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View Full Version : best way to clean mold off a cigar?


spectrrr
10-22-2008, 01:59 AM
What I have read (and am about to do if someone doesnt stop me) is to gently wipe the cigar down with rubbing alcohol.

I've got a couple CC's that I don't want to lose OR ruin. They've got just a little bit of mold growing around the cap, and obviously I want to stop it in its tracks NOW :mad:

humidor likewise has been wiped with rubbing alcohol and is reseasoning, while everything waits in ziplock bags...

(gah, and I was only gone for 3 weeks... its past time to switch to beads, they're on the way!)

Pyro
10-22-2008, 03:11 AM
STOP! :eek:

Never ever use rubbing alcohol, or any other solvent on your cigars!

First of all, is it white mold? If so, you do not have to wipe it off, whiping it away does not stop the infestion. The only way to do that is to keep the relative humidity down! It is not dangerous to smoke cigars with white mold and it seldom affects the taste (actually some people, me included, claim that it seems that some mold could be beneficial for the taste, this is not proven yet though!). If you however feel uncomfortable smoking a cigar with white mold you can gently wipe it off with a dry soft cloth or soft brush.

Remember that the visible part of the mold is a smaller part of its total mass. Most of it is inside the tobacco!

Lastly, is the mold green? Then it is unfortunately nothing to do but pitching the stick!

Edit:
Whiping the inside of the humidor with alcohol will not stop mold infestion either since spores of mold is everywhere in our environment! The only way is to keep the RH at reasonable levels, like 65-70 % that most cigar smokers prefer. Check your hygrometer!

icehog3
10-22-2008, 03:18 AM
STOP! :eek:

Never ever use rubbing alcohol, or any other solvent on your cigars!



Sage advice. ;)

spectrrr
10-22-2008, 03:37 AM
thanks guys :)

I didnt wipe em with alcohol. I was a bit leery of that advice (hence the post), but I didnt know what else to do. Its the white variety. I very gently wiped it off (dry cloth), and will keep the sticks in isolation for a bit.

Hygrometer is fine, no beads + 3 weeks out of town + person that was supposed to check on them not checking on them, that did em in. Came home tonight to find the humi at 71% :(

BEADS ARE ORDERED!!!

Pyro
10-22-2008, 03:42 AM
...I very gently wiped it off, and will keep the sticks in isolation for a bit... There is no need of separating them from other cigars since the mold will stop growing when the RH is lowered! The spores are already spread to all of your cigars but as I stated above, spores were most probably present in the cigars from the beginning!

spectrrr
10-22-2008, 03:51 AM
There is no need of separating them from other cigars since the mold will stop growing when the RH is lowered! The spores are already spread to all of your cigars but as I stated above, spores were most probably present in the cigars from the beginning!

ahh ok.. and some cigars grow it easier (sooner) than others, gotcha! Thanks!

dmoby
10-22-2008, 04:21 AM
STOP! :eek:

Never ever use rubbing alcohol, or any other solvent on your cigars!

First of all, is it white mold? If so, you do not have to wipe it off, whiping it away does not stop the infestion. The only way to do that is to keep the relative humidity down! It is not dangerous to smoke cigars with white mold and it seldom affects the taste (actually some people, me included, claim that it seems that some mold could be beneficial for the taste, this is not proven yet though!). If you however feel uncomfortable smoking a cigar with white mold you can gently wipe it off with a dry soft cloth or soft brush.

Remember that the visible part of the mold is a smaller part of its total mass. Most of it is inside the tobacco!

Lastly, is the mold green? Then it is unfortunately nothing to do but pitching the stick!

Edit:
Whiping the inside of the humidor with alcohol will not stop mold infestion either since spores of mold is everywhere in our environment! The only way is to keep the RH at reasonable levels, like 65-70 % that most cigar smokers prefer. Check your hygrometer!
:tu

ElkTwin
10-22-2008, 07:23 AM
The senior sales fellow at P.G.C. Hajenius in Amsterdam showed me how to remove a fine covering of white mold with a soft brush. White mold has never been an issue with me since.

I HATE the blue mold, though. That stuff is nasty.

kayaker
10-22-2008, 07:36 AM
Where I leave there are no decent B&Ms around. Just a bunch of shops that sell cigarettes and lottery tickets and a cabinet of cigars that they don't know how to take care of. I've been to a bunch of them, but the humidity levels are all over the place.

One shop I went into had 2 partial boxes of MC #4s that were completely covered in green mold. It was really bad and obviously had not been looked at in a long time. Enough to make a guy cry.:eek:

ucla695
10-22-2008, 07:53 AM
Blue mold, bad. White mold is not a problem as long as it hasn't infested the foot. I use a damp cloth and gently wipe down the spots where the fuzzies are. I'd keep an eye on the stick(s) to make sure it doesn't come back. Ditto on lowering your RH. It will help prevent this problem.

