How do I calibrate a hygrometer?

I just got a humidor for my Cuban cigars I brought back from Cuba but the hygrometer doesn’t appear to be working properly, should I calibrate it first and if so how do I do that?


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3 Comments on "How do I calibrate a hygrometer?"

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Sam F
So I’m confused – I always thought the gauge in my humidor was called a hydrometer (with a “D). What’s the difference between a hydrometer and hygrometer?
Alex Schenker
Hi Sam,

Good question, and I think one that is often confused. For your humidor you want a hygrometer (with a G) to help you measure the humidity. They hydrometer (with a D) is used in physics to measure the relative density of liquids, that is, the ratio of the density of the liquid to the density of the water.

Alex Schenker
Hi Elix, the humidor’s hygrometer measures humidity. You can calibrate it by placing it in a sealed plastic bag with a bottle cap or shot glass. Pour some distilled water into the glass and add about a tablespoon of salt, seal the bag and wait 6 hours. The environment in the bag will be 75% humidity – adjust hydrometer up or down if the reading is not 75.

Alternatively, if you have more than one hygrometer and one is already calibrated, place them both in your humidor and adjust one to match the other. In case you’re curious, I use this hygrometer (avail on Amazon) and am happy with it.

You’ll want to keep your humidor’s humidity between 65% – 75% to avoid drying or molding the cigars (also, dry cigars can be rescued by re-humidifying but a moldy cigar will usually have to be trashed, so make sure to keep the humidity below 75%!). Hope that helps and enjoy those Cuban cigars!