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Catfish: How to season or reaseason a humidor using Kitty Litter or Beads

catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
I have had several people with humidity issues and new humi's contact me regarding seasoning and reseasoning humidors. I figured starting a thread would make this a bit easier for anyone interested, and I won't have to explain myself over and over. I came up with this method while using multiple humi's after having stability issues. I will post pictures and season an old humi for this project. For now it is drying out. I do not claim to be the end all be all of cigar knowledge, but this has worked for me and several other people with great success. The only time it did not, gel was used, which is why I recommend beads or Kitty Litter.

FYI...I am not here to debate whose method is better, which one works best, which one you should use and I do not recommend this for cooler's or wineadors. I am not an expert, just a guys whose helped a few people.

Rule number 1: DO NOT WIPE! Every person I've ever talked to that had fluctuation issues, employed this method. It can warp the wood, it is not consistent, and might lead to mold. If you wiped, let it dry out....

Rule number 2: Be patient and don't put your damn smokes in there!!!!

What you need:

1. Kitty litter or beads, I use Exquisicat and have used Heartfelt beads in the past with this method. I do not recommend using gel. More is better...start at one lb, work up to two lbs for larger humi's. I have not seasoned a cabinet in this method so I cannot say it works, but I cannot imagine it would not.

2. Brand new sponge and a dish to put it on

3. Distilled water

4. Xikar digital hygrometer-$15 and they work great. If they break, you get a new one...


Day one: Place the sponge soaked in distilled water on dish and place it in the humi. Close your humi for two days. Don't open it. I know you will, you probably want to...but don't. Now wait until day three and forget about the humi

Day three: place dry beads in the humi, do not pull sponge. Leave this for 24 hours, beads will soak up excess moisture and charge

Day four: Pull the sponge, put your hygro in there, chances are rh should be higher then 70, probably 80ish, wait for two days and leave it closed. This is the stabilization period where the beads soak up excess moisture and stabilize internal rh.

Day six: by now your rh should be stable at 70-75 and will drop once you fill it with cigars. Do not fill it with cigars. If rh is too low or high...see below

Day 7-10: if the rh is stable, fill it with cigars.



Day six-part two: If for some reason your rh drops too low, then the humi has not soaked up enough moisture. If that is the case, go back to day three and put the sponge in if the beads are fully charged. If the beads are not fully charged, you can spray them as well. In the past, I have sprayed the beads a little bit to bring rh up to 65 if that is what I wanted, or 70 if that is what you want. If it is too high, which in my case the last time was 69, i jsut added some more dry beads and waited a day and it went to 65. This may take another day or two to get your rh stable. I normally wait for one extra day at the desired rh before I put cigars in.


Unstable rh is not good for your wrappers and can cause cracking. By seasoning properly in this fashion, I have found my humi's fluctuate much less. I normally spray my beads once a month. Some people like Boveda, I like spending $20 on enough beads to last a lifetime via kitty litter. Since I am in my humi's regularly, once a month is not much to ask for management. Having patience is the key to seasoning. There is nothing wrong with waiting and taking your time. I actually know cabinet owners who just use cups of distilled water once seasoned properly with very little beads. If you have any questions, feel free to ask here. I will be posting pictures of a reseason starting tomorrow as well. I have found regulating 3 humi's can be a pain in the rear and have had to reseason multiple times until I figured this out. Every time someone has an issue, my first question is did you wipe? The answer is always yes. If your humi does not hold rh after this, you probably need more beads or may have a bad seal. You might also need to extend day 1-3 into a five day period or use multiple dishes with distilled water. It;s not rocket science, it's getting wood to absorb moisture and beads to regulate it.

My own personal experience is I have used this 5 times now and seasoned humi's for high rh at 69-70 for aging or conny's, as well as low rh for maddy's and ISOM at 62rh, or 65rh for regular stock. I perfected this because I wanted to experiment storing cigars at different rh's and determining the differences.
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Comments

  • ddubridgeddubridge Posts: 3,979 ✭✭✭
    Again, thank you. I'll will post my results on the new humi when I get it.
  • VisionVision Posts: 5,091 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I need to say thank you publicly because I am one of the people blowing up his phone like I am a 14 year old girl with her new cell phone.... did you really picture me in a dress? Dustin has been there answering every text within seconds. Thank you bro. I am now redoing all three of my humidors unitl the wineodor is up and running.
    PS... 2lbs of beads will be ordered next week. Thanks bro!
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Vision:
    I need to say thank you publicly because I am one of the people blowing up his phone like I am a 14 year old girl with her new cell phone.... did you really picture me in a dress? Dustin has been there answering every text within seconds. Thank you bro. I am now redoing all three of my humidors unitl the wineodor is up and running.
    PS... 2lbs of beads will be ordered next week. Thanks bro!
    seriously...it's all good dude. I've just walked 5-6 people through this, and after Andrew asked me today figured a thread would be easier. It's all good man. I can't remember who told me not to wipe, I want to say it was Joe.
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    One thing I've seen mentioned with kitty litter is training your beads. I'd like to know if that's necessary and how to do it. Great thread Dustin!
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    I don't think they need training really. All you do is adjust water versus dry beads. If rh is too high, put some dry beads in, problem solved. If its to low, a spritz will work fine. Once you figure that out, they are solid. Only takes a day really and isn't any sort of training. In a seasoned humi just out them right in and they work immediately.

