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What to Not Use When Cleaning a Humidor

Humidor and box

If you take your cigar hobby seriously, there’s no doubt that you went to considerable lengths to pick out the perfect humidor that can keep your precious cigars properly humidified while they’re not in use.  Owning a high-quality humidor, however, is only half the battle.  Humidors must be cleaned regularly, or else they can fail to protect your cigars.


Cleaning your humidor is a relatively simple task, although caution must be exercised.  It should be done on a weekly basis in order to ensure that it operates properly.  People suggest using distilled water, isopropyl alcohol and extremely fine sandpaper in order to rid their humidor of debris, mold and buildup.  Today, however, we will be talking about what you shouldn’t use when cleaning a humidor.


#1: Bleach

Bleach is a huge no-no when it comes to cleaning your humidor.  Why?  Because bleach is caustic, and can damage the wood that’s inside.  Besides that, due to the nature of humidors, using bleach can cause those compounds to get into the atmosphere of the humidor, which can directly affect your cigars.  Who wants to smoke a cigar that’s infused with bleach?


#2: Lots of Water

Again, cleaning your humidor is about preserving the wood and cigars while ensuring that everything is nice and clean.  Wood and a surplus of water do not mix, as anyone who has ever owned furniture or hardwood floors should know.  Therefore, we never recommend going to town with a lot of water while cleaning your humidor.  This will only damage the wood and weaken the humidor over time.  Besides, all that water will just increase the humidity of your humidor dramatically.


#3: Chemical Cleaners

Chemical cleaners, like the kind that you use to clean your windows, bathroom and kitchen surfaces, do not belong anywhere near your humidor.  Once again, the chemicals in these cleaners won’t just damage the wood but possibly get infused into your cigars.  The only sometimes-suitable household cleaner that can be used in a humidor is plain distilled white vinegar, as it’s not considered caustic or dangerous to consume.


#4: Harsh Sandpaper

Maybe you have some mold building up on the inside of your humidor.  Naturally, your first instinct is to scrub it away using something that’s highly abrasive.  But wait!  Highly abrasive products, like harsh sandpaper, are just as good at removing mold as they are the surface of the wood.  So, avoid using highly abrasive sandpaper when cleaning your humidor.


#5: Steel Wool

Steel wool, like coarse sandpaper, is simply too abrasive for your humidor.  What will end up happening is that you damage the surface of the wood, potentially making it too porous to ensure that your humidor maintains the proper level of humidity at all times.


#6: Non-Distilled Water

Tap water and other non-distilled types of water are not good for your humidor.  Water that has not been distilled is rich in minerals that can create a coating over the surface of the humidor, which can interfere with the proper porosity level of the wood.  This can interfere with the performance of your humidor.


Additionally, water that has not been distilled can cause those minerals to get into your cigars.  Some minerals are even capable of changing the texture of the wrappers.


Your Humidor Must Be Taken Care of Regularly…

Otherwise, those precious cigars will suffer.  Cleaning the humidor properly is key, as many products that are ordinarily used to clean surfaces are simply not good for your humidor.  Use this guide to make sure that you don’t cause any damage when performing weekly maintenance.

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