When you buy a humidor, you are not only buying a device to help keep your cigars fresh, you are also buying an important piece of furniture.
A humidor keeps cigars fresh by storing them at 65-to-70 percent humidity. Cigars, like wines, are organic so temperature and humidity are important. A properly maintained humidor can keep cigars fresh for years.
Desk- and table-top humidors can hold from a dozen cigars to 100, and can range from simple to elegant in design and finishes. On the inside, humidors are lined with Spanish cedar, a wood renowned for its moisture-holding and moisture-releasing capabilities.
When shopping for a humidor, be sure to check these things:
• Size – The size of the box you buy depends on how many cigars do you plan to keep for yourself and/or give out to friends. Don’t be afraid to buy a box slightly bigger than you think you’ll need. Better to have a little more space than a little less.
• Extras – Will you want an upper tray, divider, a box that locks, accessory drawer?
• Seams and corners – Look to make sure seams are perfect and corners square.
• The Lid and Inside Rim – The lid should be heavy, seal squarely, and allow a little bit of air to circulate in and out of the box. When you open the lid slightly and let it fall, you should hear a “swoosh,” a sign of a good seal.
The most important humidification device you can have for your humidor is you. It is up to you to add necessary distilled water or solution regularly. Humidification devices come in sizes appropriate for the size of the box. For years, humidification devices used sponge-type material. Now the technology has moved to crystals that implode and emit humidity when wet with propyl glyclene solution. This solution lasts longer than distilled water.
Measuring the Humidity
Most humidors come with hygrometers, a gauge that measures the box’s humidity. While hygrometers come in analog or digital models, we recommend digital because they are more reliable and accurate. The best humidity range to keep cigars fresh is 65 to 72 percent with 70 percent the optimum. If cigars seem too dry, add solution to the humidification device.
Keeping Your Humidor in Top Working Order
Always keep the lid closed until cigars are ready to be smoked. Add propyl glyclene solution or distilled water periodically to the humidifying device. Never use tap water. Minerals in tap water will collect in the humidification device and keep it from absorbing and emitting humidity.
One More Thing – Don’t put your humidor where it can be exposed to temperature extremes like near a window or a heating vent, or anywhere where it can get cold. Inside your humidor, don’t pack your cigars too tight. You will want to rotate them from time to time for good air circulation. The reason for this is that while humidors have a tight seal on the lid, they are not airtight and not supposed to be. In an airtight humidified container, cigars can and will get moldy.