Removing mold stains from a cigar humidor

Q. I have a cigar humidor someone gave me as a gift; it hasn’t seen much use for the past year or two.When I last checked it, I saw a few black stains the size of a quarter or so presumably caused by mold or fungus.What can I do to remove those stains, or at least be sure they won’t damage any cigars?
– Billin West Kennebunk, ME

A.  If you’re certain it’s mold, the simplest solution is to very lightly sand off the spots with a fine-grit sandpaper (150 will do). Remove the dust by using the hose extension from your household vacuum, or blowing it out with a hair dryer. Once you’re satisfied the stains are gone, lightly wipe down the interior of the humidor with some polyglycol (50/50) humidifying solution. This will help re-moisturize the walls and help fend off any future mold spores.

You can also use a Boveda cigar humidor seasoning kit. (Note: one kit services a space for 25-50 cigars, so make sure you by enough packs to properly season the box based on its total capacity.)  Charge the humidifier, close the lid, and monitor the temp and RH in the box for a few days. When it reaches the acceptable level for you, you can start filling you cigar humidor with cigars.

Finally, make sure you have the appropriate size humidifier and a digital hygrometer for the humidor. I suggest a bead or crystal type humidifier, which are much more stable and reliable.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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