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Cigar 101

Humidor Maintenance & Care Tips

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Humidor maintenance is simple. Cigars should be stored at approximately 70% RH (relative humidity) and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Conditions vary a bit with the seasons, but keeping your cigars fresh is easy when you take care of your humidor. Following is a rundown of essential humidor maintenance.

Season Your Humidor

Follow our instructions for seasoning a new humidor if your box hasn’t been humidified. The seasoning process takes a few days. Wipe the interior of the box down with distilled water and fill your reservoir, or place your humidity pouches inside, to boost the humidity. Don’t store cigars inside your humidor until you’ve achieved 70% RH on the inside of the box.

Monitor Your Hygrometer

A hygrometer measures the humidity in your humidor. Most hygrometers are digital and display the temperature with the humidity. If you’ve got an analog hygrometer – a circular dial with a spring on the inside – consider replacing it with a digital model for a more accurate reading. Calibrate your hygrometer if it’s new. When the humidity level dips into the lower 60s, refill your reservoir to keep the humidity at 70% RH.

Refill Reservoir or Replace Humidity Pouches

There are dozens of humidification systems to consider. Most humidors come with a standard reservoir with floral foam on the inside that absorbs moisture and steadily releases it over time. When the humidity in your reservoir runs low, refill it before your cigars begin to dry out. Keep a bottle of distilled water or propylene glycol solution at home for recharging your reservoir.

Humidity pouches have become very popular in recent years too. If you use Boveda pouches or another brand in your humidor, replace them when they dry out. Boveda pouches last 2-6 months depending on how many cigars you’re storing and the size of your humidor. They last even longer in a humidor bag or a Ziploc. Boveda pouches are soft and cushiony at first. When they stiffen up, their humidity is exhausted and it’s time for replacement. For best results, do not mix old and new pouches and do not mix pouches of different humidity levels.

Rotate Your Cigars

Rotate your cigars every two or three weeks. Move the cigars from the bottom rows to the top and vice versa. Rotating your cigars encourages airflow and prevents the cigars closest to your humidification source from absorbing a disproportionate amount of moisture.

Don’t Overfill Your Cigars

Only fill your humidor to about 75-80% of its cigar capacity on a regular basis. Cigars age better when air and humidity can circulate around them. They won’t receive adequate humidity if they’re jammed in too tight. 

Watch Out for Mold

Finally, keep an eye out for mold – and discard any moldy cigars immediately. Mold is blue-green and can occur from too much humidity or keeping the temperature too high. You can also introduce mold if you put a cigar in your humidor that was previously exposed to it. Know the difference between mold and plume – small, white specs that are harmless – so that you can quickly identify any unwanted bacteria on your cigars and prevent it from spreading.

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