Cigar Plume Vs. Cigar Mold: What’s The Difference?

by Evelyn Brown | Published On

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If you are a regular cigar smoker or know someone who smokes cigars often, you must be acquainted with the terms “molds” and cigar plumes. Cigars undoubtedly taste better when they are old enough or have been kept for a long time. It is usually the reason why people prefer to collect cigars for so long in a box known as Cigar Humidor. A humidor basically regulates the temperature within the box so that the level of humidity that is needed to keep the cigars fresh is maintained.

Cigar Plume Vs Mold

To the cigar smokers, you might have noticed white spots on the body of your cigars which you had kept for a long time. Those white spots are known as Plume. Also known as tobacco bloom, the plume is nothing that you should b worried about. It is an indication that the cigars are becoming old and that your humidor is doing its job perfectly. Let us dive deep into the topic and learn what exactly is a plume and how is it different from molds.

What Is A Cigar Plume?


As we mentioned earlier, plumes are white spots that develop on the body of your cigars. Plume generally results when the oils in the cigars rise to the surface and crystallize. Plume, unlike molds, is a very good sign for your cigars. It is an indication that the humidor is working just fine and the cigars are perfectly aging.

As we all know, aged and old cigars taste better. So a cigar with plumes will definitely taste better than a cigar with no plumes on the body at all. These plumes are easy to remove and can be done easily by wrapper leaf. After that, you can again keep it back inside the humidor box and let it do its job.

What Is Cigar Mold?

Molds are kind of a fungus that develops on the body of the cigar. It is not at all an appealing situation for the cigar. It signifies that the humidor is not working properly. Mold, unlike plumes, is bluish-green in color and also has a very different smell than the plumes. We all have seen molds develop on several food items that are kept for too long, the most common item being bakery items.

Molds can pose serious threats to one’s body. Cigars do not have an expiry date like bakery goods but still are subjected to molds. They have a very fuzzy texture and also can turn the area blackish. Molds are dangerous enough to affect the roots of the cigar as much as the surface.

What Causes Mold?

The question is if cigars don’t come with an expiry date on them, why do molds develop? What are the causes? The answer is, that mold is often caused by over-humidification of the cigars. It can also be caused by not using distilled water in the humidification box. We know that 70% is the ideal relative humidity for keeping the cigars intact and fresh.

But if the humidification level inside the box is greater than 70%, know that your cigars are at risk of getting molds. 80% or higher relative humidity is a serious condition. Any humidor which is too wet will induce the growth of molds in it. It attracts moisture. Molds do not develop overnight, it takes their own time. So whenever you notice that the humidity is too much, take the necessary steps to correct it before it is too late.

Steps To Protect Cigar From Mold

  1. Only Use Distilled Water In Your Humidor

    The king of water that you use inside the humidor can also affect the formation of molds. Keep in mind to only use distilled water as they restrict the growth of molds in the humidor. Non-distilled water can immensely increase the chances of mold formation.

  2. Throw Out Any Moldy Cigars

    If the mold develops in any one of your cigars, throw them off. There is a chance that the infected cigar can affect the other good cigars in the humidor box so it is best to catch the molds at the very early stage. There are obviously molds that are not that harmful, but it doesn’t change the fact that they would still make your cigars taste bad. If you detect the molds at an early stage, the rest of the cigars in the box should be okay. If they are so, then put them in a humification bag for some time. It will help you to know whether or not the mold is growing in the box.

  3. Replace Your Humidification Unit

    Once you detect molds in your cigars, replace the humidification unit. You may argue that the humidification unit works perfectly fine, but our advice would be to replace it with a new one and store a fresh batch of cigars in the humidor again. There are times when people have to not only change the humidification unit but the whole humidor itself. To know whether your humidor has mold or not, take out the cigars and keep them in a humidor bag and observe the behavior of the box for some time.

  4. Buy Your Cigars From A Reputable Retailer

    Cigar smokers might know well, that buying cigars from a reputable person is very important. If you buy your cigars from a known seller, there is a great chance that you don’t have to worry about molds. But if you have gotten them from someone for the first time, it can be either a hit or a miss. Also, knowing your seller personally will help you judge whether or not they have kept the cigars in a good condition before selling them.

When You’re Unsure Whether It Is Mold And Plume?

Although there is a clear difference between a mold and a plume, one can get easily confused about whether it is a mold or a plume. The main difference is that molds grow, become rusty, and make your cigars a harmful substance to smoke. On the other hand, plumes are white spots that can be easily brushed off the cigars. Molds are greenish-blue or blackish-blue in color. When in doubt, store your cigars in a humidor bag. There it will stay fresh for a long time without any tension.

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Evelyn Brown

Evelyn Brown is a housewife and spends most of the time at home taking care of her infant son. The time that she has left after cleaning the house and taking care of the son and the daddy is dedicated to making her mark on the internet. She loves to write about the kitchen appliances that she uses in her daily life. She also likes to spend quality time with her husband and drink aged wine and scotch.

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