How to Set up Your Humidor


Do you really need to season your humidor?

Yes. When most people buy a new humidor, they’re naturally excited to fill it with their cigar collection immediately. But being hasty could ruin your precious smokes. First, you must re-humidify the wood in your humidor or it (and your cigars!) could be irreversibly damaged.

Why? Humidors are carefully crafted from kiln-dried cedar, which needs to reach an equilibrium of 65 percent humidity. If you don’t let the cedar reach this moisture equilibrium before use, it will suck the moisture from your cigars, damaging the carefully packed tobacco. 

So before you store your valuable cigar collection in your new humidor, season (re-humidify) the humidor the right way:

  1. Don’t drown your humidor. The biggest mistake people make when setting up a humidor is soaking the interior of their humidor with water. This will cause irreversible damage to the wood. Instead, gently dampen a clean cloth or new sponge with distilled water only, and wipe the inside of the humidor until any exposed wood is gently damp.

  2. Use a humidification device and solution. There are countless solutions and products to choose from, a common one being Propylene Glycol Activation Solution.

  3. Let it nurse its drink for 24 hours. Fill a shot glass with humidification solution and place it on a towel in the humidor. If you don’t have a humidification solution, fill a shot glass with distilled water instead. Power up your humidification device and close the humidor for 24 hours. 

  4. Rookie mistake: Never use tap water as it contains minerals and chlorine that cause bad odours and unpleasant flavours to infiltrate your precious cigar collection. These impurities can also clog the pores of the humidor and inhibit its operation.

  5. Then check your hygrometer and refill the humidifier. You’re looking for a reading of 65% to indicate the wood has reached moisture equilibrium, which can take anywhere from two to fifteen days to achieve, depending on your humidor and the conditions. If you live in an exceptionally dry climate, it is worth investing in two humidification devices to ensure you can achieve the correct level of humidification to keep your cigars safe.

Caring for Your Humidor

  • Periodically check the humidity level to ensure it remains between 65 - 75%. If your levels are incorrect, it can easily ruin your valuable cigar collection. Re-moisten your humidifier with a clean sponge and distilled water or your humidification solution periodically.

  • Rotate your cigars regularly (usually once a month will suffice).

  • Prolong the life of your humidor by storing it on a flat surface, away from direct sunlight, heating and air conditioning vents and any bright lights.

  • Keep a lid on it. It's fun to have a sneaky peak occasionally but opening your humidor as little as possible ensures even humidity levels are maintained.

  • Take it off. Expose your cigars to the benefits of your humidor by unwrapping them from their cellophane covers. This will begin the curing process and you’ll find its flavours are enhanced.

  • Pro Tip: A half empty humidor is harder to regulate, so keep your humidor filled with cigars, or empty cigar tubes in a pinch if your supply unexpectedly runs low. Replace your humidor's empty spaces with cigar tubes wrapped in clean, dry plastic bags to keep the humidor packed, helping to regulate the humidity levels.

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