Cigars 101: How to Season a Humidor
You’ve just gotten a new humidor. We know, it’s exciting. The first instinct may be to throw your cigars inside and start using it right away. But hold on, amigo. The cedar inside most humidors is dried in a kiln before being assembled and shipped to you, so with the wood that dry, it will suck moisture you’re your cigars, effectively ruining them. In order to prevent this, you need to season your humidor before using it for storage. Seasoning your humidor is a process that should not be overlooked if you value your cigars. And we know you value your cigars. Lucky for you, learning how to season a humidor is not difficult.
- -Your humidor (obviously)
- -Bottle of distilled water – Don’t use tap water. Tap water contains different mixture of mineral deposits. Depending on the deposits and their concentration in the water, they can cause mold inside the humidor. Why risk it? Play it safe and grab some distilled water.
- -1 brand new sponge – “Brand New” is the key phrase here. Don’t use a sponge that’s been cleaning off dishes for weeks. Any microbes from food scraps in the sponge that get left in the humidor are going to have a new home which is warm and wet. And that will typically lead to mold as well. Spend the extra few cents.
- -Alternatively, you can pick up some humidor seasoning wipes, which are moistened with distilled water. You would not need either the additional water or the sponge if you use wipes. Up to you. These wipes are often packaged individually so you don’t have to worry about opening a bulk package and accidentally letting the others dry out if you are only using one wipe.
How to Season a Humidor:
-Remove all of the items from your humidor. Trays, the humidifier, the hygrometer, everything.
-Take your sponge and wet it with the distilled water. Or, open the packaging on your humidor seasoning wipe.
-Wipe down all of the cedar surfaces on the inside of the humidor with your sponge or wipe. Wipe the inside of the box, as well as the cedar trays and dividers. As you go, the wood will get a little bit darker from absorbing the moisture. This is good, but be sure not to overdo it. There should not be any puddles, as this means you’ve oversaturated your humidor. Oversaturating runs the risk of warping the wood. At the same time, you do want some water in the wood, as not giving the wood enough moisture will hinder the humidor’s ability to achieve and maintain the optimum relative humidity from the outset. Just get the wood slightly dampened, and you’re golden.
-Place trays and dividers back inside the humidor. Do not replace the hardware yet, only the wooden items. Close the humidor and let it sit for 24 hours. This will let the wood soak in the water, let everything settle, and allow the humidification inside the humidor to even out throughout the box.
-Open the humidor and you can replace the humidifier and (calibrated) hygrometer. Close the humidor and wait for an additional 24 hours.
-Open the humidor and check your hygrometer, making sure it is within the optimal relative humidity range. Once your humidity level is reached, the humidor is ready to store your cigars. Load it up and enjoy!