How to Season Cigar Humidors
The cedar material is integral to the humidor’s delicate humidification system, and if the humidification device inside hasn’t been used in a long time, the new wood will pull moisture from your cigars. Rather than keep them fresh, new and dormant humidors will actually age your cigars faster. To avoid this before anything else, you need to follow some steps to properly season cigar humidors.
If your humidor came with manufacturer’s directions, follow them closely to maintain your warranty. Not all new humidors have these, though, and if you’ve inherited or purchased a used box, your first step is a distilled water wipe down. With a clean sponge or damp cloth, wipe down every square inch of wood inside the humidor. Avoid tap water and over saturation, and don’t try to pour water then move it around, since all of these can damage the fine wood of cigar humidors.
Whether you’ve used a sponge or damp cloth, wring it out so it’s still moist but not overly wet. Then create a little base out of plastic wrap or a grocery bag and set it in the bottom of your humidor. Put the cloth or sponge on this base, ensuring it isn’t touching the wood.
Fill up the actual humidification device with either more distilled water or a solution, if manufacturer’s directions recommend a certain product. Like the sponge, don’t overly saturate the device. If there’s too much water, let it drip out over a sink, and dry off any droplets, then put the device into the humidor.
Humidification in cigar humidors takes time. Cigars can’t absorb moisture too quickly, which means the humidification device won’t be able to moisturize the dry cedar immediately. It’s a slow process, so close the box with the sponge and humidification device inside and leave it alone for a full 24 days. Then, repeat steps 1-3, but this time don’t leave the cloth or sponge, and leave it alone for another full day.
- After these 48 hours of waiting, check to make sure there’s no dampness on the cedar itself. If there is, you need to wait another day before you begin storing cigars. Many cigar humidors come with a hygrometer installed, and during this seasoning process it will probably reveal higher humidity levels than normal. Ignore these, but make sure the humidity level is at least 72% by the end of the process. If it’s lower, the cedar still needs to absorb more moisture, so complete the whole process a third time. If everything looks good, though, and there isn’t any dampness on the cedar, you can consider your humidor seasoned and effective. The cigars you put inside will remain fresh and ready to be enjoyed at any moment and for any occasion.