Analog hygrometer

Is your humidor not holding humidity? This is actually a common problem that most beginner cigar enthusiasts face. Additionally, most humidor owners will have trouble in the beginning setting it to the right humidity level. In some instances, it can be due to a broken gauge. But more often than not, it’s a matter of not properly seasoning your humidor before you store your cigars.

Fortunately, seasoning your humidor is relatively easy and it will allow you to expertly adjust the humidity level in order to keep your cigars tasting fresh and to prevent them from drying out.

Maintenance

Start by using some distilled water and slowly pour it into the humidifier. You’ll use more distilled water and wet a large cloth, wringing it out until the cloth is just damp. Wipe down the inside of the humidor carefully. Avoid allowing water to settle at the bottom. Next, replace the hydrometer and humidifier inside the humidor. Close the door and leave the humidor alone for at least 24 hours. The next step is to check the hygrometer to determine if the humidity has finally reached the desired level. Before closing the door again ensure that there is no water remaining at the bottom of the humidor and if so make sure you wipe it down again thoroughly. Last of all set the desired humidity level and place the cigars inside.

To learn more about how humidors work and how to make one of your own, based on your cigar storage needs, click here to read my article on how to make your own humidor.

Keeping the Humidor Sealed

Another reason why a humidor is unable to achieve the desired humidity level is the fact that some people will leave the door open for extended periods of time. You don’t even have to leave the door open longer than a few minutes. It’s the simple fact of constantly opening and closing the door or allowing the humidor to remain open for several minutes. With this in mind, each time you grab a cigar make sure you quickly shut the door.

Other Common Humidor Issues

Too much or too little humidity can ruin your cigars. As you know by now maintaining proper humidity in a humidor is crucial but it can also be a problem. If you notice that your cigars are too moist or too dry there may be an issue with the way you’re using your humidor

Dried Out Cigars

Cigars pile on wood

If you’ve tried to smoke one of your cigars recently, and you’ve noticed that it is very dried out then your cigars are not getting enough humidity. It can be a matter of leaving the door open too often, failing to season your humidor or maybe you need to upgrade. If you don’t have the best cigar humidor, then I recommend the Quality Importers Deauville 100 Cigar Humidor. This model works efficiently and will allow you to precisely adjust humidity levels.

Additionally, if you’ve recently purchased a humidor make sure you feel inside to ensure that the wood isn’t too dry. Because some wood sucks moisture from the air it can leave cigars brittle and dry. New models usually need to be seasoned before you store your cigars because of this. If you’ve had your humidor for a while and it’s lost its ability to maintain the proper humidity levels then it may only need a re-seasoning.

Another reason you cigars may be too dry is due to a bad seal on the humidor. A bad seal allows the humidor to leak air.

Additionally, models that are left in bright sunlight can also have issues maintaining a consistent environment. New models tend to work best when they are housing a significant amount of cigars. The cigars work as a buffer of sorts against changes in humidity levels.

Wet Cigars

If you’re trying to light a cigar and it’s difficult to keep lit and it has a harsh taste to it then your cigars may be overly humidified. This can be due to a humidity delivery system that’s too strong. Make sure you read the enclosed instructions on your humidor and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in order to determine what level of humidity will work best. Next, you need to air out the humidor for 24 hours in order to bring the humidity level down.

Mold

A humidor that is too warm or humid can begin to grow mold. If this is the case, remove the cigars and sand the interior surfaces lightly with 120 grit sandpaper. Next, you’ll want to vacuum out to interior to remove any dust, then you’ll carefully wipe down the inside of the humidor using a wet cloth and rubbing alcohol. The next step is wiping out the interior again but this time you’ll be using distilled water. Make sure that the alcohol odor has dissipated in the humidor before closing the door. Check every one of your cigars to ensure that they’re not moldy before placing them back in the humidor. Keep in mind, you may be unable to eliminate mold spores completely. Because of this, you need to be extra diligent and check your cigars periodically for signs of mold growth.

Final Thoughts

Properly maintaining your humidor and checking the humidity levels often is a surefire way to prevent mold growth, dry cigars, and a number of other issues. Remember, caring for your humidor properly is the best way to prevent serious damage to your cigars.

If your humidor is not holding humidity it may be the result of a malfunctioning humidifier, leaving the door open for too long, or you failed to season your humidor. In order to avoid problems in the future make sure that you check the humidors gauge regularly and rotate the position of the cigars in order to ensure that each one is receiving even humidification. While it can be frustrating to try to find the underlying source of the humidity issue, these simple fixes will go a long way to ensure that your cigars remain intact and tasting fresh for the foreseeable future.