Cigar Q&A: Cigar Jar Humidor Care
Q. I purchased a cigar jar humidor. I set it up as instructed and added distilled water hoping the cigar jar will do its thing. A few days later mold was all over my cigars and in my jar. I assume my jar is no longer usable since there is mold content within it. Now I have about 6 cigars that are completely ruined as well. What can I do?
– Brian G.
A. Sorry to read about your ruined cigars. Cigar jar humidors make excellent storage devices, however they have one major drawback. The jar is a essentially an hermetically-sealed unit. Once closed, no air can get in. If the humidity becomes too high, plus the temperature, which can be raised by placing the jar in the path of sun or lamp light, you get what I call “the rain forest effect,” and the cigars will most certainly be ruined.
As a “traditionalist,” I prefer the standard, wooden, cedar-lined cigar humidor. So, if you are using the “jar” method, I recommend that you close the lid, but not seal it. If you check your cigars regularly – as you should – and they feel like they’re drying out, that’s the time to seal it.
With regard to the humidifier, you don’t need to dampen it very much, or even at all, depending on the freshness of the cigars. Moreover, I would recommend purchasing a digital hygro-thermometer to monitor the climate in the jar, which will help avoid ruining your cigars in the future. I also recommend placing a few cedar wood spacers found in the factory cigar boxes. They will absorb some of the excess moisture while adding a little cedar aging room ambiance to the jar.
Finally, the good news is the cigar jar humidor can be disinfected by thoroughly washing it out with dishwashing liquid and be used again. Depending on the type of jar you have, you may even be able to put it in the dishwasher.