How To Clean A Humidifier Tank

A humidifier comes in handy during the dry winter months, providing a healthy and comfortable level of moisture in the atmosphere. It is also beneficial for people who live in drier climates. A humidifier helps the skin stay supple and well moisturized, improves the quality of air inside the home, helps everyone sleep better and reduces symptoms of various problems such as coughing, allergies and hay fever.

Clean humidifier when bacteria and mold exist ?

One thing that people do not think about however is cleaning out their humidifier. This can be a serious health risk to those living inside the home. The water inside the humidifier creates the perfect environment for the growth of mold and bacteria if regular cleaning is not done.

Inhaling this mold and bacteria in the water vapor can have a number of health effects. Increased severity of allergies and itchy eyes and skin are some of the symptoms of contaminated air as a result of an unclean humidifier. 

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How To Clean Humidifier Recommendations

Different manufacturers give different recommendations regarding the frequency of cleaning a humidifier. But the best way to determine the frequency is to check how often you are using the humidifier. If you are a light user, you just need to clean it every two months.

For a really light user, clean it once at the start of the season and again at the end before storage. If you are a heavy user, consider cleaning your humidifier at least once a week. This will ensure that the water vapor you are breathing in is not contaminated by mold, allergens or bacteria. 

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Steps to Follow in Cleaning Your Humidifier 

how to clean a humidifier tank

1. Remove the filter and rinse it under running tap water. This helps to get rid of any impurities that may have collected on it. Leave it on a clean dry surface, like a towel, to dry. Also check the manufacturer’s instructions to see whether it’s time you replaced the filter. Do not clean the filter using any chemicals. This can damage the filter and stop it from working properly. 

2. Break down the rest of the humidifier. The two major parts will be the water tank and the heating equipment. Depending on which model you are using, you might be able to break it down beyond these two components.

This will ensure a more thorough cleaning. 

3. Pour out the old water in the tank and wash it. There are two main ways you can wash the water tank; using vinegar or bleach. Vinegar is the safest since it will not affect you even when you inhale it. Bleach on the other hand cleans thoroughly but could be a health hazard if the tank is not rinsed properly. It can also damage the tank if left inside for more than one hour. 


4. If you are using vinegar, pour three cups of it in the tank, swish it around and leave it to rest for an hour. You can use a brush to completely clean out the tank before pouring out the vinegar. Rinse with cold water. 

5. For bleach, mix a teaspoon of bleach with a gallon of water. Pour the mixture into the tank and leave it to rest for not more than an hour. This gives the bleach time to destroy any mold and disinfect the tank. After an hour, pour out the solution and use cold clean water to thoroughly rinse the tank. 

Clean humidifier gunk ?

6. Clean the rest of the humidifier using a sponge soaked in vinegar. Try to clean as much as possible. Use a brush to remove any accumulated gunk on various surfaces and crevices. 

7. Leave the humidifier to dry in a clean, dry place before you put it back together.

Note that you can also use hydrogen peroxide as a cleaning agent in place of bleach or vinegar. Like the other chemicals, you leave it for an hour then pour it out and rinse the tank well with cold water. 

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Deep Cleaning 

Clean humidifier to remove residue ?

Every two weeks, carry out a deep cleaning to catch any contaminant you may have missed during your usual cleaning. Mix a cup of vinegar with a gallon of water. Pour the solution into a humidifier and then turn it on. Put the humidifier outside to prevent the vinegar smell from filling the room. Leave the humidifier to run for a whole hour. 

Please note that you should only use vinegar when performing a deep cleaning. Other chemicals such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide can damage the humidifier when it is running. 

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    Important Maintenance Tips

    Proper maintenance of your humidifier helps to prevent bacterial and mold growth. It also ensures that it serves you for longer.

    Clean humidifier to prevent infection ?

    • Change the water often. Old water encourages bacterial growth. It also leaves hard to clean mineral deposits at the bottom of the tank. You should change the water every time you clean the humidifier. This keeps the water, and the vapor you are breathing in clean. 

    Clean humidifier to protect components ?

    • The older the humidifier gets the more often you should clean it. This is because worn out components are more likely to host dangerous bacteria. The best course of action though is to replace your humidifier after several years of use. 

    Clean humidifier in a dry place ?

    • Keep the humidifier in a clean dry place. This includes when you store it at the end of the season. Dampness around the humidifier creates the right environment for the growth of mold and bacteria. Do not forget to clean it out and pour out the water before putting it into storage. 


    Final Word

    A humidifier has numerous benefits. It is good for your skin, your pulmonary (nose, trachea and lungs) health and your general comfort. If you are not careful however, it can turn into a health hazard. To prevent this, clean it once every week and do a deep cleaning every two weeks. Replace your filters according to your manufacturer’s instructions and replace the whole system after 3-5 years of use. 

    A good point to note is that experts recommend that you also get a hygrometer to measure humidity levels. Too much moisture in the air and it is going to cause problems especially for people with allergies. The ideal humidity level is 45 percent. 

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