Many newcomers to cigar smoking do not quite understand the concept of humidity beads. Perhaps they get the basic thought; that cigars cannot simply be stored in a box. They are made in tropical regions, meaning they thrive in hot temperatures and high humidity. Keeping the cigar in the open air will dry them out. If this happens (and this is below 60%) then it will quickly lose flavor as the oils will evaporate from the body. The tobacco will burn hot and fast. On the other hand, if humidity exceeds 80% then mold can grow in the cigar, given that the humidifier is a wet and dark place.
The humidor is a system that can keep cigars relatively moist without getting them too wet or too dry. However, some sort of system is necessary to keep this dynamic going. One of the best options is that of humidor beads. Humidor beads are designed to control the humidity inside a humidor by either absorbing up the excess moisture or giving off more moisture. Of course, the beads are not wet themselves; in order to complete the system action you must wet them using a syringe or a spraying bottle. It is actually very difficult to go over the 75% moisture mark, so as long as you remember to keep the beads wet, everything will be all right.
However, it is necessary to soak them and you absolutely must use distilled water and not faucet water. Why? Because distilled water is made purely, whereas all other forms of water will actually ruin the bead quality because of their impurities. The impurities in city water or spring water will be drawn in by the beads and will stay there. This is not something you can easily ignore, since the beads eventually get plugged up and stop working.
You may have to add more beads to the humidifier in order to keep them moist enough—especially if you notice your cigars taste less fresh or flavorful after storing the first batch. In fact, you can’t really put too many beads in the humidor. This is not what will make them overly moist—only an excess of water will do that.
Remember, cigars are all about the subtleties of flavor. You must preserved these subtleties or else you have nothing but a cheap (and yuck tasting) cigarette, made that way because of temperatures too hot or dry. Treasure the taste!How Do I Add Distilled Water to Humidity Beads When They Get Dry? by David Sabot