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How to Properly Clean Your Humidifier

February 24, 2017

We’ve often linked harmful bacteria, molds, yeast and resulting illness to a contaminated humidifier. You should clean your humidifier every two days.  Humidifiers are a great source of comfort during the cold winter months. These increase the quality of indoor air during the cold season and help keep the temperature indoors less cold naturally by increasing the moisture in the air. One good reason for humidifiers is to prevent colds and other diseases from spreading because of the dry air. And to ensure the indoor air is healthy, always keep the humidifier clean. A dirty humidifier will spread unwanted and harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria and molds in the air, thus, defeating the purpose of good quality indoor air through the humidifier.

Luckily, most humidifiers are easy to clean and cost almost nothing to clean. Pantry cleaning staples such as white vinegar, bleach or hydrogen peroxide are the main cleansers to clean the humidifier from the water tank to the base. A soft bristled brush, clean towels and a drying rack are all the apparatus needed to clean each part.

Remember to read the manufacturer’s instructions in disassembling the parts. Unplug the appliance before starting. Drain the water from the tank.

Here are the easy steps of cleaning the machine:

  1. Disassemble the humidifier, separate each detachable part to make reassembling easier.
  2. Since the water tank takes a while to disinfect because it needs to soak in disinfectant/water mix, do this first. Mix in the tank 1 gallon of water and 1 teaspoon of bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Swirl the mix to disinfect the whole inside of the tank.
  3. While the tank is soaking, go to the other parts, soak the detachable parts of the humidifier in a basin of white vinegar. If there is residue, brush gently with the brush.
  4. Same thing with the base, clean the parts of the base where water flows through by soaking first with vinegar for at least five minutes. Clean out residues with a brush.
  5. After soaking the base and detachable parts with vinegar and residues are brushed out, rinse well with running water. Be careful with the base and don’t let the electrical or mechanical parts get wet. To ensure the scent of the vinegar is removed rinse a few times and shake off excess water. Leave on a dry towel or a drying rack to air dry.
  6. If the humidifier has an air filter, rinse through running water then air dry.
  7.  To ensure the disinfectant and its scent are removed from the tank rinse the water tank thoroughly a few times. Shake out excess water and let dry over clean towel or rack.
  8. Assemble the humidifier.

When filling the humidifier with water, use distilled water, never water from the tap. Tap water has trace minerals that leaves residue. Remember to replace the water before using the humidifier to make sure the vapor is clean and free from micro-organisms. A weekly quick clean up with water and monthly thorough cleaning are optimal to keep the appliance effective. Always keep the humidifier clean for it to be efficient in keeping the indoor air healthy and clean.

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