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DIY Water Bead Humidifiers – Update

The summers in Wisconsin/Minnesota are very ukulele friendly–relative humidity is always in the “safe zone” of 40%-60% (unless you leave a wooden ukulele outside in the elements). This time of year, I remove all humidifiers from my cases, and let the humidity “material” dry out.

As you are aware, I built 10 water bead humidifiers this past spring out of quarter coin holders with a screw lid. I had “charged” them all with distilled water, and have not filled them again since I made them. For the record, the weather started improving when I was making these humidifiers.

Yesterday I pulled out a ukulele that had one of these humidifiers still in it, and was pleased to see that the humidifier is working. The humidifier on the right was in a soft case (the case that comes with the Kala Travel Ukulele)–the humidifier on the left has been on a shelf for some time. This tells me that the wood and the interior lining of the case has been absorbing water out of the humidifier. You can see some wetness on the inside of the humidifier. I opened the quarter jar, and did a smell test–and I am not smelling anything moldy.

I have a number of test tubes coming with which to make more humidifiers, but what I really want, I think, is a coin holder for dimes that could go between the strings of a ukulele. That’s my next project. I also think I will drill double the number of holes into the tube. Currently I am at 20 holes; I think the diameter of the hole is fine. I can even re-drill the existing tubes, temporarily moving the water beads to another container as I do the work.

In my mind, a couple of these in a case, along with one in the sound hole, should more than adequately humidify a ukulele. I might have to buy D’Addario’s Bluetooth hygrometer to test my theory next winter.


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