How to Keep Your Humidifier Clean
A humidifier can be a dream come true in cold or dry climates. They can help your home feel warmer and more comfortable during colder months and keep you hydrated when the air is dry. To keep them working properly, it's important to clean your humidifiers regularly. A dirty humidifier may do worse than work inefficiently - it could actually be a health hazard. Since bacteria and mold can grow in dirty humidifiers, using them without cleaning first could release those contaminants into the air.
Cleaning a humidifier doesn't have to be a tough chore, and breaking it down into daily and weekly tasks can make the job even easier. The tank on your humidifier should be emptied, dried and refilled with clean water every day so that bacteria don't have a chance to collect and grow. That will keep contaminants from forming in the tank and getting released into the air, but the water itself also carries substances that make cleaning necessary. Holmes® Bacteriostat Solution can also discourage these microorganisms from forming in the first place.
The quality of the water you put into a humidifier can vary greatly, and where water contains a lot of minerals, it may also carry the risk of leaving deposits in the tank. Use distilled water to keep the amount of minerals that enter the tank to a minimum. If you're using hard water, you should be especially careful to clean your humidifier regularly.
Vinegar is often the most valuable tool you have to clean a humidifier. You should use vinegar on any part of the device that comes into contact with water. After soaking in vinegar for 20 minutes, mineral deposits are much easier to scrape out. To do so, use a bottle brush or another tool that can gently remove the buildup. Never use sharp objects to clean a humidifier, as that could damage it. After any cleaning, rinse the device thoroughly with tap water and dry out completely to make sure that no particles or vinegar are left behind.
To disinfect a dirty tank, especially one that's been in storage or used without cleaning for a long time, you may want to use a chemical cleaner such as chlorine or bleach. Be sure to use only a small amount of these cleaners and rinse the tank several times before using it again.