    For example: too of wineador at 60rh, sprayed twice, 65 next day. Bottom of wineador 69, added some dry beads, 65 the next day. They've been steady there with one spritz since. No maintenance really.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    So I left an old humi open for a couple days and it was at 46, so we begin. I do not have any sponges, so I am using three dishes of distilled water and will probably let them sit for 3-4 days. imageimage
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Day one-61rh
    image
  • ENFIDLENFIDL Posts: 5,836
    Great thread brother!
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    ENFIDL:
    Great thread brother!
    thanks man, I want to give noobs a pictorial step by step of the process, as well as show the KL as well. Since I'm not using a sponge, it might add a day. I can't tell you how many times I run into new smoker and vets that have rh issues and season improperly. We just take their damn humi's at the shop man, or keep them a week when they buy them.
  • jeep edsonjeep edson Posts: 826
    great thread man, i will def being using this once i get the 3000cab into the new house. thanks for the info.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    No worries jeep. Today she is at 65, I'll let it sit two more days before I add beads image
  • Gaetano7890Gaetano7890 NYPosts: 800 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the info I know have my guide when I set up my cooler very helpful, much appreciated.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Gaetano7890:
    Thanks for the info I know have my guide when I set up my cooler very helpful, much appreciated.
    a cooler is much easier and takes less time IMO. For a cooler, you need to season your boxes. It's best to remove cigars from boxes, or get some empty boxes, and place those is first then follow the steps. Coolers and wineadors take 2-3 days in my experience.
  • WaterDemonWaterDemon Posts: 269
    catfish, thanks for this!! I put water with sponges in my big humidor last night. Right now I'im getting about 67-70% on the humidity. I'm going to leave this locked up(It has glass so I can see everything on the meter) and let this sit probably til about Friday Morning and add the Kitty litter. My only question I have is this, the humidor has a top compartment seperate from the bottom(airflow can't go between the 2). The top part is lined to what looked like spanish cedar, which is great, but the bottom doesn't seem like it's made of spanish cedar on the inside. It might be, maybe it just looks a bit darker....? I have a pic below of the humidor I recieved as a gift. I read a review here and there on this humidor and even though it's cheap in price you need to make some adjustments on the sealing part which I have done. Could not find anything on the type of wood it has in the main lower compartment. Tried calling up the company, but they might be off due to holiday, no answer. Does anyone here know anything bout this humidor? I tried doing searches, didn't come up with anything. Thanks. image
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Yup...just let it sit for 3-5 days really, smaller ones only need 2-3. My guess is cedar bro.
  • WaterDemonWaterDemon Posts: 269
    Its holding great humidity. Deff going to get some shelves and cut out the wine holders. I'll probably make a thread or a post on my customization on this thing, hopefully it'll help someone out there. lol
  • DCarp2005DCarp2005 Posts: 140
    Catfish, What specific type of Exquisicat do you use? PM if you want, i've had a terrible time with RH so i'm following your steps that you've so kindly provided and wanted to use the same kind that you have had success with.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    So after 4-5 days of just leaving distilled water in dishes, I was holding 70, so I pulled two dishes and filled them with dry exquisicat. I included a picture since it was asked which one. The top shelf has the dish of water still as rh drops, so I want it to fall to the beads. imageimageimage
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    I use cheap white nylons in my wineador fr storage as well. While it looks fat, it will stretch with ease. $2 will net you four sacks when you cut them in half and easily hold 4lbs. image
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    WaterDemon:
    catfish, thanks for this!! I put water with sponges in my big humidor last night. Right now I'im getting about 67-70% on the humidity. I'm going to leave this locked up(It has glass so I can see everything on the meter) and let this sit probably til about Friday Morning and add the Kitty litter. My only question I have is this, the humidor has a top compartment seperate from the bottom(airflow can't go between the 2). The top part is lined to what looked like spanish cedar, which is great, but the bottom doesn't seem like it's made of spanish cedar on the inside. It might be, maybe it just looks a bit darker....? I have a pic below of the humidor I recieved as a gift. I read a review here and there on this humidor and even though it's cheap in price you need to make some adjustments on the sealing part which I have done. Could not find anything on the type of wood it has in the main lower compartment. Tried calling up the company, but they might be off due to holiday, no answer. Does anyone here know anything bout this humidor? I tried doing searches, didn't come up with anything. Thanks. image
    It may not be spanish cedar on the bottom if it is separated from the top compartment and designed to hold wine bottles and cigar boxes. The boxes themselves will be made of cedar so your cigars will be fine. The top compartment looks like it is for singles and loose cigars so spanish cedar is necessary there. You should be all set.
  • rzamanrzaman Posts: 2,650 ✭✭✭
    I like this thread. Good work Dustin!
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Thanks Rip, I just want to help folks out with pictures in real time. Tonight the rh was 69, so I pulled the water after sitting with the dry beads for 24 hours. I will let it stabilize another day or so, then out some empty cigar boxes in to simulate what would happen if I put a ton of cigars in. image
  • jeep edsonjeep edson Posts: 826
    keep up the good work. let me know if you need some place to store the ffp while your seasoning this thing. haha
  • BigT06BigT06 Posts: 3,899
    Question for ya Dustin...

