Humidor Headaches & How To Cure Them
It’s happened to the best of us – we fork out some hard-earned money for a beautiful new humidor to keep our cigars in peak condition, but find to our disappointment that things are going wrong. The cigars are too dry, or too moist, or are growing mould, or are losing their flavour.
Fortunately, most problems have a simple explanation. Here’s our list of common troubleshooting issues with humidors and what you should do able them.
The first thing to say is: if you have a new humidor, you must ensure it has stabilized before you use it. There are plenty of online guides for how to do this (we’ll get round to writing one ourselves at some point) but generally it’s a good idea to wait a week or so for the new wood to absorb enough moisture to make the humidor effective.
If you’ve done that, and you’re still having problems, read on…
- Cigars are drying out
This is generally due to one of two things. Either you have not stabilized your humidor correctly (as mentioned above), or the evaporation surface of the humidifier is too small for your humidor. You can fix that by purchasing a larger humidifier or installing a regulated humidifying system.
- Cigars are becoming too damp
There are again two major causes of this. The evaporation surface of your humidifier may be too large for your humidor, in which case you can cover a section of it or buy a smaller one. Alternatively, it could be because you are storing your cigars too close to the humidifier. To counteract this you can keep the cigars closest to the humidifier in tubes, or move them further away, or insert a veneer between the cigars and the humidifier.
- The humidor smells musty
These could be because the wood used isn’t suitable, or that the humidity has been excessive. In both cases you could try re-lining with humidor with quality Spanish cedar wood.
It could also be because of untreated MDF surfaces within the humidor on the tray or in dividing strips. You could try replacing the MDF surfaces or varnishing with clear lacquer.
- The humidor is mouldy
These is usually due to too much humidity over a long time, possibly as a result of a leaking humidifier. The solution is to replace the humidifier and wipe the humidor out with a damp cloth before sanding it down lightly. Remove any dust, then gently dry the humidor with a hairdryer. You should remove any mouldy cigars.
- The humidor has damp spots and dry spots
This is an awkward problem but surprisingly common. It is generally because the tray is not allowing a properly even distribution of moisture, in which case change the tray or drill holes in it.
Alternatively, if it is a cabinet humidor, it could be because drawers are preventing even moisture distribution. If this is the case you could try removing some of the drawers and storing cigars in boxes.
- Damaged cigars
Sometimes, if the humiditiy in a humidifier changes too much, it can cause cigar wrappers to tear due to expansion of the filler. The solution is simple: ensure your humidifier keeps a steady humidity.
- Loss of cigar quality/loss of bouquet
This could be due to two main reasons. Either the humidor is too large for the number of cigars stored within it, or because it is being aired too regularly. You should really try to avoid airing your humidor – it doesn’t do it or your cigars any good and there are alternative ways to reduce the moisture level if that’s your aim.
These are our top humidor headaches. If there are any more you’re curious about write in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll provide an answer if there is one!