Cleaning up a dirty humidifier is a significant concern for many when they buy a room humidifier – for the very first time.
The hassle-complete process (they think of) is, in fact, one of the primary reasons why many people are reluctant to buy a humidifier unit for their family.
Well, worry not! Do not suffer more. Buy your device for the family right now, as cleaning your unit is far easier than you think.
With some RIGHT STEPS, a few good tips, and some household cleaning agents, you can easily clean your humidifier at home without wasting much time and energy.
But before we proceed on to the steps and tips, let us know in brief why the heck cleaning your humidifier is essential!
And why you should never ignore this step…
Why Do You Need to Clean A Humidifier?
Typically, when you do not clean your humidifier after using it or leave the water stagnant in the water tank for a few days – it may become a breeding ground for molds, mildews, germs, viruses, and bacteria.
These accumulated molds and viruses are hazardous for your family as it gets emitted into the air whenever you use the device again.
Keeping your ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers unclean for a longer duration of time can even lead to clogging of the unit (due to hard water limescale deposit), leaving it damaged forever.
You, therefore, need to take proper steps to get your device cleaned regularly.
This way, you can enjoy its best healing benefits all-round the season for long without worrying about the risk it may impose.
Ultrasonic Humidifier Cleaning Instructions
A few common things that you will need for effective cleaning of an ultrasonic humidifier are:
- Spray bottle
- Large size saucepan
- Vinegar (preferably white)
- Brush with soft and fine bristles
- Household bleaching liquid or powder
- Water in enough quantity for cleaning
The Cleaning Steps:
Steps to be followed for cleaning your ultrasonic room humidifier are as follows:
Unplug the electrical circuit and dismantle the humidifier parts (like a tank, tank cap, base, removable tray, etc.) for cleaning.
Make sure you separate the water tank from the filter and base of your unit.
Also, remove the motor housing and place it aside.
Open the lid of the reservoir and pour some undiluted white vinegar into the water tank.
If you want, you can use chlorine bleach or a liquid bleach instead of vinegar for disinfecting.
After a quick swishing of the interiors of your ultrasound humidifier’s tank, let the vinegar sit in the reservoir for about 20 – 25 minutes.
When you have cleaned the humidifier’s tank with concentrated vinegar, remove the vinegar from the tank.
If you still notice any lime scales due to hard water, slimy film, or mold deposited on the inside surface of the reservoir, use a soft brush and scrub the film to remove it completely.
Now make a diluted vinegar mixture in water and fill it in the spray bottle.
Gently spray the solution on the housing of the humidifier to clean the stains on the exterior plastic parts of the device.
Take the large saucepan and fill it with 2 cups of white vinegar and water.
Let soak the humidifier filters in the pan containing water and vinegar mixture for 30 minutes.
Rinse the humidifier’s tank, filter, and plastic cover with clean tap water. Use warm water if possible to get better cleaning results.
Finally, wipe the parts of your humidifier unit using a soft sponge scrub brush or a cloth. And assemble the parts back into their proper position.
Your dirty humidifier unit is now clean and free from all types of bacteria, viruses, and germs.
After refilling the tank with cool filtered/distilled water, you can relax and start using it again. Just reconnect the unit to the power supply, switch it on and enjoy!
Below is a good video that can help you know more about how to clean calcium off humidifiers using various methods.
Do check this out, especially if you have high minerals and calcium content in your water supply.
How Often Should You Clean Your Humidifier Unit?
No matter what humidifier brand or model you are using (Vicks, Holmes, Honeywell, Crane, TaoTronics, Boneco, etc.), the cleaning it requires involves some basic steps and maintenance.
In general, the maintenance of your humidifier unit can be done in three different ways.
Each one of them is equally important, and you can consider doing them regularly so that your appliance works all the time efficiently.
1- Daily maintenance and cleaning:
This involves just replacing the water in the humidifier. Drain out all the remaining water in the sink after using the unit.
Fill it with fresh filtered water to make it ready for subsequent usage.
2- Weekly maintenance and cleaning:
This involves certain additional specific things and steps (as mentioned above)
You need to follow them at least once a week to disinfect all the parts of your humidifier machine.
3- End of Season maintenance, cleaning, and dry-up:
This also involves the same procedure as you do weekly.
Just make sure that you completely dry up all the parts (as well as the tank of your humidifier) before storing it for the next usage season.
Can I Clean My Humidifier and Its Parts in Dishwasher?
Humidifier units that are easy to clean are in huge demand.
And for this reason, various brands (like Honeywell, Vicks, and others) are manufacturing the units with dishwasher-safe parts.
Although some of these units are extremely easy to clean and come with dishwasher-safe parts, I recommend NOT putting your humidifier or its parts in a dishwasher.
Most of these humidifier units are only partially dishwasher safe – a few parts can get damaged when you place them in your dishwashing machine.
Cleaning your unit in a dishwasher also involves the risk of getting food particles clung, especially if you clean it with some other utensils or food bowls.
To be safe, you should either avoid washing them in a dishwashing unit OR do it after referring to the cleaning section of the owner’s manual that comes with your humidifier.
The instructions manual can help you know whether your unit is safe to clean in a dishwasher machine or not.
And if it is, check what parts can be cleaned in the machine without risk.
Easy to Clean Humidifier: Is It Worth Your Time & Money?
With changing demands, manufacturers are now building great devices requiring much less cleaning effort.
While some of these are categorized as “easy to clean humidifiers” there are also many that are grouped as “self-cleaning humidifiers”.
As such, there is nothing wrong with choosing these devices as long as you are picking a well-known brand and model.
Brands like Honeywell (easy to clean and care), BONECO (self-cleaning), Holmes, and many more are available in the market that is highly reliable and can be looked at.
Make sure that you only choose the right model (that comes with these easy and self-cleaning features) to enjoy the benefits you desire to avail yourself.
Never go with a brand that is less known or comes without a warranty. These can prove to be a hassle rather than a time/money savior.
Hopefully, with all the above steps and cleaning procedures, you can now easily clean your ultrasonic humidifier with no mess at all.
Make sure, whenever you use, do not allow the water in the tank to remain stagnant for long.
As indicated clean your unit regularly and replace the water with a clean one every day before you use it at night.
This will surely help keep your unit and your family in tip-top condition.
Meen Smith is a nurse by profession who loves writing online, spending time with her family and caring for the elderly. She has already worked as an associate editor on various moms, babies, home appliances, kitchen, and healthy living blogs. In her spare time, she also enjoys drawing, reading/writing kindle eBooks and improving her skills a bit.