Reviving dry cigars kept in a factory cigar box

I was going through a list of past "advice" columns this morning when I found this lil' nugget. I updated it a bit and hope you find it useful:

If you store your cigars in their factory boxes and they're starting to dry out, here's a really good way to revive them. Note that if the cigars are very dry they will be difficult to revive satisfactorily. The key is, if moisture can escape from a cigar, it can also be replaced, but it takes patience.

One of the simplest methods is to place the entire box inside a plastic bag. Be sure the bag is not completely closed because you have to have a little air flow in there. It helps to place a sponge dampened with distilled water or 50/50 solution in the bag, too. (You can also use a small humidifier.) The idea here is to allow slow absorption of moisture, preventing the cigars from getting too much humidity too soon. If you "shock" the cigars by adding too much moisture at once they can actually burst - the last thing you want to do to pricey primos. This can take several weeks to over a month. Rotate the cigars every few days bringing them from the bottom of the box to the top. Keep this up continuously and in about three to four weeks you should be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

If you don't have a cigar box, you can use a sealable plastic container. Put the dry cigars in the container and seal it shut for the first two days. This will trap any moisture still left in the cigars. On the third day, add a clean piece of sponge or a small humidifier dampened with distilled water. But here again, you run the risk of bursting, so be sure not to over-saturate the sponge (or humdifier) and to keep the lid propped open in one corner to allow a little bit of air flow.

When cigars lose a lot of their moisture, they can also lose a lot of their bouquet, so don't be surprised if the cigar doesn't taste as good even after it's been refreshed. The key to all of this is, whether you're reviving cigars in their original factory box or in a cigar humidor, cigars lose moisture slowly, therefore, they need to regain it slowly.

Once again, be patient and never resort to drastic measures to revive your cigars or you'll ruin them permanently.

~ Gary Korb


Anonymous said…
I have found that along with rotating them from top to bottom, that you should also turn them, a quarter turn at a time works.
blow dog said…
I've also found that wiping the inside of the box with a lightly damp cloth can help with slowly providing humidity back into the cigar. I'm often having to recover many dead cigars successfully but you also have to be careful as this is the easiest way to get uneven cigar burn because of poor and over zealous forced humidity

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