    Have you had any issue with the litter absorbing the aroma of your cigars in a bad way? I was looking at that litter that you use online and it was bragging about eliminating all odors. But if I opened my cooler and it didn't have the aroma that it has, I would be super disappointed.

    I have 3lbs of Heartfelts in my cooler already, and don't even need any more beads, but I really wanna try the kitty litter just as an experiment and to possibly set up an additional cooler. But like I said, I don't want the litter to absorb the awesome aroma of my cigars...

    Your thoughts?
  • jliujliu Posts: 7,732 ✭✭✭✭
    BigT06:
    Question for ya Dustin...

    Have you had any issue with the litter absorbing the aroma of your cigars in a bad way? I was looking at that litter that you use online and it was bragging about eliminating all odors. But if I opened my cooler and it didn't have the aroma that it has, I would be super disappointed.

    I have 3lbs of Heartfelts in my cooler already, and don't even need any more beads, but I really wanna try the kitty litter just as an experiment and to possibly set up an additional cooler. But like I said, I don't want the litter to absorb the awesome aroma of my cigars...

    Your thoughts?
    I have the same question / reasoning behind why I personally don't use kitty litter. The whole "eliminates all odors" thing doesn't jive with me.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    BigT06:
    Question for ya Dustin...

    Have you had any issue with the litter absorbing the aroma of your cigars in a bad way? I was looking at that litter that you use online and it was bragging about eliminating all odors. But if I opened my cooler and it didn't have the aroma that it has, I would be super disappointed.

    I have 3lbs of Heartfelts in my cooler already, and don't even need any more beads, but I really wanna try the kitty litter just as an experiment and to possibly set up an additional cooler. But like I said, I don't want the litter to absorb the awesome aroma of my cigars...

    Your thoughts?
    My thoughts? Too many people recommended it honestly, with collections much larger then mine. I'd imagine the aroma is the scent of urine and poop. So far, every cigar I've smoked out of my wineador with them has been great with no burn issues. I store them all in boxes anyways, so the KL would have to absorb the aroma's through the cedar boxes which I find highly unlikely. As far as trying them in a normal humidor, I did that as well before the wineador, couldn't tell or recognize any changes.

    I would think with the amount of people who've been using it for years, if that was the case it would be apparent by now. One of the threads I found a scientist tested the makeup of exquisicat and either conservagel or heartfelt, can't remember, but they were small white beads as opposed to the kl rocks. They were exactly the same, 100% silica. I believe the only difference is being pre trained, which really makes no sense to me, as I've been able to establish lower and higher rh's with either depending on how much I mist them. I see no reason why heartfelt beads would not absorb aroma as well since it is chemically the exact same thing.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    Got me thinking.... I have two empty humi's... I'll put some cheapo's in each one, one with heartfelt, the other with KL and see if I can notice a difference in "scent" or "aroma" and let you guys know once I finish seasoning this one.
  • BigT06BigT06 Posts: 3,899
    You're the man. This thread rocks, btw.

    I will wait for the results of this test, and if the aroma absorbtion is no worse than with HF, I will def buy a 8lb thing of the KL. If the KL works out for me as well as it does for you, I will save enough money to call it even for all the money you've made me spend after recommending cigars. lol
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    BigT06:
    You're the man. This thread rocks, btw.

    I will wait for the results of this test, and if the aroma absorbtion is no worse than with HF, I will def buy a 8lb thing of the KL. If the KL works out for me as well as it does for you, I will save enough money to call it even for all the money you've made me spend after recommending cigars. lol
    Thanks bro, I never really considered it honestly, so you have me intrigued. I did a ton of research and when I saw someone actually went to the trouble of testing the makeup and they were equal, I figured why not. I actually have quite enjoyed my cigars more if anything, only because the environment is perfectly stable at what i like. The wineador is an awesome way to store cigars.
  • catfishbluezzcatfishbluezz Posts: 7,001
    RH has dropped to 66 overnight. I will see if it stays there tomorrow. If it continues to drop, I will not add anything until it stays where I want for 24-48 hours.
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