It is interesting to note that both cigars and humidors are crafted from organic materials that react to environmental conditions. For example, the cigar is full of cut tobacco leaves and wrapped up with a full leaf as well. The cigar humidor is built from decorative wood, and lined with soft cedar. The cedar and the tobacco leaves will both lose their moisture if the right level of humidity is not available. This means that properly using humidors requires them to first be balanced and completely humidified before any cigars can be safely added.
Does this mean that you must humidify the humidors when you first buy them? This is a yes and no answer because only a hygrometer can tell you the actual conditions inside of each box. For example, you might get home, put the box in a good location, add the hygrometer and leave it for a few days after which time you see that the humidity level of the empty box is at 72%. This is an ideal level, and good cigars could be added right away.
Interestingly enough the humidors are the same because they are made from soft, cedar woods that can lose their moisture if not taken care of properly. This means that there are some challenges to creating the right conditions for storing cigars in their special containers. The first thing to do, before adding cigars to long-term storage containers, is to ensure that they are fully seasoned or humidified. This is a very simple process that involves the boxes, a device known as a hygrometer, and a small humidifier for each.
The owner must put the boxes where they will be stored permanently, which should be in a somewhat controlled area out of direct sunlight. They should then close the box and put the hygrometer inside of it. This should be left alone for several hours to get an accurate reading. Anything less than 70% humidity means that the box itself will need to be re-humidified before cigars can be safely added. This is done by adding the humidifier and leaving the box alone until the right levels are obtained.
Once the box has reached a 70% level for a few days, the humidifier should be returned to the 50/50 mixture, and cigars can be safely added for short or long-term storage.