Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 18 October 2013

User Rating: / 4


Every lover of fine cigars should really have a humidor to keep them fresh, but a good one can be expensive. Maybe you’re just not ready to make the commitment to a pricey humidor, or are hinting around to a loved one that you’d like one as a gift. Or maybe your cigar collection has outgrown the humidor you have. While you’re waiting, put together the do-it-yourself, humidor—the cooler-dor. Maybe it’s not as classy as a fancy humidor, but it will keep your cigars from getting stale, and it’s pretty cheap. Here’s a guide to the supplies you need and how to put together your own cooler-dor.

The Cooler

The first thing you need is a good, sturdy cooler. Not one of those tiny ones that hold a six-pack, the zippered folding kind or the flimsy ones made of Styrofoam. For this job, you want a large Igloo-type cooler, at least 50 quarts, although 150 qt. is more practical in the long run. While bigger may be better, don’t buy a cooler so large that you have no room in your place to put it!


Since you’re doing this to save money, shop around for the best price on your cooler. Some stores have their remaining stock of last summer’s coolers marked down, and you may be able to find a weekly special at your local grocery or drug store. Home stores and discount chains are also good places to find a quality cooler at a good price.

You don’t need a cooler with a spigot, but you do need to look for one with sturdy hinges and a lid that seals tightly. There should be no plastic-y smell that could permeate your cigars. Trays and dividers are optional.

The Placement

Pick out a cool, dry place in your home to keep your cooler-dor, one where it won’t be exposed to extreme variations in temperature or humidity. A large closet is ideal. The basement is good, provided it doesn’t leak or flood in rainy weather. Try to pick a spot away from traffic where you won’t have to move it too often. Bad choices include the garage, kitchen, bathroom or utility room.

The Prep

Even if your new cooler doesn’t have that heavy plastic smell, you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t carry any scent at all. To remove any residual odor, pour in a quarter cup of unscented bleach, fill to the top with water and close. If you don’t have any liquid bleach, a mild detergent will do. Let it sit overnight. Then dump out the water (carefully, since it can leave bleach marks if splashed on your clothes) and let the cooler dry naturally in the sun. Finally, pour a half to a whole box of baking soda into a bowl and leave it inside the cooler overnight.


After this, your cooler should have no smell at all. If it still has a lingering odor, repeat the process. You don’t want the cooler to transfer any type of unwanted smells onto the cigars you’ll be storing inside.

Now that you’ve got your supplies and eliminated any unwanted odors it’s time to start the build.  Keep reading and you’ll be on your way to building your own coolerador.

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