How to "season" a cigar humidor - an alternative method
In our previous article on how to season a cigar humidor, we described the more "traditional" method for seasoning a cigar humidor. Thanks to modern technology there's another way to do it, and it's a lot "cleaner," too. Boveda, maker of the Humidipaks you find in boxes of Arturo Fuente cigars and other brands, makes an 84%RH Seasoning Pack that you place in your new humidor. It's a much easier way to season than having to deal with distilled water and sponges or shot glasses, etc.
Please note that it can take up to 14 days to fully season the box with the Humidipak system as opposed to the average 2-4 days with the sponge method. However, slow absorption of moisture by the walls of the humidor is often preferred by many cigar enthusiasts since it also helps prevent warping.
As with the humidity packs, first you have to predetermine how many packs you'll need to season your humidor based on its cigar capacity. On average, two (2) seasoning packs are required for every 50 cigars.
Order the number of Boveda Seasoning Packs required for your humidor and simply place them in the box. If you have a top tray and your humidor requires at least two packs, be sure to place one on the tray.
Check your humidor daily and take a hygrometer reading. Once it has reached 84%, leave the packs in for two full weeks. According to Humidipak, Inc. CEO, Sean Knutsen, 14 days is the "optimum" time limit to ensure that, as noted above, the walls of your humidor have had ample time to slowly absorb as much moisture as possible.
When seasoning your humidor, whether it be the damp sponge method or using the Boveda Seasoning Pack, you also want to make sure your hygrometer is giving you the most accurate reading, especially before you season your new humidor. For this purpose, Humidipak also makes a Boveda hygrometer Calibration Kit. We have tested the Calibration Kit and it really works.
The Calibration Kit consists of a zip-lock-type bag with a small 75.5% Humidipak inside. Simply place your hygrometer (analog or digital) in the bag, seal it up, and let it sit for 24 to 36 hours at room temperature. If your hygrometer is accurate, it will read on or close to 75%. If not, then you'll know how much your hygrometer is off, and can compensate for that amount whenever you check your humidor's humidity level. If your hygrometer has a calibration screw, simply adjust the dial accordingly.
Finally, once you place your cigars in your newly seasoned humidor, make sure you have enough room between them for air circulation. They don't all have to be in neat rows like the factory boxes, either. You can even have some cigars leaning on each other to give the cigars below some breathing room.