How to Clean Your Humidifier (in 7 Super Easy Steps)

How to Clean Your Humidifier (in 7 Super Easy Steps)

By now you know that during those dry winter months, you should be using a humidifier to moisten the air inside your home. You have read enough articles on humidifiers and their health benefits to knowing that using a humidifier is good for you and your family.

This is especially so when you have family members suffering from allergies. What you may not know is that it is vital that you keep your humidifier clean. As the WebMD page says - you wouldn’t drink month old water left in a coffee pot, why breathe the vapor from months old water left in your humidifier.

Breathing clean air and clean water vapor is important to keep yourself and your family members healthy.

How Often Should You Clean The Humidifier?

how to clean humidifiers

It seems that no manufacturer can agree on how many times you need to clean your humidifier. Some say that you should do it regularly. Others state that it should be done after winter has come to an end. While still others say that it should be done every couple of months

The best solution to this dilemma is to make sure you clean it when on a regular basis or after it has been sitting unused for a long period of time.

You Should Disinfect Your Humidifier

This is important as while water does clean, it also is something that helps mold, germs and other bacteria grow. If you do not disinfect the unit, then you are allowing germs to get to your family.

You also ruin the healthy atmosphere in your home, you try so hard to maintain. Humidifiers will spread bacteria as it spreads the moisture around the room. So how do you disinfect your humidifier? In order to properly disinfect your humidifier, you should use bleach.

Bleach kills germs and stops mold and mildew from growing. The cleanser will make sure everything it touches clean and germ free. But if you do not like the idea of breath in vapors from a humidifier disinfected with bleach, you can replace the bleach with vinegar.

All you need to correctly disinfect your humidifier are the following items:

  • Bleach or vinegar
  • Cleaning brush, soft bristles are preferred
  • Gloves and maybe some goggles
  • Hand Pointing Right
    Lots of water
  • Hand Pointing Right

These same items will be used in your cleaning process as you can clean and disinfect at the same time.

How To Clean Your Humidifier

We are sure you were betting we would forget about this part. We know that cleaning your humidifier is a time-consuming job and it is a very dirty job if you haven’t cleaned yours in a long time.

Here are a few simple steps to take to clean your humidifier:

  • 1
    The most important step in the process, is to read your owner’s manual to find out the manufacturer’s recommended tips on how to clean their product. Getting a little help is not wrong if you do not want anything bad to happen to your humidifier
  • 2
    The second most important step is to unplug the unit. It can be a shocking experience if you forget this vital action
  • 3
    Next, take your humidifier apart, making sure to empty any leftover water in the water tank.
  • 4
    Now, pour either bleach or vinegar into the bottom of the humidifier, making sure you get all the parts that touch water. Removable parts can be soaked in a bowl with a water and bleach or vinegar mixture. Don’t forget the water tank. It needs cleaning as well. Let all the parts soak for half an hour.
  • 5
    When the soak time is over, take your cleaning brush and start scrubbing. Go over all the parts, walls and water tank thoroughly. You do not want to leave a vulnerable spot for germs to get a foothold.
  • 6
    Once you have scrubbed everything clean, take all the parts, including the water tank, to the sink and rinse them. You want to make sure you get rid of all traces of the bleach or vinegar you used to clean the unit.
  • 7
    Finally, when the humidifier is dry, you can put it back together and refill the water tank.

And you are done. The messy job is over with till the next time you have to clean it. One way to make this job easier is to do frequent cleanings. The water tank can be cleaned often since it can be removed easily.

Keep reading to know how to clean the filter.

steps to clean humidifier

How To Keep Your Humidifier Filter Clean

There are some people who need to know how to clean their humidifier filter. This is not a hard task and there are only a few steps to take to ensure your humidifier filter is clean.

  • 1
    The first thing that you need to do is see what your filter is made of. If it is paper, cleaning won’t help. You just toss it away and replace it.
  • 2
    Remove the water tank and then remove the filter. Be careful not to spill any water inside the tank. The filter should come out easily.
  • 3
    Place the filter in a large bucket, sink or tub that is filled with 1-part bleach or vinegar and 6 parts water.
  • 4
    Soak the filter for about 10 minutes
  • 5
    Remove the filter and rinse thoroughly if the filter is still not clean, just repeat the process.
  • 6
    Replace the filter and water tank and you are done.

The Difference Between Cleaning a Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier

There is no real difference between cleaning a cool mist and a warm mist humidifier. The steps are the same and the tools are the same. You also can use either vinegar or bleach or both if the need arises.


No one likes to clean, but it is a job that has to be done. Cleaning your humidifier is like cleaning the rest of your hose. You are ridding your home of potential health threats. That should be your main motivation - keeping a healthy home especially when you have allergy sufferers living inside.

The cleaning process is simple, but it must be thorough. Make sure you unplug the unit first. Then disassemble the unit placing small parts in a bowl so they won’t get lost. They can also be cleaned easier in a small bowl.

Use vinegar, bleach or both to get all the dirt, grime and germs that have settled inside. Rinse and reassemble. Cleaning your humidifier regularly is one way to make this dirty job a little bit easier.

When you reassemble your humidifier, make sure that all the parts are dry before plugging the unit back in. You do not want any electrical surprises when you turn the humidifier back on.

That is all there is to cleaning your cool air or warm air mist humidifiers. You can take relief that it doesn’t have to be done every day or every week.

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