Any true cigar aficionado understands the importance of having a humidor. Especially if your passion for the finest smokes extends to a fair-sized collection which means a fair-sized investment in your favorites. Just like an investment in fine wine and rare vintages needs a temperature and humidity-controlled environment to ensure your wine’s integrity, so too do your cigars rely on a temperate environment designed to preserve their excellence.
But any humidor worth its salt is going to require maintenance, from the very beginning you need to season and clean your humidor and fill your reservoir. Then you’ll need to bring your box to the correct relative humidity before you slip your prized stogies in their storage place.
Humidor Maintenance, Care & Repair Tips
After the initial preparations and once your humidor reaches the ideal interior settings of 70° F and 70% relative humidity (RH) the care and maintenance of your humidor continues. Here we offer our top humidor maintenance and repair tips for you to follow at home.
Check You Humidor Frequently
The key to a great humidor isn’t necessarily the name nor is it the price tag. A humidor must maintain a seal, impart a fresh environment and most importantly keep your cigars in perfect condition. That means not too dry and not too moist. In order to ensure your humidor is doing its job and your favorite cigars are protected there are some tasks you must perform.
Obviously, the most critical component of your humidor is the humidifier. It is the responsibility of the humidifier to maintain the correct amount of moisture in the air as it circulates throughout your humidor. Whether you rely on an electronic humidifier or the easy care Boveda humidification packs your main concern is the constant relative humidity maintained in your humidor’s environment.
We suggest you check your humidor’s humidity every two weeks. If it drops below 65% RH add more solution or distilled water, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Never, ever, ever use tap water as it contains chlorine and minerals that will compromise the operation of your humidifier and could impart some undesirable flavors.
It’s not a difficult task to check the humidity levels in your humidor. Rely on your hygrometer and make sure it's calibrated. If you have a standard humidifier, rely on the manual and refill or replace the components as recommended. Replace packet humidification as needed and recommended by the manufacturer.
Activation solution is a liquid that contains propylene glycol (PG) and distilled water. This solution helps promote the ideal balance of humidity in your humidor. The POG acts to both absorb excess humidity and maintain the proper RH in the environment. Depending on the humidity extremes where you live you should treat your humidifier about once every one to three months, but always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Calibrate Your Hygrometer
Every few months it is wise to check your hygrometer's calibration. After all, this is the main component and you rely on the readings to indicate the balance of the inside environment of your humidor. Although there are some easy DIY methods we advise using a calibration kit for best results.
Check Your Seal
The seal of your humidor is extremely important for maintaining the perfect balance of temperature and humidity. If there are gaps in your seal you risk losing humidity and drying out your cigars or letting excess humidity build in your humidor which could cause mold or worse. An unreliable humidor seal is your cigar collection’s worst enemy.
Before you go after the seal make sure your hygrometer is calibrated and reading correctly. If it’s off let's proceed with the “whoosh test”. Open, then close your humidor. Do you feel a slight escape of air? Do you hear a “whoosh” sound? If not you may have gaps in your seal. It certainly should never slam shut like your grandma’s screen back door.
Next, try the dollar bill test (or a bigger denomination if you’re a high-roller!). Open your humidor and place a bill half-in/half-out across the lip of the box. Now close the lid and try to pull the bill out of the box. If it comes out easily your seal is compromised. If there’s some resistance but you can remove it there may be an issue with your humidor’s seal. You should not be able to remove the bill.
If your seal is broken your best bet is to verify the warranty and have it repaired according to the manufacturer’s specifications. If you no longer have a warranty on the product and want to try to fix it yourself (which we don’t recommend) then using food grade silicone, remove your cigars from the box along with your humidification system. Using a small bead of silicone seal the gaps in the box. Let the silicone dry with the box open for 72 hours.
Now re-season your humidor as you did when it was new and bring the humidity back up to 70% RH. Once your temperature and humidity are ideal return the cigars to the humidor. Be sure to check frequently as you would with any DIY repairs.
This might be a great time to trade up and look at some of the state-of-the-art humidors we have available.
Mind Your Humidor Placement
Although your humidor offers the very best protection for your cigar collection you do need to take certain common sense precautions in placement. In order to prevent mold growth you should always keep your humidor in a cool, dry place. Keep your humidor out of direct sunlight. If your humidor overheats the humidity will increase along with the temperature and you risk mold, devastating fungus and even tobacco beetle infestation. Take care when placing your new cigars in the box so that you don’t block the humidifier vents.
Need Help? We’re Always Here for You
At Northwoods Humidors we offer a wide selection of humidors. From affordable desk top humidors for every day to large and heirloom quality pieces that are sure to stay among your most-prized possessions Northwoods Humidors is your go-to for all things related to improving your cigar experience.
Our humidors and many of our cigar accessories are covered by warranties. Some of the top manufacturers extend very generous warranties. Should your humidor need repairs while under warranty we are here to assist you every step of the way. Our dedication to our customers never stops, even after the sale.
For more information on our humidors and their warranties or any additional cigar-related concerns please reach out to Northwoods Humidors. We’re your experts in all things cigar!