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To wipe or not to wipe - That is the question

0 That Guy 00 That Guy 0 Posts: 188
My first humidor is due to arrive Thursday and I've been looking through all the threads and have seen recommendations to wipe the wood inside the humi with a damp sponge or cloth and I've seen just as many threads that say not to wipe the wood. I realize wiping the wood will speed up the seasoning process but I also realize that there is possibly a risk of warping the wood.

Should I wipe or can I effectively season my humidor by placing a bowl of water in it for 24-48 hours?

Comments

  • LukoLuko Posts: 2,004
    0 That Guy 0:
    My first humidor is due to arrive Thursday and I've been looking through all the threads and have seen recommendations to wipe the wood inside the humi with a damp sponge or cloth and I've seen just as many threads that say not to wipe the wood. I realize wiping the wood will speed up the seasoning process but I also realize that there is possibly a risk of warping the wood.

    Should I wipe or can I effectively season my humidor by placing a bowl of water in it for 24-48 hours?
    I never wipe...ok, only have one humis, but I didn't wipe. Just let distilled water sit for a few days. That ought to do the trick and then no worries about the potential to warp.
  • rwheelwrightrwheelwright Posts: 3,296
    I think it takes longer to season if you do not wipe but I amnot positive about that. I always wipe them down. And do reseason usually every 6 months to a year especially if I am having low rH problems.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    wiping the wood won't cause warping per se, but it will definitely cause the wood to expand, which may or may not have an effect on your humidor. Just letting water evaporate takes longer, but there's no risk of harming your humidor. Just have a little patience.
  • smokestersmokester Posts: 131
    I wipe all of my humidors down and have not had a problem the key is to barely use any water just use as little as possible. You can always use more if you need to just barely dampen a cloth and wipe down the whole thing every thing that is cedar including the trays otherwise they will just suck moisture until they are properly humidified. I usually wipe down than put a dish filled with distilled water in the bottom and let that sit for about 24 hours before checking it. It will season quicker the longer you keep it shut so just have a little patience.
  • Russ55Russ55 Posts: 2,765
    I use Boveda seasoning packs. It's slower, but more gradual. 4 bucks and 10 days later the humidor is 70% RH and I never have worry about messing up the wood.
  • smokestersmokester Posts: 131
    My friend used Boveda packs and he loves em. I just like a little quicker than ten days but i might start using them for regular humidity in my smaller humi.
  • brsmith21brsmith21 Posts: 207
    Russ55:
    I use Boveda seasoning packs. It's slower, but more gradual. 4 bucks and 10 days later the humidor is 70% RH and I never have worry about messing up the wood.
    The 4 bucks sounds great; it's the 10 days I've never been able to wait for. I am, admittedly, a wiper. Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;)
  • 0 That Guy 00 That Guy 0 Posts: 188
    decisions decisions............................i hate decisions

    With smokes on the way along with a humidor I just can't decide what I want to do. I want it to be as fast of a process as possible but I definitely don't want to expand the wood causing any seal flaws within the humidor.
  • betasynnbetasynn Posts: 1,249
    I wipe the wood, and I've never had a problem. It's worth noting that you could also only wipe down the center areas.
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    The Boveda packs are awsome ...
  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    I always wipe and always do a security wipe for good measure....oh, the humidor. Come on, nobody else was jumping on that train?!

    Seriously though, I've wiped down 3 out of my 4 humis and for me it's sped up the process of preparing the humidor and I've never had any bad side effects. Actually, the only one humi I've ever had both slight mold and RH problems with is the one I didn't wipe. Probably coincidence. I just find wiping down (very lightly, a few times - never saturate) tends to speed up the process by at least a few days.
  • Russ55Russ55 Posts: 2,765
    brsmith21:
    Russ55:
    I use Boveda seasoning packs. It's slower, but more gradual. 4 bucks and 10 days later the humidor is 70% RH and I never have worry about messing up the wood.
    The 4 bucks sounds great; it's the 10 days I've never been able to wait for. I am, admittedly, a wiper. Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;)


    Yeah, the ten days is pretty rough.

  • Garen BGaren B Posts: 977
    Anyone else expecting a different topic with this subject of the thread? I know I did...
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Garen B:
    Anyone else expecting a different topic with this subject of the thread? I know I did...
    image
  • KriegKrieg Posts: 5,092 ✭✭✭
    I have wiped down my humi twice now. As long as you don't soak your wood, you will be ok. It took 24hrs to season my 120ct humidor when I first got it using this method.
  • rwheelwrightrwheelwright Posts: 3,296
    THe only problem I have had with wiping is that the rH stays high for a couple of days. But between wiping and then letting it settle it is usually quicker at least for me than trying to season using a bowl. Plus, when I was getting each humidor I already had the cigars so I couldn't (and didn't want to) wait to get things rolling. Sometimes I have no patience.
  • 0 That Guy 00 That Guy 0 Posts: 188
    If I decide to wipe - does this mean I shouldn't put a bowl of water in it as well? Would this be too much moisture for the wood or do some of you all wipe and place water inside the humidor?
  • rwheelwrightrwheelwright Posts: 3,296
    I think at that point the wood is so moist that the bowl wouldn't do anything. If you do wipe, make sure it is distilled water and use either a clean cloth or a clean sponge. I use a sponge myself. Don't drench the sponge and if you see that there is to much water you can use the sponge to clean it up.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭
    Guys I don't care what any instructions say or what anyone tells you. Wiping down the humi is playing Russian Roulette with it. Especially the cheaper ones that so many of us have.

