How to Store Cigars Without a Humidor


Naturally, for someone who has not had a cigar as a gift, knowing what a humidor is could be a bit of a problem. So, the first thing really would be for such a person to understand what a humidor is and how it works. So, what is a Humidor? A humidor is basically any kind of box or room with constant humidity. This box or room can store cigars, cigarettes, or pipe tobacco. Now, why would you need a humidor to store cigars most especially?

Now, most of the cigars made in the world come from tropical or even sub-tropical regions. In these regions, a common feature, is the high heat in the environment. Also, the humidity in these areas is quite strong. So, since the cigars are made from natural things in these areas, they tend to want to last longer in such environments.

Cigars are hygroscopic so they can easily dry out if they are left in a place that would easily allow them to dry out. But, you even have to make sure the environment is not an entirely moist one. If not, the tendency is there for the cigar to become too damp and then become quite difficult to smoke.

How does a humidor work really?

As mentioned earlier, a humidor is designed specially to help maintain humidity and check the temperature flow and also checkmate the level of airflow into the humidor. Note that all these things are just to help the cigars in there retain a humidity level of about 70 to 72 percent.

Humidors usually have a hygrometer that will help with the check on temperature and humidity levels. These humidors are usually in different shapes and sizes. They could be as small as a fashion tool box size to even be as big as a whole room. Either way, whatever storage unit is chosen usually equipped to properly control air inflow and humidity levels.

How long will a cigar stay fresh out of a humidor?

the practical guide on storing cigars without a humidifier

A cigar will stay fresh for about two days if left outside of a humidor. Even the freshness of the cigar would depend on factors such as where it is placed. But, assuming a normal scenario, the cigar would last for at least 2 days before atmospheric characteristics begin to set in.

Now, another critical issue is this. Let us assume that there is no humidor for you to store your cigars, where and how can you store your cigars without losing the freshness that you would normally get form it. The major reason why humidors are essential has to do with the notion that the humidors tend to replicate the optimal environment that the cigars would thrive properly in. So, let us look at a few ways we can safely use different things to preserve as much as we can from cigars without the help of the humidor.

  • ​Disposable Bags
​Disposable Bags for cigars

There are the normal disposable bags that we see all around us and even get easily from  supermarkets and all, but these disposable bags being mentioned here are not of that kind. The kind that really should matter are the ones that are being sold in premium stores.

These bags are usually well custom made to be able to hold up 25 sticks of cigar and keep it fresh for a whopping 6 months. These kind of cigar bags are relatively cheap and you should consider them if you are not sure you will totally need the humidor for a long while or for keeps.

  • Using a zip lock bag

Asides using disposable bags, another thing you can easily use is the zip lock bag. The zip lock bag will help you to preserve the freshness of the cigars properly so much that you might not notice you do not even have a humidor to keep that cigar moist for a while. But of course, the zip bag cannot keep your cigar fresh for too long.

ziplock bag for cigars

Essentially, the humidor will still play a critical role. But, if it is not available, you can easily switch to using the zip lock bag. How should the zip lock be setup? Simply answered, the zip lock bag should contain also, a fairly damp napkin to help preserve the freshness that will keep the cigar the right way you want it. However, you will need to note a few things if this is the option you want to go with.

You will have to once in a while check out the freshness and the dampness of the napkin that was put into the bag with the cigars. Looking at how it is a zip lock, there cannot be a way to measure how damp it is regularly to know when to make it more humid or leave it just the way it is. This is one of the greater advantages of the humidor and stands it out every time. But, one would go for the humidor if it were really needed. Sticking with the zip lock bag is another option you should consider and use.

  • Keep the cigars in their original box
cuban cigars in a box

Above we have considered various options that you can use to store your cigars properly. However, if all these options are not easily reachable, you have the option of keeping the cigars in the original box they came in. When you keep these cigars in the box they came in, you have the option of either getting a humidor or smoking the cigars within the space of one month.

If you will rather stick with the option of smoking them all within one month, then you need to get a cool, dark and damp place to place the cigar box. Once they are stored properly, the cigars will last for a good month which will be enough time for you to smoke them all.

  • Wrap them in their wrappers

For some cigars, they do not come with all the boxes or all we would expect the cigars to come with. Rather, they come with the wrappers that were used to ship them. In such a scenario, the best option for these cigars is usually to leave them in those wrappers they come in.

store cigars in cellophane wrapper

Like the option above, store them in a cool dark and damp place to be able to preserve as much freshness as can be gotten from it. Watch out where you place the cigar because of unexpected atmospheric changes. You will note that using these option for storing your cigar will make your cigar last for a month.

