A humidifier is a handy utility that can be used in both summer and winter. It indeed relaxes the indoor atmosphere in most seasons. But what will happen if we do not clean your humidifier regularly and adequately? It eventually might become a place for growing mold and other harmful microbes, which worsens the situation. So from Know Your Facts, we decided to discuss how to clean the humidifier properly. So read and enjoy.
What we need to Clean a Humidifier
First things first, let’s figure out what do we need to clean
When we talk about a humidifier, each one of them has designed with a different structure. So in the cleaning process, there might be a bit of change due to additional pieces and practical components.
But there are simple cleaning utilities and essentials required for any complex humidifier cleaning process. Mostly we use,
- Acetic acid aka Vinegar
- Peroxide aka Bleach power
- Brushes and Towels
- Gloves and other safety equipment
Here, Vinegar can be easily found in the kitchen or supermarkets in your hand distance. But if you manage to find distilled white Vinegar, that might be the best in this cleaning process.
But ordinary kitchen vinegar also does its magic too. When using the bleaching power, try it in liquid chlorine bleach format, which increases its performance. And also, when you are using the brushes, try a small, soft brush, like a toothbrush or nylon dish brush, which is much convenient in handling.
You can go with common sense with the given steps to each best cleaning after following our guidelines. But follow the basics of the safety and other procedures in cleaning steps.
Do not damage the circuits and other electrical wires inside or outside. Also, to try to minimize water touch with those to avoid damages and failure in the future. When using chemicals and other detergents in their cleaning task, use gloves and additional safety as possible.
How to clean a Humidifier?
The humidifier cleaning process can be separated into several parts depending on your requirement.
- Normal Cleaning
- Control the bacterial or Mold
Even though there are fundamentals to cleaning up humidifiers, you first have to follow the producers’ user manual guidelines.
You may have different kinds of models in the home with varying procedures of cleaning. It might be contained a period of warranty, and you have to follow the steps of the manufactures.
After the warranty period, you can follow the following period depending on your need to clean your humidifiers using your utilities.
Normal Cleaning Humidifiers
The usual procedure of the cleaning humidifier depends on your requirement. Mostly basics. The standard process of cleaning does not go deep cleaning as it removes bacteria or molds.
1. First, Empty and Unplug
Before cleaning it, first, empty the humidifier by removing the water and unplug the setup.
In the unplugging process
- Do not unplug without following the guidelines of the manual
- In the unplugging process, do not damage the setup
2. Rinse the Filter
After you have unplugged the setup, remove the filter safety. Then you have to clean it using water until all the visible impurities wash away.
Even though the filter is adequately washed, there might be impurities hidden to the naked eye. You can remove them using chemicals or detergents. But some filters might be damaged permanently.
Before using such a chemical, always read the manufacturer’s guidelines. If the filter is damaged even with impurities, replace it under proper guidance. Even so, maintain regular time intervals and replace them for a better humidification process.
3. Clean the Tank
You can clean the tank after removing the filter in two ways. Some of the humidifiers cannot be reached with brushes, and some of them can.
If the brushes reach the tank, add 3 cups of Vinegar and clean around inside using brushes. Then keep it for at least one hour until remove all impurities. Then you can remove the loosen up the contaminants by shaking thoroughly. Here vinegar act as a compound that can lose up impurities in the walls.
If you cannot reach the walls of the tanks using a brush, fill the tank with a few spoons of Vinegar, cold water, and a scoop of rice. Then shake the tank vigorously till no visible impurities to the naked eye. After a while, rinse with water and repeat the procedure until all grains are thoroughly washed away.
4. Swipe the frame and surfaces
After cleaning up, use a vinegar-filled sponge, wipe out the humidifier set up the frame to remove all the molds and bacteria on their surfaces.
Then again, wipe all Vinegar on the surface with a thorough water wipeout.
Disinfecting the Humidifier
1. Bleach the tank
Mix a gallon of water with bleach and clean the inner tank for a while with that. The tank can be sanitized if the mixture is let a time inside and rinsed again with water.
Do not let the mix take more than one hour to keep inside. Bleach, aka peroxide, can damage to humidifier if you keep it for a while. The bleached surface of a humidifier can quickly kill any lingering bacteria, which might stop creating several harmful pathogens.
Another thing is always to make sure to wipe out the bleach before using it with Vinegar. It can quickly be reacting with Vinegar, aka acetic acid, and create harmful products.
2. Clean with Vinegar
Unlike the normal cleaning process, this should go to a deeper level. First, mix a cup of distilled vinegar with a gallon of water, pour it into the humidifier tank, and run it for one hour. Then using the water inside should rise well. After that again the water is filled and runs for another one hour.
Using this way, inner bacteria can easily wipe out the surface areas as well as through the filters.
When using the Vinegar, do not run the humidifier inside your home. Because most of the time, vinegar vapor creates a terrible odor for some people. Also, do not clean Vinegar and bleach at the same time as mentioned before.
Prevent Bacteria Growth
1. Change the water tank
When the same water reservoir is used for a more extended period of time, minerals can quickly be deposited in the bottom of the tank. Therefore, the water tank should be replaced from time to time with cleaned water.
Unless day by day, minerals can quickly grow up and create bacterial and infection in the tank wall surfaces.
2. Place Humidifier Dry area
When you are using a humidifier, always try a dry location. When humidifier near a wet area eventually leads to the growth of bacteria and mold. Also, moisture issues can spread in walls, ceilings, and windows near wet locations.
3. Replace the filters
Replacement of filters in the regular time period is one of the best ways of staying out of impurities that are stuck and worsen the inner side of the humidifier for a more extended period of time.
When filters are not replaced, germs and bacterial infections can quickly spread throughout the room instead of controlling indoor humidity.
4. Store properly
If you do not use a humidifier, always store it properly. Mainly in a dry indoor location with the least amount of exposure to outside. Unless it might be a good place for bacterial infections, molds, and other kinds of problems that can grow in a shorter period of time and damage to the filters.
Also, before storing it, clean it properly with peroxides, as we have mentioned before, to ensure there are no harmful bacterial impurities inside.
Maintenance Tips for Humidifier
Here are some quick and easy tips for the proper operation of a humidifier.
1. Always empty the tank and Reservoir
When you do not use it, make sure to empty the tank because it’s an excellent place to develop bacteria and stuff in a shorter period.
2. Replace the filter
A time period of 30-60 days, depending on the operational time, you can replace the filter else if:
- the filter is too hard
- the filter gives some odor
- the filter has moisture output
- it crusty with minerals
- Lessor humidification process
The filter needs to be replaced in such conditions.
3. Try Low mineral content water
Even though the tap water is 100% okay, a humidifier filter cannot be used because it includes the mineral content, which can be deposited and grow bacteria and other harmful pathogens inside. It can create some residues and white dust indoor atmosphere.
This mineral vapor can easily trigger allergies like sneezing, red eyes, itchy skin, and breathing difficulty. If you are using tap water, try to demineralize it as possible for a better outcome.