Potassium carbonate to control humidity

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by jgreen8240, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. jgreen8240

    jgreen8240 Member

    Messages:
    105
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Live in a dry climate and keep my guitars in a cabinet. I had a chemist suggest to me that using potassium carbonate might be a better way than the water trays I use to humidify the cabinet. Potassium carbonate maintains a steady 43% RH. Didn't find anything on line that describes how to do this.

    Curious if anyone has ever has tried this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. donfrantz

    donfrantz Yo! You stealin’ all the cool. Supporting Member

    Messages:
    847
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Location:
    down in the valley
  3. jgreen8240

    jgreen8240 Member

    Messages:
    105
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
  4. donfrantz

    donfrantz Yo! You stealin’ all the cool. Supporting Member

    Messages:
    847
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Location:
    down in the valley
    I think it would be pretty cool to be able to do that. I'd like to build a cabinet for a few guitars with humidity control too. I wonder if a big bottle of the Potassium Carbonate solution would work.
     
  5. Scottish0177

    Scottish0177 Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Hey,can only comment on the daddario humidity packs,which I am presuming are along the same kind of lines..Before getting into Electrics I was an acoustic player through and through with a few high end custom builds from some of the top luthiers....because of this I looked into just about every way and product I could find to see if there was a credible way to controlling humidity...that search led me to daddario and the packs....I keep my acoustics in their cases much of the time and used the packs by placing them in the case also,one at the headstock area and one through the sound hole as per instructions....I also bought the daddario humidity alert monitor that is affixed to inside of case and connect to an app on iPad.....my findings were the packs were showing a constant humidity level of about 45 and although this fluctuated ever so slightly at times,was never far from this...the monitor also alerted for temperatures and this showed more of a fluctuation even with guitars in their respective cases...
    Interestingly I found a company called acoustics remedy that produce display cases and they use the humidity packs inside also.
    Final word is that I thought the packs were great,and with the monitor provided a fit and forget solution to the worry of humidity...
    Hope this helps a little and helps you come up with a solution
    Scott
     
    eliot1025 likes this.
  6. jgreen8240

    jgreen8240 Member

    Messages:
    105
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Yup - wondering the same on how one could use it effectively and safely. Can easily buy food grade powder form. But then what?
     
  7. TDJMB

    TDJMB Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,115
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Location:
    East Coast
    Another option is humidity beads from Heartfelt Industries. Does the potassium carbonate give off any gases?
     
  8. jgreen8240

    jgreen8240 Member

    Messages:
    105
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Thanks and these products are not able to efficiently humidify the space I need. Not sure regarding the gas question. Don't see an answer on-line.
     
  9. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,014
    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    Rocky Hill, CT
    I'm not sure how it will maintain a steady humidity, but potassium carbonate will not break down or produce vapors. It's pretty inert under normal circumstances, though it will dissolve easily in water.
     
  10. sargebaker

    sargebaker ISLAND Instruments Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    683
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, QC Canada
    A shopmate of mine has recently started building custom hardwood display cabinets for guitars.
    D'Addario are simply repackaging a product from Boveda https://bovedainc.com/ You could contact them to describe your situation (ie: area of the cabinet, % humidity level you wish to maintain) and I'm sure they can point you towards and appropriate product.

    [​IMG]

    If I'm not mistaken, he was told that 2 of the D'Addario pouches would be adequate for that setup.
     
    eliot1025 and donfrantz like this.
  11. jgreen8240

    jgreen8240 Member

    Messages:
    105
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Thanks on the Boveda suggestion. I had already connected with them. They felt the number of packets required for the size of my cabinet would be cost prohibitive. Dimensions are 40" x 19" x 17".
     

Share This Page