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So You've Neglected Your Humidor?

I have a humidor with a cedar lining that holds 50 cigars. It has been unattended for over a year and is dry as a bone. How can I save it?
Posted: December 30, 2013

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The humidor is not a goner, but you've got some work to do.

First you need to get a Tupperware container, place a sponge inside, fill it about halfway with distilled water and place it inside the humidor. Close the top of the humidor, and leave alone for a day.

When you return, the water should be gone. Remove the Tupperware. Place a charged humidification device—and if you neglected one for a year, buy a new one—inside, making certain that it is filled, and close the lid. Leave the device in the humidor for three days, keeping the lid closed the entire time. After three days, take a reading of the humidity inside the box, preferably with a digital hygrometer.

You're trying to get the humidity back to 65 percent to 72 percent. If the reading is still too low, refill the device and leave it for another day. If you're at the proper humidity, place you cigars inside and have a happy smoke. Repeat the process until desired results are achieved. If you can't achieve the desired results, your regulator should be checked out or your humidor may not be closing properly. (Be careful not to let the humidor get too moist, which could be just as detrimental to the cigars. If your readings are too high, use some cedar to bring it down.)

Now that your humidor is back in working order, it's ready for your cigars. Enjoy, and make sure you keep it humidified, because it's a lot easier to refill the device every few weeks than to go through all this again.

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Comments   2 comment(s)

Chris Fulton — Streator, IL, USA,  —  January 20, 2014 2:28am ET

Ok, not so much aficionado on the humidor end as novice, so why a sponge?

David Dodd — Ashfield, NSW, Australia,  —  January 23, 2014 5:50am ET

Extra surface area to assist in the transfer of moisture to the cedar via evaporation.

Secondary purpose would be to reduce the chance of spill from the container if the humidor is disturbed during the process.

A trick I picked up on is to use the same method as is used to calibrate hygrometers.

Instead of a sponge in your Tupperware container, half fill it with table salt.
Then add enough distilled water to the salt to make a slushy consistency.

Thanks to a convenient miracle of chemistry and physics, a super-saturated solution happens to have a vapour pressure of 75% .

Let this sit in the humidor for a few of days, checking occasionally to ensure the solution stays gooey and doesn't dry out.

This approach means you can expect the humidor to be at 75% when you switch over to your normal humidification device.

Note that if you want to check the accuracy of your hygrometer, take the solution and put it in a press-seal baggie along with your hygrometer. Use the smallest bag you can without risking getting the instrument wet.

After 6 hours check the reading on the hygrometer without opening the baggie.

It should be precisely 75% . Any variation means that either your hygrometer needs adjusting or you failed to seal the baggie correctly - try double bagging it and waiting another hour or two. If nothing changes, it needs adjusting.

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