Certain things in life are timeless. A bottle of good old wine, an old blues tune, a rendezvous with an old friend, a vintage flavored cigar, they don’t seem to die. Instead, the mojo increases as the years pass by. Whether it be a Churchill, a Corona, or a Robusto, cigars bring the best flavors when kept for years.
While an old pack of cigars speaks volumes of someone’s class and sophistication, a true cigar aficionado should know the art of preserving it. And what better than a humidor can do that? However, using a humidor for preserving your cigars is a whole different ballgame. It needs precision, perfection, and a whole lot of patience.
You need to create the perfect environment before stashing your cigars into the humidor. Here, we’ll tell you how to use a humidor the right way to store cigars for longer. Read on.
In this article:
- What is a humidor
- How does a cigar humidor work
- How to prepare your humidor
- How to season your humidor
- How to set up your cigar humidor
- FAQ part
What Is A Humidor?
A good cigar will only retain its aroma if preserved in a regulated temperature and humidity. An excessively dry environment is enough to crack it apart, whereas an uncontrolled moist climate will invite all the bacterial and fungal breeds.
This is when you need a humidor. It is a wooden container that helps retain the required environment that is appropriate for storing cigars. A good quality humidor regulates optimum humidity, moisture, and temperature to store cigars in their most convenient environment.
Generally made of Spanish cedar wood, humidors come in different shapes and sizes, from a tiny portable box to a massive cigar stashing cabinet. It has a tight lid to ensure that the humidity and moisture lock in and external air cannot shuttle inside.
A humidor comes with a set of components that need to be set up together to make it work perfectly and preserve the cigars in their best conditions.
Related: Best humidors
How Does A Cigar Humidor Work?
A cigar humidor provides the ideal humidity and temperature to the cigars to keep them in perfect condition. For instance, if the internal environment of the humidor is too moist, your cigar will get moldy, whereas a dry climate will crack it up. So here, let us check out the components of a humidor and how they work.
The humidifier is an integral part of the humidor and its humidification system. It provides an adequate amount of moisture to the humidor. Therefore, your cigars stay fresh, well-preserved, and will burn slowly. For the ideal storage condition, a humidor aims to provide 70% humidity.
So, to achieve this, the humidor needs to have a water source. The most common water sources are sponges that soak an amount of water and then release it inside. However, you must only use distilled water to avoid casting molds and minerals.
You might want more information about humidor humidifiers.
A hygrometer helps you to measure the level of humidity present in the humidor. So, you can easily monitor the moisture and add or absorb the water accordingly. It is available in both digital and analog versions in the market.
In an electronic humidor, you need to check the hygrometer regularly to control the humidity through a humidifier. It will help you keep everything under control and make sure your cigars are absolutely fine.
You might want more information about humidor hygrometers.
You need to provide an ideal temperature inside the humidor to keep the cigars in perfect condition. For most cigars, 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 to 21 degrees Celsius is the perfect range. If your humidor doesn’t have any temperature control equipment, a thermometer can do the work for you.
You can also use a thermostat to control the temperature if your humidor has a cooler or heater. Remember, if you manage to keep the temperature ideal inside the humidor, you can also easily control the moist levels.
Most humidors available in the market come with an interior of Spanish cedar. For instance, some humidors come with thin Spanish cedar lining on the wall, and others may use it on shelves and drawers.
The Spanish cedar wood has the ability to absorb and release moisture, thus creating an even humid condition inside the humidor. In fact, the wood is insect repellent. Therefore, it protects the cigars from getting decayed.
How to Prepare Your Humidor
The preparation process of a humidor is one of the crucial steps to make the humidor work properly. However, for the perfect preparation of the humidor, you need the following components.
- Distilled water
- Plastic bags
- A cloth
Following is the step-by-step procedure to prepare your humidor.
1. Keep the humidifier in distilled water.
Most humidors available in the market come with a humidifier. In case your humidor doesn’t have that, you have to buy one from any tobacco shop or online store.
- Fill a container with distilled water.
- Place the humidifier inside in a submerged condition.
- Make sure that the humidifier faces down when you have placed it in distilled water.
- Keep it intact for at least 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove the humidifier from the distilled water.
- After removing, use a paper towel to soak up the excess water.
2. Put A Sponge Inside
Here you have to insert a sponge into the humidor to create the moisture.
- Get a plastic bag and place it around the inner bottom line of the humidor.
- Get a sponge, soak it in distilled water.
- Place it in the humidor.
3. Install your humidifier and the hygrometer
Once you are done with the previous steps, now is the time to place the humidifier and hygrometer. Remember, you need to install it inside the lid of the humidor. In case you cannot figure out where to install them, refer to the instruction manual.
- After you have installed the hygrometer and humidifier, close your humidor.
- Make sure to keep it in a safe place where nobody will touch it.
- Keep it closed for a minimum of 12 hours to 24 hours.
4. Repeat the entire process
After completing all the steps, you will need to repeat the entire process once again. Thus, you will again put the humidifier in distilled water for a couple of minutes and then wipe off the excess. Then, place a plastic bag and a damp sponge inside it. After that, install the hygrometer and humidifier and put the entire thing aside.
