Five ways to keep your humidor happy

You’ve bought your humidor. You carefully followed the seasoning instructions. You’ve filled it with your favorite cigars. Maybe you have even been given a few cigars as gifts because your friends and family know how you love your cigars.

Your humidor is set up and ready to provide you with your favorite cigar at a moment’s notice. But wait! Don’t think you are done yet! Your humidor needs regular monthly maintenance in order to maintain your cigars at optimum freshness:

1. Rotate your cigars

Take time each month to rotate & turn each cigar in your stash. Cigars on the bottom should be moved to the top and vice versa. Rotating and turning cigars will ensure each cigar is evenly exposed to the humidity within the humidor. Remember, your cigars come from a tropical climate – a humidor is simply our attempt to make the little guys as comfortable as possible before we smoke them.

2. Add distilled water/humidor fluid as needed

If you let your cigars become too dry, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to get them smoke-worthy again. It is easier in the long run to keep your humidor working properly rather than playing a continuous game of catch up. NEVER add tap water to your humidor. It has impurities that can gum up your system. Don’t overfill, don’t under fill – it needs to be just right.

3. Keep your humidor half full

If you ever needed an excuse to buy more cigars – here it is! Keeping your humidor at least half-full allows the humidity levels to regulate. This means your chance of having overly humidified or under-humidified cigars is greatly reduced. One of the hardest parts about learning the ins and outs of a desktop humidor is getting the humidity levels to stabilize. Once you reach that sweet spot, you’ll want to stay there.

4. Perform monthly tests

Think of your humidor as your own private science experiment – one that produces results you can enjoy! There are two tests that should be done regularly.

The first, known as the dollar bill test, will ensure your humidor has a good seal. There is no point in trying to get the humidity inside the box correct if all of your hard work is seeping out the edges. Over time, even a previously fine humidor can warp and lose its seal. Keeping an eye on it allows you to know as soon as it becomes an issue.

The second test will check the accuracy of your hydrometer. Just like a speedometer, you need to know the information it is giving you is correct. We prefer digital hydrometers, but even they need adjustment from time to time.
How to perform the dollar bill test:

Take a dollar bill (ok, the denomination isn’t actually that important. You can use a $5 bill too!) Lay the bill over the open edge of the open humidor, half in and half out. Close the lid. Tug on the dollar bill. If your seal is solid, you should feel considerable resistance when you pull the bill out. If the bill slides out easily, it is time to invest in a new humidor.

How to calibrate your digital or analog hydrometer:

This is most often referred to as the “salt test”:

Take a bottle cap or very small dish and place 1 tsp. of salt inside. Add enough water to the salt to create a paste (you don’t want the mixture to be too wet!). Then place the salt solution and your hydrometer inside a Ziploc bag. Let it sit overnight. The humidity should read 75%.

If your hydrometer doesn’t read 75%, simply adjust the hydrometer to read 75%.

5. The final step

Take a deep breath, behold your impressive cigar stash, and pat yourself on the back. You’ve ensured that your cigars will remain properly humidified for the next month. All that is left is picking out which cigar to smoke (and which cigar to buy next!).

Still have questions? Email us at