Monday, November 25, 2013

Remove Mold From a Humidor

Remove Mold From a Humidor
Well it finally happened. MOLD! I found thick, green, fuzzy, mold in the bottom of a humidor. So here it is, How to Remove Mold From a Humidor.

The other day I was checking the humidity in my humidors when I noticed that the humidity had dropped to 60% in my "daily smokes" humidor. I have been doing reviews most of the time whenever I do get the chance to smoke, so I hadn't checked it in a few days. After removing the top tray I could see the humidifier that had been leaning against one of the lower partitions had fallen over (I have not found a humidifier that will stick to the inner lid of a humidor yet). When I picked the humidifier up to refill it, the entire area underneath was growing dark green mold. Instantly I was in panic mode, there were about 50 cigars in this humidor.

First things first, I was more worried about the cigars than the humidor. Luckily I had the humidifier in a partition that had no cigars and every stick was still in original cellophane. I gave each cigar a close examination as I place them into a Ziploc bag. My other humidor is over capacity and my tupper-dore was still in storage since we'd moved so I knew they were destined for a nap in the refrigerator. Once they were all bagged up, I threw in a couple humidipaks, zipped up the bag and put them safely away. First I should pass on my past experience with refrigerator storage of cigars.

About 20 years ago, or longer than that, pre internet days. I belonged to a cigar club that automatically shipped my chosen cigars every month. For one reason or another, I had about 250 more sticks than I could keep in the humidor so I bagged them up for storage in the fridge. Well after a couple of months in the fridge all the moisture had been pretty much sucked out of them. I did eventually find out how to save them. I double bagged them and added a damp sponge inside the outer bag and after several months they were back in shape well enough to smoke.

OK, well since the cigars were safe it was time to work on the humidor. I searched the web for ways to kill mold growing on wood and found suggestions ranging from UV lights to blow dryers to alcohol. I chose a combination of the alcohol and blow dryer methods. First I threw away the moldy humidifier block and the jar that were in use at the time (one website suggested throwing away the humidor, but that's not in my budget). The next step was to vacuum off the moldy area to remove the surface mold, then coated it with a heavy dose of rubbing alcohol. Then I used the hair dryer and dried the infected area thoroughly. Once it was dry I repeated this process two more times. Once that was done I soaked a rag in alcohol and wiped down the entire inner surface including the dividers and trays. Once that was done I left the humidor open and let it air dry for three days.

After the third day the humidor looked good and all I could do was hope it was clean. I had already ordered new humidifier blocks but they hadn't arrived, so I wiped down the interior surface of the humidor with distilled water and closed it up, repeating this process several times for the next two days. 

Well so far so good. There were no new signs of mold so I added new humidifiers, which this one did stick to the lid, and let it set for two days until the humidity was back in the normal range. With luck, the humidor still looked ok so I added back the cigars from the refrigerator.

It has been over a month since I reintroduce cigars back into the humidor and I am happy to report that so far all is well. None of my cigars were ruined and the humidor is mold free. I will post a review on the humidifier one of these days.

Finally I should mention this method worked for me and it may not work for you. If you use this information you do so at your own risk.