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Ukulele Care

Caring for your Uke in the Summer

Your instrument is made of thin wood which is easily affected by temperature and humidity. This combination is the single most important part of your guitar’s surroundings. Most manufacturers keep their factory at a constant 72- 77 degrees Fahrenheit and 45 – 55 percent humidity. If either the temperature or humidity gets too far away from these factory conditions, your instrument is in danger. Rapid changes in local humidity are what you want to guard against. The most worrisome climates are those in the deserts. No matter where you live, NEVER put your instrument in the trunk of your car during the summer months. When traveling by car, keep your guitar in its case in the passenger compartment.

A rapid change in temperature or exposure to high heat can cause damage. A gradual decrease in humidity won’t generally do permanent damage although a rapid decrease can cause it to shrink. If the moisture content of wood is forced down in a hurry, portions of it shrink faster than others, causing cracks and open joints. When very low humidity is combined with high temperature, glue joints could possibly become weakened and may even open slightly. If this exposure is for any length of time, the glue under the bridge could weaken causing the bridge to pull off. In extremely dry climates, we recommend storing your instrument in its case when not in use as humidity is easier to control in a smaller space.

Using a hygrometer / thermometer to measure the relative humidity and temperature, and adjust accordingly, can decrease the chance of damage due to these elements. Inexpensive humidifiers are available for this purpose. Don’t bother loosening the strings when putting it away unless it won’t be used for several months. Constantly tightening and loosening the strings ruins their sound. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. 


Caring for your Uke in the Winter

Your instrument is made of thin wood which is easily affected by temperature and humidity. This combination is the single most important part of your guitar’s surroundings. Most manufacturers keep their factory at a constant 72- 77 degrees Fahrenheit and 45 – 55 percent humidity. If either the temperature or humidity gets far away from these factory conditions, your instrument is in danger.

 

A rapid change in temperature or exposure to cold can cause small cracks in the finish. These are lacquer cracks. As humidity increases, moisture content of wood goes up. A gradual increase in humidity won’t generally do permanent damage although a rapid increase can cause it to expand and swell. When very high humidity is combined with high temperature, glue joints could possibly become weakened and may even open slightly. If this exposure is for any length of time, the glue under the bridge could weaken causing the bridge to pull off.

Using a hygrometer / thermometer to measure the relative humidity and temperature, and adjust accordingly, can decrease the chance of damage due to these elements.

Rapid changes in local humidity are what you want to guard against. If, for instance, you place your instrument near a source of dry heat, the humidity around it will drop much faster than it would naturally, although a sudden dry spell can have the same effect. If the moisture content of wood is forced down in a hurry, portions of it shrink faster than others, causing cracks and open joints. Don’t set your instrument next to any source of heat or hang it on a wall where it will dry out. Never hang your instrument on an exterior wall during the winter months. The wall will be cooler than the inside air resulting in a conflict between the temperature of the top and back, with potential damage as a result.

Should your instrument be exposed to freezing temperatures, let it warm to room temperature while still in its case. This lets it come up to room temperature more slowly, decreasing the possibility of wood and finish cracks.

We recommend storing your instrument in its case when not in use as humidity is easier to control in a smaller space. Don’t bother loosening the strings when putting it away unless it won’t be used for several months. Constantly tightening and loosening the strings ruins their sound.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

HAPPY PLAYING!

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