Seasoning your cigar humidor and "50/50" solution
Proper setup, or "seasoning" of your cigar humidor is crucial if you want your premium handmade cigars to age well over time. I've been receiving a lot of email lately with questions on this subject, especially from new cigar smokers about the use of 50/50 wetting solution, like the following message:
"I received my cigar order, which included a humidor and my first cigar sampler. I made the mistake of not getting the activation solution for the humidor with my order and now I have had the bag with the cigars sitting around for 2 days. It might take me a couple of days to track down a 50-50 solution but today I started humidifying the humidor. I have the green foam core and I think I can just add a few drops of the solution once I get it."If you find yourself in a situation like this, don’t worry about not having 50/50 solution. Just use distilled water and completely soak the green oasis foam unit for up to an hour, because green oasis foam needs lots of time to completely absorb the water. You can add the wetting solution later, but you want to make the mix more like 80% H2O-20% PG. The reason for this is, straight 50/50 tends to clog green foam humidifiers over time. You'll get better results with a more diluted mix. It's also better to have the 80/20 mix upfront, because dripping straight 50/50 will only affect the areas where the drops were absorbed.
The cigars should also be kept in the bag during this waiting period to preserve whatever humidity is already in the bag.
I don't mean to sound like a shill, but lately I've been suggesting to a lot of cigar smokers that they think about converting to a crystal-based humidifier like the ones made by Xikar. They hold 450X their weight in water, so they last longer, are less messy, and more reliable at keeping a constant 70% RH than your average foam core unit. Of course, if you've already got the parts you need to season your cigar humidor, you might as well use them. Let the humidor stabilize for a while, and decide later if you really need to "upgrade."
As it is for most situations in caring for your cigars, patience is a virtue.