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What Can You Use To Clean a Humidifier?

Humidifiers are a great way to safely add moisture to the air inside your home if you are battling dry skin, dry sinuses, or have a respiratory illness. You might be wondering, what can you use to clean a humidifier?

You can use diluted vinegar, bleach, baking soda, citric acid, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap to clean a humidifier. These ingredients will disinfect the humidifier and can remove mold and hard water buildup.

Humidifier sitting on white table

Humidifiers are affordable and easy to use. But there are some important steps to keep in mind when you use a humidifier.

Bacteria and Mold

Because humidifiers are warm and moist, bacteria and mold can easily and quickly make it their home. You definitely do not want to breathe in moldy moisture!

You can keep the humidifier safe and healthy for you and your family by cleaning it at least once a week. If you have lung issues or use the humidifier on a daily basis, you will want to clean the humidifier more frequently.

It is also very important that water is never left to sit inside the base or water reservoir. Stagnant water equals mold. If you are not going to be using the humidifier, discard any water left in the base.

Equally important is letting the humidifier have time to dry out. Again, when the humidifier is not in use, discard the water, disassemble the humidifier and let it air dry before using it again.

Filter

Not to be forgotten is the filter. The filter is another breeding ground for bacteria. The type and location of the filter will depend on the type of humidifier you own.

If you notice an odd odor coming from the humidifier, or the filter feels slimy or crusty, replace the filter right away.

Ideally, you should replace the filter at least once a month. You can extend the life of the filter by turning it over each time you fill the water reservoir.

When you are storing the humidifier, never store the humidifier with the filter still inside. The filter could still be holding some moisture. Any moisture in the filter will become a breeding ground for mold.

Be sure to read the User’s Manual carefully. Your specific type of humidifier may have tips unique to its type of filter.

Wick

Depending on the type of humidifier you own, yours may have a wick. When you are cleaning the humidifier it is tempting to clean the wick but you should resist the urge.

The wick is very delicate and can be damaged easily. If the wick is dirty, it needs to be replaced.

Smell

Essential oils such as lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus are not only beneficial to your health but will also make your home smell good.

Water

It’s tempting to just turn on the faucet and fill up the humidifier tank. But there are some things to consider before you do that.

Just because water comes into your house through the faucet doesn’t mean it is safe. Tap water contains chlorine, lime, and other minerals that are harmful to the humidifier.

Over time these deposits can damage the inner components of the humidifier. If the tank of your humidifier looks cloudy, you have hard water buildup.

Only use water that is filtered or distilled. You can also boil tap water for 3 to 5 minutes, let it cool, and then use it in the humidifier.

Can You Use Vinegar To Clean a Humidifier?

Vinegar and baking soda on table

Vinegar has a high acidic content that kills bacteria, germs, and mold. Can you use vinegar to clean a humidifier?

You can use vinegar to clean a humidifier. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the humidifier base. Soak the caps and seals in a bowl with vinegar. Let everything sit in the vinegar for at least 30 minutes.

Pour 2 cups of vinegar into the water tank. Lock the cap in place and give the tank a few good shakes to get the vinegar throughout the tank. The vinegar will get sudsy as you shake it.

Use a Q-tip, toothbrush, or rag to clean the openings with vinegar. Use a rag to clean the rubber gasket seal.

Pour out all of the vinegar and then thoroughly rinse everything until the vinegar smell is gone. Let everything air dry completely before using the humidifier.

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Clean a Humidifier?

You can use apple cider vinegar to clean a humidifier, but it is not recommended. Apple cider vinegar has a sweeter smell than regular vinegar, but there is a risk of it staining the humidifier. .

Can You Use White Vinegar To Clean a Humidifier?

You can use white vinegar to clean a humidifier. White vinegar has a high acid content that will kill bacteria and will remove mold.

Can You Use Wine Vinegar To Clean a Humidifier?

You can use wine vinegar to clean a humidifier if the vinegar is clear. Wine vinegar that is clear does not contain tannins that will stain the humidifier.

Wine vinegar is more expensive than other kinds of vinegar on the market, but it is an effective cleaner. Be sure to dilute the vinegar before using it to clean the humidifier.

Can You Use Malt Vinegar To Clean a Humidifier?

