A humidor is any kind of box or room with constant humidity (and often temperature as well) used to store cigars or pipe tobacco. For private use, small wooden or acrylic glass humidor boxes for a few dozen cigars are used, while cigar shops may have walk-in humidors, sometimes covering a whole floor. Humidors of all sizes use hygrometers to keep track of the humidity levels.
The ideal humidity in a humidor is around 65-75%. The more empty space, the more readily the humidity will drop.
Humidor cases are typically made nowadays of woodboard with an interior veneer of Spanish-cedar wood or mahogany.
Spanish-cedar is the most frequently used wood for the interior veneer of humidors. It possesses the following desirable characteristics for cigar storage:
- It holds more moisture than most woods, so it helps maintain humidity.
- It imparts its aroma to cigars if they are stored in it for long enough. For the same reason, some cigars are wrapped in Spanish-cedar sheets before they are sold.
- Spanish-cedar wood can repel tobacco beetles. These pinhead-sized beetles can ruin entire stocks of cigars. They eat the tobacco and lay eggs, causing further infestation. They can also be discouraged by ensuring the humidor does not get hotter than 20 °C. The beetle eggs usually only hatch at around 25 °C, although there are also instances where they will hatch at cooler temperatures if the humidity is too high.
Each humidor has to be seasoned after being bought or having been dry for a while. This is done by taking a moist cloth and wiping down the interior to remove any dust. A small container of water is then placed inside the humidor and left for around 12 hours with the lid closed. If the water is gone or mostly gone, then this is repeated for another 24 hours. When the liquid in the container stops evaporating, cigars can be placed in it. The humidifying element or "sponge" keeps the wood moist, which in turn keeps the cigars moist. As well, the use of distilled water is recommended for its lack of minerals, additives, or bacteria.
Notable humidor brands
- Beetle pest control information in Wikipedia