Musicians often heavily invest in accessories like hard-body cases, stands, and polish to protect their instruments. However, many are surprised to learn that the greatest threat to their guitars is the moisture surrounding them. Both excessive and insufficient humidity can permanently damage this instrument. Luckily, a few simple precautions can protect it from accidental warping and damage. Here's what you should know.
Ideal Temperature & Humidity Levels for Guitars
When your guitar is surrounded by too much humidity, you may notice issues such as bulges in the body and frets, a warped neck, disintegrating glue, damaged finish, or dull tone and tuning problems. Insufficient moisture can cause cracks in the wood and the finish, glue failure, shrinking frets, and persistent buzzing sounds while playing.
You can prevent these issues by storing your instrument in an environment with 40–50% humidity levels, which provides an even balance between moisture and dryness. Cold and hot temperatures will aggravate the effects of high or low humidity, so aim to store your guitar in a room with temperatures between 70–75 degrees.
How to Care for Your Guitar
Your guitar’s best protection against humidity and temperature damage comes from regular storage in its case. A well-constructed hard case blocks excess moisture and regulates the instrument’s temperature more effectively than ambient air, which can fluctuate widely in humidity and temperature throughout the day. To further safeguard your instrument, you can keep it out of direct sunlight and away from drafts and wipe it down after playing to remove traces of condensation and sweat. Placing a silica gel sachet in the case will absorb additional moisture.
Using whole-room dehumidifiers or humidifiers lets you adjust humidity levels as needed. Remember to keep your guitar out of basements, attics, and car trunks, where the temperature can’t be regulated, and they may be more subject to cracking and dry rot.
5J Music in Elko, NV, has an extensive selection of accessories for safely storing your guitar. Serving area musicians since 1995, they’re happy to share expert advice and recommendations for caring for your instrument based on years of experience. They also offer a wide range of instruments and vinyl albums. Visit them online to browse their products, or call (775) 778-0484 to speak with a team member.