What to do about mould in the humidor?

Along with the tobacco beetle, mould is probably the greatest threat to cigars stored in a humidor. If you think there is mould growing on your cigars, don't panic, it may just be cigar bloom.

Cigar bloom is a protein compound, which looks just like mould to most people but is completely harmless and can easily be removed from the wrapper of the cigar with a brush. However, cigar bloom can be an indication of a too moist climate for your cigars. Mould then would be the next stage, if the humidity is not lowered successfully.

How do you recognise mould? Everyone has had mouldy bread in their hands at one time or another. Cigars with mould present in a similar manner: a greyish-green, fur-like covering, which can also be partly removed with a brush but which leaves stains in its wake. Contrary to cigar bloom, mould will also affect the wood lining of your humidor in the long term. If there are mouldy cigars inside a humidor, it will have a musty smell.

When does mould occur? If you do have mould on your cigars, the humidity level inside the humidor probably persisted at over 80% for several weeks. If you can rule this out beyond a doubt, it will likely be cigar bloom.

What to do with mould? If you have identified mould, you will need to check each cigar thoroughly and, unfortunately, dispose of any cigar that is affected. Cigars which appear to be unaffected should be checked carefully again the next time you open the humidor. Even if the mould has not obviously affected the wood of the humidor, you should thoroughly clean it with a dry cloth to remove any mould spores. To irradicate all trace of mould use a hair dryer. The spores will die when exposed to temperatures above 50°C.

For high-quality humidors, the inner walls of the humidor can be sanded with sandpaper.

At this point you should also check the humidification system. Whether sponge or acryl polymer, whether active or passive system - you should open the humidifier and clean it carefully. If the sponge is affected, it should be disposed of and replaced. In our shop you can buy an acryl polymer replacement sponge. Even if you find no visible signs that the humidifier has been affected, it is still highly recommended to replace the humidifying agent of the humidifier (i.e. sponge, etc) to minimize the risk of another outbreak and to thoroughly clean the entire humidification system.

How can I fix the causes? Frequently the humidification system itself is responsible. Either because it is too big for the humidor or the cigars were stored too close to it. You might consider purchasing a humidification system adapted to the size of the humidor and the amount of cigars stored therein, ideally an electronic humidification system, which provides a more precise control of the humidity level and air circulation.

Read also our recommendations for too high humidity in humidor.

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