Materials needed: (well what i used) Cooler - I used a smaller one but I've seen people used the huge Marine coolers. If you buy off season then prices are pretty reasonable Bleach - preferably the non-smelly stuff. I bought the other and it took a while for it to air out Baking Soda - I'll explain later Cedar cigar boxes - for singles Hygrometer Cigar humidification beads Cigars A few free hours overall
Step 1 Look upon your newly purchased cooler. Take a deep whif of that new cooler smell... You dont want that. Now frown and pour in water almost to fill it. Then add in a few cups of bleach. Close the lid and let it sit over night.
Step 2 Open it in the morning and pour out the bleach and water. It might smell a little like bleach now so wipe it down with some clean water and let it sit outside in the sun for a day. If you dont have sun right now set it under some lamps and walk away.
Step 3 IF it still smells of bleach put some baking soda in a dish and put it in the cooler. Close it and wait a day or two. Continue with the set out in sun then baking soda routine till you have a fresh smelling cooler.
Step 4 Once thigns are smelling right it's time to fill the cooler with your boxes and regulate the RH. If you have a bigger cooler and boxes full of cigars you can skip this step and go to the next one.
Place the boxes in how you are going to have them and figure out where you will palce your humidification. The reason I suggest beads is because they can go anywhere and work great. I had a small cooler so I put them in a tupperware container i had cut the lid out of. It worked great. I've seen others use baby food containers with holes in the top. It's what ever makes sense for you.
Lately people have been using Cat Litter or CL. There is an article about that in the article section of this site.
Anyway put in your humidification, your (salt tested - instructions are as follows) humidification device and your boxes.
Let that sit a day or two to absorb the moisture, just like a new humidor.
Step 5 Add your cigars! Don't forget to take one out and smoke it to congratulate yourself on a job well done. Heck take two.
Alright now to the salt test:
Step 1 - Get an airtight container. Some peopel say zip-lock bags but i dont buy that. Step 2 - Place some salt in a lid of a soda bottle or other small container
Step 3 - moisten the salt with water... don't flood it just dampen it
Step 4 - Place the salt as well as the hygrometer in question in the container and close the lid tightly. Let it sit for at least 8-12 hours
Step 5 - After that time the humidity in the container will be 75%. Don't ask me how its just how nature works. Check the number your hygrometer is reading. If its other then 75 then you now know how far off it is. change it to the correct reading or remember how far off it is for the next time you want to read it.
Step 6 - enjoy your cigar a little bit more now that you know your hygrometer is accurate.