A humidor is a storage device designed to protect tobacco products from the damage that can be caused by smoking, and at the same time, it keeps cigars moist and fresh. The idea is to find a device with an airtight seal, sometimes called “true seals,” which will allow for proper humidity. If you are like me and your humidors become rodents’ offices over time, you will probably get a lot of enjoyment from caring for your humidor.
1. Turn off the power and remove the humidor’s top. You can do this with a humidor key or by unscrewing it. Hold the humidor so that the lid and its gasket don’t fall off when you turn it upside down. The humidor’s lid will have a cut-out that allows the seal to be lifted. If you have a humidor with a glass top, remove the glass panel; it is needed when working on the hardware.
2. Fill the humidor with distilled water. I recommend all-natural distilled water free of any chemical additives and has no scent. If you aren’t sure, ask in your local grocery store or resort to the Internet, where you can buy water that is bottled in glass bottles with a cork stopper or at least a neutral plastic bottle. Don’t worry about the cost; this is a small investment that will pay off many times over and will protect your health and the health of your cigars.
3. Keep the humidor in a cool dark place. The relative humidity of a closed humidor should remain below 70% at all times. It’s important to know this because there are many ways that you can screw up the RH inside your humidor. For example, let the RH reach 70% or more, open the humidor to find it completely dry, or let it drop below 65%. Even just slightly above 65%, your cigars may crumble, crack, or get moldy. If you live in a hot climate and do not have a dehumidifier for your home, examine ways to bring in cool night air through skylight window blinds with taped areas for ventilation called shades.
4. Season your humidor properly before its first use. One should season a new humidor before you put any cigars in it. Take the humidor and place it in a cool room such as an attic or garage. Open the humidor lid and then use a sponge to moisten the inside walls and tiny metal beads on both sides. However, you do not want to use excess water because the excess will force out through tiny cracks between the lid and body of your humidor. You may have to repeat this procedure several times until all excess water runs out of your humidor.
It is worth spending time and effort to maintain your humidor. Have fun in the process of storing, caring for, and enjoying your cigars. The best part of smoking a cigar is enjoying the aroma and flavor of fine tobacco. Be sure to give this artisanal pleasure to your family, friends, and loved ones, as they are, in essence, enriching your life as well.