Humidor questions

Hey all, I'm joining the fine world of cigars, and I recently aquired a humidor. Unfortunately, I dont know what I have to do with it, if anything. It came with a humidifier and a hygrometer. Do I just close the lid and let it do its work?? Is there something I should do to the humidifier? If its not as humid as I'd like, how do I increase the humidity?

Any help on tips, tricks, and things I should know would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Cigars, with their delicate balance of moisture, need to be stored properly. This is easy, low-tech,and important. Most cigars are made in the tropics, and the aim of "seasoning a humidor" is to try and recreate this tropical environment. It takes time, patience, and a little know-how to "season" or ready a new humidor, and the process cannot be rushed.

Most humidors have an interior made of untreated Spanish cedar, the preferred wood for humidifying and aging premium cigars. This wood needs to be humidified, or seasoned, before the box is ready to hold the cigars.

Take a new sponge (paper towels also work), and wet it with a liberal dose of distilled water. Wipe down all the exposed wood, including any trays and dividers, and the interior lid. After you've wiped down the wood, squirt the sponge with more distilled water, then place it inside the humidor on a plastic bag- to avoid direct contact with the wood- and close the lid.

Next, prepare your humidification device according to the manufacturer's instructions. Unless the manufacturer specifically states that you can use tap water, use only distilled water. (Tap water contains minerals that will destroy most humidification systems by leaving deposits that will clog the humidor element.) Once the humidification element is filled, be sure to wipe it down to remove all the excess water. Rest it on a hand towel for approximately 30 minutes.

Close the humidor with its humidifying element and the damp sponge, and leave it overnight. The next day, refresh the humidification device (it may not need it), and check the sponge. If it is fairly dry, add more distilled water. If it is very damp, leave it alone.

Let the humidor sit another night, and then remove the sponge and plastic bag. The walls of the humidor have now absorbed all the water they need, and now you can safely store your cigars.

Check your hygrometer daily. If the humidity is too high (optimum range 70%), simply open the lid for a short time. If it is too low, add more distilled water to the humidification unit. Occasionally, a damp sponge may need to be left inside for another day. Make sure it is on plastic and doesn't touch either the wood or cigars. Most humidification units will need to be refilled with distilled water about once a week, and recharged with recharging solution about twice a year.

It is recommended that you rotate your cigars both side to side and top to bottom.

Enjoy!

Excellent post. Thanks

The instructions that came with my humidor specifically said not to wipe down the interior wood at all. Some websites say to do it, some don't.

Some say that it will cause the wood to warp, or cause the grain to rise. Opinion seems to be divided on the subject.

 Should I wipe down the interior of my humidor even though the instructions say not to?

My advice is survey the situation. 99% of the time, it is a good thing to do a humidor. How can it not be, considering that even if you don't wipe it down, it will be very humid in there anyways.

The only reason I wouldn't wipe it down is if the wood looks very tight. I have NEVER seen that be a problem (I have seasoned more humidors than I can count).

Good luck