How to Charge a Humidor

By Caprice Castano
Cigar humidors, humidity, freshness
cigars image by javarman from

Maintaining a cigar collection requires keeping the cigars in a humidor for optimal freshness and taste. Charging the humidor is making sure that you prepare the humidor and the humidifier to provide the right amount of humidity to keep your cigars at the peak of flavor. Charging the humidor should take place after purchase of the unit and before the cigars are loaded into the humidor for safekeeping. Regular maintenance of the humidity level once the humidor is properly charged is simple.

Open the humidor and remove any trays or accessories, including the humidifier and hygrometer. Using the clean cloth or soft rag, wipe down the entire interior of the humidor to remove any dust or debris from manufacturing.

Fill the small bowl or dish with distilled water. Place the dish inside the humidor, either on the bottom of the box or on the tray if one is a part of the humidor. Be sure any wood parts that make up the interior of the humidor such as dividers are also in place. Close the lid of the humidor and leave it for 12 hours or more. This allows the wood surfaces to absorb humidity, keeping them from removing it from the cigars. After 12 hours, check the level of distilled water. If the water is mostly evaporated, refill the bowl and repeat the process until the water level in the bowl remains relatively full. This means the humidor has absorbed all the humidity it can.

Place the humidor humidifier in a small bowl. Mix distilled water with propylene glycol in a 50/50 solution, and cover the humidifier in the bowl with the liquid. Let stand for 30 minutes. Remove it from the liquid, dry it and secure it to the interior of the humidor. It may have a specially located spot to place it, or simply set it on the bottom of the box.

Load the cigars into the humidor, place the hygrometer inside the humidor and close the lid. Check the humidor regularly during the first few days to be sure a humidity level of 68 to 72% is maintained. If the humidity is higher, leave the box open for a few minutes to reduce the humidity, close, and check again within a few hours to see if it is reduced. Repeat as necessary.

Refill the humidifier when the humidity level drops below 68%. Using the same process as to charge it, place it in a small bowl and soak for 30 minutes in the distilled water and propylene glycol solution. Replace the humidifier inside the humidor when it is recharged. If you have trouble maintaining the humidity in the humidor and the humidifier has already been charged, remove the cigars, and repeat the entire process from step one until the humidor itself is returned to the proper humidity level.