Should I hydrate my electrics?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by redragon, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. redragon

    redragon Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm iun a cold climate and the house it unusually dry this year, even though I have steam heat.

    My guitars are in cases in a fairly cold closet. Should I be hydrating them? If so, how?

    For the acoustic I use one of those hard sponges, will that work for the electric as well?
     
  2. Irreverent

    Irreverent Silver Supporting Member

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  3. redragon

    redragon Silver Supporting Member

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    How should I do it, what do you guys use?
     
  4. pokey

    pokey Supporting Member

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    If you keep the electrics in their cases that should be good enough.
     
  5. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Yes
    A little trick I picked up somewhere is to simply cut a kitchen sponge
    into a 1 inch square, saturate it up with water, squeeze out some of the excess,
    place in in a partially sealed plastic Baggie in your guitar case.

    Trust me.. It works. Your guitar will thank you, and the difference in feel over
    Just a couple of days is dramatic. :aok
     
  6. Sirloin

    Sirloin Supporting Member

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    ...and once the hardware and electronics start to rust, you will know you have the correct moisture level
     
  7. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    I have 1 acoustic and 5 electrics. I use the small Sunbeam humidifiers from Walmart. I use 1 when it isn't too cold and 2 when it's warranted. I monitor the humidity in the room. This works really well for me and not very expensive.
     
  8. RupertB

    RupertB Supporting Member

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    For all but the most extreme conditions, this.

    First thing to do is figure out whether or not you have an issue. Humidity monitors are available at reasonable prices. The cheap ones may not be super-accurate but will be accurate enough to tell you if your humidity levels are getting way out of the recommended range (40-50%).

    http://www.davis.com/Product/Digital_Termperature_and_Humidity_Monitor_with_Clock_and_Alarm/YX-37803-77?referred_id=3388&mkwid=ctCLphbb&pcrid={creative}

    If your guitars are frequently out of the case and the humidity in your home is well below 40% for extended periods (weeks), then taking steps to introduce moisture are a good idea. Just don't overdo it.
     
  9. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    If you wait till Spring and play the guitars with binding on the neck instead you'll be fine!
     
  10. Virgman

    Virgman Member

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  11. open strings

    open strings Member

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    Will I be serving the same purpose on the fingerboard by using lemon oil-or similar ( in small amount) to protect from drying out, lifting fret-ends etc?
     
  12. redragon

    redragon Silver Supporting Member

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    I do monitor the humidity and in my office where the guitars are its between 30% and 36% typically.

    The guitars are always in the case overnight and not every guitar is out every day.

    Tonight when I get home I cam going to open the window for about an hour an try to exchange the air, something my wife does in the bedroom pretty often. Makes a big difference in the humidity.

    For sure I would rather risk too little moisture in favor of too much.
     
  13. ken374

    ken374 Member

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    I live in Michigan and dont have any issues
     
  14. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    I determine it by fret ends. When you begin to feel them, then the old tree needs some water.
     
  15. guitararmy

    guitararmy Member

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    I humidify my music room with a room humidifier, and have my acoustics and jazz boxes in there. Probably should drag my ES-335 in as well.

    I have a Grosh retro classic that developed some serious finish checking after one winter in a closet that wasn't that cold. I guess the nitro finishes are like that...
     
  16. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    Question about this - we both live near Denver, where it's extremely dry. What good does keeping them in the cases do? It seems like over time, the humidity inside the case is eventually going to be at equilibrium with the humidity outside the case; so the guitar will still dry out, just more slowly. I guess that's not correct, since "keep them in the cases" seems to be the consensus, but it doesn't make sense to me. Where am I off base here?

    This is what Don Grosh recommended to remedy a bit of fret sprout that's recently happened to my Grosh tele. Just put the sponge in there last night.
     
  17. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    I keep guitars cased in the closet under the stairs with a small room humidifier and a hydrometer.
    The reason to humidify electrics is to prevent fret sprout. Another option is to wait till near the end of the dry spell and then file the fret ends to remove the sprout. That way, next dry season, the wood shrink will not expose the fret ends.
     

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