How to clean humidifier: step-by-step guide

In this era we live in, humidifiers have taken over from fireplaces in the home. The stresses of chopping wood, fears of home fire hazards and intense maintenance have been countered with this simple home appliance called the humidifier. Despite this impressive innovation, devices/appliances still need to be clean and maintained. On the post, we are going to discuss how to clean a humidifier without causing damage to the appliance.

What are humidifiers?

Humidifiers are like air conditioners, simple devices or home appliances that alter the air quality of a room. The only difference is that humidifiers increase the temperature in the room to a suitable level. The aim is to keep you warm in and during the cold.

Why do we need them?

As a person living in cold lands, there are other problems to face apart from the cold itself. The benefits of this simple device will help you realize how important it is. Here are the reasons why you need a humidifier in your home:

It stops the menace of static electricity

Static electricity will be so rampant in the home, it then becomes a menace. It will always be a problem for you, in cold regions at home or during winter, as long as you wear clothes, have hairs and make use of metal or any electronic device.

All that was mentioned will surely cause you to feel shocks around the home. The reason why you will experience this shock is due to the presence of little moisture in your home’s atmosphere. With the help of a humidifier, more moisture will be added into the rooms and therefore prevent the menace of static electricity around your home and you.

It reduces breathing issues

The humidifier generally helps to improve the state of one’s health by providing good warm air. Asthmatic patients tend to develop breathing problems in cold weathers, the humidifier will help to ensure relief. Sore throats and troubled noses will no longer be a problem either.

It can help to improve your skin’s quality

The humidifier can make your room be more like a makeshift sauna. Chapped lips, dry and cracking skins are common menaces you would face in cold regions or during the cold winter. With a humidifier, it will no longer be an issue. Your chapped lips will be smooth and dry skin will become moist.

It saves you money

Do you know how expensive it is to install a fireplace? Even if you are a DIY person, installing it is energy demanding. Once installed, after use maintenance becomes another issue. All that stress can be prevented by purchasing a simple humidifier. Affordable and very easy to use. Also, the cost of maintenance can be minimal.

Now, you know why you need it….let’s move forward to why it is important to clean it.

Why should we clean or maintain humidifiers?

Generally, every home appliance or any other device is supposed to be cleaned up and maintained in order to ensure optimal performance. The humidifier is no exception.

There is only one major reason for cleaning your humidifier and that is to prevent the spread of bacteria or mold in your room. Bacteria are known to be the cause of most illnesses, especially in the cold. Once bacteria-infested vapor from the humidifier is breath in by you, there is a possibility you could experience some negative health symptoms.

The bacteria-laced vapor causes health issues symptoms such as:

  • A severe cough
  • Lung inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Asthma attack
  • Short breath
  • Fevers

All these symptoms can be prevented if you just take some time to disinfect it.

How to clean humidifier: cleaning essentials

Humidifiers are home appliances that need constant cleaning and maintenance. So that the quality of air in the room will not be poor or hazardous to your health. In order to clean a humidifier, you will need certain cleaning pieces of equipment. There is no special equipment, only basic tools you can find in the home.

Cleaning essentials:

  • Gloves and goggles
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Either hydrogen peroxide or bleach
  • Lots of water
  • White vinegar
  • Clean towels

Best way to clean the humidifier

There are simple steps to follow which will ensure you enjoy improved indoor air quality. Follow each of them to the letter.

Step 1

Unplug the humidifier from the wall socket and then begin to disassemble the humidifier carefully. Make sure the water tank is emptied before complete disassembly.

If your humidifier is the model with other removable parts attached to the base or an air filter, make sure to unlock, unlatch or detach all removable parts and arrange all the detached parts in orderly for easy recognition.

Note: the air filter requires just good rinsing and drying. Also, before commencing cleaning, make sure to wear a pair of gloves and google to avoid chemical harm on the hands and eyes from the bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

Step 2

Make sure to pour white vinegar into the base in such a way it covers all areas in which water usually comes in contact. Prepare a large container filled with white vinegar and then soak every washable part of the humidifier in the large container. Leave it for at most half an hour so that the build-up of bacteria and mold will breakdown.

After 30 minutes have elapsed, begin to make use of the soft bristle brush to scrub out residue from the parts. Sometimes you don’t have to find a brush, humidifiers usually come with a free one.

Step 3

Disinfect the water tank separately. It also takes another half an hour. In order to use your time effectively, perform cleaning of the base and other washable parts at the same time you are disinfecting the humidifier water tank.

The water tank will need a different solution for disinfection instead of the white Vinegar. It requires a mixture of bleach and water, which is one teaspoon of bleach to one gallon of water. Pour this solution into the water tank until it fills the tank halfway. Then you swirl the water around the tank so that all areas in the tank will be coated.

Note: one teaspoon of bleach can be replaced with 3% of hydrogen peroxide is preferred.

Step 4

Once disinfection is done, rinse the base, the water tank, and other washable parts thoroughly with tap water. Shake the parts vigorously to help remove trapped most so that drying will be easy.

After rinsing, the place every washed and disinfected parts of the humidifier on top of fresh, clean towels for drying. This also helps to remove any residue aromas from the parts after washing.

Step 5

Now that all parts have been disinfected, rinsed and dried, the next step to take is to reassemble the humidifier. Then from there you can plug the humidifier and resume use. The vapor is sure to be free of bacteria and great air quality will be restored to your room.

Note: fill the tank with clean mineral-free water.

Tips for maintaining a humidifier

Here are some tips to follow that will ensure your humidifier lasts longer and remains effective as the time it was bought newly:

  • Make use of distilled water for rinsing
  • Perform thorough cleaning once a week
  • Before using the humidifier, remove and rinse out the water that was left in it
  • After use, make sure to clean and drain properly before use


So there you have it. All the necessary information you need to know on how to clean humidifier effectively. All it takes is just five steps and some maintenance tips to follow.

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Jim Powell

Jim is our staff editor and writer. He has a degree in engineering. His hobbies are radio engineering and new technologies about which he has been writing for more than 7 years.

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