Project Guide

How to Clean a Humidifier

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Disassemble the Humidifier
A humidifier broken down into its component parts.
  • Remove and empty the humidifier water tank.
  • Empty any water that has collected in the base.
  • Unlock any removable parts and set them aside.
  • Remove the air filter, if applicable.  

Tip: Read and follow the manufacturer's directions when you empty the base to prevent water from getting into the motor or electrical part of the base.

Clean the Humidifier Parts
A person cleaning the inside of a humidifier.
  • Pour undiluted white vinegar into the reservoir of the base.
  • Place small parts into a bowl of white vinegar.
  • Soak for 30 minutes.
  • Scrub any residue that clings to the surface with a small soft brush dipped in vinegar.
  • Carefully empty the base and remove the small parts from the bowl, then discard the vinegar.
Disinfect the Water Tank
A person filling the water tank of a humidifier.
  • Fill the tank with fresh water.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of bleach.
  • Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes then empty the tank.
Rinse and Dry the Humidifier
A person drying the top of a humidifier.
  • Thoroughly rinse all the small parts of the humidifier under running water.
  • Fill the base about halfway with water and agitate then empty the base, being careful not to get water in the motor housing. Repeat as needed until rinsed clean.
  • Refill the water tank. Depress the valve at the bottom to allow about half the fresh water to drain through. With the remaining water, agitate the water tank to rinse then pour out the water. Repeat the process several times until rinsed clean. 
  • Lay the part outs to air dry or thoroughly dry all parts with a clean microfiber cloth.
Replace the Air Filter
A person replacing the air filter in a humidifier.
  • Consult the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the humidifier filter on your particular model. 
  • Do not squeeze or wring out the filter after cleaning.
  • In some models, it is advisable to simply replace the filter rather than cleaning it.
  • Clean or change the filter every one to three months depending on indoor environment. (Smoke, excessive dust and pet dander in an indoor environment will require the humidifier filter to be serviced more often.)
Maintenance Tips
A person turning off a humidifier.
  • Deep clean your humidifier on a weekly basis.
  • Rinse the water tank before every use.
  • During heavy use periods, use fresh water daily.
  • Try using distilled water in the humidifier to prevent buildup.
  • Drain and thoroughly clean and dry the humidifier before storing it away.