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I calibrated my xikar digital hygrometer using the salt test for about 18hrs but the hygrometer didn't read 75% it read 70%. Am new to humidor and hygrometers. I read somewhere to take the battery out and re-calibrate the hygrometer which I am in the process of doing. Is there anything else I can do I am so confused I need help.

Hi Marlon,

To salt test a hygrometer, take a full teaspoon of salt and add some distilled water to it in a small dish or bowl.  Mix the salt mixture thoroughly so that the salt is wet and crumbly like wet sand.  If the salt mixture is watery like a paste, you've added too much water.  Place the salt mixture in a small bag or container with your analog hygrometer for 4-6 hours.  If after 6 hours, your hygrometer reads 75% humidity, it does not require calibration.  If your hygrometer displays a humidity level other than 75%, adjust the reading on the hygrometer so that it does read 75%.  (You should refer to the instruction manual that came with your hygrometer on how to adjust the reading.)  Your hygrometer is now accurate and properly calibrated.

Digital hygrometers are extremely sensitive, highly accurate and factory-calibrated so they usually do not require salt testing or calibration. Depending on the hygrometer brand and model, you may need to program the hygrometer (if necessary) but in most cases, testing the unit for accuracy is not required.  As always, it's best to check the instruction manual that came with your hygrometer as all brands are different and some may have special instructions on how to use the hygrometer properly.

If you need to double-check a digital hygrometer for accuracy, you can salt test and calibrate an analog hygrometer and then place it with your digital hygrometer in a humidor for several hours.  If the analog hygrometer and digital hygrometer both have matching readings, your digital hygrometer is accurate.  If the digital hygrometer has a different reading than the analog unit, you can adjust the reading on the digital hygrometer so that it matches the analog hygrometer.  

If the digital hygrometer continues to give slow or false readings, try installing a brand new battery as a weak battery could cause your hygrometer to perform slowly or be inaccurate.  If the hygrometer continues to be defective, you should contact the place of purchase or the manufacturer (Xikar) for replacement.

I hope this helps.  If you have any more questions, please feel free to just ask and I will be happy to help.



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James Yee


My main area of expertise is Cuban cigars and I can assist you if you have questions pertaining to Cuban cigars. I can also assist you with the following:

- General cigar-related questions and advice
- Humidor maintenance and troubleshooting (How to treat humidor mold, correct high/low humidity, humidor seasoning, etc.)
- Accessory maintenance and troubleshooting (Cigar cutters, hygrometers, humidifiers, etc.)
- Cigar restoration, preservation and troubleshooting (How to treat cigar mold/tobacco beetles, restoring vintage/dry cigars, etc.)
- Cigar/Brand identification
- Cigar etiquette

Unsure of a certain cigar brand? Wondering what a certain cigar tastes like? Have a question about Cuban cigars? Having problems with a humidor or Just let me know! I have smoked every brand of Cuban cigars and most reputable non-Cuban cigar brands on a regular basis so I know a fair bit about taste profiles, cigar etiquette and other fine nuances to cigar smoking. (NOTE: My main focus is on premium, hand-rolled cigars and not cheap, machine made, convenience store cigars.) IMPORTANT: PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT PROVIDE CIGAR OR CIGAR-RELATED APPRAISALS. If you have a vintage cigar item and you want to know if it's worth something, please contact an antique dealer that specializes in "TOBACCIANA".


I currently have 19 dedicated years of cigar smoking and counting. I have smoked every brand of Cuban cigars and most reputable non-Cuban cigar brands on a regular basis so I know a fair bit about taste profiles, cigar etiquette and other fine nuances to cigar smoking. For 5 years, I studied with Cuban torcedores (rollers), catadores (taste testers) and revisadores (inspectors) on every aspect involving the production of the Cuban cigar and I am currently writing a book that will help beginners understand everything they need to know about cigars and cigar smoking.

Maple Leaf Gardens: Memories & Dreams 1931-1999 (1999; ISBN: 0920445616)
50 Things Every Guy Should Know How To Do (2006; ISBN: 0452286654)
The [London] Times (October 8, 2009)

B.A. University of Toronto

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