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How to Charge a Cigar Humidifier
You’ve just bought a humidor for your cigars. Inside the box you’ll usually find a humidifier, a hygrometer, and a divider. Since I’ve received a number of emails from cigar smokers asking about how to charge a cigar humidifier, I felt it was worthy of a post.
First, identify what type of humidifier it is. Many cigar humidors today still come with green oasis foam, while some manufacturers now include crystal-based units. Also note the size of the humidifier, because some humidors include humidifiers that are not adequate for humidifying the capacity of cigars the humidor is designed to hold. For example, if you purchased a 100 ct. humidor, the humidifier may only be able to handle 50 cigars. If this is the case, you can still use it, but if it’s not doing the job you should either add a second humidifier or use some Bòveda 69% packs.* Otherwise, scrap the factory unit and purchase a crystal-based model designed for your box’s capacity.
Next, mount the humidifier under the center of the lid. For the purposes of this post we’ll assume you have a solid top humidor. (If you have a glass top humidor, you’ll have to mount it elsewhere, but that’s a topic for another post.)
Once it’s in position, remove the humidifier from its mount. If you have a green foam model, make sure you have some 50/50 polyglycol charging solution. You’ll also need distilled water – NEVER use tap or spring water.
Place the humidifier in a shallow container. In a measuring cup, mix a solution using two parts charging solution and one part distilled water. This will ensure the foam gets enough polyglycol to prevent mold and keep a steady humidity level, without clogging the pores, which can happen over time if 50/50 is used exclusively. Now, pour the solution over the humidifier until it is completely submerged and let it sit for 15 minutes. This will give it time to fully absorb as much liquid as it can hold. It will be noticeably heavier, when you remove it. Drain-off any excess water and when the humidifier ceases to leak when held facing down, place it back on its mount.
For crystal-based humidifiers, using DISTILLED WATER ONLY, fill the unit until the water touches the screen. You don’t need 50/50 charging solution because the crystals are made of polyglycol and will fatten-up as they absorb the distilled water. After 15-20 minutes the crystals will form a solid, gel-like substance. Make sure no excess water is dripping and return the humidifier to its mount.
Voila! You’re done. [CA]