Theory:
To keep your cigars in good condition, the air in your humidor must be slightly damp, and cool.
70% Relative Humidity at 70⁰F (21⁰C)
In fact, although this is a nice pair of numbers to remember, the humidity will be fine 5% either way.
And the temperature should be steady somewhere around 20/22⁰C

Practice:                                
The Temperature is relatively easy – just keep your humidor in a coolish place in your home or office.

The Relative Humidity (RH) is measured on a Hygrometer.
There are two kinds:
Analogue (Analog) Hygrometer: Most humidors are sold with a little round analog hygrometer. Often these are not very exact. For example, the dial may say 65% when the humidity is actually 60% or 70% - no problem as long as you know which it is. You will need to check / set the hygrometer – here are the instructions.
Digital Hygrometer: This usually shows Temperature as well as Relative Humidity. Pull out the piece of plastic that isolates the battery, and the digital hygrometer is ready to start work.

The Humidifier: To provide the moisture
Many humidors are sold with an “oasis” filled container. Just add water (preferably distilled or at least boiled).
These humidifiers should be constantly monitored so that they don’t over-deliver to start with, and then under-deliver as they start to dry out. Savinelli Surface Active Liquid will help to regulate the evaporation rate in these simple humidifiers.
Using modern nanotechnology bead humidifiers can regulate the evaporation rate of water. The Humidifier contains small transparent non-toxic humidity control beads. They have the property of maintaining at around 70% the ambient relative humidity (RH) in your humidor (or any re-sealable container eg plastic bag, Tupperware).
We keep the CIGAR brand humidifier brand humidifiers in 4 sizes. The beads are clear to start with and become opaque as they absorb liquid. Refill about 6-10 weeks, depends on how often you open the humidor, and how dry the outside air is.

Boveda sachets operate in a similar way and are available in different relative humidity settings. They last 4-6 weeks and should then be replaced.

Because of this, modern humidors are sometimes supplied with a humidifier only – no hygrometer.

To Prepare:
Now your instruments are ready – let’s prepare your new humidor. Or maybe you’re in doubt about your existing humidor – the procedure is the same.
Why prepare? Because if the wood in your humidor is bone dry, it will soon absorb the moisture generated by the humidifier, and if this is not sufficient will draw moisture from the cigars.
As an added indicator while preparing, leave a piece of damp cottonwool in the humidor – feel it regularly.

1. Remove all the contents from the humidor (except the tray and divider if there is one). If there are cigars in the humidor, remove them too, and keep them in an airtight container while the humidor is being brought up to the correct Relative Humidity of around 70%
2. Wipe the inside of the Humidor with a damp cloth, or spray it with a fine spray of water – preferably distilled, or at least boiled. The wood should be damp – but not dripping (it may affect the joints).
3. Leave for 24-48 hours then check the Relative Humidity (RH) with the Hygrometer. Or feel the cottonwool – is it still damp?
4. If the humidity is too low or cottonwool is dry, re-spray, close the humidor and give it another 12-24 hours. Check again.
5. When the RH reaches approximately 70%, or the cottonwool stays damp, leave the humidor closed and charge the humidifier(s).   Allow the humidifier to stand for a short period so that any excess liquid will drain away. AND don’t overfill the humidifier, you don’t want water dripping on your cigars.
6. Fit the humidifier(s) into the Humidor.
If you’re using a bead humidifier (or Boveda) leave the humidor closed for a further 12-24 hours to stabilise.
If not, check the RH and/or the cottonwool. Repeat until the RH remains at 70% for at least 24 hours without any additional spraying. Then you’ll know your humidifier is doing its job.
7. Check the cottonwool one last time before removing it. Make sure there are no wet patches in the humidor.
8. Now you can put your cigars into the humidor, knowing they’ll be stored in comfort and safety.

More about Humidification how important is the exact reading on your hygrometer?
Read “The Winemaker’sexperiences.

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