A humidor's main purpose is to facilitate a perfect smoking experience while creating conditions for long term aging. At Vanderburgh we know that crafting a fine humidor takes time and precision. Just like it takes time, patience and a little know-how to get a new humidor ready to hold cigars. You're trying to recreate the tropical environments where most cigars are made, and you can't rush the process. Putting cigars into a dry humidor can ruin good smokes and your investment.
Our humidors have an interior made of untreated Spanish cedar, the preferred wood for humidifying and aging premium cigars. This wood needs to be humidified, or seasoned, before the humidor is ready to hold your prized cigars.
Take a NEW sponge, make sure it is unscented and free of soap, and wet it with a liberal dose of distilled water (NEVER use tap water or bottled water). Tap water or bottled water can cause molding or bacteria that would live in a damp environment. Wipe down all the exposed wood, including any trays and dividers, and the interior lid. Avoid using a paper towel or a fraying cloth; these will literally leave a paper trail on the wood. After you've wiped down the wood, you can walk 2 roads or both. You can squirt the sponge with more distilled water, then place it inside the humidor on a plastic bag to avoid direct contact with the wood OR I often place a dish of distilled water inside and then close the lid. You can do both or one or the other.
Next, prepare your humidification device according to the manufacturer's instructions. Vanderburgh humidifiers are custom milled and assembled. They should be humidified with distilled water or propylene glycol. Tap water contains minerals that will destroy most humidification systems by leaving deposits that will clog the humidor element. Once the humidification element is filled, be sure to wipe it down to remove all the excess fluid. Rest it on a hand towel for approximately 30 minutes. If you place the humidifiers in the lid too soon, the fluid will run out into the humidor or later into your cigars below. If wont hurt them, however they would need to dry out for a bit before you can smoke them.
Close the humidor with the humidifiers secured in the lid and the damp sponge, and leave it for at least 7 days. Each day, refresh the humidification device (it may not need it) and check the sponge or dish. If it is fairly dry, add more distilled water. If it is very damp, leave it alone. I actually prefer doing this for 14 days.
After 7-14 days, the Spanish cedar walls, dividers, and roof of the humidor have absorbed all the water they need, and now you can safely store your cigars in your new humidor.