Make your own Cheap Humidor
Alternative Cigar Storage Methods
A humidor is NOT essential to cigar storage. In fact there are many inexpensive and effective means for maintaining and aging your cigars. Two of the most popular ones are "Tupperdors" and "Igloodors."
Tupperdor - A Tupperdor is nothing more than a plastic food container. You can use Tupperware or any other similar product. These are inexpensive and very effective. Simply add a humidifier and you are all set. Many people place those cedar separator sheets that come from boxes of cigars on the bottom of their tupperdors to introduce the element of Spanish cedar. Remember to store your tupperdors in a dark cool place.
An Igloodor is simply a large ice cooler like those made by the Igloo or Coleman companies. They come in a wide variety of sizes with the most common being a 48 qt. model, but I know many people that utilize the giant 128 qt. models. This is an ideal way to store full boxes of cigar very inexpensively. Some people line the interior by attaching Spanish cedar with a non-toxic scentfree adhesive and others even create dividers. You can make a large humidifier, but one of the easiest solutions it to just place a trimmed brick of oasis foam in the small plastic tray that many of them come with.
Igloodors - Igloodors are also commonly referred to as "Coolerdors."
There are only two minor drawbacks to using these for long term cigar storage:
1) They are more susceptible to becoming over humidified since their plastic walls do not help to buffer the relative humidity so it is extra important to not overcharge your humidifier. Because of the risk of higher moisture levels you need to be on the alert for the possibility of mold forming.
2) They can not breathe as a traditional humidor will. Therefore, they will trap the ammonia and off gases generated by your cigars aging within them. To alleviate this problem you should open them at least once a month to allow for an exchange of fresh air.
I have used both of these alternatives for many years to no detriment. However, most aficionados will eventually purchase a humidor as there is a sense of great satisfaction when selecting a fine cigar to smoke from a well-crafted humidor rather than a plastic container. It only seems fitting that a premium cigar should be kept in a beautiful humidor.
You can make a homemade humidifier with the following materials
WET Oasis Foam - this is the type used for live floral arrangements, do not use DRY Oasis foam, it will not work. WET Oasis foam is available at all florist and most craft stores.
Propylene Glycol (PG) - Chemical available from your pharmacist's counter for roughly $7 a pint. This is the "secret ingredient" in all regulating agents such as Credo's Special Care solution.
Distilled Water - available at most grocery stores
Any Container - travel soap dish, film tube, etc.
For example, take a travel soap dish and drill numerous holes to allow substantial airflow throw the walls of the container. Cut the foam small enough to fit loosely into the container - it must be small enough to allow for adequate air circulation around its surface. Mix a 50/50 solution of PG and distilled water, and moisten your oasis foam with the mixture. Remember MOISTEN... do not saturate!!! And voila' a homemade "Credo" and for much less than those commercially sold... amazing huh? Also keep in mind it takes a couple of days for the humidifier itself to stabilize before it can begin to regulate your humidor properly.
A couple final items regarding humidifiers that you should keep in mind:
The size/number of humidifiers necessary depends on a number of things: ambient climate, your humidor's construction, number of times a day it is opened, how many cigars are in it, etc. But a good rule of thumb is:
A humidifier can never be too large, bigger is better with an emphasis towards more surface area rather than thickness.
Always remember to never overcharge them with distilled water.
Always utilize distilled water. It will prevent clogging and is far less likely to cause molding in your humidor. I am always amazed by people who try to say their tap water is "this and that" filtered &SHY; don't be so cheap. You are storing cigars worth typically hundreds of dollars and distilled water costs $0.99 a gallon at the grocery store.
All passive humidifiers will require a couple of days to settle in after being initially charged. Do not expect your humidor to be at 70% RH in just a few hours.
And most importantly, all humidifiers are going to regulate within a range of the desired RH &SHY; do not wig out over being a few percentage points off.
Why worry? when you have so many great humidors on big discounts & free shipping... Humidor that suits you the best.