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How to Rehydrate Cigars and Rehumidify Dry Cigars Fast

Chris, Chief Editor

Updated Jan 24, 2024

Human experts evaluate all our content

A well-kept cigar promises an exquisite smoking experience, while a dry one only leaves you with nothing more than disappointment.

But what if you could restore dry cigars and bring them back to life? Can you? And how do you rehydrate cigars properly?

The good news is that you can rehydrate dry cigars, but needs to be done carefully to prevent damage and restore them to their original condition.

The first step is to choose a suitable humidor that maintains ideal humidity levels and is often lined with Spanish cedar. Cigars should be placed correctly inside the humidor for effective rehydration and the humidity levels should be 65-72% RH (relative humidity).

Gradually introduce humidity and check the progress of the cigars by lightly squeezing them. If they feel firm but give slightly under pressure, they are properly humidified and ready to be smoked.

For quick rehumidification without a humidor, options include Boveda humidor bags, airtight containers, or Ziploc bags with Boveda humidity packs.

Rehydrate Cigars

Can You Rehydrate a Dry Cigar?

Yes, you can rehydrate dry cigars as long as they’re not too dry and damaged.

The success of rehydration largely depends on the extent of damage. If a cigar is only slightly dry, it can usually be restored to its original condition but extremely dry or damaged cigars are most of the time beyond repair.

Take the loss as a man, and do not repeat the mistake by preventing your cigars from drying out in the first place with a properly maintained humidor.

How do I know if a cigar is too dry and beyond repair?

These signs and symptoms indicate if a cigar is too dry and beyond repair.

  1. Cracks or Splits in the Wrapper: The wrapper of the cigar should be smooth and intact. If there are noticeable cracks or splits, this is a clear sign that the cigar is too dry.
  2. Brittleness: A well-humidified cigar should feel firm yet pliable. If the cigar feels brittle or crumbles easily when squeezed gently, it’s likely too dry.
  3. Loose or Falling Tobacco: If the tobacco inside the cigar seems loose or falls out easily, this is another sign of a dry cigar.
  4. Faded Wrapper Color: A cigar wrapper should have a rich, vibrant color. If the color appears faded, it might be due to excessive dryness.
  5. Unpleasant Smell: A dry cigar will lose its rich, aromatic smell. If the cigar doesn’t smell like tobacco or has an unpleasant odor, it’s probably too dry.

Always ensure your cigars are properly humidified before lighting them.

How long does it take to rehydrate a cigar in a humidor?

Rehydrating a cigar involves gradually increasing its moisture content to prevent shock and potential damage to its wrapper. This process is typically done in a humidor and takes anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the cigar’s size and initial dryness.

Be patient and regularly monitor the humidity levels for an even moisture distribution.

While rehydrating a cigar can bring it back to life, prevention is still the best course of action by investing in a good humidor that always maintains optimal humidity levels.

How to Store and Rehydrate Dry Cigars?

These are the steps to store cigars and rehydrate dry cigars with the best possible chance of successfully repairing and enjoying them once again.

  1. Choosing a suitable humidor
  2. Checking the humidification device
  3. Placing cigars correctly
  4. Monitoring humidity levels
  5. Checking progress while rotating cigars

1. Choose a Suitable Humidor

Choosing a humidor is the first step in rehydrating your dry cigars.

A good humidor should maintain the ideal humidity levels for storing cigars and have a cedar lining, such as Spanish cedar, which absorbs and re-emits moisture to preserve the cigars’ flavor and freshness.

There are several types of quality humidors you can choose from:

  • Desktop Humidors: Compact and easy to use, desktop humidors come in a variety of designs and materials, but the best ones are lined with Spanish cedar for optimal humidity control.
  • Electric Humidors: These are high-tech humidors that control humidity levels automatically.
  • Travel Humidors: Small and portable humidors designed to keep a few sticks of cigars fresh.

Choose a humidor that fits your needs and how many cigars you wish to rehydrate (your cigars will thank you).

2. Check the Humidification Device

The humidification device is the thing that will rehydrate your cigars once you’ve chosen a suitable humidor.

It’s responsible for maintaining the right level of humidity within the humidor and there are several types of humidification devices you can use (depending on the type of humidor).

  • Humidification Beads: These beads absorb excess moisture when humidity levels are too high and release moisture when too low. Just add distilled water to the beads, and they’ll do the rest.
  • Humidification Packs: These packs, like Boveda, are two-way humidity control solutions that automatically regulate moisture. They absorb or add humidity as needed to maintain a specific RH (Relative Humidity) level.
  • Electronic Humidifiers: These devices use a sensor to monitor the humidity level and automatically add moisture when needed. They are typically used in larger humidors and are a more expensive but highly reliable option.
  • Sponge-Based Humidifiers: These are the most common and cost-effective humidifiers you’ll find in Humidors from Amazon. They use a slightly damp sponge soaked in distilled water or propylene glycol solution that slowly releases moisture into the humidor.
  • Crystal Gel Humidifiers: These humidifiers use a gel that expands when water is added. The gel then slowly releases humidity over time. They are easy to use and relatively inexpensive.

3. Place Cigars Correctly

Properly place your cigars in the humidor for effective rehydration by following these steps.

  • Uniform Exposure: Make sure each cigar has equal exposure to the humidified air. Don’t stack them on top of each other. Instead, lay them side by side.
  • Improved Air Circulation: Leave some space between the cigars. This allows the humidified air to circulate freely.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Don’t fill the humidor to its maximum capacity. Overcrowding can block the humidified air from reaching all cigars equally. It’s better to have fewer cigars with more space than more cigars with less space.

4. Monitor the Humidity Levels

Once you’re set up with a quality humidor and a good humidification device, keep track of the humidity levels and aim for a relative humidity of 65-72%.

This is done either with an analog or digital hygrometer, usually included with the purchase of a quality humidor.

Check your humidity level once a week, and if it drops below these levels, refill the humidification unit or replace the Boveda packs.

5. Check Progress and Rotate The Cigars

To check if your cigars are ready to smoke, carefully pick up one cigar at a time and lightly squeeze it.

If it feels firm but gives slightly under pressure, it’s properly humidified and ready to be smoked. If it’s too hard or too soft, it may need more time to rehydrate.

While at it, rotate the cigars from the top to the bottom and from the center to the edges. This allows all cigars to be exposed to similar humidity conditions for an even rehydration.

How to Quickly Rehumidify a Few Cigars Without a Humidor?

If you find yourself without a humidor but need to rehydrate a dried-out cigar quickly, a few options are still available for you.

  1. Boveda Humidor Bags: These specially designed bags provide a controlled environment for cigars to rehydrate. Simply place your cigars inside the bag with a Boveda pack of 62% relative humidity to start off with.
  2. Airtight Container: A simple airtight Tupperware container can also rehydrate cigars. Just like with the Boveda bag, place your cigars inside with a Boveda pack of 62% relative humidity.
  3. Boveda Humidity Packs: If you don’t have a Boveda bag or airtight container, you can also use a Ziploc bag with a Boveda humidity pack.

These methods provide a controlled environment for the cigars to rehydrate without a traditional humidor and are ideal if you don’t plan to smoke cigars regularly.

Chris Starkhagen MSc.

Entrepreneur and Founder of chrisstarkhagen.com

Chris writes for men about what to know and how to be a high-value man and networking with high-net-worth individuals. Chris guides readers on men’s business, men’s home office, men’s performance, men’s accessories, and the best products for men to craft a timeless style. Whether you’re already a high net-worth man seeking your next luxury watch or a young G who wants a lifestyle upgrade, Chris connects men with the resources needed to elevate life as a man.