ccom humidor deal - iQ humidifier... mold/what to upgrade to?

So i picked up the cigar.com humidor which was a killer deal, came with the small 'puck' humidifier. I filled it with distilled water and a month or so later i've got 2-3 small clusters of mold on the screen. Probably my fault for not using store-bought distilled water and i havent found any mold on the rest of the contents. So its out of the box for now. Is there a way to fix it? or should i look to upgrade to a better one and get a hydrometer too? I've read back through all the older posts and see that the gel beads are quite popular.. but this box is tiny and stuffing a jar in there might not work. any suggestions for a meter too? Thanks, -D

Comments

  • The jar is between 2-3 inches tall. Would that fit in your humidor?
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    You can buy a tube of beads that is the size of a cigar. As long as you don't soak it, it won't hurt the cigars to set it right in with them. As for a digital hygrometer, I've used Hydroset and Xikar. The cool thing about the hydroset is that it's adjustable and the cool thing about the Xikar is that you press a button and it auto-adjusts when you calibrate it.
  • You definately want a hygrometer. As you said you should also use distilled water. Also, did you use PG mixed with the water? If not, the combo of no PG/tap water along with not knowing your RH% is what led to your mold.
  • HaysHays Sacramento, CAPosts: 2,337 ✭✭✭
    Hey buddy

    I had the same humi as my first one. When I was just trying to use the humi puck, I couldn't keep my % stable worth ****. So I bought half a pound of Heartfelt beads (I knew I'd need it for future humis), and threw an ounce of those into a mesh bag and sat it in my humi. Never once had a problem after that bro, and now I have the remainder of that half-pound chilling in my new 300ct humi ;-)
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • Cool, thanks for all the inputer guys! Yeah i hope i was quick enough to save my stash before the spores spread. pure distilled water from now on... maybe some of that 50/50 mixed stuff?
    I will definitely be putting a meter in so i know what i'm working with.

    I've got maybe 2.5" of height and about 1" width of available spare in there with about 9 sticks left to right in 2 rows.
    I will order up some beads to toss in there in some mesh bag.
  • I have had great luck with Xikar humidifiers and the Xikar PG, charge it with the Xikar PG(no mixing and dont use the regular 50/50), refill with distilled water, and it mounts and fits as a regular puck would. Their hygros are great, but if you wanted to save some bucks Wal Mart sells a good one around 4 bucks.
  • HaysHays Sacramento, CAPosts: 2,337 ✭✭✭
    As mustluvcigars said, WalMart has a great one. The one that I know of and use is the Springfield Thermometer/Hygrometer for $7.99 - it is white, and can be found in the section with indoor/outdoor thermometers..
    ¨The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea¨ - Isak Dinesen

    ¨Only two people walk around in this world beardless - boys and women - and I am neither one.¨
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,687 ✭✭✭✭
    I have the same problem. I have a small 20 Count humi and I just went in there and my puck is growing crap on it. Cigars are all in cello so they should be fine right? They all look good. This thing is only like 6 or 8 weeks old and I have only used store bought distilled water. What gives? I really don't have the money to buy a replacement puck and beads won't fit in there. My other humi is packed and the cigars won't fit. Any suggestions?
  • stephen_hannibalstephen_hannibal Posts: 4,317
    My first 40ct "puck" did the same thing. I only use the 50/50 stuff now no water. It's expensive but I've paid too much for my cigars to have them mold.
    I took the old "puck" apart to see if I could put gel in there but they don't really go back together.
  • jsnake:
    I have the same problem. I have a small 20 Count humi and I just went in there and my puck is growing crap on it. Cigars are all in cello so they should be fine right? They all look good. This thing is only like 6 or 8 weeks old and I have only used store bought distilled water. What gives? I really don't have the money to buy a replacement puck and beads won't fit in there. My other humi is packed and the cigars won't fit. Any suggestions?
    The water pillows from your ccom shipment should do just fine in a small humidor, I would just wipe each cigar with with a clean damp cloth, trash the puck, rely on the pillows till you can get a new puck or beads, like I said i recommend the Xikar humidifiers.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    stephen_hannibal:
    My first 40ct "puck" did the same thing. I only use the 50/50 stuff now no water. It's expensive but I've paid too much for my cigars to have them mold.
    I took the old "puck" apart to see if I could put gel in there but they don't really go back together.
    If you only use 50/50 it will eventually render the puck useless as the PG builds up until the puck will no longer retain water. The proper method is to use the 50/50 once then use distilled water only after that then every few months use the 50/50 again....lather, rinse, repeat. That method will ensure that enough PG remains in the puck to keep the RH in check and keep the mold away.
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,687 ✭✭✭✭
    So is there a way to fix my puck since I can't afford to buy anything to replace it? My wife was telling me to use a light bleach solution but I think that might ruin the stuff inside it. Or is it that once it grows mold it is crap? I took it out and my humidity is steady since I am not opening it. I do know that won't last and I am not about to smoke 20 cigars in one day.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    Don't use bleach. I'd recommend a 5 to 1 mixture of white vinegar and warm water (distilled if you like) and soak the puck in it for a while and then let it air dry. The vinegar will kill any mold and will dry without leaving an odor.
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,687 ✭✭✭✭
    j0z3r:
    Don't use bleach. I'd recommend a 5 to 1 mixture of white vinegar and warm water (distilled if you like) and soak the puck in it for a while and then let it air dry. The vinegar will kill any mold and will dry without leaving an odor.
    Ok, I might give this a try. I have only used distilled water in it so I wasn't expecting this.
  • the problem with the stock pucks is they are just a sponge, so even if you use distilled water you basiclly have a petri dish, and there is no control or leveling of humidity. thr PG, gels, beads are all hygroscopic which mean they all abosorb and release humidity, the compounds used in these products are all balanced to mantain a certain humidty and they act as antibacterial agents too. with just a sponge and water(even distilled) you get none of these qualities.

