Once you own a humidor, you’ll immediately notice its benefits. That’s why many people even end up owning three or more to make room for their collection.
However, too many of us overlook the easy mistakes to make when using these pieces of kit. It’s not good enough to pack them full of cigars and call it a day.
Don’t let your cigars go stale in a poorly-maintained case. Here are 5 common mistakes that people make and how to go about avoiding them.
1. The Humidor Isn’t Humid Enough
This is basically a crime against humidors. You might as well just use a cardboard box to store your cigars if you let the humidity escape!
If there’s not enough humidity, your cigars will dry out. You’ll hear the leaves crinkle when you pick them up, and they’ll feel dry to the touch.
You need to regularly clean your humidor out and wipe it down with distilled water. Soak up any excess water with a paper towel, and use a humidifier to up the humidity levels.
Place a hydrogeter in the box too so that you can accurately measure the humidity. The best boxes come with these built in so that you always know how humid your cigar box is. You know right away if anything goes wrong with the humidity.
Use your hygrometer to measure the progress. You’re aiming for roughly 65-73% humidity in most circumstances.
When it’s in the right zone, run a cloth around the inside wood to make sure no water has collected, and fill it up. Shut it immediately to prevent the humidity escaping.
While you’re at it, check the seal of the humidor. If this is damaged, it can lose humidity over time, eventually ruining your cigars.
2. The Humidor Has Too Much Humidity
If it is overly humid, there’ll be too much moisture sitting inside the case.
This can cause your cigars to swell and they can become difficult to smoke. It can also ruin them outright.
If you notice that your cigars are a little ‘softer’ to the touch or are visibly swelling, they may be saveable. But you need to act fast.
The easiest solution to allow excess humidity to escape is simply to leave it open for a couple of hours. Measure the humidity with a hydrogeter after each 30-minute interval to see if it has reached an acceptable level.
If you overshoot, follow the instructions in our first point, to re-humidify your container. Try to not introduce cigars which have been in an overly humid environment into a much less humid area rapidly.
If you do this, the center will remain too humid, while the outside will lose its moisture. This can cause cracks in the cigar, ruining your smoking experience.
3. Forgetting to Close It
It’s easy to forget to shut the lid when you take out your next cigar.
If you’re admiring your collection or showing off to friends, don’t linger for too long. Your humidor can lose too much humidity which can then mean you have to spend time regulating it again.
In the meantime, you might even end up with some ruined cigars. Don’t let them go to waste. Shut that lid, every time you smoke.
One handy hint here: a case with glass panels is a good way to show off your collection without opening it up each and every time.
4. Placing It In the Sun
Humidity and heat don’t mix. You need to regulate temperature as much as you need to regulate water vapor.
Store your case in a cool and dry place. If the temperature clocks up, this can encourage mold growth. This won’t only destroy your cigars, it can be very dangerous.
You can end up smoking a cigar with mold in the middle, which you can’t see. This can damage your lungs. So be careful with your box.
Remember that as the seasons change, the sun will linger in different parts of your home
Also keep your humidor away from vents and windows that could make it too cold. Especially if you live in a cold state or country.
5. Overfilling It
If you’ve spotted a good deal for some excellent cigars, it’s tempting to stuff them all into one box.
Stop right there. You should never do this.
You might damage the cigars directly by trying to pack them in. If your humidor has no separators, they could end up bent or broken. When you close the lid, you might also squash them by mistake.
This could stop easy smoke flowing through the middle of the cigars when you light them up. You can ruin a lot of good cigars at once by doing this.
Plus, an overfilled box means the air won’t circulate well. The cigars in the middle may pick up and retain too much moisture, without the benefit of airflow to regulate this.
If your box is too full, you should look into picking up another as soon as you can to save your cigars.
Which Humidor Should I Pick?
There are many humidors to choose from, which are suitable for different people and different needs.
For example, there are small caddies suitable for traveling with. And then there are large, beautiful cases with built-in hygrometers and high-quality woods.
It’s difficult to know whether you’re getting your money’s worth, which is why our site is dedicated to reviewing the best humidors on the market.
Our Editor Rating tells you what we think. But we realize we’re not the only experts – that’s why we let our readers have a say with our User’s Rating system too.
Check out our reviews today and let us know what you think. Or contact us to tell us about a fantastic humidor we’re missing out on – we want to know!