to use distilled water. Distilled water prevents minerals from building up inside the guitar.

Do You Need A Humidifier?

Realistically, humidifiers need to be used if you live in extreme conditions where the weather is too dry. Dry climates and cold regions need humidifiers as they can damage the tonewood. Acoustic and classical guitars, made from thinner wood are affected the most due to humidity. If you own a vintage guitar we recommend using one regularly as the wood is aged. So if you think you’re up for the challenge make a DIY humidifier and let us know how well it has worked for you!

Happy Strumming!