Havana cigars mature like fine wines, in fact they will continue to improve for up to their first 15 years and in many cases much longer, but they do need a little basic care.
The humidifier in your humidor should be topped up with either humidification solution or distilled water (available from most petrol stations). Humidification solution is a mixture of distilled water, polyglycol and a mould inhibiter and will guarantee that your humidor is kept at 70% relative humidity (+/- 2%).
Try to site your humidor in a location with a temperature, which never exceeds 70°F. The temperature range you are aiming for is between 66°F and 70°F. The relative humidity that you are aiming for is ideally 67–70%. You should be able to use the humidor as soon as you add the water to the humidifier, there is no need to wait a few days.
To test the condition of your cigars, press with the pad of your thumb just below the band of the cigar. The cigar should feel firm but springy if it is in good condition; if it feels hard and brittle then the cigar is under humidified. If it feels soft and spongy, then the cigar is over humidified.
Havana cigars need fresh air! Be sure to open your humidor periodically and be sure to rotate the cigars, i.e, if you are not smoking regularly, at the end of each week put the cigars from the bottom layer of the humidor to the top layer of the humidor and so on.
Filling the Humidifier
– Fill a cereal/soup bowl with distilled water or humidification solution.
– Immerse the humidifier into the bowl until it soaks up the maximum amount of water/solution.
– Remove humidifier. Wipe/shake off any access water/solution.
– Place humidifier back in your humidor.
– You can re-use any access solution to top up the humidifier when needed.
– Simply store it back in the original bottle.