BCP Cigar 101: Seasoning Your Humidor (video)
Hi and welcome to Cigar’s 101. I’m Dane with BestCigarPrices, and here’s how not to season your humidor.
So now that we’ve calibrated our hygrometer it’s time to move on to the next step which is seasoning the humidor. The reason you want to season your humidor is because when you first purchase it, most humidors are lined with spin or cedar which are a kind of wood that absorbs a lot of moisture. And if you don’t have a properly seasoned humidor it’s going to suck the moisture out of your cigars, and dry them out which is what you don’t want, because it significantly shortens the lifespan of the cigar, and it can affect the taste, and things like that.
So there’s different ways that you can season your humidor. The first and most foolproof way is by using a Boveda humidification packet. How this works is on the back you’ll see a chart that tells you how many packets you need based on how many cigars your humidor holds. This is a set it and forget it technique. All you do is take the packet, place it in your humidor, close it, and let it go for 14 days. Fourteen days is kind of a long time, but in the end it is the most foolproof way of doing it, and you’re going to end up with a really nice, and seasoned humidor.
On a side note, if you have any kind of shelving or dividers like this which most humidors do have, you want to go ahead, and put them in there as well. The reason being, they need to get seasoned as well, because they’ll also pull the moisture out of the cigars. So that’s a tip to keep in mind both with this, and with the second method which is called the wipe down method which we’re going to cover right now.
How the wipe-down method works is quite frankly you wipe down the entire interior of your humidor. Any surfaces where there’s wood showing, because that again is what’s dry, that’s what’s going to pull the moisture out of your cigars. So this is an important method to do. It’s a little bit faster than the method of just placing the humidipaks in there, and taking the 14 days. This one generally, to do it right, can take up to two or three days, which is still sort of a lengthy process, but it is a lot faster than the humidipaks.
The key ingredient here is you don’t want to rush things. You don’t want to apply too much solution too early on, because you’re going to warp the humidor. There’s a lot of different ways to speed things along, I’m going to show you the traditional way.
First thing you want to use is a plain old sponge. You want something that’s not going to have any kind of chemical treatment to it, any sort of odors, because that’s going to get into the wood; it’s going to ruin your cigars. So you just want a plain sponge. If you don’t have sponge available, just a plain white cotton cloth, nothing with dyes in it, nothing that’s been washed a bunch of times. You want to avoid things like paper towels, or napkins, because they tend to flake apart inside the box. And then they’ve got residue in there, and it’s no good.
So what you want to do is you just want to take a small container like this. And put in it, you could use distilled water, the safer bet would be Cigar Swami PG potion. PG stands for propylene glycol. And what that is, is it’s a all natural substance; it comes from plants, it’s more-or-less odorless, it’s tasteless, it’s colorless. It’s very similar to water.
The difference between the PG potion, and water is viscosity or the thickness of it. It’s almost immeasurable, but it does actually make a little bit of a difference. When you’re applying it, all you want to do is take your sponge, and let it soak up the potion. And then you want to drain it out. You don’t want it to be doused, you don’t want to drench it, you just want it nice, and moist. And then you’re going to apply to all of the interior surfaces. And you should see the color change a little bit, like when you’re staining a piece of wood.
This process does take a little bit of time. It should take you probably, 8 to 10 minutes. If it takes you any less time than that, you’re probably not doing it right. Like I said, you don’t want to douse the water, or drench it, you just want to get a nice even surface. And you want to make sure that you get in everywhere, where all the lips are, inside of here, anywhere where the wood touches itself, because what’s going to happen is as it soaks up the solution, the wood is going to expand just a little bit. That’s going to make a tighter seal. So we’ll flash forward a little bit, I’m going to take care of this. We’ll be back with you once I have the entire interior wiped down.
Now that we’ve got the entire interior surface of your humidor wiped down, you’re ready to go for the first night. The only thing you want to do just to make sure you’re maintaining humidity is take just a regular plastic bag, and any zip lock will do, and just set it in the interior of the humidor. Now you want to take the same sponge that you used to wipe it down, soak it in the solution again, and then wring it out so that it’s not drenched, but just that it’s moist. Place it right on top of the zip lock bag, close it up, and let it go for the next 24 hours. When you come back, you’ll notice that the surface is dry again. That’s because it’s absorbed the solution that we’ve already put in, and the sponge should be pretty dry as well.
You only want to put the sponge in for the first night. The next day, you want to do the same process again. Wipe down the entire interior, close it, give it another 24 hours. On the second night you can take your hygrometer that you’ve calibrated. If you have one that’s digital instead of the one that’s attached, you just want to set it in there, leave it overnight. When you come back if it’s still not exactly, the humidity is a little low still, you can do the treatment one more time for a third day. After that, you should be set to go, and you can begin to add any of your favorite cigars into your humidor.