The Best Ways to Clean Your Humidifier

The Best Ways to Clean Your Humidifier

If you own a humidifier, you already know how much good it can do. They add some much-needed moisture and humidity to an otherwise dry, arid room, but that’s not all. 

They can protect wooden furniture from drying out and cracking, they can keep your skin and lips safe from chapping and irritation, and they can even save you some money on that electricity bill by keeping a room warmer than it seems. 

Some can even kill allergens and bacteria in your air, providing you with cleaner air to breathe. 

But at some point or another, you’re eventually going to have to clean your humidifier. But how do you go about doing that? Let’s get into it.

Why Clean Your Humidifier?

Why do you need to clean your humidifier in the first place? There are a few reasons.

First and foremost it prevents mold from forming and microbes from growing. With moisture comes a high risk of mold and gross microbes, and you don’t want those nasty spores released into your air.

It also keeps your humidifier working and functioning properly. Without regular cleaning, your humidifier could get a little clogged or get hard water build-up from all of the steam.

How to Clean Your Humidifier

So, you know the importance of cleaning it. It should be noted that cleaning your humidifier should ideally be done on a weekly basis for the best results. But how can you do that most effectively? Here are the best methods to cleaning out your beloved humidifier.

Don’t Use These

Since your humidifier is used to disperse things into the air, you don’t want to use intense, highly-scented detergents. Go ahead and put away those harsh scrubbing brushes while you’re at it because those will only scratch and damage your humidifier.

Do Use These

You are going to want to use distilled white vinegar and a toothbrush, and maybe some bleach if you want to do some extra disinfecting. 

The Steps

First and foremost, unplug your humidifier and let it cool off. You don’t want to cause electrocution here which will damage both the device and yourself. Then, go ahead and take the whole thing apart. You need to be able to get into all of those nooks and crannies to get your humidifier super clean.

Take the detached reservoir and pour some vinegar into it (a cup or two), giving it a solid swish for good measure. Then, go ahead and put that reservoir back on the base of your humidifier while it’s full of vinegar. Let that vinegar drain all the way through it to loosen things up, and let that sit there for about 20 minutes.

After it’s been sitting there marinating, detach the reservoir from the home base and dump out that vinegar. Take your trusty toothbrush and give it a little scrub; all of the gunk should be looser and should easily brush off with your toothbrush. 

For the other parts of your humidifier, take a rag that has been soaked in some of that distilled vinegar and give them a good wipe down to clean them out. Now that everything smells kind of like pickles, give it all a rinse under some water and give it some time to sit and dry out completely (COMPLETELY. Do not reassemble if it’s still wet.)


If you’re wanting to go that extra mile, repeat the process with some bleach (that has been diluted with a good amount of water). If that doesn’t sound good to you, the vinegar method should get your humidifier plenty clean enough.

Once everything is completely dry, reassemble and enjoy your fresh, clean humidifier.