Humidors are integral for the long-term storage of your cigars, and as simple as they are, they’re not quite a ‘set it and forget it’ system. Humidors require a watchful eye and periodic maintenance to ensure that optimum humidity levels are being held. Here are the most common problems encountered when storing cigars in a humidor and suggestions on how to fix them.
1) DRY CIGARS
The evaporation surface of the humidifier is too small for the humidor. Choose a larger humidifier or install an active regulated humidifying system with air flow function
The humidor wood may still be dry and is taking moisture out of the air. Re-humidify the wood by wiping with a with a damp cloth every 2 to 3 hours until relative humidity stabilises.
2) DAMP CIGARS
Cigars too close to humidifier, especially when a tray is being used. When possible, increase the distance between your cigars and the humidifier. If space is limited insert a layer of veneer from a cigar box between the cigars and the humidifier, or store the cigars closest to the humidifier in aluminum tubes.
The evaporation surface of the humidifier is too large for the humidor. Cover a section of the evaporation surface with sticky tape or choose a smaller humidifier. Install an active humidifier with air flow function.
3) THE HUMIDOR SIMULTANEOUSLY HAS DAMP AND DRY SPOTS
Even distribution of moisture in the air hindered by tray or other obstruction. Remove tray or drill extra holes in it, ensure that air holes above/below the humidifier remain unobstructed. If you are using a larger humidor and storing full boxes, remove boxes. Install an active humidifier with air flow function.
4) MUSTY SMELL
Untreated MDF surfaces (slots in tray, dividing strips). Varnish the inside of the air holes with two-component clear lacquer, or remove the tray completely. Replace the dividing strips.
Excessive humidity causing mustiness in the wood. Re-line the humidor with Spanish cedar. Adjust or change humidification system if necessary.
Unsuitable wood used in humidor. Re-line the humidor with Spanish cedar.
5) MOULDY CIGARS OR HUMIDOR SURFACE
Excessive humidity levels in humidor: May be due to an oversized humidifier or leakage of water from the humidifier. Remove cigars, separating moldy from un-mouldy sticks. If moldy sticks may be wiped clean, store in a low humidity environment and monitor for mould regrowth. Wipe the humidor out with a damp cloth, sand down with 120 grit sandpaper and remove all dust. Dry the humidor with a hairdryer (min. 50°C). Once the humidor is dry, re-season and reintroduce cigars at controlled humidity.
6) TORN WRAPPERS, FEET OR HEADS
Extreme fluctuations in humidity levels: Fluctuations in humidity may cause rapid expansion and contractions of filler tobacco, leading to burst/torn binders and wrappers. Keep humidity levels as constant as possible. Install an active humidification system.
7) DIMINISHED AROMA OVER TIME
Humidor too large for collection. Aside from the obvious solution of purchasing more cigars, this may be solved by reducing the volume of open air space in your humidor. Do this by placing closed boxes into your humidor to reduce air-space. If storing a small number of single cigars in the humidor, store them in boxes.
Humidor is aired regularly. Under no circumstances air your humidor. Moisture control issues should be dealt with by replacing or adjusting your humidifier.