How to Re-Use a Vintage Humidor

How to Re-Use a Vintage Humidor

You are a passionate smoker who appreciates the value of a high-quality cigar. You also know the importance of storing these properly, and that implies using humidors. These are special cabinets, boxes, or other units designed to store cigarettes.

It’s a special feeling when you want to smoke and reach for the humidor. Each cigarette is in perfect condition, and it provides the ultimate experience for a smoker. If a friend or an important visitor comes over, these boxes will impress them.

An antique humidor cabinet could have been in your house for years. It might be a gift, or you found one while cleaning the attic. These items look fantastic, but the interior conditions aren’t easy to maintain. 

This guide focuses on how to optimize your humidor and use it for storing cigars again. Additionally, it’ll discuss other applications of this unit. Here’s what you should know about re-using these vintage boxes!


How to Use an Antique Humidor Again

It’s easy to determine that this product doesn’t work as it should anymore. If you haven’t used it for years, the odds are the unit has lost humidity control. Was the humidor open when you discovered it? If yes, you can rest assured it couldn’t keep optimal humidity in that state. Now that you know it doesn’t function, here is what to do to return its glory!

Step 1: Examine Its Current Condition

You need to know what you are dealing with, and that includes inspecting the humidor. The experts suggest using a towel or another soft material as a base. Put it on that surface and start analyzing the exterior and the interior.

For the outer part, it’s vital there aren’t any visible scratches or damage. You probably want to display the humidor, so check if it’s in optimal condition for that. If you notice stains, they shouldn’t be a problem to remove. However, it’s different with scratches.

The interior will require a more detailed analysis. You want to stake every inch, including potential accessories. Everything should fit perfectly in the designated spot. The opening mechanism should work flawlessly. If it doesn’t, consider repairing it. You need to keep the box well-closed to achieve optimal humidity control.

If the humidor hasn’t been opened for years, now is the time. You want to air it out well. The recommendation is to keep it open for at least 24 hours. Make sure there aren’t any harsh smells, such as food or chemicals, nearby.

Step 2: Remove the Stains of Time

Your antique humidor table or cabinet will feature wood as the primary material. Cedar is the primary choice for most manufacturers. But as time goes by, this wood might be prone to stains. They might become noticeable, so it’s time to eliminate them. You’ll need fine sandpaper for this action.

First, open the unit and position it to make it easy to reach the interior. It’s imperative not to scratch the exterior during the process. You also need to be gentle with the inner part. Use the finest sandpaper available and apply light moves. It’s a delicate action since you only want to remove the stains. During the process, you should take off as little wood as possible.

Step 3: Dust Everything Thoroughly

You’ll need a small vacuum cleaner, preferably portable. The compact size of your humidor doesn’t require a big device. A small unit is easier to control and delivers the desired results. Additionally, use only the soft bristle attachment. Any other extension could damage the box, and that’s not a desirable outcome.

Some debris will pile up over time in the humidor. You’ll also produce dust while sanding the wood. That’s why you need to be thorough and remove everything. If you think it’s necessary, leave the humidor open for a few more hours.

Step 4: It’s Time to Re-Season Your Humidor

Experts use this term to restore optimal humidity in the cigar storage unit. The purpose of the re-seasoning process is to put wood in the ideal condition to preserve your smokes. You’ll need water to humidify the cedar. 

However, it’s vital to steer clear of the tap. That water is full of minerals, which comes with huge potential problems. For starters, these can leave stains on the box. Mineral residue can influence the cigar’s taste. The smokes could have an alkaline taste. Most users consider it lousy, and it’s definitely not that unique cigar feeling you want.

Before you proceed to the next step, prepare the necessary things. Here is what this step will require:

  • Distilled water. You need to avoid the tap to preserve the distinctive cigarette taste.

  • Sponge. Purchase a new one that hasn’t been in contact with soap before. The sponge shouldn’t have any scent.

  • Plastic bag. It’s necessary to prevent the wood from getting in touch with the sponge. A small bag will do.

  • Humidifier. You probably got one with the box, but see if it works. If it’s necessary, acquire a new device.

Step 5: Prepare the Humidification Solution

Fill a bowl with distilled water up to around 50%. Once you do, take the sponge and soak it inside. Use that solution to wipe your antique humidor smoking stand. Apply it to all surfaces, including the exterior, interior, trays, and dividers.

It’s better to use a sponge than paper towels or cloth. Wood surface reacts better to it. There won’t be ugly marks left on the material. Once you finish this step, use the distilled water to soak the sponge again. Arrange the bag on a towel and put it on top. Pick up the sponge while it’s lying on the plastic accessory and put it in the humidor. The idea is to prevent the solution from getting in direct touch with the wooden surface. Close the lid carefully, ensuring the edges don’t reach the sponge.

Step 6: Insert the Humidifier and Leave it Overnight

Prepare your humidifier by filling it and removing unnecessary water. Place it on a dry towel and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. Open the humidor and insert the unit. The sponge remains inside, so put the device next to it. Close the unit and leave it until tomorrow.

It takes time to restore the wood to the ideal humidity level. Check the material’s condition in the morning. If it seems dry, you’ll need to leave the humidifier for a while longer. Depending on the previous state of your cigar box, you might need to repeat this step several times.

It’s best to check the humidity with a reader. It should be from 65% to 72%. Is it lower at this moment? Check the humidifier to see if it has enough solution. If necessary, add more and shut the lid. Leave it at least 12 hours before taking another reading.

What if the humidity level hasn’t changed at all compared to the previous evening? That’s a sign something is wrong, and the most common problem is the closing mechanism. If air is going in, it could compromise the device. Try to fix or replace the mechanism and see if the humidification process would work.


What Are Other Ways to Re-Use a Vintage Humidor?

Your antique humidor table might be beyond saving. Perhaps you've got another one, and it’s time to repurpose the old unit. Even if it can’t keep your cigars in perfect condition, you still got a beautiful item.

Here’s what you can do with it:

  • Display other items while keeping them in a safe location. If you have a premium wooden box, how about storing something else inside? You can put jewelry or other precious items. With the right pillow choice, you can even store your watches. Feel free to get creative, especially if the box is transparent and you want to display it.

  • Turn the humidor into an outdoor table. You can paint the wood in a different color, such as white, blue, or gray. Summer shades could be the perfect addition to your garden. Even if the humidor doesn’t have legs, you can mount them. If you are a DIY expert, an old wooden chair can serve as a stand.

  • Make it a storage space for your essentials. It doesn't’ have to be in a visible space. A humidor is still excellent at protecting items from environmental factors. You can put comic books, baseball cards, family photos, and other essentials inside. Put them in a locker, and rest assured they are in a safe place.

  • Turn them into speakers. You’ll need to be attentive to details. DIY experts will find it easy to make holes in each side. Insert small speakers and enjoy this creative solution that spices up the area.

  • Use the box for other things. You can make accent lamps, open storage racks, etc. It depends on how enthusiastic about DIY projects you are.


Final Thoughts

If you find a vintage humidor in the attic or get it as a gift, it might have sentimental value. You want to make it work. Re-seasoning can help store cigars in the box again. Depending on the unit, you can find an alternative use. The important thing is that it remains in a visible spot and adds to the area’s appearance.

There’s a solution even if your unit is beyond saving. You can get an antique humidor table, cabinet, or box. A reliable online store will offer vintage designs and outstanding product quality. For example, antique designs by Prestige Import Group will ensure the unit looks like it’s older than it is. Feel free to browse the available humidors and find your favorite to store your cigars!

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