We understand your excitement. You just got a new humidor and you’re eager to stash those stogies of yours so they stay in the very best smokable shape. We get it. And while we appreciate your commitment to keeping your cigar collection safe we caution you to slow down and let’s get that humidor seasoned for the very best storage of your precious smokes.
What Does Seasoning Do for Your Humidor?
Although every humidor we offer is unique they do share a few key elements. The components that make up a humidor have one central job to do. They keep the interior temperature and relative humidity in prime cigar preserving mode. Opening your humidor or keeping it in a room or environment where temperature changes are common can affect an unseasoned and unprepared humidor in a negative way.
The wood inside your humidor needs to absorb enough moisture so that the outside environment, things like summer humidity or winter’s dryer, heated air won’t harm the integrity of the precious contents of your humidor.
Most humidors are lined with Spanish cedar or some similar alternative. The cedar is naturally aromatic, repels insects like the dreaded tobacco beetle and regulates moisture so that your cigars are neither damp and risking mold or too dry. Cedar, by its nature, also prevents fungus and mold or mildew from infiltrating your humidor and, thus, your cigars.
Yes It is Necessary to Season Your Humidor
When you season your humidor you prepare it for the long and protective run. Seasoning your humidor’s interior helps the humidification process. When you moisturize the wood with water and take the time to properly season the humidor it won’t suddenly drop in humidity due to opening to retrieve or add to your cigar collection.
If you start storing your cigar collection prior to seasoning, your humidor’s components can’t fully do what they’re supposed to. After all, your humidor is more than just a stunning accessory. It has a distinct purpose. Seasoning not only improves the performance of your humidor it improves the longevity of your box as well.
Preparing to Season Your Humidor
Now that you understand how important it is that you season your humidor let’s begin the process of seasoning your box. Here we set out the steps necessary to the process. When you follow these steps for seasoning your humidor we feel confident you and your beautiful box will spend many satisfying years enjoying the passion of cigars.
Before you begin you need to take a few initial steps to ensure proper seasoning.
- Refer to manufacturers instructions for seasoning your humidor. Here we provide the basics but the manufacturer may have some specific steps unique to that humidor so always read over the instructions provided.
- Calibrate your hygrometer for accuracy
- Make certain your humidor is level. You can use a level out of your toolbox or download a level app for your smartphone. Be sure to check side-to-side as well as front-to-back.
- Open your solution. If using your own water always use distilled water and never tap water, even if filtered. The tap water likely contains some impurities such as chlorine that will impair the flavor of your cigars and may affect the operation of the humidor.
8 Tips for Seasoning Your Humidor
Now that you have everything prepped and ready let’s begin the seasoning process.
1. Begin by wiping down the interior of your humidor with the solution or distilled water. Some manufacturer’s instructions indicate a preference for a humidifying solution so make sure, again, you refer to the instructions specific to your humidor.
2. Over a sink go ahead and fill your humidification device but do not overfill. Let the excess run off into the sink.
3. Place the humidification device back inside your humidor and close the lid. Now wait a full 24 hours. During this time you may want to check the reading on your hygrometer in order to get accustomed to reading the hygrometer. It will typically trend higher than 68% relative humidity (RH).
4. After 24 hours you’ll need to wipe down your humidor with distilled water or humidifying solution again. Wait another 24 hours and check to see if the humidity has increased at least 5% over the previous day’s readout
5. It’s now been 48 hours since you wiped down your humidor for the first time. If the RH is at around 65%-70% (again, refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for the optimal RH for your model). If it has not yet reached the optimal RH leave the humidor alone for another 24 hours.
6. Patience is key at this point. In order for your humidor to reach the optimal RH it can take as long as one week. Never place your cigar collection in your new humidor until optimal RH has been reached. It could damage your smokes.
7. When your humidor is at the desired relative humidity you may place your cigars in the box accordingly. Initially you may find the humidity is a tad higher than you prefer. Your cigars will soak some of the humidity at the beginning. This is normal and shouldn’t affect the integrity of your cigars. The humidity will level out to a nicely balanced number (between 65% and 70%) and storage will be secure.
8. Remember each humidor has its unique traits as well as nuances. This is true of the same model from the same manufacturer. There will always be subtle differences due to the natural performance of the components. It will take you some time to feel you “know” your humidor completely. But you can rest assured that when you follow these 8 tips for seasoning your humidor your cigars are safe and protected and you and your humidor will be together for a long time to come.
All You Need to Know
For more on how to find the right humidor for your personal use, or for any other humidor and cigar accessories contact Northwoods Humidors. Our professional staff can answer any and all questions you may have as well as recommend the right accessories to keep your passion primed and your cigars in tip top shape.