You can use malt vinegar to clean a humidifier, but it is not recommended. The acid content will clean the humidifier, but malt vinegar is much darker in color and can stain the humidifier. If you only have malt vinegar, be sure to dilute it before using it to clean the humidifier.

Can You Use Bleach To Clean Humidifier?

Bleach container being poured

Bleach is known for killing germs and mold. But can you use bleach to clean a humidifier?

You can use bleach to clean a humidifier unless your type of humidifier warns against using it. Using bleach to deep clean the humidifier will ensure there is no mold lingering in the humidifier, however, bleach can damage the humidifier if used incorrectly.

If your type of humidifier says it is safe to use bleach, mix ½ teaspoon of bleach with ½ gallon of water. Pour the solution into the humidifier and let it sit for 20 minutes.

After the bleach solution has sat for 20 minutes, thoroughly rinse the tank until the bleach smell is gone. It is extremely dangerous to inhale bleach fumes!

Let everything air dry before using the humidifier. To make sure all of the bleach has been removed, take the humidifier outside and turn it on. If using it outside is not an option where you live, rinse everything again and let it air dry.

Can You Use Soap/Dish Soap To Clean Humidifier?

Person holding dish soap and sponge

Soap has been used for decades to clean our homes. Can you use soap/dish soap to clean a humidifier?

You can use soap/dish soap to clean a humidifier. Use hot water, a neutral soap, and a brush or sponge to clean the humidifier. Rinse everything thoroughly and let everything air dry before using the humidifier.

Good ole fashion soap and water are still the best way to keep ourselves and our family healthy. Using soap and hot water to clean your humidifier is an easy, affordable way to keep the humidifier clean.

Fill a clean sink or bucket with hot, soapy water and let the tank, caps, and seal soak in the water. Use a rag or sponge soaked in soapy water to clean the base. Be sure to rinse everything thoroughly and let it air dry before reassembling.

Do not use soap that has added fragrance or coloring. The oils from the fragrance can soak into some of the parts of the humidifier, causing the scent to linger or even come out in the steam. You do not want to inhale those oils when you use the humidifier.

If the soap has added dyes for coloring, the dye will not stain the humidifier, but it could affect the filter and wick if your humidifier has one. It is also an added ingredient that you do not want to take a chance on getting into the steam you breathe in.

Can You Use Alcohol To Clean Humidifier?

Humidifier with woman working on laptop in background

Alcohol is a natural germ killer. Can you use alcohol to clean a humidifier/

You can use alcohol to clean a humidifier. The alcohol should not be used when the humidifier is on, as breathing in the alcohol can be dangerous to your lungs. Only use alcohol to clean the humidifier.

Another important reason why alcohol should not be used when the humidifier is on is that alcohol is flammable. Some humidifiers generate heat to produce the steam we breathe in. The two combined together are a fire hazard.

Can You Use Baking Soda To Clean a Humidifier?

Baking soda in white bowl

Baking soda is used in many household and personal care products. Can you use baking soda to clean a humidifier?

You can use baking soda to clean a humidifier. Make a paste of baking soda and water to clean the crevices’ of the humidifier, including the caps. Baking soda will absorb any lingering scent from mold or a strong cleaner used to clean the humidifier.

While baking soda is natural and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it should not be inhaled. Do not use baking soda when the humidifier is on.

Using baking soda to clean the tank and base should be done after the base and tank have already been cleaned with a stronger cleaner, such as vinegar.

Baking soda and vinegar work well together. Combining the two ingredients together will create a fizzy reaction that will help to remove stubborn moldy areas or hard water buildup.

An added benefit to using baking soda after cleaning the humidifier with vinegar is that baking soda will help to absorb any lingering vinegar scent.

Can You Use Peroxide To Clean a Humidifier?

Disinfectant container

Most of us grew up using peroxide on scraped knees and elbows. Peroxide kills germs. Can you use peroxide to clean a humidifier?

You can use peroxide to clean a humidifier. Peroxide is a safe alternative to use when you do not want to use bleach. There is no risk of inhaling dangerous chemicals or fumes. Be sure to only use 3% peroxide.

Pour a generous amount of peroxide into the base. Use a toothbrush to clean the base, removing any hard water build-up.

After scrubbing the base, let the peroxide sit in the base for at least 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

When it comes to cleaning the humidifier tank, you will need to dilute the peroxide. Mix 4 parts water with 1 part peroxide in the tank.

