There’s no question that mold has an important part to play in this world – one thinks of penicillin, for instance, or Roquefort cheese. However, one of the last places you want to find it would be on your premium cigars. But if it gets into your humidor, that’s exactly what may happen.
Both cigars and mold love a moist environment, unfortunately, which is precisely what a humidor is designed to maintain. Once established, mold can ruin the humidor along with its contents. So in this, as in so many other aspects of life, an ounce of prevention is worth the proverbial pound of cure.
The first thing to do is to regularly check your humidor for proper temperature and humidity range – roughly around 70 degrees F and 70 percent, respectively. A humidor that’s warmer and moister than this will encourage mold growth, and it’ll deteriorate the quality of your cigars as well.
When you check these metrics, visually inspect the interior of the humidor along with the cigars for any signs of mold spots. Colors may include blue, green or black with a fuzzy appearance. Of course, white bloom or plume on the cigars themselves is no cause for alarm and does no harm.
It may be present even without any visual indication, though. So while the lid’s up, stick your nose inside and take a couple of deep breaths. You should smell only the rich tobacco goodness of your sticks and the faint but fragrant scent of the Spanish cedar liner. There should be no musty, rotten or other off odor.
Checking the measurements and scent inside the humidor also serves to let in a few moments of fresh air, which can help keep any ambient mold spores from gaining a foothold inside the box. But of course, do not keep the lid up for an extended period of time for fear of drying things out too much.
Caught in the very early stages, mold can be removed from your humidor using isopropyl alcohol wiped all over the wood interior. Store the cigars elsewhere, in a moisture controlled environment, while the humidor is being treated. If the cigars have no visible signs and no odor of mold, they should be good to keep.
A little vigilance will go a long way toward keeping mold where it belongs – far away from your humidor!