Q - Why do humidors have cedar lining?
A - Not all humidors have cedar linings. Cedar is often used because it will retain moisture within the humidor without warping, swelling, or deteriorating. However, its porous nature requires regular maintenance along with the humidor's humidification device to ensure that it doesn't absorb humidity away from your cigars. Some believe that cedar also helps to enhance the aging process of a cigar. While this is true, under the higher humidity and heat conditions of an aging room, it will have little or no effect in your humidor at home. A good cigar should be properly aged prior to you purchasing it. Many humidors use non-porous interiors, such as glass, plastic, and hardwoods like Okume, Suppele, and Mahogany.
Q - What type of solution should I use in my humidor?
A - Unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer, distilled water is best. Regular tap water can contain some impurities and chemicals. This can cause damage to your humidification system by corroding or clogging the system. Also, the chlorine in regular tap water may leave an unwanted aroma on your cigars. The distilled water is pure and will help maintain your humidor for years to come.
Q - What is a hygrometer and do I really need one?
A - A hygrometer measures the level of humidity. Although it is very useful in maintaining the correct level of humidity in your humidor, it is not necessary to keep your cigars fresh. Hygrometers can also be inaccurate, so be sure yours is properly calibrated before being used.
Q- How do I break in my humidor?
A- If your humidor is cedar-lined, then you need to bring the humidity level up to approximately 70% prior to putting your cigars in the humidor. If you fail to do this, the cedar will compete with the cigars for the humidity. In order to prime your humidor properly, you must be patient. We recommend dampening a clean rag with distilled water and wiping the walls. You should also fill your humidification unit with distilled water and close your humidor, leaving it idle for about 24 hours, at which time the humidor should be ready to receive your cigars. At this time, we always recommend adding additional water to the humidification unit. If the humidor is a larger-capacity unit, this process may take longer. Always remember to be patient.
Q - What do I look for when buying a humidor?
A- First, you should always buy a humidor in person. The most important thing to look for when purchasing a humidor is a good seal, otherwise your cigars will not remain fresh and the humidor will be useless. Everyone has different tastes, and the finish will vary from humidor to humidor, but quality of the seal and the construction are key. You should also inspect the interior of the box to make sure there are no gaps, which would allow humidity to escape.
Q - How can I tell if my humidor is working properly?
A- The best way to tell if your humidor is working properly is to feel the cigars. Gently roll the cigar between your fingers. There should be a silkiness to the wrapper. There should be some flexibility at the cigar's foot. If you see or hear cracking, humidity needs to be increased.
Q - What can I do if my humidor is not keeping my cigars fresh?
A- There is no rule of thumb for how often you should fill your humidification unit, so be sure to refer to the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure your humidification device is filled. If your humidor is cedar-lined, you may consider taking the cigars out and repriming your humidor as you did when you first broke it in by wiping down the interior cedar with distilled water.
If this still doesn't work, then troubleshoot the seal by placing a full glass or dish of water inside the humidor. You can place a cut sponge or paper towel in the water to ensure it doesn't spill. If your humidity doesn't increase significantly, the problem is most likely your humidor's seal. Always remember that there are many conditions that will affect the performance of your humidor. Keep it away from extreme temperature conditions and be sure not to overfill your humidor with cigars.
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-Last updated on July 28th, 2015