How to Troubleshoot Common Cigar Humidor Problems

How to Troubleshoot Common Cigar Humidor Problems

Storing your collection of favorite cigars in a good quality humidor gives you peace of mind. You know when you go to retrieve your smoke the experience will be all that it should and more. That’s because your cigar humidor keeps your stogies impervious and protected from the elements and preserves and enhances the glorious flavors within. There’s nothing like a perfect cigar humidor for cigar safe keeping. Until something goes wrong.

Cigar humidors are not infallible. Although the occasional issue does happen you can often troubleshoot the problem and fix it on your own. Here we give you our compilation of common cigar humidor problems and how to fix them.

Damp Cigars

If you reach for your favorite Romeo y Julieta and find it to be even slightly damp to the touch you probably have a humidification issue with your cigar humidor. This sometimes happens when the evaporation surface is too big for the number of cigars you have stored. You can spread out your cigar collection evenly and see if that helps or replace the humidifier with a humidification system with an airflow function. You can also invest in a smaller humidor until your collection grows.

Another cause of damp cigars is storing them too close to the humidification source. If you find you need to use every square inch of your humidor it may be time for a second one.

Cigars That Are Too Dry

When you’ve stored your cigars inside your humidor and they come out too dry it’s really very disappointing. Dry cigars lose their appeal as they become too harsh and stale very quickly. They don’t maintain an even burn and burn far too rapidly and hot. There are a few different reasons cigars dry out in a cigar humidor.

Your evaporation surface may be too small for the size of your humidor. If that is the case you will need to replace your humidor and install an active regulated humidification system. And make sure it has an air flow function too.

Another reason your stogies are too dry may be your own eagerness to use your humidor before the wood is sufficiently moisturized. If that could be the case simply remove your collection and wipe down the wood with a damp cloth every 2-3 hours. This should moisturize the wood sufficiently to prevent dried out cigars.

The Cigar Humidor Has Areas That are Both Damp and AreasThat are Dry

When your cigar humidor has areas that are dry and areas that are damp you can’t maintain the proper moisture in the air necessary to maintain the integrity of your cigar collection. This could be due to the tray preventing an even flow of air. If that’s the case simply remove the tray and drill some additional holes in the bottom. These additional air holes will help in even air flow and humidity distribution. Also, install an active humidifier with the air flow function.

If your cigar humidor model has drawers for storing your smokes, such as those found in many cabinet humidor models, you may need to remove a few of the drawers. Then store your cigars in boxes and install an active humidifier on the back wall of the humidor. Remember an active humidifier can only be installed on the back wall and not in a humidor with cigars in drawers.

Musty Smelling Humidor

A musty smelling humidor can really compromise the flavor of your favorite cigars. There are a few different causes of musty humidors and most of the time they are related to the quality of your cigar humidor and it’s wood.

Sometimes the musty odor comes from untreated slots in the tray or dividing strips. If that’s the case remove the tray and use a two-component clear lacquer to treat the slots. If your dividing strips are musty then toss them and replace them with newer, better quality strips.

Some humidors are lined with inferior wood and that is often a cause of mustiness. If you suspect your humidor’s lining to be less than excellent remove and replace with Spanish Cedar.

Visible Mold Within Your Humidor

This is an absolute threat to the integrity of your cigars as well as your cigar humidor. This cigar humidor problem requires troubleshooting of a careful variety. A moldy humidor is often caused by over humidification or a leaking humidifier. If your humidor maintains excessive levels of relative humidity for extended periods of time the result can devastate both your cigar humidor and your cigar collection.

The first step in troubleshooting this cigar humidor problem is to empty your humidor, wipe it out thoroughly with a damp cloth. Only use water as other agents such as alcohol and vinegar are ineffective and may affect the flavor of your cigars. Sand down the wood inside your humidor with a fine grit sandpaper such as 120 grit. Remove all of the dust (but not with the cloth you used initially. Use a new cloth.) Thoroughly dry your humidor using a handheld hair dryer or art drying tool. Re-season according to your humidor manufacturers directions and calibrate your hygrometer.

Now examine all of your cigars very closely to ensure the mold hasn’t infiltrated any of them. Toss any moldy cigars after confirming they are in fact moldy and what you see isn’t simply cigar bloom (plume). Mold is fuzzy and grayish green. Cigar bloom (plume) is white and crystalline. If you’re in doubt, throw it out.

Wrappers That Are Torn or Bursted Cigar Tips

Extreme humidity fluctuation within the humidor can create tension in the cigar itself. The tension can cause the filler to swell and burst forth from the wrapper. Troubleshoot this common cigar humidor problem by striving for consistent levels of relative humidity. Make sure your humidor maintains its Seall and use an appropriate size passive humidifier for your humidor. You may decide to install and active humidification system instead.

Loss of Cigar Bouquet

Over time your cigar is supposed to actually taste better. The aroma develops within your humidor. If your cigar collection has lost it’s bouquet (or nose) and you find your previously impressive stogie has become bland and tasteless it could be because your humidor is just too large. You can remedy this by investing in a smaller humidor or by storing your cigars in boxes within the humidor in order to minimize the volume of open air space.

Another cause of loss of bouquet stems from airing out your humidor. It isn’t necessary and can actually damage your humidor and its contents. Just don’t do it!

If you’ve been told to air out your humidor in order to avoid excessive moisture then invest in a better active regulated humidification system.

Humidors Are Our Business

If you think it's time to invest in a better, smaller, larger or higher quality cigar humidor or you wish to upgrade your humidification system reach out to Northwoods Humidors. Humidors are our specialty and we can help you determine any additional cigar humidor problems not listed here as well as offer troubleshooting solutions. Contact Northwoods Humidors for all of your humidor needs.

16th Jan 2024 Colleen D

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