How To Clean An Air Humidifier

Air humidifiers are great for use in the home during both the winter and summer months. During winter, they help to keep the air moist and the warmer air inside by adding water vapour to the air. In summer, the air can also be considerably dry on some days, but an air humidifier adds moisture to the air, meaning the air inside your home will be slightly dampened, keeping things cool. Dry air can affect some people’s skin, nasal and respiratory passages, which often causes flare-ups of allergies. Air humidifiers and purifiers are often used together in a home for the best results. 

Air purifiers clean the air, while humidifiers make the air more moist if it’s too dry. If your air humidifier has never been cleaned, it’s best to start now before you end up breathing in some bacteria or mould. It’s important to clean your air humidifier regularly as water is a breeding ground for mould and microbes. Keep on reading to find out how to clean an air humidifier for results that will give you healthier air to breathe daily.

How Often Do You Need To Clean A Humidifier? 

How often do you need to clean an air humidifier

Surprisingly, air humidifiers should be cleaned once a week, and possibly even more frequently if you or anyone at home has respiratory issues. No matter the type of humidifier, it’s important for it to be cleaned regularly, as stagnant water attracts bacteria, and it’s not the bacteria you would want to breathe in unknowingly. 

This is also a good time to take care of some of your other appliances. After cleaning your humidifier, you could also learn how to clean a toaster or how to clean a kettle

What You Will Need For Cleaning

To clean your air humidifier, all you need is a small, soft brush, toothbrush, or nylon brush, as well as white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide (keep in mind that you should never mix the two). 

Here are the 8 steps to follow when cleaning your air humidifier:

  1. Unplug the humidifier and empty the tank. Remove and disassemble any filters and other detachable parts. To clean the filter, you only need to use water. Clean the other parts in the sink with water and dishwashing liquid, rinse them, and set them somewhere safe to dry. 
  2. Wipe down the humidifier’s exterior with a damp microfiber cloth that has been dipped into soap suds before rinsing with a clean damp cloth. 
  3. Next, you can fill the water tank as you would regularly, but add an extra 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Then leave it to sit for 30 minutes before placing the tank back on top of the reservoir and letting the water drain through the humidifier as it normally would. Then leave the water to sit for another 30 minutes. 
  4. Use an old toothbrush with some white vinegar to scrub away any mould, mildew, or mineral deposits from the base. You can wash the water tank in the sink with soapy water. Do the same to scrub mineral deposits in the tank if necessary. You should also scrub the rest of the interior with an old toothbrush or cotton bud. 
  5. You can then either use a clean microfiber cloth dipped in hot water to wipe the inside of the humidifier and remove leftover traces of vinegar, or simply rinse the humidifier thoroughly after it’s been scrubbed.
  6. You can then use a fresh clean cloth to dry the inside of the unit.
  7. Be sure to rinse out the tank under water and dry it thoroughly, or allow it to air-dry before reassembling the humidifier. 
  8. Next, we’re going to look at how you can clean the filter of your air humidifier. 

How To Clean Humidifier Filter

How to clean humidifier filter

Your humidifier likely has a filter, which also needs to be cleaned. The filter is made to remove contaminants from the water, so cleaning it is a vital process to ensure you get the best results. Use the 3 steps below to clean your humidifier filter:

  1. Remove the filter from the unit and soak it in an equal mixture of water and white vinegar for about 20 minutes.
  2. Rinse the filter with hot water.
  3. Leave the filter to air-dry before putting it back into the humidifier. 

If the filter is soft, you may be able to gently squeeze it while rinsing, to speed things up. However, you should never wring or twist the filter, as it could become damaged. 

How To Clean An Air Humidifier Nozzle

If your air humidifier has a nozzle or spout to release the steam, it should also be cleaned regularly. Detach the nozzle and leave it to soak in a solution of water and white vinegar for a few minutes, before rinsing thoroughly with hot water. 

How To Disinfect An Air Humidifier

How to disinfect an air humidifier

While cleaning your air humidifier is a must, it’s also important to disinfect your humidifier at least once a month. This is to prevent the buildup of bacteria that could become harmful if left for too long.

Firstly, remember to check the care instructions for your specific unit and always use recommended products whenever possible. Use 3% hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your air humidifier. Remember not to combine vinegar with hydrogen peroxide, as they can result in a harmful chemical reaction.

Make a solution of 4 parts water and 1 part hydrogen peroxide, then fill the tank of the air humidifier with the solution, leaving it to work for 30 minutes. Empty the tank and rinse thoroughly with water. Allow the tank to air-dry before you put it back together. 

Things To Remember 

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to keep in mind when cleaning and using an air humidifier:

1. Change The Water Each Use

Before switching on the humidifier, throw away the water from the previous day. Rinse the tank well and then refill it to prevent bacteria and mould from growing inside the tank. 

2. Only Use Distilled Water

Distilled water is recommended in an air humidifier as it doesn’t contain all of the minerals and additives usually found in tap water. Anything that goes into the tank of the humidifier will go into the air that you breathe. The minerals in tap water can promote bacteria, create white dust, and leave deposits behind. 

3. Deep Clean And Disinfect

Use the cleaning steps above at least once a week, then disinfect your humidifier regularly to reduce the amount of mould and bacteria in your humidifier before it gets into the air.

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Now that you know how to clean an air humidifier, it should increase comfort and health benefits. With these tips you can maintain your unit and keep it running smoothly, to ensure the moisture coming out is always fresh and clean for you and your family to breathe. You should also remember to replace the filter every 30 to 60 days, depending on the condition and how regularly the unit is used. 

If your air quality is fresh and clean, your home should be too. Book a professional home clean from SweepSouth and let us restore a pristine and healthy look and feeling to your home. 

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