Seasoning a Humidor and DIY Humidor Solution

Control Humidity in Your Humidor

Tips and Tricks to Use Your Humidor and Make Your Own Humidor Solution.

Why you need a humidor

Cigars are hygroscopic, which means that they dry out over time when in a dry environment or absorb too much moisture when in too much humidity. Either of these effects can ruin the taste and texture of even the best cigars. To prevent drying or moistening, cigar aficionados keep their collectors' items in humidors to control the humidity. An important tool in creating the best humidor solution is to use the humidor juice, which is a mix of propylene glycol and distilled water.

A humidor is designed to maintain a relative humidity that is ideal for storing cigars and that level is 70%. There are several important things you should know when using a humidor:

  • It must be seasoned before use.
  • Humidors require a specially formulated liquid called humidor solution, or humidor juice.
  • Never use tap water in your humidor.
  • Always use a hygrometer in your humidor, preferably 2, one analog and one digital.

How to season your humidor before first use.

Seasoning a humidor helps create a stable environment and ensures that your cigars will be kept in prime condition. There are many different recommendations on how to season your humidor. Personally, I went with the method listed below as I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything I could to protect my valuable cigars, but there are many simpler methods available and I will list one of those as well.


The Comprehensive Seasoning Method
This comprehensive  method of seasoning a humidor is a thorough process that takes a relatively long time. Step 1 is the calibration of the hygrometer.

Hygrometer Calibration Using Salt Test
A hygrometer is the tool you use to measure air humidity in your humidor and you’ll have to calibrate the hygrometer to make sure you are getting proper readings from it. Calibration is a time-consuming but easy process. You’ll need salt, distilled water, a plastic bag, and your hygrometer. The principle is simple: when you add a few drops of water to a tablespoon of salt, 75% humidity is released.

Here’s how to complete the calibration test.

  1. Take a tablespoon of salt and add a few drops of distilled water to it to get a cakey mix. Make sure that the salt doesn’t dissolve. Place this mix in a bottle cap.
  2. Next, put the cap filled with the wet salt inside a plastic bag, along with the hygrometer.  
  3. Seal the bag shut and let moisture build up inside of it. This process will take 8-12 hours.
  4. Check the hygrometer. If the reading shows 75%, the hygrometer doesn’t need adjustment.
  5. If there’s an error, you can either adjust it or keep a note of the degree of error value and consider it when measuring the humidor humidity level.

Once you determine that your hygrometer is working properly it’s time to move on to the seasoning process.

Seasoning the Humidor
You’ll need the following items:

  • Propylene glycol and distilled water 50/50 mix
  • New kitchen sponge
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic bag
  • Large clean bowl
  • Calibrated hygrometer
  • Cigar humidifier 

Steps to season the humidor:

  1. Mix the Propylene Glycol and distilled water together in a 50/50 mix
  2. Soak the sponge in the propylene glycol/distilled water 50/50 mix
  3. Once the sponge gets completely saturated, wring the sponge so that the sponge is not dripping. But make sure that it’s still very wet.
  4. Now, put the plastic bag in the humidor and place the sponge on it to prevent any liquid from seeping into the wood.
  5. Next, put propylene glycol/distilled water mx in the large bowl.
  6. Now, soak the humidifier in this bowl’s liquid till it’s saturated.
  7. Then, take the cigar humidifier out and place it on paper towels, face down, for about half an hour. This will help drain out the excess liquid.
  8. After this, you need to place the humidifier and the hygrometer inside the humidor, along with any other wooden trays or dividers that the humidor might have come with.
  9. Keep them locked inside the humidor for a day and then check the hygrometer. It should read 80-85%.
  10. Put the hygrometer back and wait for another day. Recheck the hygrometer. This time, the reading should come down to around 70%, which is what you’re looking for.

If you notice that the humidor humidity is 74% or above, you’ll need to wait for another day.  

There’s more than a few steps and it takes a few days for this comprehensive seasoning method to complete, but once it's done you’ll rest assured knowing that your hygrometer is working properly and  your humidity level is set, and your valuable cigars are safe and sound.


The Simple Method to Season Your Humidor
If the comprehensive method doesn't work for you, here’s the simple method for seasoning your humidor.

  • Fill shot glass with a 50/50 mix of distilled water and propylene glycol and let the full shot glass sit in the humidor for 2 to 3 days, Remove the shot glass.
  • Let the humidor sit empty for 24 hours. 
  • Measure with your hygrometer and your humidity level should be at or near the desired 70% level. 


Why use distilled water and propylene glycol in your humidor solution?
A 50/50 mix of distilled water and propylene glycol is best for your humidor because for 2 reasons. 

  1. They are free of the harmful bacteria and impurities that create mold. 
  2. Propylene glycol won’t over-saturate your cigars because it stops releasing moisture once a 70% RH (relative humidity) has been achieved. 

You should never use tap water in your humidor as it contains minerals and other impurities that are perfectly acceptable for drinking and household use, will contribute to mold and bacteria in your humidor.


Making your own humidor solution.
Whether you call it humidor juice or humidor solution the same basic principle applies. It should always be a 50/50 mix of propylene glycol and distilled water, It’s that simple. Save yourself time and money by making your own humidor solution. There’s no need to purchase custom package solutions, save that money and buy a couple of extra cigars instead. 


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