How to Clean a Humidifier – The Best and Most Thorough Way

Do you really need to know how to clean a humidifier?

As humidifier’s popularity rises, many people are skeptical about their uses and benefits. Some see it as just an ornament in the house, while some find it very promising.

A humidifier’s primary benefit is to moisturize and humidify the air in your home. Dry air can be unhealthy for some people.

Adding moisture to the air through the use of a humidifier can be of great help.

More families invest in humidifiers because of changes in the weather. Homes with children can attest that it benefits the kid’s overall respiratory and skin health.

Humidifiers might do more harm than good if not properly maintained.

Here’s how to maintain it.

How to Clean a Humidifier - The Best and Most Thorough Way 1

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How to Clean a Humidifier - The Best and Most Thorough Way 1
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What is the best way to clean a humidifier?

Humidifiers are constructed differently depending on the manufacturer. But most of them include an operating base and a water tank.

First thing you need to do is read the manual. Then prepare the following items:

  • White Vinegar or Distilled white vinegar
  • Bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or any cleaning solution you prefer
  • A soft-bristled brush, non-scratch scourer, or all-purpose dishcloth
  • Distilled Water (lots and lots of it)
  • Clean and dry towels
  • Gloves and goggles

Once you have accomplished this, you can now follow these easy steps on how to clean your humidifier the best way possible:

Step 1. Unplug your humidifier from any power source, then disassemble it.

Suppose this will be your first time doing this, then read the manual. Always make a point to take notes when you disassemble your humidifier.

Then we can continue.

Dispose of any water remaining inside the water tank, then set everything aside, keeping in mind where and how pieces go together.

Step 2. Fill enough white vinegar up to where water regularly comes in contact with the base. Take and soak any other washable parts with white vinegar in a separate container.

Let everything sit for at least 30 minutes, then scrub and brush any residue still stuck in the parts of your humidifier using a soft-bristled brush, or a non-scratch scourer, or an all-purpose dishcloth.

Simultaneously disinfect the water tank for half an hour by mixing one teaspoon of bleach, 3% hydrogen peroxide or any preferred amount of your trusted cleaning solution with a gallon of water.

Fill it at least halfway and swirl the mixture inside the tank.

Step 3. Thoroughly rinse the tank and other parts of your humidifier using distilled water, ensuring no more solutions are trapped inside any of the parts.

It may take several times before eventually removing the smell brought by the solution you have used in cleaning. Use clean towels or a microfiber cloth to dry the parts and then let them air dry.

Step 4. Once everything is completely dry, reassemble your humidifier.

Do this either by following the manual or your notes to put your humidifier back to top shape.

Fill the tank with water, plug it back to a power source, and enjoy the refreshing moisture again from your humidifier.

Why should you deep clean a cool-mist humidifier?

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Remember to deep-clean cool-mist humidifiers because they are more susceptible to the growth of bacteria and mold.

Cleaning them thoroughly to help prevent mildew and germs from eventually growing and building up. You can do this by cleaning your cool-mist humidifier every other day while changing its water daily.

Filters trap contaminants. Because of this, you must clean the filter of your cool-mist humidifier more thoroughly.

However, cleaning all parts is equally necessary to keep your humidifier sanitized and safe for use.

How often should you clean a humidifier?

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It may sound like too much work, but this is essential in keeping your humidifier’s functions well-maintained.

Follow the steps in this article to make it easier for you.

Clean your humidifier daily and prevent any residue build-up and bacterial growth from happening and will make your weekly cleaning schedule easier and hassle-free.

Regular maintenance of your humidifier is also vital for its longevity in providing refreshing humidity and easy-to-inhale air around your home.

It is best to rinse out the water basin before every use, and it is highly recommended to use distilled water to add extra freshness in its humidifying effect. As much as possible, do deep cleaning once a week in addition to your daily cleaning routine.

This routine ensures the continuous effectiveness and functionality of your humidifier. Remember to clean and drain before you store it to keep it clean and dry.

How to clean a humidifier – How do you get mould out of a humidifier?

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Your humidifier might become home to molds and mildew if you don’t clean it as often as required. It becomes harmful to you and your family.

But not to worry – through regular cleaning, you can get mould out and prevent it from growing in your humidifier:

Step 1: Empty the water tank of your humidifier of any water, especially water that has been there before or long enough that it has already become quite dirty.

Step 2: Using hot water and white vinegar readily available inside your home, rinse your unit and soak its washable parts to kill any molds present during this process.

Caution: Be careful in using hot water!

Step 3: Brush and scrub the inside of your humidifier using a brush or an all-purpose dishcloth, all of which can do the job well.

Using these items and a cleaning solution (like bleach, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide)  will effectively remove any type or form of scales or mold already building up inside your humidifier.

Step 4: After brushing and scrubbing mold present in your humidifier, rinse it thoroughly with hot water, adding extra measures in killing mold left inside your humidifier.

Hot water can kill leftover mold, mildew, and bacteria, too.

Step 5: Air dry all the parts once all of the first four steps are done. Then reassemble for the next use. 

You can also prevent mold build-up by putting tea tree oil, humidifier tablets, hydrogen peroxide, or white vinegar inside your humidifier. By putting enough amounts in your humidifier water, these additives are effective in helping you keep mold out from growing in your humidifier.

Tips on How to Keep Your Humidifier Clean

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Now that you know how to clean the humidifier. These tips will help keep your humidifiers clean:

Never use tap water or mineral water in your humidifier.

Humidifiers need water to release mist or vapor into the air. However, you should not use tap water in filling up your mist humidifiers.

Distilled water is best for humidifiers because of its lower mineral content. Deposits in mineral or tap water promote greater bacterial development. These minerals evaporate together with the mist which may be inhaled and cause health problems.

Always clean humidifiers ready for storage.

Always clean your humidifier like you’re going to store them back in the box. All used parts should be thoroughly cleaned and used filters should be thrown away.

Humidifiers should be cleaned once every three days.

As previously mentioned, make sure to unplug your device before cleaning it. Hydrogen peroxide or vinegar solution can be used to get rid of possible mineral deposits developed in the humidifier.

While some manufacturers recommend chlorine solutions and other cleaning agents, it’s still best to use natural cleaning solutions.

Change the water in your humidifier regularly.

Allowing film or deposits to form inside your humidifiers is not a good idea. If utilizing cool-mist or ultrasonic humidifiers, empty the tanks, dry the internal surfaces, and refill with clean water every day if possible. First, unplug the device.

Replace humidifier filters regularly.

Replace the humidifier’s filter as least as often as the manufacturer suggests – and more frequently if it’s unclean. Also, check the filter in your central air conditioning and heating system on a regular basis.

Maintain a dry environment around humidifiers.

Turn the humidifier down or minimize how often you use it if the area surrounding it becomes damp or wet, such as windows, flooring, draperies, or tablecloths.

After cleaning the tank, make sure to rinse it well.

This can prevent dangerous compounds from becoming airborne and subsequently being inhaled.

Replace old humidifiers if necessary.

Humidifiers can accumulate deposits that are difficult or impossible to clean over time, allowing germs to thrive.

How to Clean a Humidifier – Keeping Your Humidifier in Top Shape

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Sure there are tons of benefits a humidifier can give you and your family. If not maintained well, this may pose adverse effects too, so it’s best to be aware of its cleaning instructions and tips.

We hope the things we mentioned in this article will help you and your family better understand humidifiers. If you already invested in one, be sure to keep it clean to avoid any harmful health effects.

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