Tips for cigar humidor maintenance

Question
How do I maintain my humidor?
Answer

It is important to maintain your humidor below the maximum temperature of 73°F (23°C) and between 65-74% humidity. Ideal conditions are 70°F (21°C) and 70% humidity. We recommend having a digital hygrometer/thermometer to better control the temperature and relative humidity inside your humidor.

Make sure that you check the humidity level at least every two weeks to ensure that the humidity does not vary. As a rule of thumb, when the humidity level drops to 65% you should add more PG Solution or distilled water to the humidifier. You should never use tap water as it contains minerals and chlorine that can clog the humidifier’s pores and inhibit operation. Add a few drops of PG Solution or distilled water to the humidifier until well saturated. Dry off the surface of the humidifier and make sure that it does not drip water.

Store your humidor in a cool, dry place to prevent mold growth. Avoid placing your humidor in direct sunlight. If the temperature and humidity get too high, cigars can develop a potentially damaging fungus or mold or a tobacco beetle infestation. When placing cigars in the humidor, make sure the cigars do not block the humidifier’s vents.

Activation Solution

Activation Solution is a solution that contains a mixture of propylene glycol and distilled water. Propylene glycol works in two ways: it will both humidify and absorb excess humidity in your humidor. It also acts as a bacterial and mold inhibitor. The frequency with which you need to charge your humidor with the solution varies depending on your climate, approximately every 1-3 months, but in some climates every 6 months will suffice. In between you can just add distilled water to your humidifier.

When it is time to recharge your humidifier with activation solution, you may want to first rinse the humidifier with distilled water and let it dry out. This will eliminate any propylene glycol that has not evaporated.

Hygrometer Calibration

Every once in a while you should test the calibration of your hygrometer to check if it is reading correctly. You may do this by using a Calibration Kit or you may use the salt method below:

  1. Place some salt in a bottle cap or small cup and dampen it with a few drops of water (without dissolving it).
  2. Carefully place the wet salt and the hygrometer inside a see-through container and close tightly. You can use a zip lock bag provided it seals well and you leave some air inside as well.
  3. Let it sit for at least 6 hours and note the reading on the hygrometer without opening the container. It should be exactly 75%, the difference is how much your hygrometer is off.
  4. If needed, adjust the needle to 75% by turning the screw on the back.

By Luzzie Normand
Co-Founder & Editor; Neptune Cigars Inc.
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