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Cigar 101

How to Prepare Your Humidor for Summer

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Seasonal humidor maintenance is easy and highly recommended. Your cigars are an investment, but it’s tempting to toss them in the humidor and forget about them until you’re ready to smoke one, which could be weeks or months away. 

If you’re a seasonal cigar smoker and you don’t monitor the humidity and temperature in the offseason, you could be in for a rude awakening when those Padron Anniversaries you spent twenty bucks apiece on are dried out, oversaturated, or god forbid moldy. Consistent conditions are best for your cigars. Here are a few quick steps you should follow when you want to prepare your humidor for the summertime or give its performance a seasonal checkup. 

1. Rotate Your Cigars

Rotating your cigars is essential so that the same cigars aren’t always nearest the humidification source. Actually, you should rotate your cigars every couple weeks or at least once a month. Shift the cigars from the top rows to the bottom and vice versa.

Make sure your humidor is maintaining consistent conditions in the vicinity of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 70% relative humidity. Invest in a digital hygrometer for the most accurate readings. 

2. Inspect Your Cigars

Every time you crack the lid on your humidor, examine your cigars. If you’ve got some inventory you’re aging, give them a more thorough inspection every few months. Gently squeeze your cigars to insure they’re humidified and the wrappers aren’t cracking or flaking off. Make sure mold isn’t growing anywhere. White dots of plume are perfectly fine, but any blue or green substances are bad. If you happen to notice any moldy cigars, discard them immediately. Keeping them in your humidor will only allow the bacteria to spread. 

3. Clean Your Humidor

Remove the contents of your humidor and gently hit the inside with a blast of compressed air if you notice any loose tobacco or debris inside. Inspect the humidor itself for traces of mold or cigar beetles. Inspect your humidification unit to ensure that it’s maintaining humidity and there are no funky odors emanating from it. 

Get rid of any foul or unwanted cigars. Give them away or toss them out. Because cigars are like sponges they absorb what’s around them. That’s why we recommend storing high-quality premiums in one place and less-desirable cigars in another. And never put any infused cigars in your humidor, or everything inside will taste flavored.

4. Season (or Re-Season) Your Humidor

There are plenty of cigar lovers out there who really only fill their humidors during the warmer months when they’re heading back to the golf course or on vacation. If you’re a fair weather cigar smoker, we understand. Not everyone has a cigar-friendly man cave at home to smoke in when it’s cold outside. Just make sure you re-season your humidor before you fill it up with cigars.

Replenish or replace your humidification unit if it needs it. If you’re using a standard humidification device, refill it with distilled water or propylene glycol solution. Most humidification units need to be replaced every year or two. If you’re using Boveda pouches, swap them out when the old pouches firm up and run out of moisture. Re-calibrate your hygrometer to make sure it’s giving you an accurate reading. 

5. Arrange & Organize

Organize your cigars. Make sure they’re not crammed on top of one another or unnecessarily compressed in an attempt to squeeze more in. Don’t overfill your humidor. If you have too many cigars, remove some and place them in a ziplock bag with a humidity pouch. Ideally, you want to leave 20-25% of the space in your humidor vacant to facilitate the flow of air and humidity around your cigars. 

Know that cigars exchange oils and tasting notes when they are stored in close proximity to one another. If your humidor has an interior shelf or divider, use it to separate stronger cigars from mild cigars, unless you want the taste profiles of different cigars to marry, which some cigar lovers prefer.

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