The past few weeks I took the time to re-season an old humidor. I used to think people were crazy when they said they had multiple humidors and tupidors. Well…I’m now in that group of the crazies.
There are a few ways to season a humidor. I don’t necessarily believe one is better than another but I’ll share the different philosophies along with what I do and whats worked well for me. Humidors and collecting cigars is a hobby and as such requires attention so make sure to treat your humidor well and it will treat you well!
- To Start: You need a humidor (obviously) but some things to check are cracks in a new humidor or any other issues inside that could be problematic. Another is to verify it closes and seals. The typical good seal check is a “whoosh” sound when you close the humidor or dropping the lid down and it slowly closing. There are some videos on youtube if you need more details.
- Get Ready: You must use Distilled water. Don’t listen to anyone else that says filtered water is okay. It’s NOT! I recommend buying a gallon jug because you’ll use it over time depending on the humidification device you use.
- Seasoning: There are two schools of thought – use a NEW sponge and slightly dampen it with distilled water. Make sure its damp not dripping wet and brush the cedar wood with the sponge. You’ll see where its damp because the wood will change color a bit. **Some people claim this is a bad move and it can ruin the humidor by making it expand too quickly or blah blah. Frankly I’ve done this with both of my humidors and have had no issues. Sometimes you need to repeat this process two or three times. I think its a good idea to do it once just to remove any residue from the manufacturing process and to get the seasoning underway.
- A watched pot never boils: Here is where patience comes into play and the more patient you are the better the success. You can do this phase one of two ways…purchase the Boveda Seasoning (84%) humidity pack (possibly more than one depending on the size of the humidor) or the old fashioned way. If you go the Boveda route then just open it up and drop it in. The old fashioned way is put in a couple small tupperware or cups or whatever you can get ahold of and pour distilled water in them. Close the lid and don’t open it.
- Depending on where you live the time will be effected. I’m in Chicago and find that 1-2 weeks does the trick. You know the humidor is ready when it holds a humidity percentage and stops increasing. This means the cedar wood has absorbed as much as it can.
- From here you will remove the devices (cups, tupperware, saucers, etc.). If you’re using Boveda packs or beads (heartfelt are the best beads) put those in there. I would give it a day or two to regulate to the correct temp – shooting for 65-69% (in my opinion).
- Other thoughts – Depending on where you live you may have to season your humi once or twice a year. Winters can be brutal so make sure to check out my posting “How to Survive Winter”.
- Don’t let water sit on the wood
- Don’t season a humidor with cigars inside…
- Only use distilled water
- Don’t constantly open the humi during the seasoning process
- Invest in good humidification and a good electronic hygrometer
- I use boveda and heartfelt beads
- I have a caliber 3 hygrometer purchased from Amazon
- Be patient!
Best of Luck! Let me know if you have any questions!