Let the solution sit in the tank for at least 30 minutes. Rinse the tank with warm water.

Can You Use Citric Acid To Clean a Humidifier?

Cut lemons and glass jar

Citric acid, found naturally in citrus fruits, is effective at killing bacteria and removing stains. Can you use citric acid to clean a humidifier?

You can use citric acid to clean a humidifier. Citric acid is extremely safe and effective at removing hard water buildup from the humidifier. Citric acid is most effective when used with boiling water.

You have disassembled your humidifier to give it a deep cleaning and you discover the steaming element is covered in a white, crusty substance.

This is calcified hard water build-up. The build-up will damage your humidifier if it is not removed.

Sprinkle a teaspoon of citric acid on the element and then fill the reservoir with water. Turn the humidifier on just long enough to see and hear bubbles around the heating element.

Let the citric acid bubble for a few seconds and then unplug the humidifier. You want the element hot enough to activate the acid. You will see the acid slowly falling off the element.

After a few minutes, let the element cool down and then see if you can remove the buildup by hand. If some remains on the element, repeat the process until it is completely clean.

Can You Use CLR To Clean a Humidifier?

Purple cleaning container

CLR stands for calcium, lime, and rust. If you live in an area with hard water, you know these minerals are in your water. Can you use CLR to clean a humidifier?

This content is owned by Wabi Sabi Group and was first published on Apr 28, 2022..

You can use CLR to clean a humidifier. Pour enough CLR into the humidifier base to cover the base. Follow with hot water and let the solution soak until all of the hard water build-up is dissolved.

It is important to thoroughly rinse the humidifier after using CLR. CLR is safe to use but you do not want any lingering chemicals coming out of the humidifier and into your lungs.

After using CLR it is best to wash everything with a mild soap and warm water. Let everything air dry before assembling and using it.

Can You Use Dishwasher To Clean a Humidifier?

Open dishwasher door

Dishwashers effectively clean and sanitize our dishes. Can you use the dishwasher to clean a humidifier?

You can use the dishwasher to clean a humidifier if your model of humidifier says it is dishwasher safe. Use a dishwasher detergent that is mild. Select the ‘Extra Rinse’ cycle on the dishwasher to ensure the soap has been thoroughly rinsed away.

Washing the humidifier base and lid in the dishwasher will clean it, but you may still want to use a toothbrush or sponge to clean the nooks and crannies of the parts.

Remove the parts from the dishwasher and let them air dry before assembling and using the humidifier.

How To Clean Humidifier Properly

Humidifier in living room

Using a humidifier may seem simple enough but often overlooked is how to keep the humidifier clean. Humidifiers are moist and warm – just the way mold and bacteria like it.

To prevent dangerous mold and bacteria from growing inside the humidifier, and then being blown into the air you breathe, humidifiers should be cleaned on a weekly basis. You want to do a deep cleaning of the humidifier every other week.

Here are some steps to keep in mind when cleaning a humidifier. There may be a variation in these steps depending on the style of humidifier you have, but the principles are the same.

Step 1: Safety first. Unplug the humidifier.

Step 2: Allow the humidifier time to cool down completely.

Step 3: Pour out any water left in the base.

Step 4: Fill the base of the humidifier with 1 cup of your cleaning solution.

Step 5: Fill the tank of the humidifier with 2 cups of your cleaning solution.

This article was first published on Apr 28, 2022 by Wabi Sabi Group..

Step 6: Give the tank a few shakes and swirls to get the solution into every part of the tank.

Step 7: Let the solution sit in the base and tank for at least 30 minutes.

Step 8: Remove the caps and rubber seals and let them soak in a bowl of your cleaning solution.

Step 9: Use a sponge or toothbrush to clean the openings of the tank and base.

Step 10: After 30 minutes, rinse the base and tank with warm water. If you cleaned the humidifier with vinegar, rinse until you no longer smell the vinegar.

Step 11: Let all of the parts of the humidifier air dry on a clean towel.

To clean a humidifier properly, disassemble the humidifier and use a toothbrush or sponge to clean the openings and corners of each attachment location. Use citric acid to remove any hard water buildup. Let everything air dry completely before reassembling. Replace the filter regularly.

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WabiSabi Group is the owner of this article and was published on Apr 28, 2022 and last modified on .

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