Or maybe you like using a humidifier every night for yourself. Personally, I find one helps me sleep better, especially during allergy season.
But when was the last time you cleaned yours? Have you wondered what kind of bacteria is living in there and ultimately going into your lungs?
How to clean a humidifier
The best thing you can do for your humidifier is keep it clean and use clean water. Simple as that. But knowing how to clean it effectively is important. Always consult the humidifier manufacturer’s instruction manual on assembly and cleaning.
- 15 minutes of cleaning
- 20 minutes to soak
- 1 hour to dry
Step 1: Take it apart
Take apart the removable pieces on your humidifier. If it has a disposable filter, this is a good time to inspect it and make sure there’s no mold growing on it. If there is mould, it’s time for a new filter.
Step 2: Wipe down with white vinegar
Soak your cleaning cloth or paper towel in vinegar and wipe down all of your humidifier’s parts. Clean the base without getting the motor wet. Wipe down the tank and any other pieces.
Step 3: Give the vinegar time to soak
Carefully add about two cups of vinegar to your humidifier’s tank, put the cap on, and swish it around.
Humidifiers can get limescale buildup pretty much anywhere that comes in contact with water, so you can put the vinegar-filled tank on the base without the filter and let the vinegar soak for about 20 minutes.
Don’t turn on the humidifier with vinegar or any other cleaning solution inside it while you are indoors. The resulting fumes can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and even your lungs.
Step 4: Rinse out the vinegar
After the vinegar has soaked in the humidifier, rinse the tank with plenty of water to clear all of it from the machine.
Step 5: Disinfect the humidifier
To disinfect the humidifier, we’ll use bleach.
It’s important to completely rinse out the vinegar as you don’t want to mix it with bleach. Now that you have cleaned your humidifier with vinegar, disinfect it with a 10% bleach solution (1:10 solution of 12.8 ounces of bleach per 1 gallon of water).
Wearing gloves, repeat the process to wipe down your humidifier with the bleach solution to disinfect it. You can use an old toothbrush (that you’ll never put in you mouth again) to get into the nooks and crannies. Always avoid getting the engine wet.
Step 6: Thoroughly rinse with water
Thoroughly rinse your humidifier with water — and I mean thoroughly. You don’t want any bleach in the unit the next time you turn it on; you or your family could inhale it.
Fill and rinse the tank several times over and rinse any part that you wiped with the bleach solution. Be careful not to submerge the motor in water.
If your humidifier has a reusable filter, rinse it a couple of times using clean water.
Step 7: Air dry and assemble humidifier
Dry the humidifier parts to prevent the water from seeing into the base. Let your humidifier parts completely air-dry to remove any moisture before putting it back together.
Reassemble your humidifier once it’s dry. Now your humidifier is ready to be refilled with clean water and operated.
Aside from letting your humidifier air-dry, you may want to add a water treatment to prevent bacteria growth and mold. These come as a liquid bacteriostatic, dropsor even a fish.