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Cigar 101

How to Dispose of Cigars

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Sanitizing the man cave in the aftermath of another rowdy poker night takes talent. A mound of cigar butts in the ashtray is a common sight. Of course you want to toss them out with the beer bottles and please your spouse as fast as possible to keep your cigar-smoking privileges intact, but hang on. There’s a right way and a wrong way to dispose of cigars. Most of us aren’t quite frugal enough to smoke our cigar butts into oblivion in a corn cob pipe, so here’s a few simple tricks for discarding them safely.

Take the Band Off

It’s a general courtesy to take the band off your cigar before you let it expire. Many cigar bands are beautiful, but they produce an unwanted aroma when they’re smoldering with the last inches of a premium smoke. Peel the band off and discard it in the trash instead of letting it burn up in the ashtray.

Let Your Cigar Burn Out Gracefully

Fine cigars needn’t be ground out like cigarette butts when you’re done smoking. They will burn out on their own after a few minutes. Place your cigar in the center of the ashtray and be patient while the butt goes cold. And, make sure it’s done burning before you dump the ashtray out.

Coffee Tin or Metal Pail

It’s best to keep your cigar butts and ashes separate from the regular trash. It’s the easiest way to avoid a fire and stinking up your trash can. Because the scent of spent cigars lingers, many guys invest in a metal pail or they’ll save an old coffee tin with a sealable lid and dump the ashtray into it. It’s a convenient way to keep your ashtrays clean while you’re smoking, and sealing the lid guarantees the cigar butts will fully extinguish because there’s no oxygen to keep them burning. If you’re smoking indoors, set your pail outside or on the porch to keep any lingering aromas out of the house.

Faucet or Flush

If you have to leave in a flash as you’re finishing a cigar, it never hurts to run the nub under the faucet or dip it in a glass of water to make sure it’s out. Wet cigar butts are more pungent, though, so take the trash out as soon as you toss them in instead of letting them permeate the room. Some guys will dutifully flush a cigar butt in the bathroom, too. We really only recommend it for a single, occasional cigar butt – not an ashtray full of them, unless you want to plug up your plumbing.

Fire Pit

Smoking around a bonfire in the backyard is pure heaven for most cigar lovers. You don’t need an air purifier, it’s tough to make a mess, and you can toss your cigar into the flames when you’re done smoking. If you like to cookout, you can incinerate your cigar butt in the grill when you’re finished barbecuing the ribs.

Compost for the Yard

The good news is cigars are organic. You can easily grind cigar butts into your landscaping, an especially convenient method for disposal if you’re puffing on a yard ‘gar when you’re trimming the hedges. Never toss a lit cigar under a lawnmower, though. Gas fumes and oil could turn your nub into a flaming projectile.

Out the Window is Out

Relaxing with a cigar on a long drive is sublime, but tossing a cigar butt out the window of your car is a messy proposition. Invest in a proper ashtray for your car and wait until you’re stopped to empty it out. Dropping the butt out when you’re driving is an invitation for a blizzard of ashes to blow back in your face – or worse, your butt could land on passing motorist’s vehicle. Heed our advice and be a sensible custodian of your spent cigars.

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