Dampit humidifiers are one of the more obscure but essential accessories that protect your instrument from dry climates.
Some players of acoustic stringed instruments - violins, violas and cellos - live and work in hot, dry climates and others live in cool, dry climates. Because these instruments are crafted from wood, they need to be protected from extreme dry climates and dry environments so the wood doesn't dry out, causing cracks. Excessive dryness can also negatively affect your instrument's tone. Players should also be cautious of playing and storing their instruments in homes and buildings that use excessive heating and air conditioning.
Purchasing and using a Dampit humidifier can help protect your instrument from the effects of dry conditions. Humidifiers should be used not only on fine violins, but also student violins and anything in between. Dampit humidifiers are inexpensive and should be added to the list of basic stringed instrument accessories.
Violin Dampits differ slightly from viola and cello Dampits in its physical size. They are referred to as "internal" humidifiers and are made to fit specifically into the F-holes of each respective instrument in order to maintain humidity while the instrument is in the case or if it is being played. A good Dampit humidifier will maintain a humidity level as well as raise the humidity under dry conditions.
Forty-five to 55% humidity is considered optimum. A Dampit is placed in water for about half a minute. The user then wrings out the Dampit like a sponge in order to remove excessive water. The outer tube is then wiped dry with a paper towel and then inserted into the instrument. Dampits come with a humidity gauge, which indicates the humidity of the room and changes as the humidity changes. When the Dampit is dry, it should be immersed in water again, pinched to remove excess water, wiped off and reinserted.
Dampits should only be used during the dry season and/or dry environments. Otherwise, violins, violas and cellos should always be kept in their cases when not being played and stored in the coolest, darkest part of the room away from any heart sources, like heaters, radiators or hot electronic components.