  • Storing in the refrigerator
store cigars in refrigerator

Considering that the refrigerator has the feature of having constant moisture, another option for your cigar would be for you to store them in the refrigerator. However, you cannot simply place them in the refrigerator just like that. You will need to place it in the refrigerator properly since the same refrigerator that can preserve it can actually make it too humid.

So, what things could You put the cigar in before placing it in the refrigerator to help you retain the best freshness that you want from your cigars. We would consider the options you have below and explain how each works and how you can use them properly.

  • Tupperware containers

Now, a Tupperware, with some extra tweaks, can serve as your very own makeshift humidor. This option can be easily considered if you think you want to store only a couple of cigars in the Tupperware. Now, a Tupperware can get dry or stay the same which might not help the freshness of the cigar.

Tupperware containers for cigars

If instead, you place a sponge inside the Tupperware, you will have a good chance at preserving the cigar and keeping it quite fresh. If you decide to place the napkin in the Tupperware, you will have to moisten it a bit with water. It is usually more preferable to use distilled water in preserving the cigar than using normal water.

You could end up exposing your cigar to adverse chemicals that abound in water that is gotten from normal water sources. Once you place your cigars in the Tupperware, you might now consider putting it into a refrigerator to help maintain a constant humid temperature.

  • A jar
jar for cigar

Another feasible option you can experiment with, is the jar. With a jar, you can simply empty it, and use it to store your cigars. How should you go about it? This is a quite simple process you can follow. Start by getting an empty jar that you will use. Clean out the jar very carefully and properly. Then you will need to fill in about 10 percent of the jar with water.

It is way preferable as mentioned above, to use distilled water so as to avoid having to get different chemicals from unknown sources inside the water. Once the water has been put into the jar, cut up a sponge and then insert pieces of the sponge into the jar. Place a plastic over the sponge to eliminate direct contact between the watered sponge and the cigars.

Once you are done doing the above, you can then confidently place your jar of cigars in the refrigerator. However, if you use this method to preserve your cigars, you can expect that your cigars would last for about 10 days. What this means is that the cigars would retain their freshness using this method for only about 10 days.

How can you re-humidify cigars that have lost their freshness? 

To restore the humidity of cigars is quite not so easy. The humidor is meant to protect the tobacco to ensure it does not get dry. However, situations can arise and it would have dried up unintentionally.

How can this be easily and smartly resolved? The first thing to do would be to get a humidor and properly set it up to contain the dried-out cigar. Note that restoring the cigar is not really an impossible mission.

However, the time frame it would take to accomplish all that and regain a fair freshness that it needs for you to properly enjoy it would take a whole lot of time. Recall that one of the reasons why people store cigars is because some persons like the cigar really matured in the humidor. To know a properly kept cigar, you could check the body to see if it already has some powdery feel around it.

Can You store your cigar in the freezer and the refrigerator?

store cigars in refrigerator

Looking at the methods of storing the cigar that has been mentioned above, we would note that the refrigerator has been mentioned quite sometimes. Does this mean one can store the cigar in the freezer or the refrigerator? To answer the question quite plainly, placing the cigar in the freezer is really not a good move because the freezer has a lower level of humidity that is needed to keep the cigar up and running fresh.

So, to be on the safe end, do not preserve the cigar in the freezer to avoid spoiling it. However, there is another option which is the option of preserving it in the refrigerator. Can the cigar be stored in the refrigerator? Different opinion abounds about this and a quick explanation would explain why. Some people would mention that they store their cigars in the refrigerator. However, there is usually a reason to why they would put the cigar in the refrigerator.

One of the reason is that you could suddenly discover that the cigars have beetle holes and invariably, some beetles have attacked them. When this occurs, it means the cigars are infested and might spoil too quickly. The major issue now would be how to expel the beetles already in the cigars. The beetles are usually the reason people put cigars in the refrigerator to freeze the beetles. Usually, it would take the refrigerator about 1 to 2 hours to get frozen in the cigars.

So, once you realize you do not have enough cigars to warrant getting a humidor, you can experiment with the options above and choose one to store your cigar and keep it fresh till the time you would enjoy it properly.

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