    Cigar.com Humidor Care Guide
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,687 ✭✭✭✭
    As soon as I can afford it I am going to invest in some beads but that might be months away. How would you go about setting beads in a small 20ct humidor? There is no room in it to set a dish or anything else unless I mount it where the puck was.
  • nsezellnsezell Posts: 294
    I usually take the foam out of the casing and replace it with beads in a panty hose foot bundle. That way it hangs, but doesn't fall out if it hangs upside down.
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,687 ✭✭✭✭
    nsezell:
    I usually take the foam out of the casing and replace it with beads in a panty hose foot bundle. That way it hangs, but doesn't fall out if it hangs upside down.
    I might give that a try. Thanks for the suggestions.
  • well i broke down and ran off to the local shop today and picked up a new humidification device. Its a plastic tube the size of a corona that is full of the gel/crystal stuff. You simply fill to the line on the tube with water and let it absorb. Just need to go pick up a hydrometer to keep it in check but i think this will work well. (fingers crossed)
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    One2gofst:
    You definately want a hygrometer. As you said you should also use distilled water. Also, did you use PG mixed with the water? If not, the combo of no PG/tap water along with not knowing your RH% is what led to your mold.
    One, I just wanted to correct you here. PG does not prevent mold. The pupose in PG is to regulate the release of water into the air. Its not as good as say Beads at regulating RH but it helps. Some of the worst mold I have seen grew on a device saturated with PG. You also have to be careful with PG because if you use it too often it will saturate your sponge and no water will be able to soak into and basically you have rendered it useless.

    I'm with most everyone else in here, the beads or crystals/gels are the best way to go. Unless of course you have the room and money to go the cigar oasis route :).
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    madurofan:
    One2gofst:
    You definately want a hygrometer. As you said you should also use distilled water. Also, did you use PG mixed with the water? If not, the combo of no PG/tap water along with not knowing your RH% is what led to your mold.
    One, I just wanted to correct you here. PG does not prevent mold. The pupose in PG is to regulate the release of water into the air. Its not as good as say Beads at regulating RH but it helps. Some of the worst mold I have seen grew on a device saturated with PG. You also have to be careful with PG because if you use it too often it will saturate your sponge and no water will be able to soak into and basically you have rendered it useless.

    I'm with most everyone else in here, the beads or crystals/gels are the best way to go. Unless of course you have the room and money to go the cigar oasis route :).
    Who is this poppin his head up???? Where ya been madster!?
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    phobicsquirrel:
    madurofan:
    One2gofst:
    You definately want a hygrometer. As you said you should also use distilled water. Also, did you use PG mixed with the water? If not, the combo of no PG/tap water along with not knowing your RH% is what led to your mold.
    One, I just wanted to correct you here. PG does not prevent mold. The pupose in PG is to regulate the release of water into the air. Its not as good as say Beads at regulating RH but it helps. Some of the worst mold I have seen grew on a device saturated with PG. You also have to be careful with PG because if you use it too often it will saturate your sponge and no water will be able to soak into and basically you have rendered it useless.

    I'm with most everyone else in here, the beads or crystals/gels are the best way to go. Unless of course you have the room and money to go the cigar oasis route :).
    Who is this poppin his head up???? Where ya been madster!?
    Building my munitions back up ... How ya been, tree rat?
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    tree rat aye!! them are fighting words.... good, when you going to be back to your 100 posts a day?
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