Using Humidifier Solutions
When shopping for a humidification device, you will notice there are a plethora of options, from the foam brick style most humidors come with, to crystal gel humidifier jars up to a more advanced electronic humidifier such as a Cigar Oasis.
When using crystal gel humidifiers (silica gel beads) (and even some electronic humidifiers) a humidification solution such as Propylene Glycol or better know as PG solution or humidor activator solution is commonly used as a substitution for the good ol' distilled water.
A bit about PG solution. It is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain environments. Other names for propylene glycol are dihydroxypropane, propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol. Propylene glycol is clear, colorless, slightly syrupy liquid at room temperature. Propylene glycol is practically odorless and tasteless.
There are many options to purchase PG solution, so you might wonder which is best or what are the benefits. The main benefit is it makes it easier to maintain the proper Relative Humidity (RH) within your humidor, this is mainly due to the slower evaporation rate as opposed to water (or distilled water).Is one better than the other? Great question, we have tested numerous manufacturers branded PG solution and they all seem to be very similar. Some are more expensive than others, but we can't justify this just because it is one brand over another.
One question we get rather frequently is "Is there a chemical that can be put in a humidor humidifier that will help prevent mold in our crystal gel humidifiers?". The short answer to this is no, and we can’t say for sure that any chemical additive will prevent it.
However, if your experiencing mold within the gel jar, there is a high probability that it is due to the temperature with in the humidor. Any temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit could cause this problem or at the least contribute to the problem.
Always follow the manufacturers instructions for use when using humidification devices and PG Solutions.