If you’re new to smoking cigars or just need a refresher, it’s important to season your humidor. Seasoning your humidor will increase the life of the wood and help maintain the proper moisture levels for storing cigars. Here are some basics you should know before seasoning your cigar humidor.
What is seasoning?
Seasoning is a process by which your humidor is chemically treated with various oils, acids, oils, and soaps, as well as with different types of heat. These techniques help protect the wood of your humidor and increase its life. These techniques are more often used in the United States than in Europe.
The idea behind seasoning your humidor is to make it more resistant to insects, oxidation, and other external agents that destroy wood. At the same time, these treatments remove water-absorbing oils and fats that leave a moist, sticky residue on the surface of the wood and start to go rancid over time.
These treatments also help preserve the appearance of the wood and allow for optimum airflow to humidify the air inside.
Why should I season my humidor?
After purchasing a humidor, you may wonder why you should take the time to season the wood. Many people don’t take the time to do so, but you never know when your humidor will break down. Using good quality matches and marbles can lead to reduced humidity levels and can lead to rotted cigars or even other humidor problems.
What is necessary to season a humidor?
It’s a matter of doing what is necessary to properly store cigars in a humidor. The best way to describe how to season a humidor is to first get a good start by removing any added sealants from the joints. Before applying any sealants, you will want to inspect your humidor to make sure that nothing is loose and isn’t obstructed.
Preparing your humidor for seasoning
1. Unplug your humidor
2. Turn off any fans that may be running
3. Remove all lids
4. Let the air out
5. Add fresh air into the humidor.
6. Pour out the contents of your humidor and wipe down any visible debris with a moist sponge.
7. Place the damp sponge in a container of soapy water to remove dust and debris.
Wash your hands thoroughly. I prefer to make my own cleaning solution. I just buy a few teaspoons of dish soap in a squeeze bottle and fill it with warm water. If you don’t have soap, use warm water and a little bit of vinegar.
Dip a damp sponge in the solution and wipe the humidor down in a circular motion to remove dust, dust, and any residue that may have been on the lid. This process should be done a few times. Then dust with a clean, damp sponge.
Seasoning the inside of your humidor
When you smoke cigars, you lose moisture. The oils in the tobacco help bind the moisture to the wood, so when you smoke, you lose the moisture and the wood begins to crack and deteriorate. So, you need to replenish that moisture before smoking again.
Seasoning the humidor prevents the wood from oxidizing, which will stop that oxidation process. You also need to keep it at the proper moisture level. Without proper moisture, the wood will become brittle and the cigars will fall apart.
A humidor should only have a moisture level of 40-45% (this means you’re drying your cigars out between uses). Most of the moisture is in the air you’re breathing, so be sure to keep the humidity consistent. There are several ways to get the moisture back into the humidor.
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2. Take your time with this. Seasoning an old humidor can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. Start by gently rubbing the bottom of your humidor with a soft, damp cloth, then let it sit for a few minutes.
A dry cloth may feel scratchy on the surface and you’ll need to adjust how much you’re rubbing. If the bottom feels hard and you can feel a rippled look, leave it. Don’t try to sand the bottom as you would to install a new cabinet finish.
3. Rub the grooves with the moist cloth again, this time working in small circular motions until it’s smooth.
If you’re new to smoking cigars, you should start with a very small stick. While smoking a cigar, make sure your mouth is nice and warm, and you focus on the smoking experience. Cigars can be expensive, so if you’re unsure whether you should invest in a humidor, talk to your local cigar shop or smoking partner.