Occasionally, in spite of all your efforts to care for your cigars, they get dried out and you find yourself in need of a quick solution. Perhaps you need to rehydrate a cigar that you left in your car. Or you neglected to remoisturize your humidor. No problem. They can be brought back as long as 1) the wrapper hasn’t cracked, and 2) the cigars have not become so dry that all the oils have evaporated from the tobaccos. The process of rehydrating cigars can take weeks or months, so it’s important not to rush it. A cigar that hasn’t been properly rejuvenated will smoke hot and have an unpleasant, bitter taste.
If it’s a tabletop humidor, first, empty its contents. Next, take a piece of moist, but not wet, cloth and wipe the walls of the humidor down with the cloth. Distilled or bottled water is fine, just don’t use tap water. Doing this will also alleviate the potential for mold or bugs.
Humidity and temperature work by contact. Just as when you put something in your freezer, the temperature drops little by little in intervals and not all at once, this is a gradual process.
Next, remoisten the humidification element with distilled water. The humidor will gradually return to the optimal 73-74 percent relative humidity and the cigars will follow suit.
Warning: Do not over humidify your humidor in the hope of reviving dry cigars quicker. You may “shock” them into expanding too quickly, resulting in cracked wrappers.
It takes from one to three weeks to rehumidify a cigar, depending on how thick the ring gauge is and how dry the cigar is. It is not enough to just humidify the wrapper; the moisture must reach all the way into the innermost leaves of the filler. Again, this takes time.
Before you smoke a rejuvenated cigar, test it by gently pushing on it with your fingers. If it feels slightly spongey, then you’re good to go.