Saturday, December 31, 2011

Making Your Own Ukulele Humidifier

If you've got a solid wood ukulele and live in a dry climate, it's important that you keep it humidified to prevent the wood from cracking and splitting. There are a lot of humidifiers on the market, but I've had the best results with making my own, and as an added bonus they're incredibly cheap, especially if you make them in bulk. Just place the humidifier inside your uke case and you've saved yourself the cost of a humidifier, and potentially the cost of your uke as well.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A water-tight plastic container of some sort. The ones I prefer are 2" across and 1" high made by, but any flat-bottomed container with a lid will work. Cost: $.79
  • Hydro gel for gardeners. I used Nutrimoist, but any brand will do. Cost: $8 for an 8 ounce bag, which should make about 400 (!) humidifiers. These are the exact same crystals you'll find in the nice (but expensive) Oasis humidifiers. 
  • A drill and a 3/32" drill bit.
Start by placing a tiny amount of the crystals into a glass. A couple pinches will do it, they expand a tremendous amount when they get wet. You want enough to fill your container when they're fully saturated.

Fill the glass about halfway with water. You need to leave enough room that the crystals can expand. If the crystals soak up all the water add more.

Wait about an hour for the crystals to absorb as much of the water as possible. While you're waiting, grab the drill and drill bit and your container.

If you're using a 3/32" drill bit you'll want about 15 holes. Drill them into the lid of the container so they won't get covered up when the humidifier is in your uke case. You also don't want water leaking out the bottom. Some people like to use film containers, but I don't like them for a few reasons. One is that they're generally not clear, so you can't see when they need refilling. Another is that they're taller than they are wide, so the only way to get good ventilation is to drill holes all over the side, increasing the likelihood they'll leak when they roll around in your uke case.

Once you have your container and your saturated crystals, strain off any excess water and completely fill your container with the saturated crystals. Close the lid (water may squirt out the top, that's fine) and dry off the outside.

You now have a humidifier ready to use! When it starts to dry out the crystals will shrink—just open the lid, pour in enough water to fill it, close the lid and towel it off. The crystals should last a long time before they need replacing (they'll last longer if you use distilled water, because they'll absorb minerals from tap water, but since the crystals are so cheap it doesn't matter if you have to replace them every year or so).


  1. do you put it inside your uke, or is it just enough to put inside the case?

  2. Kerstin, the humidifier simply needs to go inside your case. They sell specific humidifiers you can put inside your uke, but they are very carefully designed to rep event leakage so they don't damage your uke—no such guarantees with this guy! But after some testing, I've determined if your use it in a well sealed case it brings the humidity within the case to an even level throughout.

  3. Hello,
    The benefits of the humidifier are it is easy to tolerate because of the soothing cool mist it sends into the air. It will be able to help clear up cold and sinus symptoms.