Many people who are new to cigar smoking often confuse the term cigar humidor and cigar humidifier. To be clear, there is a both a basic difference between the two, and an interdependent relationship between the two.
Simply put, a cigar humidor is a container that is typically built in the form of a box. Cigars are stored in this box to keep them humid.
A cigar humidifier is the key component within the humidor that maintains the optimal humidity level needed for storing and preserving cigars.
It is so very important for new smokers to know this, because many humidors do not come with a built-in cigar humidifier. A person must know the basics of these devices and how to purchase the one that is best-suited to your humidor.
Cigar humidifiers are of supreme importance. Without them, no humidor would work. There would be no way to create or maintain specific humidity levels, and cigar storage would be impossible. Cigars would dry out, and even the finest, most premium brands would lost their flavor, aroma, and burn.
So now that we understand just how important a cigar humidifier is, we also need to know what the different types of humidifiers are. A cigar humidifier can be any shape, size or color. Common humidifiers are square, rectangular, round, and stick shaped.
Choosing the right size and shape should be based on the size of the humidor you are using, or on the size of the cigar travelling case you have. Also, the number of cigars in the container needs to be considered as well.
The cigar humidifier normally attaches to the lid of the humidor, or it attaches to the side by a Velcro strip or a thin piece of metal and a magnet. These attachment mechanisms are sold with most humidifiers.
It is important to calibrate and maintain your humidifier to ensure that your cigars are preserved. When using the device for the first time, you need to completely moisten it with a propylene glycol solution. We also refer to this as a humidification solution.
This solution consists of 50% propylene glycol and 50% distilled water. A Germicide agent is also used to prevent bacteria from growing. This ultimately gives you better control of the environment within the humidor.
The device needs to completely absorb the solution before you turn it over. Once this is done, shake out any excess, wipe the humidifier dry, and then attach it to the appropriate place within the humidor.
People often wonder if they need to apply this solution all the time. The answer is no. In fact, you should never use it more than once every 3-6 months. A good principle to follow is to use this solution only when you notice a dramatic change in seasonal temperatures.
If you use it any more than that, you can diminish the capacity of your humidifier to properly maintain humidity levels within your humidor.
One final note as well: water should never be used. Regular water has too many minerals that will render your cigar humidifier useless by clogging it.