How to Clean a Humidifier – A Detailed Guide

Humidifiers can be great companions of a household and a prime combatant of moisture. But to keep up the good services of humidifiers, they need to be maintained, and proper treatment needs to be given to them.

The incessant use of a humidifier during dry seasons can clog the system, which will consequently affect its functioning. Moreover, the constant release of moisture can provide space for micro-organisms to breed and make a home in the unit.

The subsequent purchase of a humidifier requires some maintenance level if you wish to enjoy its long-term service. While none of us don’t really like the whole cleaning process, it is a need that must be done. Also, do check our suggested humidifiers to reduce the cleaning process.

How often should the Humidifier be Cleaned?

The intervals of cleaning depend largely upon the humidifier itself. On average, it should be cleaned once every week to avoid having your house being taken over by harmful components. 

However, your cleaning routine should not be bounded by just a week if you can clean it more often. If you have anyone in your family prone to bacterial diseases or have respiratory problems, it is recommended to clean the unit at every opportunity you get.

How to Clean the Humidifier?

The methods of cleaning a humidifier are innumerable, and the manual which you receive with your unit should contain the steps for cleaning it.

Each brand has its own cleansing method, and you need to follow the instructions given in the manual. Read the Do's and the Don'ts of cleaning meticulously if you do not want to make any blunder. 

For humidifier owners who did not get a user manual with the unit or have lost the booklet, fret not. Following are the instructions for the effective cleaning of your unit.

As long as these steps are followed meticulously, you shall have no problem in keeping your humidifier in the best of conditions. 

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Before we begin cleaning your humidifier, there are certain things you need to gather that will aid in the cleansing.

Cleaning the humidifier is not a tough task, and you wouldn’t need any extravagant sum of items to fulfill the task. These are a few regular household items that you need to get for cleaning.

  • White Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • A soft brush (soft bristle toothbrush can work) 
  • Water

The above-listed items would be compatible with any humidifier. Now follow the steps listed below:


Step 1 - Dismantle

The first thing you need to do is unplug the humidifier and dismantle the unit completely, as you will be cleaning each part separately. 


Step 2 - Remove the filter

Remove the water content from the tank. Make sure your filter has been separated, as it is especially essential to clean the filtration system. Once you have disassembled the humidifier, you can begin the preparations for cleaning.


Step 3 - Wear gloves

Wear a clean pair of gloves before making the cleaning solution. It is not mandatory to wear them, but certainly advisable.


Step 4 - Pour vinegar 

Pour undiluted white vinegar into the water tank and stir the solution for a while to reach all the corners and remove any unwanted element. Let the parts sit in the solution for a while, give it at least 15 to 20 minutes. 


Step 5 - Clean with brush 

After the expiry of that time, take the parts out one by one and clean them with the soft-bristle toothbrush. Look out for any impurity and brush it off nicely. Use a small brush for small parts so you could clean off the residue from all the removable parts.


Step 6 - Disinfect the unit

The next thing you have to do is disinfect the unit, which will take about 30 minutes of your time once everything is set. Take about 4 liters of water and put one spoon of vinegar in the mix.


Step 7 - Pour the solution 

Pour this solution into the water tank and swish water for it to reach the corners. Let the solution sit for about half an hour while the disinfection takes place.


Step 8 - Wash the tank

Once you are done with the disinfection process, you can wash the tank with tap water and rinse it nicely. Wash and rinse the other parts, which are coated with vinegar as well. 


Step 9 - Dry the parts

You can dry the parts with a towel or wait for the water to evaporate, whichever suits you. Once they are dry, clean the parts with a dry towel before installing them again.


Step 10 - Cleaning over

Voila! Your humidifier is completely clean and ready to go back to duty. Pour fresh water into the water tank. Reassemble all the parts of the humidifier and install the unit back into its place. Plug it back in and enjoy fresh and safe humidifying.


Cleaning the humidifier is a long process and can take an hour of your time if you are not used to it. However, cleaning it is of utmost importance because an uncleaned and untreated humidifier can be extremely hazardous to your health.

Sunday mornings are perfect for cleaning the unit. You can clean it more than once a week too, in fact, some manufacturers mandate cleaning it twice or thrice a week. But for an average humidifier, deep-cleaning once a week should suffice. I hope you found this article helpful.

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About the Author


I am Tim, a weather enthusiast who loves to watch hurricanes and all other harsh weather conditions. I studied B.Sc(Meteorology) at the University of Miami. With excellent knowledge of Weather Forecasting, Meteorology, and Environmental Science, I am currently working in San Francisco as a Meteorologist. Also, I am a member of The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. In this blog, I will write a detailed review of Weather instruments that you need for survival and other activities.