You're having a relaxing night at home. As you sit on your couch, you eye your humidor, craving a tasty cigar. You open your humidor, grab a favorite cigar and light up, only to find that it is either too dry, overly humidified, or worse yet, moldy.
Too much or too little moisture can ruin your cigars and definitely your mood. Maintaining proper humidity in your humidor can be a huge problem when trying to preserve your precious cigars. When you notice that your cigars are dry or too moist, you likely have a problem with the way you're using your humidor.
If you're not sure how to maintain a humidor, don't worry--most of these issues are easily resolved. Here are 3 of the most common issues with humidors and how you can resolve them:
1. Your Cigars Are Dry
If you find that your cigars are dried out, it goes without saying that you need a more efficient form of humidification delivery. This can be in the form of humidification beads, gels, Boveda packs, or an active humidification system.
If you recently purchased a humidor from a store or haven’t recently checked the condition of the one you have been using for a while, the wood inside could be dry. As a result, the wood sucks the moisture from the air, leaving your cigars dry and brittle. New humidors always need to be seasoned before you store your cigars in them, and a humidor that has been in use but has lost its ability to hold in humidity may also need re-seasoning. You can use one of several methods to do this: the shot glass method, the wipe-down, or the Boveda humidor seasoning pack . Be sure to use distilled water for the first two methods.
Another major cause of a drop in humidity is a humidor that has a bad seal and is leaking air. You can check for this using the dollar bill or flashlight test.
An under-filled humidor can also make maintaining a consistent environment for your cigars a difficult task. Your humidor will work best when it has a sufficient amount of cigars in it to act as a buffer against big swings in humidity.
2. Your Cigars Are Damp
When you smoke your cigar, is it harsh and difficult to keep lit? Chances are they are overly humidified.
The main reason for this is that you are using too strong of a humidity delivery system. Be sure to follow the recommendations that the manufacturer of your system provides to determine your needs.
You will probably also need to air out the humidor for a bit to bring the humidity down to an ideal level, and you may need to dry-box the wet cigars for a while.
3. Your Humidor is Moldy
When your humidor is too humid or warm, mold can form. Remove the cigars and lightly sand the interior surfaces with 120 or 150 grit sandpaper, then vacuum out the dust. Next, carefully wipe down your humidor with a cloth lightly dampened with isopropyl alcohol, then wipe again with distilled water. Be sure to air out the humidor until the alcohol odor dissipates. This will also help to ensure that the wood is not overly saturated.
Make sure to check out all of your cigars to make sure none of them are moldy, and keep an eye on them to ensure that there won’t be another outbreak. Keep in mind, however, that there really is no sure way to completely eliminate all of the mold spores, so vigilance is necessary. Also, be sure to keep your humidor away from direct sunlight or a heat source such as a forced-air heat register or radiator.
Keeping Humidor Humidity In Check
One final point: to avoid the above problems, you should have an accurate and reliable digital hygrometer to monitor the conditions in your humidor. It is also a good idea to occasionally rotate the position of the cigars in the humidor to ensure that they are receiving even humidification. Using the correct humidor maintenance techniques can save your cigars from drying out or having too much moisture. Finding the source of humidor humidity problems can be frustrating, but these fixes can go a long way to ensure that you'll have fresh and flavorful cigars every time you want a puff.
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