Humidors are incredibly low maintenance tools, especially for the hard work they put in to keep your cigars nice and safe. But for all their low maintenance, they’re still not the type of equipment you can “set-and-forget.” They require some routine care—and granted that you pay attention to their needs, they’ll take good care of your stogies.
As with any tools, there are certain best practices you can employ that will keep them working even more effectively than those that sit neglected. If you’ve had a humidor for any amount of time, none of these tips should prove particularly challenging (or even surprising). But the more you do to keep your humidor in good working order, the more likely it is to last you a lifetime.
Best Practices for Maintaining Humidity in Your Humidor
The first and foremost thing you can do to keep your humidor in good working order is maintain consistent humidity. Humidors (our Klaro line, in particular) operate best between 65-72 percent humidity, and should be kept at a comfortable temperature—somewhere around 70 degrees, give or take, is a good rule of thumb. Here are some tips for maintaining humidity in your humidor.
Season Your Humidor
Every humidor requires seasoning when you initially purchase and set it up. That means providing enough humidity that the Spanish cedar lining can absorb enough moisture to keep things humid once your stogies are inside.
There are several schools of thought on proper seasoning techniques, but for our Klaro line, we recommend our specially designed process using our formulated humidor seasoning solution and Hydro Tray. This method, which you can read more about in our Ultimate Guide to Seasoning a Humidor, is proven to get any Klaro humidor up and running. In addition to our regular humidor solution, we also provide a Winter and Dry Climate mix for drier climates or if you just need that humidity boost, even during the summer.
Typically, if you properly maintain your humidor and keep it half full with cigars, you shouldn’t need to re-season it. If you’ve neglected adding solution or humidity packs, and the humidity has dropped in the 50’s or lower, it might be time to re-season.
Seasoning is important to get right. You can read step-by-step instructions for seasoning each model of Klaro’s most popular humidors so you’ll know exactly how your particular Klaro humidor should be seasoned. It takes away any guesswork.
Use a Hygrometer to Measure Humidity
A hygrometer is a tool that’s used to measure humidity in a space and can be either digital or analog. Modern humidors, like many in our Klaro line, include a digital hygrometer built into the box. Obviously, this allows you to check for consistent humidity levels without ever opening the box, which can come in handy as you’re in the seasoning process.
If your humidor doesn’t include a built-in hygrometer, no problem. Simply place one inside the humidor. When you’re placing it, be certain to place it away from the humidification system. The humidity inside the box will always be higher nearest the humidification system. It’s more ideal to keep the hygrometer in close proximity to where the majority of your cigars will be kept.
If you notice the humidity levels inside your humidor rising, you likely need to lower the humidity. You can lower humidity in Klaro Humidors by simply removing the hydro tray for 24 - 48 hours and letting it dry out.
If you notice the humidity in your humidor falling, you usually need to add the appropriate type of humidor solution. If you live in a drier climate, it’s winter, or your humidity just needs a boost, you should use the Winter + Dry Climate humidor solution. Otherwise you can use our regular humidor solution.
All of the hygrometers that come with our Klaro humidors have been calibrated in-house before they leave. Unless you find that a reading is way off, we don’t recommend calibrating any of our hygrometers at home—it usually only makes things worse. That said, if you find your own hygrometer is off, you can follow the instructions in our FAQ.
Use a Thermometer to Keep Temperature Stable
Temperature matters to your humidor as well, because temperature and humidity are linked. Wild temperature swings on your humidor can wreak havoc inside the box. The ideal temperature for inside a humidor is generally considered to be around 70 degrees. A small thermometer is an easy way to make sure you’re staying constant.
As long as you have your humidor inside a temperature controlled building (that is, not out in the garage for example), it’s unlikely you’ll experience much temperature swing. Keep your humidor out of the sun. While any of our Klaro humidors may look stunning with the sun glistening off their finish, that morning or afternoon sunlight can cause the temp of your box to rise.
Temperature can cause serious harm to your cigars. Wildly fluctuating temperatures are worse for your cigars than any other factor, and one aggressive swing could ruin them. High temperatures open up the tobacco and allow more humidity to enter. A temperature of 74 - 80 degrees fahrenheit could lead to ruined cigars, even if your humidity is a perfect 70% RH.
On the low side, if your temperature is 65 degrees fahrenheit or cooler, it causes the tobacco leaf to close up and the cigar will feel dry because it’s not absorbing any moisture, even at 70% RH.
Keep Your Humidor (Mostly) Closed
A humidor works because it seals. It’s able to keep moisture and humidity trapped inside, which your cigars can then absorb, remaining perfectly smokeable. Every time you open your humidor, you’re allowing that precious moisture to flow outside of the environment you’ve worked so hard to maintain. You can relegate this by keeping the lid closed.
This isn’t to say you can’t open it to place new stogies in or grab one to smoke. Just try not to regularly open it to admire your collection, or leave it open after you select one. Open it, grab a cigar, and close it back up.
If you’d like to keep eyes on your cigars, consider a glass top variety, like our Klaro Belmont humidor.
Keep Your Humidor Half-Full
A humidor is designed to work at half capacity. You’ll have a much more difficult time dialing in humidity levels in a large box that only has three cigars in it or one that’s completely full.
When the Spanish cedar lining of a humidor breathes, it “exhales” that humidity into the box. The cigars that are inside are able to absorb this humidity and stay just crisp enough. Should things start to dry out inside the box, the cigars may release some of their moisture back into the air. It’s a push-and-pull type of environment which creates balance inside the box.
When your humidor is half-full, it allows air inside the box to circulate, making sure that all of your cigars are receiving their fair share of moisture.
Most humidors should give you an indication of how many cigars can fit inside the box—or at least a range. Because cigars come in many shapes and sizes, that number will vary.