Humidity constantly going up and down? Collection drying out and losing its flavour?
We have more than 20 years in the business and every time someone tells us they're having issues with humidity we always check these 5 things...
#1 - CHECK THE SEAL ON YOUR HUMIDOR
A humidor is more than just a box, it's a sealed, controlled environment for storage and maintenance.
And the most important thing your humidor must have is a good seal. When your humidor is open there should be an obvious lip that seals in humidity when the lid is closed.
How do you check the seal? With the lid of your humidor open place a sheet of paper and close the lid so it is trapped and sticking out of your humidor. If you can pull the sheet of paper out without opening the humidor then your humidity can escape as well.
#2 - IS YOUR HUMIDOR SEASONED?
A new humidor needs to be seasoned to bring it up to ambient humidity (and humidors should be re-seasoned annually). This is a simple process that involves adding humidity to an empty humidor to allow the base humidity levels to build up before you add cigars.
Many people will tell you to wipe the inside of your humidor with distilled water. Do not do this! This can cause the cedar to warp and, even worse, crack.
#3 - CHECK YOUR HUMIDIFIER FOR DAMAGE
There are two types of humidifier available - the most common is dense green foam and the newer is a gel crystal.
The most common type, the dense green foam, holds liquid (often distilled water or special humidifier solution) and releases it as moisture in to the air.
However over time these humidifiers become clogged and damaged.
These humidifiers should hold about 1:2 their volume in liquid - if yours isn't holding that much it may be clogged and need replacing.
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#4 - CHECK THE LOCATION OF YOUR HUMIDOR
I once met a gentleman who was doing everything right. He had a good quality humidor, he was checking it regularly, he had all the right tools but the humidity kept getting too high.
Eventually we thought to check the location of his humidor and realised it was just around the corner from his shower. Every time someone had a hot shower the condensation would play havoc with his humidor.
So check to make sure your humidor isn't sitting somewhere with outside interference.
Pro-tip: Too much direct sunlight or heat will mess with the levels in your humidor.
#5 - IS IT ACTUALLY FINE?
If you can't seem to get your humidity high enough then maybe it's not the humidity that's wrong - it's the hygrometer.
Analog hygrometers use a spring which is "tuned" to a certain humidity and that spring can wear out over time. So if it's showing 50%/60% it may be misreading the humidity.
If your sticks feel fine then they probably are. And if you're still worried grab a digital hygrometer. Even a cheap digital hygrometer will give you a much more accurate reading than an analog one.