How Often Do You Need to Season a Humidor

smoking a cigar by jay | Posted on April 28th, 2024

For cigar enthusiasts, a humidor is an essential tool for maintaining the perfect environment for your prized stogies. A well-seasoned humidor ensures that cigars retain their optimal moisture levels, preventing them from becoming overly dry and brittle or too moist and susceptible to mold. But how often do you really need to season your humidor? Let’s dive in.


What is Seasoning?

Seasoning your humidor is the process of introducing moisture to the wood lining of the box. This creates a stable internal environment designed to closely mirror the ideal humidity and temperature conditions for cigar storage. Typically, you’ll season a humidor upon first purchase and may need to re-season occasionally throughout its lifetime.

When to Season (or Re-Season) Your Humidor

  • New Humidors: A brand new humidor, especially one made from wood like Spanish cedar, absolutely needs to be seasoned before you use it to store cigars. This ensures the wood has absorbed enough moisture to regulate the internal environment. Unseasoned wood will actually wick moisture away from your cigars, drying them out.
  • Significant Humidity Drop: If you notice a drastic drop in humidity levels inside your humidor (more than 10% RH), it might be time to re-season. This can happen due to several reasons:
    • External Factors: Dry weather with low ambient humidity can cause the humidor to dry out.
    • Leaks in the Seal: A faulty seal around the humidor door can allow humid air to escape, throwing off the internal balance.
    • Humidification Issues: If your humidification method (like a humidifier or humidor packs) is depleted or malfunctioning, it won’t be able to maintain proper moisture levels.
  • Seasonal Changes: Those living in areas with pronounced seasonal variations in humidity might consider re-seasoning once or twice a year. This helps the humidor adapt to the changing environment and maintain a more consistent internal humidity level for your cigars.
  • After a Long Period of Disuse: If you haven’t used your humidor for an extended period, the wood may dry out. Re-seasoning can help bring it back to optimal moisture levels before reintroducing cigars.
  • Mold Growth: While mold remediation is a separate process, if you’ve successfully addressed a mold issue in your humidor, re-seasoning is recommended. This helps ensure the wood is properly hydrated and less susceptible to future mold growth.

How to Tell if Your Humidor Needs Re-Seasoning

Fortunately, there are a few clear signs that your humidor might need attention and re-seasoning:

  • Hygrometer Readings: The most reliable indicator is a significant drop in the humidity level recorded by your hygrometer. If the internal humidity falls consistently below 60% RH, or if it fluctuates widely, it’s likely time to re-season. Remember, it’s always a good idea to have a reliable, calibrated hygrometer inside your humidor.
  • Cigar Condition: Your cigars themselves can provide clues. If they feel excessively dry, brittle, or are cracking when you bend them slightly, your humidor may lack adequate humidity. Conversely, cigars that feel overly soft or spongy might indicate too much moisture within the humidor.
  • The “Touch Test”: Lightly run your finger against the inside wood lining of the humidor. If it feels dry to the touch, the wood may have lost moisture and requires re-seasoning to regain its ability to regulate humidity.
  • Visible Changes: In extreme cases, you might see noticeable warping, cracking, or gaps forming in the wood of a severely dry humidor.

Important Note: Even if you don’t notice any immediate signs, it’s good practice to re-season your humidor at least once per year, especially if you live in a region with drastic shifts in seasonal humidity.

How to Season a Humidor

  1. Choose Your Method: Popular techniques include using distilled water and a sponge, specialized seasoning solutions, or humidity packs like Boveda.
  2. Prepare the Humidor: Remove all cigars and accessories, and gently wipe down the interior wood with a damp cloth (distilled water only).
  3. Introduce Moisture: Depending on your chosen method, carefully introduce moisture as per the instructions. Humidity packs are the most convenient.
  4. Monitor and Wait: Place a hygrometer inside the humidor and close it. Monitor the humidity for approximately two weeks. Once it reaches your preferred level (usually 65-72% RH), your humidor is seasoned!

Important Points

  • Humidor Material: Acrylic or glass humidors usually do not require seasoning, as they don’t absorb moisture like wood.
  • Regular Maintenance: Even with seasoning, regularly monitor humidity levels in your humidor and replenish the humidification source as needed.
  • Prevention: A well-made humidor with a good seal is less prone to drastic humidity drops and won’t require re-seasoning as frequently.

Seasoning for Success

While you won’t need to season your humidor daily or even monthly, understanding the process and when it’s necessary is key to keeping your cigars in prime condition. By following these guidelines and paying attention to your humidor’s readings, you’ll enjoy perfectly preserved cigars for every pleasurable smoking occasion.

smoking a cigar


Self proclaimed cigar expert. I've been smoking since 2010. I've practically lived at a cigar lounge from 10am to 10pm and trying every new cigar that came out for years.

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