How to Cure a Humidor

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Personal humidors are made of a variety of exterior woods, but the inside is almost always lined with Spanish cedar. This wood, with its distinct aroma, has traditionally been used in humidors. The cedar lining is not sealed or painted, because the bare wood imparts its qualities to the storage and aging of cigars. Your humidor should be maintained at a humidity that will not dry out or over-humidify your cigars. To prepare your humidor for cigar storage, thoroughly humidified its cedar lining.

Things You'll Need

  • Brush
  • Soft cloth
  • Distilled water
  • Sponge
  • Plastic bag
  • Hygrometer
  • Gel humidifier
  • Remove all dust or debris from the inside of your humidor by brushing it with a dry, clean brush or wiping it with a dry, clean cloth. Wipe and polish interior glass surfaces with the cloth to remove any film or particles.

  • Rinse a new sponge in clean tap water until it rinses out clear. Rinse again in fresh distilled water two or three times to get rid of the tap water.

  • Wet the sponge with distilled water so it is thoroughly wet but not dripping. Wipe the interior cedar lining thoroughly. Several light coats are best. If you allow water to drip or stand on the cedar, it may raise the grain or stain the wood.

  • Leave the sponge with distilled water in the humidor. Place it on a plastic bag or small glass dish so it does not directly contact the cedar. This will allow the wood to absorb more moisture.

  • Close the humidor. Let the humidity from the sponge come into balance with the cedar lining. Water will slowly absorb into the cedar over the next day or so. You want to moisturize the wood without warping it or raising the grain, so take your time.

  • Remove the sponge. Close the humidor overnight or for another day. Place a hygrometer into the humidor to check the humidity. It should be around 90 percent immediately after removing the sponge and water.

  • Use a gel humidifier to maintain your humidor's humidity at about 70 percent to preserve and age your cigars. Add water periodically to your gel humidifiers to replace moisture lost from your humidor when it is opened.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are worried about damaging your humidor's interior, place a large sponge in a glass dish full of water in the middle of it. Check the humidity every day or so until it is between 82 and 92 percent. This method takes up to eight days.
  • Rehumidify cigars that have dried out by placing them in your humidor with the correct humidity. It usually takes a month or so for them to rejuvenate. Maintaining a humidity that's too high will cause your cigars to burst their natural wrappers and will fosters mold and mildew.
  • If your wood is darkened with damp water stains and condensation appears on any glass surfaces, you have put more moisture into the wood than it can hold. Use a dry sponge to remove excess water, and close your humidor for another day.

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