Increasing the humidity in your humidor is done by adding distilled water in the steps we outline below. It’s a simple yet essential part of keeping cigars fresh.
Cigars are precious things that need careful attention. Newcomers to the world of cigars can be daunted by some of the accessories that are necessary to keep cigars fresh and in top condition. The humidor stands out as the most important accessory for any cigar lover.
A humidor is essentially a cabinet that is designed and conditioned to keep your cigars at the right temperature and – most of all – the right level of humidity. It is not a complex item, but it does need some attention. Your humidor will be equipped with a hygrometer (I’ve reviewed my top 10 here). This displays the humidity inside the box. Let’s begin by looking at why cigars demand such specific conditions.
Why Do I Need a Humidor?
The delicate nature of a quality cigar requires it to be kept at a certain humidity. This is to prevent the cigar from becoming too dry. If it dries out, you immediately lose any flavour the cigar once had. It’s akin to a good bottle of wine going off, for example. Like fine wines, fine cigars need to be kept correctly, and that requires a humidor. You cannot replicate the atmosphere inside the box in a room, it simply will not work.
So you need a humidor, but don’t let this put you off as one does not need to be expensive. You can buy smaller humidors that will do a perfect job for surprisingly little money. Usually made from cedar wood, which is perfect for absorbing the moisture, you should choose one that fits more cigars than you normally have as you will soon need to buy a bigger one otherwise.
A humidor should ideally show 70% humidity. Above 65% is fine, but once it drops below this level you risk your cigars drying out and being ruined. So, how do you increase the humidity in a humidor? We’re nearly at the steps you need to take but here’s a word of advice: always check the humidity of your humidor on a regular basis – once a week at least – as you will be surprised how quickly cigars can dry out.
Now let’s have a look at the steps you need to take to increase the humidity in your humidor.
Increasing the Humidity: Step-by-Step
To raise the humidity level in your humidor there are careful steps to follow. It is not difficult but may seem like it is at first. Let’s go through these steps one by one.
- If you see your humidor humidity level falling below 65, that’s when you need to refresh it. You should have followed the routine to condition your humidor when you first set it up for use: what follows next is a similar repeat of the process.
- The regulator in your humidor is the reservoir that holds the liquid you added during set up to keep the moisture level correct. This is known as ‘starter liquid’ and will help advance the absorption of water into the wood. Should you notice the level of humidity fall, add distilled water to the regulator. You don’t need to add any more starter liquid. The water will dissipate into the atmosphere in the box.
- Once a month, refresh the regulator by adding distilled water; you will see how much you need as there will be a level indicated on the reservoir. This should be enough to keep the humidity at an acceptable level.
- Every four refills you can add starter liquid instead of water, as this will further enhance the atmosphere in the humidor.
That’s it, it is as simple as that! You will see your humidity change across time as the humidor becomes less full, and you should always close the lid and make sure the seal is intact quickly. Never leave the lid open for longer than necessary, as it will dramatically alter the humidity inside the box.
Refreshing the humidity will soon become a routine job, and one that is part of your cigar ritual, and it will only take a little time.
Before we finish, here’s a few more questions that are often asked with relation to the subject of cigars, humidors and humidity.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the Right Humidity Level for a Humidor?
We have mentioned this above so to clarify, the ideal humidity level for keeping cigars in perfect condition is between 62% to 74%. If you see the humidity level dropping below 65%, we recommend a refresh.
Why Does a Humidor Lose Humidity?
When you first set up your humidor it will be empty. When you add cigars, they will immediately start drawing the moisture out of the atmosphere in the box.
The humidity will naturally fall. The answer to this is to refresh – as described above – a couple of days after adding the cigars, or to add them a couple at a time rather than, for example, a dozen at once. You will also lose humidity by leaving the lid open for too long, so be sure to shut it quickly.
What Size Humidor Should I Buy?
If you are a newcomer to the world of cigars and are looking to take it seriously, we recommend you choose a humidor that can hold more cigars than you intend to buy at once. This will allow you to use that humidor for a long time without the need for upsizing.
If you are already into cigars and are looking for a new humidor, the choice is yours as there are many to choose from across all sizes and budgets.
Should I be Worried about Humidity Above 75%?
Yes, you should. Unfortunately, a humidor is a compact space and humidity may fluctuate. If it rises above 75% you will be looking at very ‘tight’ cigars that will burn unevenly, so you will not get the full flavour.
The way to reduce humidity is to remove some of the water in the regulator, or to refresh less often. This is one of the reasons you need to keep a close and regular eye on the level of humidity in the humidor.
We hope we’ve given you enough information on humidors and the importance of humidity, so enjoy your cigars to the full and keep them in perfect condition for longer.