How To Clean A Humidifier
A humidifier is a device that warms and releases water vapour into the air. It is often used in dry climates or during winter months when the furnace or heating appliances dries out the indoor air. Humidifiers are also used by people with certain health conditions, like allergies and asthma, as a way to help alleviate symptoms.
It’s important to keep your home clean and dry. However, it’s equally important to make sure that your humidifier is working at an optimum level. This how-to guide will show you how to clean a humidifier so that it’s not only clean, but free of mould, limescale, and other allergens.
Benefits of Using a Humidifier
Owning a humidifier means you will be able to breathe easier. Humidifiers are especially good for people with allergies or asthma because they help release histamines and other substances that cause inflammation in the lungs and respiratory tract.
If you live in an arid environment (like Arizona or Okanagan’s Osoyoos), a humidifier can keep your sinuses from getting dry during winter months when there’s less humidity outside.
In short, a humidifier can have a big impact on how well you sleep at night, how much energy you have during the day, and your day-to-day breathing comfort levels.
For that reason, humidifiers are a home appliance that does get a large workout, especially for those living in the drier regions of the United States. It is therefore imperative that you clean your humidifier as a part of your regular home maintenance schedule.
What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Humidifier
Not cleaning your humidifier will lead to mould and other allergens growing in the water and accumulating on the surface areas.
This means you have the potential to be breathing in toxic mould spores. The humidistat could also get clogged with mineral deposits or limescale, which will cause your humidifier to run inefficiently.
In turn, leading to a higher electric bill for you and lower levels of day-to-day comfort, especially if you live in an arid environment. It is consequently imperative that your humidifier is cleaned on a regular basis.
What You’ll Need to Keep Your Humidifier Clean
Cleaning your humidifier, thankfully, doesn’t require any specialist equipment or chemicals. You can achieve a professional, thorough clean with chemicals and equipment found readily available in any household. You’ll need the following to give your humidifier a detailed clean:
- distilled water
- white vinegar
- cleaning cloth
- small bristle brush
- baking soda
- an old toothbrush
Once you’ve obtained the above items, it’s time to start cleaning your humidifier. Do note that this guide is for a standard humidifier and some humidifiers may have parts that are not easy to remove. If that is the case, we highly recommend you consult the manufacturer before proceeding.
How to Clean Your Humidifier
Follow these steps to how to clean a humidifier:
Remove the humidifier’s water reservoir and empty all of the water into your toilet bowl. It’s important to do this before you attempt any cleaning, that way you won’t have to scrub mould or other contaminants off the humidifier itself.
Once the water’s been emptied into the toilet, grab a towel and wipe down all the surfaces of the tank or container to remove any debris that has been collected on it since your last cleaning. Make sure you wipe in a downward motion so as not to scratch your humidifier’s finish.
Now that the tank is clean, it’s time to disinfect and clean it.
Disinfecting Your Humidifier Tank
Mix 1 cup of water with ½ teaspoon of baking soda in your bathroom sink.
Pour in just enough vinegar to create a light, milky-colored solution. The vinegar will help kill any existing bacteria.
Place the water container into this solution and let it soak for about 15 minutes.
Scrub down the inside of the container with an old toothbrush (or buy a new one), making sure you get into all the corners where mould can grow.
After your tank has soaked, use another towel to dry it off completely before replacing it in your humidifier unit.
To clean the humidifier itself, wipe down the surfaces with a damp rag. Again, pay close attention to all of those nooks and crannies where mold can hideout.
For any stains that remain after cleaning, apply a little bit of water mixed with vinegar onto the area until it’s saturated. Leave it on for a few moments then wipe the area off with a clean rag. Let this dry, and if you see any discoloration left over, apply some baking soda to it to neutralize the stain.
Before placing your humidifier back into service, run water through it several times so that all of those cleaning chemicals can be properly flushed out.
Your humidifier should now be clean, free of mould and other contaminants, and odours, so it can work the way it’s supposed to, helping you get more sleep every night and breathe a little easier during the day.
Make cleaning your humidifier a part of your regular home cleaning routine.
Be sure to also clean your humidifier when new people come into your home who are sick or have allergies.
It’s important to clean your humidifier if you begin to experience dry skin or respiratory issues—this is a sign your unit is not working effectively.
There you have it, a super simple guide on cleaning your humidifier without having to purchase expensive cleaning products or tools. Don’t be one to suffer from allergies or clogged-up sinuses. Follow this guide to get rid of built-up mineral deposits and limescale and have your humidifier working at its most optimum level.