Guitar pedals are very addictive. It’s hard to have just one pedal, once you get yourself the first one.
Over time, you’ll almost certainly collect more and more of them. If you’re a proud owner of at least one guitar pedal, you know what I’m talking about.
But, once you have at least few of pedals in your collections, you begin to worry about how to properly store them.
It would be a shame to damage your guitar pedal. That’s why it is crucial to store them properly.
Here, in this article, I’m going to present you all of the best ways to store your pedals. I’m also going to point out some important tips and tricks that’ll help keeping your pedals in the best shape possible.
1. Save The Box
Don’t throw the box in a trash can as soon as you get your guitar pedal. Product boxes can be very useful.
Keeping your guitar pedal in its box is surely going to protect it from various outside factors. Dust, dirt, humidity – those are all threats coming from the outside environment.
Box can be of significant help when you don’t have nothing better. Leaving your pedal unprotected, when you’re not using it, can do a significant damage, as time passes by.
Of course, hard case is a far better option, but if you don’t have it at the moment, box will do the job fairly good.
2. Maintain Optimal Humidity Level
Humidity can become your pedal’s greatest enemy, if it’s not monitored regularly. Especially if you live in places with strong oscillations in humidity level.
For example, if you live near the coast, the humidity can often get very high. If you happen to live in the area that has harsh winters, the opposite often happens (low humidity).
Don’t take a risk. An ideal relative humidity level for your guitar pedal ranges around 45 to 55 percent.
How Humidity Affects Signal Propagation?
Unnecessary exposure to high humidity level will negatively impact signal transmission and propagation through your pedal.
You can assure yourself by reading several scientific studies that have shown the correlation between humidity level and loss of signal.
Here, the Electronics Cooling website has an article in which this issue is discussed. In the article, you can see the graph showing how different signals act when cables are exposed to relative humidity level of 60% at 30 Celsius degrees for one week.
3. Maintain Optimal Temperature
Temperatures that are too high, or too low, can be very harmful for your guitar pedals. This applies not only when guitar pedals are in question.
Guitars, amps, cables – all guitar accessories, in general, are in danger when exposed to high or low temperatures for some period of time.
What temperature is ideal for your guitar pedals? It’s the room temperature. Always think in this way: If it’s too hot or too cold for me, then it’s too hot, or to cold, for my guitar pedal, too!
Therefore, keep an eye on the temperature, always. Especially during summer, or winter season. Make sure you turn on your AC during summer, when temperatures tend to fly high.
Rapid temperature oscillations impose even greater threat. Here’s why. It’s physics. When temperature increases, materials tend to expand. On the other hand, when temperature decreases, materials tend to shrink.
That’s because higher temperature brings more energy into the systems. Molecules of the material then vibrate more. That increased vibration causes those molecules to expand further away from each other.
That’s why materials expand when temperature increases. Now, rapid temperature oscillations are harmful because materials start to expand and shrink over and over. Plus, guitar pedal is made out of different materials. Each one has its own specific heat capacity, in other words, rate at which material expands or shrinks.
Therefore, some materials will expand more, or shrink more than others. All of that will make your guitar pedal loose, inside. Certainly that will impact the performance of signal transmission from your pedal to the guitar and amp.
Anyway, make sure you maintain the optimal, room temperature. That’s the ideal temperature for guitar pedal.
4. Remove The Batteries
When not in use for a longer time, guitar pedals need to have their batteries removed.
Batteries tend to leak. Especially if the device is not being used for some time. Then they leak even more.
Those leaking from a battery will almost certainly corrode your guitar pedal. You don’t want that.
Make sure you remove all batteries from pedals you don’t plan to use in the next months.
5. Use Covers
Covers will block the dust accumulation from the air onto the surface of your guitar pedal. Although it is easy to dust off the dusty surface, it’s not so easy to clean it all after some time.
When you subject your guitar pedals to dust, over time it will accumulate so much on the surface, that it will harden. Once hardened, the dust is not so easy to remove from surface.
Make sure you check if there’s a dust on your guitar pedals. Check it at least once a week.
Covers can significantly reduce dust accumulation. You can put some clean sheets or plastic covers over your guitar pedals. It will help.
6. Get A Hard Case
Hard case is by far the best option for protection against environment. Whether you want to store your guitar, an amp, keyboard or guitar pedal – hard case is something that works the best.
High quality hard cases provide effective protection from temperature and humidity change from the environment. Also, they prevent potential physical damages.
If you have a lot of guitar pedals, it is a great idea to have them locked in a hard case. You can be sure that a hard case will provide protection.
7. Use The Pedalboard
Pedalboard is also a great tool for your guitar pedals. Especially if you’re a touring musician, always on road, traveling from one place to another.
Pedalboards often go hand in hand with hard cases.
This combination of pedalboard + hard case is perfect one. You may consider getting yourself one pedalboard, along with hard case. Even if you’re not touring.
I got myself a Gator Pedalboard with ATA road case from Amazon.
This case has EVA absorbing foam in its interior, that provides an excellent protection from physical damage coming from the outside.
You can check it on Amazon, along with customer reviews, here.
8. Keep Your Pedals High On The Shelf
If possible, put your pedals on a shelf. It is important to keep them out of reach from pets or kids. If you have a cat, or a dog, this can be helpful.
Also, some accidents can happen. For example, you spill your drink on the floor. If pedals are there, lying down on the floor, the liquid may get on their surface.
When they are stored high on a shelf, these potential accidents are eliminated.
9. Avoid Sunlight
Avoid exposing your guitar pedals to strong sunlight. Sunlight can act very devastating for all kinds of electronics.
That’s because of the UV radiation. Processes, called photodegradation and photooxidation, can damage your guitar pedals.
That’s why it is important to protect your guitar pedals from strong sunlight. Keep them out of places where sun shines. For example, you don’t want to leave your pedals near the window.
Check Some Great Pedals On This Site!
I hope this article gave you some valuable information about how to store guitar pedals properly.
Guitar pedals are awesome. That’s why it is important to keep your pedals in a good, healthy condition. I tried to cover this issue from different angles. I hope you enjoyed reading this article, as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
Don’t forget to check out other interesting articles from this site about various guitar topics and issues.
Cheers, and rock on!