Poor Man’s Humidor Humidification Sticks

Posted: 8th September 2013 by YardGnome
Categories: 1 Star, Project, Useful

Humidity Sticks in Ziplock HumidorZip Fizz Humidity Stick in a travel humidor1 Star difficulty rating



Here is a project for the cigar smoker who doesn’t like paying a premium price for retail humidification products. It makes use of tubes or small containers you may already have lying around the house. I like “Zipfizz” powdered energy drink containers because they are similar in diameter cigars and lay right among your sticks in whatever type of humidor you may be using; be it a standard table-top version, ziplock bag, or a small travel humidor.

Some small tubes to useZipfizz is a “healthy, vitamin enriched energy/sports drink” that you may want to check out if you don’t already know about it. The containers have a flip-top lid which is convenient for when recharging it as a humidification stick. Another tube I use is from Airborne tablets. It is a bit larger, but the extra capacity means it will supply humidity for a larger volume and/or you won’t have to recharge it nearly as often.

Tubes for making humidor humidifier sticks with holes drilled in the lidsThe first step is to drill a hole in the cap of whatever you use. For the Zipfizz tube I used a 3/8″ drill bit. Use a brad point bit, if you have one – it will keep the bit from walking around while you are trying to get the hole started. For the Airborne tube a 1/2″ spade drill bit fit down the middle of the inner sleeve in the cap.

Paper towels rolled up to the size needed to fit in the tubesNext you will need some paper towels. For the tubes I’m demonstrating with, the half-sheet paper towels are convenient, but you can easily cut any paper towel to the size you need. If using the half-sheet towels, start rolling one up from a short side, until the roll is big enough to fill the tube and cut the extra off. It doesn’t need to be a tight fit, as it needs to be able to slide in without difficulty. My Zipfizz tube used about 4/5ths of  a sheet. The Airborne tube took a full 3 sheets. Now, slide the rolled towel(s) into the tube and mark, or otherwise note where you need to cut it off so you can close the lid on it. If using an Airborne tube, note that it has a “shock absorber” sleeve which extends into the tube which you will need to allow for – or to permit it to hold more paper towel, and as a result, more fluid capacity, you can cut that springy protuberance off.

Propylene Glycol and water

All that is left to do is saturate the paper towel with your propylene glycol (PG) solution and your humidity stick is ready to use. I recommend PF over plain, distilled water, as it regulates the humidity to 70%, and is also a mold and bacteria inhibitor. You can use a premixed solution marketed specifically for the cigar market, but you can save money by getting pure propylene glycol and mixing it yourself. I found a pint bottle on Amazon for $7 (free shipping with Amazon Prime), which makes 2 pints of 50/50 solution. Compare this with a pint bottle of Xikar solution for $13 on Amazon (free shipping with Amazon Prime). Included in the photo to the right is a contact solution squeeze bottle in which I make up my PG mix – making it a simple matter to fill and refill my Poor Man’s Humidor Humidification Sticks.

I hope this has been helpful. Obviously, your best savings from making these would be by using tubes/containers you already have, vs. going out and buying some products just to get the containers. Let’s brainstorm together, in the comments below, about containers we may already have around. And of course, please leave comments with any of your other thoughts about this project, too.

  1. […] in cat litter beads, there is a great  “how to” on how to make economical humidifiers at http://www.stufficanmake.com using common items found around the house and propylene […]

  2. YardGnome says:

    Further experience with these has shown that it is better to not roll the paper towel too tight, but rather leave an opening down the middle. This increases the surface area available for the humidity (moisture) it the paper towel to more efficiently move out of the hole in the cap. It also better facilitates recharging, as the fluid can soak in along the inner channel, instead of having to soak in, slower, from just the exposed end.

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