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View Full Version : How to fix mold issue in large humidor


Lorglath
04-23-2015, 11:51 AM
I have a large humidor that I had converted out of a china hutch. I have placed Spanish cedar along the back wall, and made new shelves out of Spanish cedar. I also have fans in the shelves blowing up the right hand side, and down the left hand side, while alternating front and back positioning from level to level. For humidity, I have put in a Cigar Oasis Magna that I have filled with distilled water....

When I stored this set up in my basement in MN, I never had an issue with humidity or temps as the basement stayed between 60-65F, and the humidity only went low when I forgot to refill the thing for prolonged amounts of time. I have recently moved and need to keep it upstairs for the time being but I have had an explosion of mold and need to know how to wipe it out!

My humidity has been around 60-65% but my temps have been in the 70-75F range. As soon as I see it I wipe the mold off, and try to isolate sticks to a given area, but I also notice when cleaning my cigar oasis that there was some mold inside itself that it was blowing around.... to fix this I used Alcohol to clean it thoroughly and it hasn't crept up again on the Oasis, but even at 60-65% my cigars are growing mold....

I am at my wits end and considering burning the damned thing, taking the cigars with no hint of mold and putting them into a cooler-dor and keeping the damned moldy cigars segregated and smoking em ASAP...

Has anyone gone through anything similar? Suggestions on how to fix it? Is there anything I can add to the water reservoir to keep it from getting mold? I know there is some bacteriostaic solution to put into home humidifiers, and wondering if anything similar to this is safe for cigars... http://www.amazon.com//B000/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00

Please help!

pnoon
04-23-2015, 12:00 PM
Since you've moved, have you recalibrated the Cigar Oasis?
With RH at 60-65%, you shouldn't have issues with mold.

kydsid
04-23-2015, 01:38 PM
Every cigar oasis I owned seemed to be a mold production factory. I'd personally start with switching to beads. Next Id probably look at getting rid of any wood with mold. Their are just too many spaces for spores to hide. You can clean glass or plastic of mold spores but porous surfaces require continued treatment. Plus the fact any good anti mild agent wouldnt or shouldn't be used cigars its a bad situation.

shilala
04-23-2015, 02:13 PM
Put a little PG in the Oasis, it won't grow mold.
If the cigars are growing mold, the interior of the humidor (and cigars) are much higher than 60-65% RH.
I'd suggest investing in a good hygrometer and salt testing it.

AdamJoshua
04-23-2015, 02:24 PM
I'll assume you are only using distilled water in the Oasis, I'm sure you are but I just wanted to be the first one to ask, as how I have nothing else to add to this thread. :tu

mncigarguy
04-23-2015, 06:36 PM
Check our local craigslist, three HUGE new humidors for 300 each, grab one and start fresh.

Howdy neighbor!

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/fuo/4979506922.html

I watch it like a hawk but my wife would kill me!

Weelok
04-23-2015, 06:53 PM
Probably not getting enough circulation in the humidor so some areas, like near the top, are more humid then the bottom. Get some fans and circulate the air and see if the problem goes away.

jjirons69
04-23-2015, 08:15 PM
I'm with everyone else. Seems that Oasis is causing your issues. IMO, a lower RH of 55-60 will be much more tolerable and forgiving than the 65-70 range. The only mold I've ever dealt with is 1) from vendors that store and ship "wetter" cigars and 2) from tightly closed storage devices that have very little air flow and 65-70 RH constantly. YMMV, but you need to do something.

Lorglath
04-27-2015, 03:42 PM
I have been using nothing but distilled water in they system, and I do tend to take the oasis apart about once every 1-2 months for a thorough cleaning as it seems to start to get mold in about that time frame. I did adjust the setting down until both of my external hygrometers read 60-65%...

As for circulation, I have built in fans for circulating into each shelf... the thread of my build was posted to puff: link (http://www.puff.com/forums/vb/cigar-accessory-discussion/165047-china-cabinet-conversion-into-humidor-work-progress.html)

I am afraid some of the spores are now behind the back of the Spanish Cedar in between it and the back wall of the cabinet.... Mold isn't growing on any new sticks... but continues to grow back on specific cigars that are in my quarantined area that I have wiped them off...

Quite honestly... the case isn't even that air tight, I have to fill up the oasis about 1/2 way every 3-4 weeks... not sure what to do...

Barrythevic
04-27-2015, 04:04 PM
Over humidifying can start a mold bloom. Mold spoors are in the air and all it takes is the correct temperature and humidity for the mold to take hold. Once the mold is in your humidor, you have to kill the spoors in order to stop the infestation. Think of a swimming pool that has an algae bloom, same scenario.

The best way to kill off the mold and not have a health issue is to wipe all surfaces of your humidor with isopropyl alcohol, i.e. rubbing alcohol. Chlorine, like you use in a pool works better, but then you have the issue of removing all traces of the chlorine from your humidor. Chlorine gas is not your friend! LOL

Several years ago I had a similar problem. I emptied everything from the humidor. I filled a bottle sprayer with rubbing alcohol and sprayed every nook and cranny with the alcohol. I let it air dry for several hours and repeated twice more. The alcohol killed all of the mold and then evaporated without leaving a trace. If you can, find the 92% isopropyl, it will evaporate quicker and will have lower trace elements.

It solved the problem and with better humidity control, I did not have a repeat issue.

Good Luck!

Lorglath
05-04-2015, 11:33 AM
Over humidifying can start a mold bloom. Mold spoors are in the air and all it takes is the correct temperature and humidity for the mold to take hold. Once the mold is in your humidor, you have to kill the spoors in order to stop the infestation. Think of a swimming pool that has an algae bloom, same scenario.

The best way to kill off the mold and not have a health issue is to wipe all surfaces of your humidor with isopropyl alcohol, i.e. rubbing alcohol. Chlorine, like you use in a pool works better, but then you have the issue of removing all traces of the chlorine from your humidor. Chlorine gas is not your friend! LOL

Several years ago I had a similar problem. I emptied everything from the humidor. I filled a bottle sprayer with rubbing alcohol and sprayed every nook and cranny with the alcohol. I let it air dry for several hours and repeated twice more. The alcohol killed all of the mold and then evaporated without leaving a trace. If you can, find the 92% isopropyl, it will evaporate quicker and will have lower trace elements.

It solved the problem and with better humidity control, I did not have a repeat issue.

Good Luck!

Great suggestion, I am thinking of trying this with Everclear grain alcohol rather than rubbing alcohol.

Barrythevic
05-04-2015, 06:26 PM
Great suggestion, I am thinking of trying this with Everclear grain alcohol rather than rubbing alcohol.

That should work! EverClear is around 98%! Besides you can have a nice buzz while you do it! LOL

Lorglath
06-10-2015, 03:30 PM
Reporting back, I cleaned everything using Everclear, and things have cleaned up nicely with no recurrence of mold. Thanks for the suggestions.