Starscream
10-22-2008, 09:52 AM
White mold. You can always burn it off.:ss

jbonnefsc
10-22-2008, 10:00 AM
Yeah, so my B&M has the same problem as Kayaker.

There is this GREAT B&M in town, some of the best prices I've ever seen. I'm talking about MSRP or less on everything. Oliva V's for $5.50 for the big Torps.

A great selection, too. Trouble is, one of their cabinets is completely covered in mold. They claim it is plume, but I didn't think plume got all over the glass of the cabinet. :PU

And what it is worse, It's the cabinet with Sancho Panza in it...I want some of those Double Maduros, damnit!!!!

Stick
10-22-2008, 10:13 AM
No worries about the cigars, just wipe them off, get the humidity back down, and enjoy. Some really good mold information from a smart feller:
that white mold - claudisporium - isn't really a problem at all.

The white mold is an airborn spore that is present everywhere - all the time.

This particular mold will grow with the least amount of moisture - it is the first mold to appear. It is a light surface mold and is easily removed. It will appear within 12 hours of introduction of moisture and goes dormant as soon as the moisture levels drop.

Quite frequently, the change in temperature caused by the pressurized cabin of an airplane will cause enough condensation (from cigars kept at ideal humidity by the way) to result in increased surface moisture on the cigar wrappers to allow this mold to appear. Usually, by the time the cigars reach normal temps, the moisture level is corrected and the mold is dormant.

Claudisporium is considered a harmless mold. However, there are no federal standards regarding exposure to mold because everyone reacts differently. So, it's never safe to say that any particular mold is always harmless.

The reality is that this particular mold exists everywhere - each and every day we breath in more of this little critter that you can see on the "moldy sticks" that were described. If the human body did not have the ability to deal with inhaled mold spores - we would all be dead many times over.

Quarantine is not going to stop the spread of the mold. Like I said - it's everywhere all the time. You need to control the moisture - and that means a bit more than relative humidity - the one factor in the equation that many folks do not give enough consideration is the "dew point". We talk about air born moisture and temperature (relatively humidity) - but at what temperature will that Rh condense. If the surface temp of a cigar drops to the dew point - moisture will condense on the cigar - which is of course - 100% surface humidity and will support amplified mold growth.

The mold spores need two things to move into the amplified growth stage - Moisture and food. The food is any organic material.

Mold digests food outside it's body - so, the spores need to land on an organic surface that has surface moisture - they extrude the digestive chemicals and then intake the digested food and begin to grow.

If you remove the moisture - the mold will go dormant. It's just not a heartbreaker to see the white, cloudy, fluffy mold on a cigar as many seem to think.

spectrrr
10-22-2008, 11:12 AM
You need to control the moisture - and that means a bit more than relative humidity - the one factor in the equation that many folks do not give enough consideration is the "dew point". We talk about air born moisture and temperature (relatively humidity) - but at what temperature will that Rh condense. If the surface temp of a cigar drops to the dew point - moisture will condense on the cigar - which is of course - 100% surface humidity and will support amplified mold growth.

BINGO! Temp varried quite a bit while I was gone. When I left it was probably 70 degrees, and while I was gone the temp dropped quite a bit, now its around 50 degrees. That drop in temp probably brought about a significant increase in the level of moisture at the surface of the cigar (even above the stated %71 rh), and voila! instant mold.

Thanks again guys :)

AdamC
10-24-2008, 09:11 PM
Thanks for the advice all. I received one in a glass tube a few weeks back with a few white fuzzies I was worried about. My fridgador is at 66* and 65%. Should I wipe it off and leave it in the tube and then put it back in my fridgador? or place it with the rest without the glass tube?

spectrrr
10-25-2008, 08:41 PM
Thanks for the advice all. I received one in a glass tube a few weeks back with a few white fuzzies I was worried about. My fridgador is at 66* and 65%. Should I wipe it off and leave it in the tube and then put it back in my fridgador? or place it with the rest without the glass tube?

Hey Adam, great to see you over here on CA :)
I'll bump this and let someone a bit more knowledgeable answer that one, but you'll probably get a quicker response if you post a new thread.
My guess is (GENTLY) wipe off the mold, and it shouldn't continue to grow. but only a guess, wait for a better answer :)

NCRadioMan
10-25-2008, 08:46 PM
Thanks for the advice all. I received one in a glass tube a few weeks back with a few white fuzzies I was worried about. My fridgador is at 66* and 65%. Should I wipe it off and leave it in the tube and then put it back in my fridgador? or place it with the rest without the glass tube?

I would wipe it off and leave it out of the tube. Mold cannot grow at 65% so it shouldn't grow back.

Bubba - NJ
10-27-2008, 09:29 PM
I just dug through my cooler to check my box's and found half a box of Monte #4's with the white mold on them . Great and informative thread here . The temps here have been changing quite often and severely of late . Thanks for the info .