Things You Didn’t Know Needed Cleaning: Your Humidifier

How to Clean Your HumidifierI’m a tad late on this month’s post in the Things You Didn’t Know You Needed to Clean series. Sorry about that – things have been insane around here lately. Anyway, let’s talk about cleaning humidifiers. Did you know you were supposed to clean your humidifier? Obviously, neither did I! After doing a little research, I really wish I had cleaned it more often. I’m totally disgusted by the things that were probably growing in there.

You’re supposed to clean a humidifier every 3 days. Here’s why:

Because of the design of a humidifier, they never really have a chance to fully dry out unless you intentionally dry them. Therefore, all sorts of mold, fungus, and nasty bacteria grows in the cracks and crevices. When you use the machine, all those toxins are released into the air. Then you inhale them. Ironically, the appliance you use to help you breathe better is the one that can be polluting your lungs.

Kind of scary, isn’t it?

Here’s how to clean your humidifier.
  1. Unplug the humidifier. (Duh.)
  2. Empty the tank and fill it with 3 cups of white vinegar. Swish it around a bit and then leave it to soak for an hour. You can also use chemicals designed to remove mineral deposits, but I prefer not to. If you do go that route, make sure you rinse it several times afterward!
  3. Use a scrub brush – a bottle brush works great – to get rid of any mineral deposits. (If you clean your humidifier regularly, you probably won’t have any.)
  4. Rinse and dry the tank. If you can’t get a towel in there to dry it, use a blow dryer on the cool setting.
  5. If your humidifier has a filter, rinse it with cold water and lay it out to dry. Don’t use chemicals on the filter.
  6. Wipe the base of the humidifier down with a damp cloth or cleaning wipe.
  7. Put it back together, sit back, and breathe easy!
  8. Repeat the process in 3 days.
Preventative measures to keep your humidifier clean longer (because you probably won’t clean your humidifier every 3 days like you’re supposed to): 
  1. Don’t set your humidifier to moisture settings above 50%. Anything higher than that makes for an environment likely to grow mold and bacteria.
  2. Empty the tank, dry, and refill it with clean water daily. 
  3. Check for a filter and change it as much as the manufacturer recommends.
  4. Only use distilled water because tap water contains more minerals and bacteria.
  5. Don’t put additives like essential oils inside the tank. Only use diffusers for your Essential Oils, because they’ll break down the plastics in a humidifier.

What are you waiting for? Go clean your humidifier!

Be sure to check out the other posts in the Things You Didn’t Know You Were Supposed to Clean series:

How to clean your Iron



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