- Remember, the humidity level must revolve around 65% to 75%. However, you may notice a relatively higher percentage as the moisture levels take some time to settle down.
- If your humidor’s humidity level is not around 65% to 75%, you have to repeat the process. In actuality, you have to continue until it reaches the required humidity level.
How to Season Your Humidor
If you own a humidor, congratulations, your favorite cigars have been safe in the chamber for years. But before you start using your humidor, there is some prep work to ensure the optimum humidity and temperature inside.
Seasoning is nothing but prepping your humidor to capture the right amount of moisture. Here are some essential tips to remember while seasoning your humidor.
1. Assemble All The Required Materials
You can easily collect most of the required materials at your local departmental stores or hardware shops. If you cannot find all the materials nearby, buy them online. Here are the materials you need to prepare your humidor.
- Distilled water
- Plastic bags
- A piece of cloth
2. Prepare the Hygrometer
This step will ensure that your hygrometer works appropriately and measures the moisture inside effectively. So, let us find out how to prepare your hygrometer.
- Take a piece of cloth or a towel and damp it. Remember, only use warm water.
- Wrap the hygrometer with the damp cloth and keep it for at least 30 mins.
- Remove the damp cloth from the hygrometer, calibrate it, and ensure it reads between 95% and 97%.
- Generally, each hygrometer calibrates differently, so follow the instructions to calibrate it properly.
- If the hygrometer reads between 95% to 97% right after removing the cloth, it’s already calibrated. If the meter shows otherwise, then you’ll have to calibrate it manually.
3. Perform the Cleaning Procedure
You can avoid this step if your humidor is brand new. But for old humidors, you have to cleanse and prepare them for usage. So, let us discuss how to clean it.
- In case you notice some debris or tobacco inside your old humidor, you have to spray it using compressed air.
- Then, wipe the inside of your humidor using a piece of an old damp cloth.
You might want more information about humidor seasoning.
How to Set Up Your Cigar Humidor
Setting up your cigar humidor involves a set of major steps to follow. Let’s look at the steps at a glance.
- Prepare the humidifier by keeping it sunken in the distilled water.
- Keep it dipped for 2 to 3 minutes, and then take it out.
- Wipe off the excess water with water soaking tissue or a soft towel.
- Take a plastic bag and insert it inside the bottom lining of the humidor.
- Take a piece of sponge and make it wet with distilled water.
- Place the sponge on the plastic bag.
- Take the hygrometer and wrap it with a wet cloth for half an hour.
- Unwrap and calibrate it from 95% to 97%.
- Attach the hygrometer and the humidifier on the inner side of the lid of the humidor.
- Shut the lid and keep the humidor in a cool place for a day or more.
- Repeat the whole process until the humidity level scales up to 70%.
1. How to select the best humidor?
The key rule to select the best humidor is to choose the one that is a portion bigger than what your cigars apparently require. This means you must keep some space inside the humidor chamber to let the humidity and moisture play around all over the space.
Moreover, the humidor’s best climate requires an optimum humidity between 65% to 75% and a temperature ranging between 15 to 21 degrees Celsius. While selecting the best humidor, make sure the humidifier and hygrometer are in perfect working condition.
2. How long will your humidor keep cigars fresh?
Cigars produce better flavors with time if only properly preserved. A humidor can keep the cigars fresh for years, depending upon how appropriately you season them. An average quality cigar can stay fresh for months inside a well-balanced humidor. In contrast, a premium quality cigar can remain fresh for years and grow intense aroma and taste.
However, the longevity of your cigars massively depends upon how you use a humidor and maintain it. If you keep your humidor in a well-balanced temperature and moisture and cleanse it from time to time in the right procedure, your cigars will stay fresh for a long time.
3. How to charge your humidifier?
You have to charge the humidifier with either distilled water or an appropriate humidifier solution like propylene alcohol. You can charge the humidifier by pouring distilled water in the vent or simply keep it submerged within distilled water.
If you are using a humidifier solution, then pour that solution dropwise into the vent. In both cases, you need to keep it this way for a couple of minutes and then wipe off the excess water or solution.
4. How to take care of your humidor?
Maintaining your humidor is equally important to ensure the preservation of your cigars. The Spanish cedar wood absorbs and retains moisture for a long time. Therefore, you must season the humidor thoroughly to create a humid climate inside. Also, you should keep the humidor in a cool and shaded place so that the external temperature doesn’t affect the internal environment.
The humidifier needs to have an appropriate solution. If you frequently open the lid of the humidor, then propylene alcohol is not a great option. You should settle with distilled water to take care of your humidor.
5. How to take care of your cigars in a cigar humidor?
Taking care of your cigars in a cigar humidor involves a few steps. First, you need to wet the cedarwood and let it absorb moisture. Then, insert the humidifying unit and hygrometer along with a humid sponge to create and control the humidity.
The key rule is to keep the environment intact for a few days to make the internal environment entirely appropriate for stashing your cigars. If the humidity and moisture levels are right, then your cigars are safe and fresh inside a humidor for years.
Now since you have learned something about how to use a humidor, why don’t you also check out our other related guides as follows:
- How to store cigars
- Humidor solution
- Best small humidors
- Top 13 travel humidors
- Boveda humidor packs
- Best humidors
- Cigar humidity
- Best large humidors