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How to Clean Your Essential Humidifier: A Step by Step Guide

Humidifiers can be a very useful tool during dry seasons, like autumn and winter months. Humidifiers moisten the air and can be effective in treating dry skin, sore throats, congestion, dry or cracked lips, and other dry irritations. In this article we will give you some ideas on how to clean humidifier properly.

Humidifier benefits; humidifier output

Humidifier Benefits & Output

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Why it is important to keep your humidifier clean

Bacteria, dust, and mold can keep your humidifier from working as intended. You may also be at risk of illness if your humidifier is not properly cleaned, so it is important to understand how to clean humidifier. Luckily, cleaning can be very easy and only takes a few minutes, and there are a few ways to clean humidifiers based on what you have on hand. Take a look at the 3 easy ways on how to clean humidifier, and keep bacteria from growing.

What you will need:

For these steps, you will need a dry cloth or sponge, disinfectant wipes, water, bleach and vinegar.

3 Easy Ways to Clean Out Your Humidifier

1. Perform a basic cleaning with natural ingredients

Unplug your humidifier and remove all filters first. Humidifiers can attract bacteria, so next, you need to rinse it using warm water. Warm water will clean out impurities and get rid of any bacteria.

How to clean humidifier: wash water tank regularlyNext, remove the water tank from the humidifier and get rid of any water in the tank. Cleaning products may damage your humidifier, so it is important to use vinegar. Vinegar is a natural cleanser, so there are no unnatural side effects to you or your humidifier tank.  Fill the tank with up to 3 cups of vinegar and swirl the liquid around for a while, allowing it to wash away any dirt in the tank. The vinegar will also clean and remove any bacteria in the tank. You can use a brush, sponge or a cloth to scrub the surface of the tank.

Once you are ready to move on, it is now time to clean the frame of the humidifier. To wipe down the frame, get a new sponge and dampen it using both water and vinegar. Try to use an equal amount of both. Then, wipe off all the remaining parts of the machine for any additional dirt or bacteria.  Be thorough about it, wiping down all the parts prevents  debris, dust and lint from getting into the water tank which also helps to prevent the growth of bacteria or mold.

2. Disinfect the humidifier with bleach

In order to thoroughly disinfect your humidifier of any kind of bacteria, take a look at the following steps.

How to clean humidifier: use bleach to disinfect the humidifierMix about one gallon of water and about a teaspoon of bleach. There is no need to use more than enough bleach for this method, as bleach is a powerful disinfectant on its own. Pour the entire mixture into the water tank of the humidifier. Let the water and bleach solution sit for a little while, at least about an hour, so that the water tank can completely sanitize.  After about an hour, pour the mixture out and rinse and wipe down the tank using cold water. Be sure to do this thoroughly before putting the tank back into the humidifier. Also, make sure that the bleach does not stay in the tank for more than an hour. Again, bleach is pretty powerful on its own and even diluted, it may damage the surface of the tank pretty badly.

You can also try using hydrogen peroxide to clean the water tank. Peroxide is often used to clean and eliminate bacteria. Pouring about half a cup of peroxide and swishing it around proves to be very helpful when you are trying to clean your humidifier. Let it sit and soak in the tank for an hour. Rinse it out using cold water.

Once again, vinegar comes in handy even if you’re not necessarily looking to clean your humidifier with natural ingredients. Deep cleaning with vinegar is a clean way to get disinfect your humidifier. Unlike the previous method involving vinegar, this method will require that your humidifier is turned on and running. To start with this method, fill up the water tank with a gallon of water and a cup of vinegar. Plug in the humidifier and let it run for almost one hour. Make sure that when you use this method, you turn on the humidifier outdoors. Using this method indoors can cause a terrible odor and is not recommended. After an hour, pour out the vinegar and water solution and rinse using cold water.

3. Preventing bacterial growth

How to clean humidifier: change water regularly to prevent bacterial growthIn order to prevent the growth of bacteria in your humidifier, take a look at the steps below. This will not only keep bacteria from growing, but will also keep you in a steady rhythm when it comes to taking care of your humidifier.

Always keep fresh water in the water tank of your humidifier. This will not only keep the humidifier working well, but will benefit you, as the air will be moist and cleaner.

It is highly recommended to clean your humidifier after every three days using peroxide or vinegar mixed with water, as this article recommends above.

During less dry seasons, like summer, make sure that the humidifier is stored in a properly clean and dry place. If it does become dusty, take the necessary steps remove the dust.

Regular Maintenance and Usage Tips

There are different ways to effectively use a humidifier depending on what you are using it for. First and foremost, you should always make use of your manual and read it carefully.


Some humidifiers should not be used around infants. Be sure to read your manual for tips on who may be negatively affected by humidifiers.


Buying a humidifier is not an end of the job. Keeping it clean is equally important in terms of getting the best result. In order to keep your humidifier from bacteria and to keep yourself safe, it is important to do whatever it takes to properly clean it on a regular basis. These methods on how to clean humidifier, are also quick and effective ways to keep your humidifier clean based on your schedule.

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