Humidifiers are handy appliances to have in a home, and like any other appliance, they require regular cleaning. If your humidifier is being used on a daily basis, then it should be cleaned at least once a week to maintain optimum performance.
Always refer to the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer for any appliance. Before following the instructions included here, check with the manual for your humidifier to ensure these cleaning instructions are compatible with your machine. Always unplug the humidifier before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.
Cool Mist vs. Warm Mist Humidifiers
Cool mist humidifiers have basic steps for cleaning them. After you've unplugged the cool mist humidifier, remove the filter and place it to the side. Next, remove the mineral buildup following the directions included below. Next, disinfect the humidifier using the directions included below. Finally, replace the humidifier's filter properly.
Warm mist humidifiers need to have their mineral build up removed using the directions provided below. Unplug the humidifier first. Next, it is important that you clean the heating element. Pour white vinegar into the base of your warm mist humidifier. Place the misting chamber into the base.
Allow the vinegar to sit and soak for at least half an hour. Remove the unit and using a soft bristled brush, gently brush away the mineral deposits from the coils. Never use a metal brush. Never pick at the deposits with a tool or sharp object. A clean toothbrush can be used to brush the deposits away from the coil.
Next, pour cool, clean water into the base and place the misting chamber into it. Allow the chamber to sit for a few minutes to allow the residue to soak off. Wipe the chamber clean and dry with a clean, soft cloth. Carefully pour the remaining water down the drain. Finally, disinfect the warm mist humidifier using the directions included below.
Removing Mineral Build Up
Both the cool mist and warm mist humidifiers require removing the mineral buildup. To remove the mineral buildup, pour approximately one cup or 8 ounces of undiluted white vinegar into the base of the water holding receptacle.
Allow the vinegar to sit and soak in the humidifier for at least one half hour. Redistribute the vinegar occasionally by gently shaking the holding receptacle. Swish the solution around the container making sure that it coats the entire base. Additionally, use a soft bristled brush to gently scrub the interior of the container. Repeat the scrubbing process a second time on areas that appear to be encrusted with a mineral build up.
Once the half hour has passed, slowly pour the vinegar from the holding receptacle. Rinse it thoroughly with clean water to remove the mineral and vinegar residue. Rinse the container a second time to ensure that you have removed all of the residue.
Disinfecting the Humidifier
Once you have cleaned the humidifier, you should disinfect it. One method of disinfecting is as follows.
Fill the holding receptacle or base with clean water, making sure that you know how approximately much water you are using. Next, add one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach to every gallon of water that you have in the base.
Allow this solution to sit and soak for at least half an hour. Occasionally, gently swish the solution to coat the base evenly. Once the half hour has passed, pour the bleach solution down the drain, being careful not to spill any. Rinse the base several times until the smell of bleach has dissipated.
Remember when you are cleaning your humidifier to unplug it. Also, avoid commercial cleaners as they are unnecessary. Never allow any vinegar residue to remain in your humidifier.
Looking to purchase a new humidifier? Check out our Humidifiers Buyer's Guide.