If you are like me you love your cigars and your humidor. Lets face it your humidor is more than just a place to store your cigars, or at least it should be. Its meant to be an heirloom, something with meaning, and that should last literally years. It’s not just a reflection of your hobby but of yourself.
As such, everyone has different ways of making sure their humidor stays at optimum humidity to ensure their stogies last for years to come.
Thats where this little nugget of info comes in.
Quick Note: Should you choose to do this I am in no way responsible for anything that you break, destroy, cease to be able to use, main, kill, burn, damage or otherwise manage to make unusable in any fashion. You take your own risks by doing this, just as I did when I did mine.
Long time cigar collectors know how to do this, but finding ways to make it happen for yourself can often be time consuming and problematic.
So let me try to make it easy for you, complete with step by step instructions and pictures.
Most humidification devices are filled with a green foam like substance, that for all attempts and purposes is what is used with to make fake flowers look purty. Yeah, that stuff.
Now I’m no wizard, but I don’t know whats in that crap, and frankly neither does anyone else seem to either. And every time your light up a stogie your smoking whatever is in that green crap. Meanwhile the folks who sold you your electronic Oasis? Well they would rather you buy a new cartridge to the tune of $10 bucks a shot.
So what I’m giving you is a way to reuse your current cartridge, give your Oasis a longer life, to save you time, money and frustration in the long run. I’m such a nice guy, I know.
Here’s what your going to need before you begin:
- Metal Coat Hanger
- Polypropylene Glycol (Optional*)
- Distilled Water (Optional*)
- Dry cigar gel packs (I used two Le Veil DCH-16 gel packs.)
- Measuring Cup
- Medicine Cup (such as with Cold medication or cough syrup)
- Small spoon (disposable baby spoon works perfectly)
- Paper Towels
*Editors Note: Some folks prefer straight distilled water. Some like Polypropylene Glycol, or PPG. Some like a 50/50 mixture. I’m in the latter group. These instructions deal with how to make the latter. If you want to use just Distilled water, then proceed by simply substituting any reference to PPG with Distilled Water. If you only use PPG, then use it anytime Distilled Water is mentioned. If you don’t know what PPG is, then its seriously time to educate yourself.
Step One. Get yourself a coat hanger, a good metal one, and clean that green crap out of your old cartridge. Shouldn’t take you but about 5 minutes if it is even slightly damp. Flush it down the toilet so we can move on.
Step Two. Rinse out the interior with some distilled water NOT tap water. Make sure all the residue and foam is completely gone. Shake the cartridge a little holding your hands over the openings to assist in this. Then use a paper towel and dry it down real good. Unless you have fingers the size of tree trunks you should be able to pull this off with ease.
Your end result should look like so:
Now that you have your cartridge ready to go, it’s time to keep on trucking.
Fill your Oasis roughly halfway with distilled water. Now pour that water in to your empty measuring cup. Check the level.
Now you know where halfway is. Go ahead and do some basic math, and add enough PPG to make it “full”. In my case it looks like the cartridge will hold about a cup of fluid. Now I know that the gel will expand, and it won’t hold all of the liquid, but this is the easiest and fastest way, and your not going to waste any of your gel if you do as I show you anyway.
Step Four. Time to get your gel packs ready.
Go ahead and pour the gel beads in to your cartridge. Shake’em just a touch to level them out inside of your cartridge.
Now pour just enough of your 50/50 mix to cover the tops of the gel beads. Let sit for five to 10 minutes.
Step Five. Stir with the tooth pick gently and continue you to add small amounts of your mix over the next hour. Don’t panic if it over flows we already have a plan for that. Be sure to reach back in to the corners as best you can with your toothpick when stirring, as we don’t want the gel to clump. Gradually add more fluid, but keep in mind that the beads will continue to expand over the next several hours.
Step Six. In the next 30 minutes add the remainder of your fluid to the cartridge. Remember I said don’t worry about overflow? Here’s why. The beads will breech the top like so.
Simply take your spoon, and scoop the excess in to the medicine cup. You can place it on a shelf inside your humidor, or anywhere else in side your box it will feet. It’s small so as I said you didn’t waste any.
You know have a suped up liquid retention system for your humidor that will last a lot longer than the cartridges, and that has more flexibility. Further the beads have more natural surface than the green foam does, so your system will not have to work as hard to keep your system at peak.