Cleaning A Humidifier

Read our expert tips for cleaning a humidifier. It is very important for healthy air. Here are tips for ultrasonic, cool and warm mist and evaporative with filters.

The best way to clean a humidifier will depend on the type of humidifier you own and the manufacturer’s guidelines. There are many different types of humidifiers, therefore there is no single, definitive method for cleaning a humidifier.

Here are some generalized instructions on cleaning a humidifier, but be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on the specifics of cleaning and maintaining your particular humidifier model.

These tips will work great for an ultrasonic, cool or warm mist humidifier. To clean a humidifier, you will first want to make sure the unit is unplugged. Then, remove the water tank and take apart your humidifier to the extent recommended in the owner’s manual.

Next, you will want to sanitize your humidifier base and tank using either white vinegar and water or bleach and water. If you are using a vinegar solution, and you clean your humidifier on a regular basis, a mixture of 2 cups of water to ¼ cup white vinegar should be adequate to clean out the tank. Place the solution in the tank and replace the lid of the tank. Then, shake the tank vigorously for a couple of minutes.

If you can access the inside of the tank with a bottle brush, go ahead and scrub whatever areas you can reach. Use another 1-2 cups of vinegar to cover the heating element and base of the humidifier. Let both the base and the tank soak for 1-4 hours, then wipe away any remaining residue. Use the bottle brush to get at parts of the base you cannot reach with a sponge or soft rag.

Rinse out the tank, refill it, and put your humidifier back together. You may prefer to use a bleach solution instead of vinegar if you do not clean your humidifier regularly (clean it regularly!).

Again, please refer to your owner’s manual before cleaning a humidifier. Proper maintenance is essential – both for your health and for the proper functioning of your humidifier.

For evaporative humidifiers with a filter, make sure to let the filters dry out every 5 days or so, otherwise pink mold will form. I just let my humidifier run without water in it every so often. To clean the filters, soak them in vinegar and water for a few hours and you'll be able to get more life out of the filter.

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