Seasoning Your Humidor
Setting up your new humidor and new hygrometer can be confusing. To make it less confusing we have included easy to follow information below on seasoning your humidor, Charging your humidifier (adding humidity) and directions for Calibrating your Hygrometer. Follow these instructions and you will be on the way to enjoying your new humidor! There are different thoughts on how to proceed in seasoning your humidor. We suggest you ignore everything you read elsewhere or hear from your friends, Aunt Harriet, and even the literature inside the humidor! Our directions are complete and accurate.
Seasoning Your Humidor
It takes time, patience and a little know-how to get a new humidor ready to hold cigars. You're trying to recreate the tropical environments where most cigars are made, and you can't rush the process. Putting cigars into a dry humidor can ruin good smokes, so take the time and read and follow the directions below.
Most humidors have an interior made of untreated Spanish cedar, the preferred wood for humidifying and aging premium cigars. The wood needs to be humidified, or "seasoned", before the box is ready to hold cigars. If you purchased a Cigar Oasis Humidifier, you will not have to season your humidor manually as the Cigar Oasis will do this for you in eight hours.
The first thing to do is take a new sponge - make sure it is unscented and free of soap - and wet it with a liberal dose of Glacier Mist or distilled water (use of tap water is not advisable). Wipe down all the exposed wood, including any trays and dividers, and the interior of the lid. Do not wet finished wood surfaces. Avoid using a paper towel or a fraying cloth; these will literally leave a paper trail on the wood. After you've wiped down the wood, squirt the sponge with more distilled water, then place it inside the humidor on a plastic bag - to avoid direct contact with the wood - and close the lid.
Close the humidor with the damp sponge inside, and leave it overnight. The next day, check the sponge. If it is fairly dry, add more distilled water. If it is very damp, leave it alone.
Let the humidor sit another night with the sponge. Remove the sponge and plastic bag the next day. The walls of the humidor have now absorbed all the water they need and you can safely store your cigars.
Preparing Your Hygrometer
Examine the hygrometer. Follow instructions for the device if specific instructions are provided. Otherwise, most units can be easily removed from the humidor. A few types are not designed for removal. The following treatment should not be applied to a non-removable hygrometer or one that is "pre-calibrated." If you are uncertain, inquire with us before proceeding with the next step.
If the hygrometer is removable follow these instructions:
- Place the hygrometer in a wet cloth for about half an hour or until the unit reads 95-100%.
- Return it to its normal place and allow 2 hours to reset.
- If the hygrometer does not reach 95-100% as described above, you will need to calibrate the hygrometer by following instructions for the salt test here.
Charging Your Humidifier & Adding More Humidity
When you first set up your humidor you will need to charge the humidifier. Charging the humidification device simply means to fill it properly. To prepare your humidification device, use only humidor solution or distilled water (unless the manufacturer specifically states that you can use tap water). Tap water contains minerals that will destroy most humidification systems by leaving deposits that will clog the humidification element. Fill the humidifier initially with Humidor Solution, also called PG solution, charging fluid, or poly glycol. Simply fill it by squirting solution through the vents of the humidification device without opening it. Your goal is to have the device(s) well moistened but not totally saturated. Once the humidification element is properly filled and not overfilled, be sure to wipe it down to remove all the excess water. Rest it upside down on a hand towel for approximately 30 minutes. Any moisture that escapes was simply excess.
Once ready, select the location where you will place your humidifier inside your humidor. Some humidors have a pre-designated location while others allow you to decide where to place it. Some humidification devices come with a method of attachment to the humidor. This may be Velcro, a magnet, or none if attachment is not suggested for your humidor. If you decide to use Velcro or a magnet, please take precautions to set the adhesives properly. These attachment methods use an adhesive which must attach to a clean and dry surface. Allow 1-2 hours for curing before fastening the device as the moistened humidifier will pull the adhesive if not cured properly. Additionally, make certain your humidifier is not over-saturated as a humidifier that is too heavy will certainly test the strength of any adhesive.
You will periodically need to add more humidity to your humidor. How frequently will be determined by numerous factors including the location the humidor is placed, environmental conditions, frequency opened, etc. The easiest way to tell you need more humidity is to monitor the hygrometer. A reading of 70% relative humidity (RH) is the most desirable, although a bit above or below is not detrimental to your cigars. Once the humidity drops 3 to 4 percentage points below your chosen ideal RH (70% or other you choose), it is time to add more humidity. You should use both PG Solution and Distilled water alternating as follows:
- Use PG solution the first time you set up your humidor
- Use Distilled Water the next two or three times you refill your humidification devices
- Return to PG solution for one occasion, and then back to distilled for 2 or 3 occasions, etc.
Alternating between PG and Distilled will provide for the best humidification and the longest life of your humidification devices. We sell high quality PG solution and Glacier Mist Ultra-Pure medical grade Distilled Water with an included algicide to keep your cigars fresh. For you convenience we offer a Humidor Care Kit that includes both products.
Occasionally, a humidor will become too humid. On these occasions, you can leave your humidor open partially to allow some of the humidity to escape, or add some cigars into the humidor. The cigars will help absorb some of the excess humidity.
Analog hygrometers do not arrive calibrated unless indicated as "pre-calibrated." Follow our directions here to calibrate your hygrometer.