Hi, this is Kayla from CheapHumidors.com and today we’re going to go over the simple steps on how to set up your new humidor. Now when people get their new humidors, they’re super excited to put their sticks in there. But if you do that, the cedar is going to end up soaking all the moisture from your cigars; in effect, destroying the purpose of your humidor. See, most humidors come lined in kiln dried cedar so the humidity in your new humidor is going to be about 10 percent.
Calibrate Your Hygrometer
So first what you want to do is set up your humidor properly. The first step in this process is to calibrate your hygrometer. So we’ve got a front mounted hygrometer and an internally mounted hygrometer. For the internally mounted hygrometers, you want to make sure that you take off this rubber grommet because the hygrometer will read humidity from these little holes on the side.
So you can calibrate your hygrometer using an EZ Calibration Kit. They’re made by Boveda and they’re super easy; you just throw your hygrometer inside, seal it up and wait 8-12 hours. If you didn’t get an EZ Calibration Kit, you can also use the salt test method. Again, take off that rubber grommet. For the salt test method, you’re going to need a ziplock bag, table salt, and a small bottle cap. You’re going to fill the bottle cap with table salt and you’re going to get that table salt wet. So you don’t want saltwater; you want wet pasty salt. You put that inside your plastic bag along with your hygrometer and you seal it up again for about 8-12 hours. At the end of that time, it should be reading 75 percent humidity.
If it’s not, you just take it out and you can adjust it using this adjustment screw in the back. You can use just a small screwdriver and you just turn it. For the front mount, you want to make sure that you put that rubber grommet back on because that is what creates the seal. If you use the calibration kit, you’re going to do the same adjustment process using the screwdriver. If you have the internally mounted hygrometer, you’re not going to put that rubber grommet back on. Now that you’ve calibrated your hygrometer, you’re going to season your humidor.
Season Your Humidor
A lot of people think that they should wipe down the inside cedar with distilled water, but we recommend that you don’t do this. If you end up wiping it down and you spill water or you just wipe it down with too much water, you’re going to end up with warped cedar, which will compromise the integrity of your seal. Instead, we recommend a very slow and steady accumulation of the cedar to the humidity. So you can either use a Boveda EZ Seasoning Kit and you just put it in the humidor and close it up for 7-14 days. Now if you don’t have a Boveda EZ Seasoning Kit, you can use a new sponge. Make sure it’s a new sponge because you don’t want to introduce any impurities to your new humidor. So you just get it moist with distilled water. You can use a Tupperware like this or put it on top of aluminum foil or anything to make sure that the sponge doesn’t come in direct contact with the cedar. You put your sponge inside and you close your humidor and let it sit for 7-14 days.
At the end of this time, it should be reading about 80 percent humidity. At that time, you open up your humidor and fill the humidifier. You can fill your humidifier using either distilled water or Activator Solution. If you use water and not Activator Solution, make sure you use distilled water. If you use tap water or bottled water, it has impurities and added minerals that will build up and start destroying your humidifier over time.
So take your Activator Solution or distilled water and pour it through the grate; keep pouring until it will no longer absorb any moisture. Sometimes it will actually take a couple of minutes for it to absorb. We recommend that you use Activator Solution which is a mixture of distilled water and propylene glycol. This will make sure that the humidity is released more slowly so you don’t have that big spike in humidity when you introduce your humidifier.
After it has absorbed as much moisture as it will, flip it off over on a paper towel and make sure that all the excess moisture drains out because otherwise, you’re going to spread it all over your humidor. Once it’s all drained out, replace your humidifier back in your humidor and close it up. You’re going to wait for about 24 hours. After that 24 hours, it should be reading anywhere from 68 percent humidity to 72 percent humidity. If it’s reading higher, then you just let your humidor sit open for about 12 hours so any excess humidity will leave. If it’s not reading high enough, then you just re-season it. Once it is reading 68-72 percent humidity, you’re ready to add your cigars.
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