Cigar humidors are wonderful inventions – small wooden boxes lined with Spanish cedar wood or mahogany and equipped with a hygrometer device to maintain proper humidity levels for storing cigars. A humidor lined with cedar wood is especially desirable in helping to eliminate the problem of tobacco beetles from invading your stored cigars.
Over time, bacteria and mold can build up within the humidor, requiring a proper cleaning regimen in order to prevent your having to throw away hundreds of dollars of quality cigars ruined by mold.
Empty the Humidor
Remove all cigars being stored in the humidor and place them in a sealed plastic container in the refrigerator. This will help to retard the growth of mold if any mold has begun infecting your stored cigars. If you see any visible mold inside the humidor, usually bluish-green in color, vacuum or brush it out with a soft clean cloth.
Wipe with Alcohol
Dampen a clean cloth with isopropyl alcohol and wipe down the entire interior of your humidor. Do not use plain water for this process as it can ruin the humidor. And don’t use so much alcohol that the inside of the humidor wood becomes wet. You just want to lightly moisten the interior wood surface with the alcohol to be sure to kill off any mold spores existing there.
Once mold has contaminated your humidor, it’s best to replace the humidifying unit rather than attempting to clean it out only to find out several weeks later that the unit no longer maintains the proper humidity level in the humidor. After installing a new humidity device, let it sit empty and closed for about a week before checking to see if any mold has reappeared. If not, you are ready to enjoy using your humidor once again.
Return Cigars to Humidor
Check the cigars you have stored to see if any show signs of mold on the wrappers. This can be safely wiped off using isopropyl alcohol before returning your cigars to their humidor storage.
Use a soft cotton cloth dampened with distilled water to wipe away any dust or dirt that has accumulated on the outside of your humidor.
If any strange smells have accumulated in your humidor, place a shot glass of whiskey or cognac in the empty humidor for a few days and keep the door closed. Some cigar lovers add either liquor to the humidifying water to flavor their cigars.