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Cigar 101

How to Use a Mason Jar as a Humidor

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

A mason jar may sound like an ultra-frugal solution, straight out the Great Depression, for keeping cigars fresh without a humidor, but it can actually pass as a decent substitute, and cigar lovers have been storing their cigars in them for eons. New Jersey native John Landis Mason invented mason jars in 1858, refining and perfecting earlier canning processes with his airtight screw-on cap and the alluring transparency of glass.

Today, mason jars have transcended their self-sufficient origins as vessels for canned goods to become chic, antique glasses for cocktails, soda, beer, and any drinks you think of in kitchens and restaurants around the world. If you’ve got a thrifty, DIY mindset, or you simply admire the vintage look, here’s a few tips for how to use a mason jar as humidor. 

An Unbeatable Seal

First of all, some guys swear by mason jars because their aggressive seals lock in humidity without fail. If you’re reusing a mason jar, acrylic or glass, that was once home to a condiment, make sure you clean it out thoroughly, preferably in a dishwasher so that no lingering flavors can be transferred to your cigars. Some folks actually prefer mason jars over Tupperware (or Tupperdors), because they offer a superior seal.

Distilled Water and Sponge

It’s as simple as it gets: soak a sponge with distilled water, ring it out over the sink (so that you don’t create a puddle in the jar), toss it in, place your cigars inside, and screw the lid down. Voilà! You’ve got a glass jar humidor. If the jar has enough clearance inside, you can mount a small humidification unit under the lid. Alternative methods like Boveda pouches or crystals work well too.

Store Out of the Sunlight

Outside of replenishing your humidification source, the main rule of thumb when you convert a mason jar into a homemade humidor is to store it out of direct light. Natural light will exhaust your humidity quicker and can fade and dry out your cigars. Keep your mason jar in a cool, dark cabinet or room.

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