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How to clean a humidifier
Dry air can cause a host of physical maladies and generally make life unpleasant. One tool to combat an arid afternoon is a humidifier. Learn how to clean a humidifier to prevent mold and bacteria growth that can make you sick as well as mineral buildup that can damage your humidifier.
- Water (distilled preferrable)
- White vinegar
- Paper towels or clean, soft cloth
- Clean, soft dish brush
Step 1. Clean inside of tank
Turn humidifier off and make sure it is unplugged.
Separate tank from basin.
Remove all standing water from tank.
Rinse with warm water and dish soap and let dry, or wipe down with paper towels or a soft cloth. Note: When the humidifier is in use, this step should be done daily as well.
Refill with a solution of vinegar and water: 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per each half gallon of water. Note: You can also use 1/2 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide per half gallon of water.
Replace top and shake tank a few times.
Let sit for 20 minutes, swishing the liquid inside the tank periodically.
Step 2. Remove buildup
Pour out the water and vinegar solution. Tip: If buildup is severe, scrub the tank gently with a clean, soft dish brush before pouring out the solution.
Rinse a few times to remove the vinegar smell.
Dry with paper towels or a clean, soft cloth.
Let stand for 5 minutes until completely dry.
Note: Never use any sharp objects when cleaning the humidifier.
Step 3. Wipe down basin with damp cloth
Let stand for 5 minutes.
Note: Consult the owner’s manual for instructions before getting the basin wet. Pouring water into the basin of some units can ruin the motor.
Step 4. Refill tank with water
Using distilled water rather than tap water will result in less mineral buildup.
Replace your humidifier’s wick and filter yearly or in accordance with your owner’s manual instructions.
Use a hygrometer to gauge your indoor humidity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends maintaining your home's relative humidity between 40-60%, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a range of between 30-50%.