It is often said that more than 200 hands touch a cigar before it finds a way into your humidor. From careful cultivation to rolling perfectly aged tobacco with exacting precision, meticulous care and expertise go into crafting your choice smoke—so proper storage at home is critical to maintaining their superior quality. For beginners and aficionados alike, a humidor is an essential device for elevating your collection and enhancing every smoking experience.
Whether you’re an aficionado or a first-time buyer wondering how to properly store a cigar, the answer is most certainly a humidor. A cigar humidor is a storage device designed to replicate the tropical climate in which your cigar was grown and crafted with a moderate temperature and high humidity. Humidors range in size from small, travel-ready cases to entire rooms, but cultivating precise humidor humidity is what differentiates your humidor from any other storage container.
Cigars are natural and organic, making them sensitive to their environment. By replicating ideal conditions in a humidor, your cigars can maintain freshness for years. Your humidor should be kept between 68-70ºF and 70-75% humidity, and as a rule of thumb, the lower the temperature is, the higher the humidity should be and vice versa.
Choosing a high-quality home humidor is essential to keeping your collection in prime condition. Most are crafted with an untreated Spanish cedar interior which is ideal for aging and storing premium cigars, but it must be seasoned before it is put to use. Start by wiping down the interior with distilled water and drying it completely, then simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions, maintaining a replenished humidifying element for several days before storing your cigars. And remember to only use distilled water to avoid buildup and mold in the humidor.
In a properly maintained humidor, cigars will retain their quality for years—but left out in an air conditioned or heated room, they can be ruined within hours. To best assess if your humidor is keeping your cigars in top condition, you can utilize a digital hygrometer to gauge humidity levels, or simply regularly evaluate the cigars being stored. If your cigars are a bit oily, your humidor is doing its job well. If they’re on the drier side, add more water. And if they’re moldy from a too-humid environment, you’ll need to remove the water, clean your humidor, and allow the cigars to dry out slowly for one or two months before they are ready to smoke again.
Whether you are traveling with cigars or happen to have a few on hand unexpectedly, there are ways to keep them fresh in the absence of a humidor. While a portable humidor is recommended, tubos and cigar cases are efficient for keeping individual cigars in premium condition for up to 72 hours. You may even fasten a homemade humidor from a plastic bag and damp paper towel. Unfortunately, cigars can go bad—and relatively quickly. If you find yourself seeking makeshift solutions for how to fix a dry cigar quickly, it will take a few months in a properly maintained humidor to restore its superior quality, so you would be best advised to save that smoke for a later date.