Humidor Cleaning & Care
Cigars can be kept in a humidor for an indefinite amount of time when the humidor is properly cared for and the inside environment is ideal. Ensuring that your humidor is ready for storing cigars as well as keeping up with humidor maintenance is simple if you keep a few things in mind.
How To Care For Your Cigar Humidor
Humidors do not arrive in your home ready for cigar storage. It is best to run your humidor for a few days and test your humidity levels with a hygrometer. To find out how accurate your hygrometer reading is, test the reading for accuracy by following these simple steps:
- Fill a bottle cap with salt. Add a few drops of water to dampen the salt, but don’t let it dissolve.
- Seal the salt and the hygrometer in a clear, air-tight container.
- Let it sit for 6 hours. At the end of 6 hours the hygrometer should read 75%. The difference between 75 and your hygrometer’s test reading is how much your hygrometer is off.
- When calculating the humidor’s set humidity level, you must adjust by the amount your hygrometer was off in this test.
(For Exmaple: You want your humidor set for 70% RH, your initial test showed that your hygrometer was 73%. You must add back in the 3% and set your hygrometer for 73% to achieve the 70% RH setting you want in your humidor.)
Interior Wood Matters
The popular choice for the interior lining of humidors is Spanish cedar or Mahogany. These two materials are ideal because they hold the humidity and resist mold growth with an anti-fungal agent. One problem that arises is that these materials are kiln dried before being built into the cabinet and will, in turn absorb the moisture in your humidor. All exposed material in the interior should be generously wiped down with distilled water and then left with the humidification system running; then repeated once more.
Every humidor needs periodic maintenance to guarantee the proper environment for you cigar collection. Here are some key steps you need to take to ensure your humidor is running at its best:
- Check your humidity reading every couple of weeks to make sure you maintain the proper humidity level and that your system is working properly.
- Once a month replenish or add your distilled water. In drier areas you will have to add water more frequently.
- Always use distilled water. It is a common mistake to use tap water, which carries minerals and chlorine which can negatively impact your cigars. Distilled water will help prevent build-up in your system and filter problems.
- Keep your humidor out of damp areas such as the basement. This type of area could cause mold growth.
- Keep your humidor out of direct sunlight or in a space with large temperature fluctuation.