After painstakingly browsing your options and selecting your very first humidor, you are eager to dump your entire collection in there before it has a chance to go stale.
Hold your horses, cowboy.
Before you start using that humidor, it has to be properly seasoned. If the cedar inside a humidor isn't properly seasoned, the wood can actually suck up any moisture, leaving your cigars dry and stale.
Most humidors will come with an instruction manual on how to care for them, and you should always refer to the manual if possible. Don't have the manual? You can also take a look at general care instructions online, at websites like HumidorHQ.com or About.com. We'll summarize their basic steps for you:
- Take some distilled water and a clean, unscented sponge or cloth. Dampen the sponge and wipe down every surface inside the humidor. DO NOT use tap water, pour water inside the humidor, or overly saturate the wood!
- Place the wet sponge on top of a piece of plastic or cellophane and place it inside the humidor. DO NOT oversaturate the sponge or let it come in direct contact with any wood!
- Prepare your humidification device as the manufacturer instructs before placing it inside the humidor. DO NOT oversaturate the device or let it drip inside the humidor!
- Close the humidor and wait for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can choose whether to repeat the wipe-down procedure or not, but don't leave the sponge inside this time. Wait another 24 hours.
- Feel around for dampness on the cedar. If you feel any, wait another 24 hours.
- Don't feel any dampness? Your humidor is ready to use!