    I had a humidor crack in multiple places when I wiped it down. Of course I'd wiped down others before it and not had this problem.

    Wiping down the humi is a way of speeding up the seasoning process. Seasoning is not something that should be rushed. Put in the bowl of water or get a cigar oasis and running it for a few days. Let the wood absord the moisture naturally, at its own pace.
  • Garen BGaren B Posts: 977
    In all seriousness, Maddy is right, its better to just have some patience, let the wood season over a period of a few days with the bowl of water. Wiping is dodgy, you may have too much water in the sponge and cause the entire panel to split.

    Just give it a few days, let the water sit, do your salt test, smoke a cigar and with the remaining day and a half make something manly, like a rocket powered go kart. Don't even think about wiping down that humi to speed up the process. If you do, and the wood splits, you just lost all that money you spent on that humi.
  • rwheelwrightrwheelwright Posts: 3,296
    Again, I haven't had that problem but I would be pissed as hell if one of my good ones split. I looked at some of them last night to see the thickness. The Don Carlos 30th Anniv by Prometheus are really freaking thick. The southport cherry looks like it may be the thinnest of all of them between my aging humidors. The Monticristo which is the smallest and I got for free when i bought a box of them is almost as thin as the southport. The dome I have is pretty thick. I didn't look at my regular fuente. Too many full cigar bags sitting on top of it. My smoking humidor is the tinnest of all of them. it was a $30 desktop and I wouldn't care if that one or the monti split. The monti is only good for small cigars like the Partagas 160 or Nubs and it can't hold that many anyways.
  • 0 That Guy 00 That Guy 0 Posts: 188
    I got my humidor today along with my heartfelt beads and I am pumped! I placed a little rubbermaid tub inside it with distilled water and shut the lid. It's sitting at 57% RH right now.

    What I want to know is how long it should take to fully season? Am I simply waiting for it to get at or above 70% and then pull out the tub and replace it with the heartfelt beads?

    Thanks
  • nsezellnsezell Posts: 294
    I usually wait for at least 2 days before I open it, or all the moisture will escape and the process will have to start over.  Don't forget that your hygrometer probly isn't calibrated right when you get it.  You have to do a salt test and adjust for it.  If it's really big, you might wait longer than 2 days, but yeah, definitely wait until it hits a steady point at 65-70%, depending what beads you got.  Then you should wait awhile longer to make sure it's steady.
  • smokestersmokester Posts: 131
    Keep it closed for about two or three days whatever you do don't open it that will just slow the process. Do the salt test like everyone says if you don't have a digital hygrometer than get one because the others are just good for paper weights. Once properly seasoned it might fluctuate when you put your sticks in but it will level out after a little. The key is keeping the lid closed to keep that proper environment for the cigars it helps with aging. Another thing is don't over saturate your beads that can cause rh to be high. Hope this helps and congrats on the new humi.
  • 0 That Guy 00 That Guy 0 Posts: 188
    Thanks to everyone for all the great advice and knowledge I've gained!

    Update: When I started seasoning my humi yesterday afternoon with a rubbermaid tub of distilled water the RH was in the low to mid 50% range. Last night I crashed around midnight with the RH at 68% and this morning the RH is still sitting steady at 68%. It's been less then 24hrs but for about 8 hours now the RH has been holding. Should I be patient and still keep the water in there or should I go ahead with the beads and see what happens?

    Keep in mind I have my cigars in humi-bags and won't be placing them in until everything holds for a few days.

    Thanks again!
  • rwheelwrightrwheelwright Posts: 3,296
    Don't rush it. Keep the water in there to be safe. Always better safe than sorry.
  • smokestersmokester Posts: 131
    Ya just keep the water in there for another day and that should be good then you can put your beads in with you cigars.
  • dan7876dan7876 Posts: 47
    Also, not sure how many sticks you have in the on deck circle (bags from your recent order), but if you have a lot (say 20 or more) it wouldn't hurt to put them into your newly seasoned humi in a few shifts, maybe 10-15 a day. Not necessary, but dropping 50 cigars into an empty humidor will take the RH for a ride, might make you crazy, especially since this is your first humi experience. Overall, just pay attention to your hygrometer (assuming it's calibrated), have patience, and you'll be fine. Enjoy!
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭
    dan7876:
    Also, not sure how many sticks you have in the on deck circle (bags from your recent order), but if you have a lot (say 20 or more) it wouldn't hurt to put them into your newly seasoned humi in a few shifts, maybe 10-15 a day. Not necessary, but dropping 50 cigars into an empty humidor will take the RH for a ride, might make you crazy, especially since this is your first humi experience. Overall, just pay attention to your hygrometer (assuming it's calibrated), have patience, and you'll be fine. Enjoy!
    Thats sound advice right there!
  • nsezellnsezell Posts: 294
    it's steady at 68%, but that's the humidity of the air.  That's not necessarily saturated the wood yet.  Give it another day with the water in the air to soak in well.  When I seasoned my first humidor I just threw all my sticks in.  Figured they'd be at a good humidity already, since they were in bags with pillows...Scared the HELL outta me...the humidity dropped right away and I thought it was because my humidor hadn't absorbed any of the moisture...
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