How to Use Cigar Box Humidors

By Drue Tibbits
your cigars, a cigar box, humidor
Cuban cigar image by nata_rass from

Cigars need to have the correct moisture content to burn properly. Dry cigars will smoke quickly and taste burnt; overly moist cigars will not stay lit. Either way, the taste of a good cigar is ruined. Cigar box humidors solve this problem by keeping cigars at the correct humidity. A cigar box humidor needs to be prepared before it can be used to house cigars. Once set up, you should check the box's humidity level periodically and adjust the moisture level as needed.

Hygrometer calibration

Remove the hygrometer from the cigar box.

Dip a clean washrag in distilled water. Wring out the washrag to remove excess water, leaving the washrag well-moistened.

Set the hygrometer on the damp washrag. Wrap the damp washrag around the hygrometer and set it aside for one hour.

Remove the hygrometer from the damp washrag. Use a screwdriver to adjust the screw at the back of the hygrometer to set it to 96 percent relative humidity.

Place the hygrometer in the cigar box.

Humidifier preparation

Mix 1/2-cup distilled water and 1/2-cup propylene glycol in a small bowl. If you have an acryl polymer humidifier, rather than the sponge style, pour 1 cup distilled water in a bowl.

Set the humidifier on a plate and pour the liquid over the humidifier until it is saturated. Set aside for one hour.

Lift the humidifier from the plate, allowing excess liquid to drain. Use a clean, dry cloth to dry the outside of the humidifier.

Place the humidifier in the cigar box.

Cigar box humidor preparation

Moisten a clean cloth with distilled water.

Wipe down the inside of the cigar box with the damp cloth.

Pour 1 cup distilled water into a clean glass. Place the glass in the cigar box and close the lid. Set aside for three days.

Remove the glass of water.

Cigar box humidor maintenance

Place cigars in the prepared cigar box once the hygrometer reads between 65 and 75 percent relative humidity. If, after three days, the hygrometer is still above 75 percent humidity, open the lid for an hour at a time until the humidity is brought down to 75 percent. If the humidity is less than 65 percent, leave the glass of water in the cigar box longer than three days to bring the humidity up to 65 percent.

Place the box in a cool area. The ideal temperature for storing cigars is between 64 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Open the lid to the humidor once every two weeks to provide fresh air to the cigars. Check the humidity level at this time. If the humidity is high, place cedar strips inside the box. Place one on the bottom, one in the middle and one on top. Remove the strips when the humidity reaches the correct level. If the humidity is low, add distilled water to the humidifier.

Place a matchstick or other small object under the lid of the cigar box humidor to allow air to reach the cigars if the box will not be opened for long periods.

Refill the humidifier with distilled water about once a month. Refilling the humidifier depends on factors such as the outside temperature, the external humidity, how many cigars are in the box and how often you open the box.

Recalibrate the hygrometer once a year, or according to the schedule supplied with your hygrometer.

About the Author

Drue Tibbits is a writer based in Central Florida, where she attended Florida Southern College. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur and Your Home magazines. She has also been profiled in the Florida Today newspaper and the Writer's Digest magazine. In addition to writing brochure copy for local businesses, she helps new start-up companies develop a local image presence.