As a true cigar lover, having a humidor is essential to the longevity of your cigars. Tobacco needs humidity, and there’s no better device to keep your tobacco fresh than a humidifier.
But how many humidifiers have you gone through? Unfortunately, humidors don’t last forever. Even though some humidors are inexpensive, you can save lots of money by taking care of your humidor.
To keep your humidor in great condition, you need to maintain it.
Fortunately, keeping up with humidor maintenance isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
For a strong and last-lasting cigar humidor, there are some tips that will help keep your humidifier running smoothly. Here are 10 tips to make your cigar humidifier last forever.
1. Season Your Humidor Before You Use It
When the cigar humidor arrives, the Spanish cedar is dry. The cedar needs moisture to retain humidity. If you place tobacco in a humidor while the humidor is dry, then the tobacco will be dry.
This process is a little complex. Fortunately, most humidors come with a cigar humidifier. But you’ll need to properly install the humidifier.
2. Keep the Humidor in a Dark Cool Place
Your humidifier should be warm, but not too warm.
The outside conditions greatly affect the internal conditions of your cigar humidor. Since the humidor should be kept at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidor should be kept in a dark place that’s cooler than 70 degrees.
Outside humidity also affects your humidor. If you live in a humid climate, find the driest place possible.
3. Keep the Cigar Humidifier Filled
Since your cigars need humidity to thrive, there should be plenty of humidity in the cigar humidor.
The air inside of the humidor should have plenty of humidity, as well as the cedar lining. Because of this, you should always keep your humidifier filled.
There are multiple different humidifiers and all of them have special maintenance instructions. Follow the directions in the manual to fill the humidifier. More information on this is discussed below.
4. Use the Right Liquid to Fill Your Humidifier
Manufacturers will usually recommend one of two liquids to fill your cigar humidifier: distilled water or propylene glycol. For some humidifiers, it doesn’t matter what you use.
But you should always weigh out the pros and cons of each liquid.
Both also affect the humidor differently. Distilled water is low maintenance and is cost-effective. But propylene glycol doesn’t evaporate easily and even serves as an antifungal agent.
5. Check Your Hygrometer Every Week
The hygrometer is the device that measures the humidity in your humidor. Your hygrometer should fall around 70%. Make sure your hygrometer reads 70% or close to it. If it falls too high or too low, check your humidor or the humidifier.
This is also a good method of knowing if your cigar humidifier needs to be refilled or replaced.
6. Test Your Hygrometer’s Calibration
Are you unsure if your hygrometer is accurate or not? Test its calibration. This is easier than it looks:
- Fill a bottle cap with two teaspoons of salt and distilled water
- Place the salt mixture and hygrometer in a see-through container or a ziplock bag. Be sure to make sure there’s a little air flow.
Let it sit for six hours. The hygrometer should read 75%.
7. Use an Activation Solution
While most humidor owners choose either water or propylene glycol to fill their cigar humidifier, you can use a combination of both. This is called an activation solution. This helps recharge your humidifier.
Use equal amounts of both when filled the humidifier. For best results, use this solution every three months. Some humidors only need this solution every six months. Before filling your humidifier, make sure you rinse it out with water.
8. Always Replace Your Humidifier
Even though your humidor comes with a humidifier, you’ll want to replace your cigar humidifier for optimum performance. Fortunately, a humidifier will keep for many years. But not all humidifiers are perfect.
There are factors that cause a humidifier to lose quality. These include residue in the humidifier (usually from tap water or propylene glycol) and the humidifier dries easily.
The best way to see if you need a replacement humidifier is if the hygrometer gauge always reads below 70%. You can also buy a new humidifier every year, but this is often unnecessary.
9. Buy a Better Quality Humidor
While there are plenty of good cheap humidors, your best bet is buying quality. These don’t come at a cheap price; expect to pay at least $250 for a great quality humidor. But when you buy quality, you’re guaranteed longevity.
Cheaper humidors are made with a different kind of wood and are thinner than expensive humidors. This can lead to quick degradation.
If you decide to purchase a cheaper humidor, educate yourself. Read consumer reviews, read the owner’s manual, and you can even contact the company yourself.
Find out everything you can do to keep that humidor lasting as long as an expensive model.
10. Store Your Humidor Based on Season
Chances are, you’re keeping your humidor in your home. When different seasons roll in, your internal temperature and conditions change in your home. But you still need to keep your humidor in a cool and dark environment, in a dry room.
But this is difficult if the heat is blaring. During the colder months, avoid keeping your humidor in the same room as your heater. If you can, store the humidor at the opposite end of the house from the heater.
Time to Maintain Your Cigar Humidor
If you’re a cigar smoker, humidors help keep your cigars lasting fresh for months.
A humidor is also important if you’re aging cigars.
Humidors help cigars retain the humidity the tobacco needs to thrive. But humidors don’t last forever, and constantly replacing them can be expensive.
Use these maintenance tips and keep that humidor working perfectly forever. If you ever have doubts or questions, ask your manufacturer.
Are you a cigar aficionado who needs more help with your cigar humidor? Take a look at our resources.