how to clean a humidifier with or without vinegar (Infographics)

Don’t Let Your Humidifier Get You Sick! Clean It With These Tips
How to clean a humidifier with vinegar

Looking for a way to clean your humidifier to prevent mold in 2023?

You’re in the right place.

In this epic guide, I’ll show you how to clean a humidifier with or without vinegar (step-by-step).

In fact:

You’ll learn the exact process I clean my humidifier to improve its performance and keep it running smoothly.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

how to clean a humidifier (6 simple steps)

If you want to keep your humidifier in top shape, follow these cleaning and maintenance tips from our experts.

  • Unplug and empty the humidifier
  • Disassemble and remove and rinse the filter or replace the filter
  • rinse or soak all of the parts in undiluted vinegar.
  • Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub the parts.
  • Fill the tank and add two cups of undiluted white vinegar. After 30 minutes, drain the tank
  • Before using the item again, rinse it and let it dry

Tip:- “You can also use a Q-tip, a toothbrush, and a clean cloth or sponge to clean any areas with extra buildup.”

Now before we dive in, let me tackle the most important question:

Why It’s Important To Keep Your Humidifier Clean

There are many benefits to using a humidifier, but it’s important to keep it clean and well-maintained. 

A dirty humidifier can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, and if they start growing in a humidifier, they can be released into the air and inhaled. 

The same goes for the tiny minerals in bottled or tap water.

However, it also has the potential to spread bacteria around your home. buildup bacteria and mold Grow under the machine, making the air you breathe unhealthy for yourself and your family.

There are many reasons why you need tor regular clean humidifiers as part of your routine. Some people don’t clean their warm mist humidifiers, which could lead to moldy air that could put the entire family at risk.

“Each person would be responsible for cleaning their own unit and ensuring that it is functioning properly.”

You should deep clean your humidifier because not only does it eliminate foul odors, but it also improves the air quality in your home.

Many Americans live in tap water areas.[1]

This tap water has minerals that can build up over time and become so corrosive that it causes a decrease in a water machine’s efficacy. De-mineralized water may be the key to prolonging the life of your humidifier.[2]

Why use your humidifier?

If you need to humidify a room, the best option would be to use a humidifier. This type of humidifier can provide comfort and relief from dry air. There are other types of humidifiers out there, but these machines tend to do a better job, and they don’t require much effort on your part.

The presence of static electricity is most prevalent when the air is dry. Anyone with clothes, hair, or anything electronic or metal can face this problem throughout the year.

By increasing the humidity in the air, you will be able to maintain comfort without utilizing a heater as often (which is generally more expensive).

What is the best way to clean a humidifier?

The best way to clean it naturally is to fill it with 2 cups of pure white vinegar and then cap it tightly. Shake it to effectively agitate any grime. Do this for several minutes.

By soaking the small unit in vinegar, you will eliminate residue and disinfect it.

Source:- Better Homes and Gardens

There are several components in your humidifier, and each one should be cleaned regularly to ensure it continues to function properly and does not harbor bacteria.[3

how to clean a humidifiers
infograph of cleaning humidifier

Here’s how to do it:

Things You’ll Need

  • Dish soap
  • De-lime spray or solution
  • Non-abrasive brush (A small, soft brush, like a toothbrush or nylon dish brush)
  • Warm water

Clean and sanitize the humidifier water tank

Here’s how to clean a humidifier’s water tank is easy by following the steps or instructions below.

  • Add one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach to one gallon of distilled water.
  • Allow the bleach solution to drain into the water reservoir after mounting the tank and letting it drain into the water tank.
  • Ensure that the water tanks and bases are empty of bleach solution.
  • After cleaning, wipe dry and reassemble.

clean a humidifiers filter

In order to maintain the proper function of your humidifier, it is essential to ensure the humidifier filter is routinely cleaned.

To clean your wick filter, first, remove any dusty scale residue with a quick vacuum. Then, soak the filter in a sink filled with cool water to remove any remaining scale and debris.

“Wick filters should never be squeezed or wrung out.”

Caution: ‘Never combine hydrogen peroxide and bleach. Neither solution should be used simultaneously.’

Clean the Humidifier Base

To clean the humidifier base, 

unplug the machine and fill the base with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for an hour. 

The vinegar will help loosen any residue and disinfect the small unit. 

While the base is being treated, take the time to clean the inside of the water reservoir. 

Fill the reservoir with 2 cups of pure white vinegar, seal it shut, and shake-shake-shake to effectively agitate any grime. 

Do this for several minutes or as long as your arm muscles will tolerate the workout. 

The vinegar solution should filter through the reservoir’s nozzle when the reservoir is held upside-down. 

It is often necessary to loosen the seal of the nozzle by pressing on it. 

Refill the reservoir with plain water and rinse the reservoir and nozzle to remove any loose debris.

Reassemble your clean humidifier

To reassemble your humidifier after completing the maintenance steps above, simply reverse the process. 

Start by filling the reservoir with clean water, then attach it to the base. 

Plug in the machine and turn it on to test it out. If everything is working properly, you’re all set!

Regular humidifier maintenance tips

humidifier cleaning tips that it is vital to clean humidifiers regularly. To make sure you get the best results, we offer to read this article in full. Let’s go!

Humidifiers create a moist atmosphere and thus solve various problems: colds, dry skin and chapped lips, diseases of the upper respiratory tract (hay fever, Asthma, and others), and well-being and refreshment for people with mental fatigue, etc. The maintenance of such devices should be carried out.

Take these steps to keep your machine in good working order:

  • If the device is not in use, empty its tank and reservoir. It takes bacteria just one or two days to grow.
  • When you fill your tank with water, turn the wick filter over to avoid the top drying out and to help the filter age evenly. Still curious? Click here to find out Can you run humidifiers without a filter?
  • If the filter becomes hard and crusty from water minerals, emits an odor, or the humidifier’s moisture output decreases, replace it every 30-60 days.
  • Prior to putting the humidifier into storage, remove the filter and discard it, and make sure it is clean and dry.

If you want to get rid of any lingering bacteria, you may want to disinfect your humidifier.


Curious about how to clean a humidifier? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about cleaning:

How often should I clean my humidifier?

To ensure your humidifier is working properly and efficiently, it is recommended that you clean it at least once a week.
Always remember to unplug your humidifier before cleaning it. Water and electricity can be dangerous when they are together.
Make sure to empty, rinse, and dry the base and tank every day.

What can I add to the humidifier to keep it clean?

If you’re looking for a low-cost way to prevent mold in your humidifier, consider using hydrogen peroxide.
This substance kills bacteria and mold, so just a few drops in the water reservoir will do the trick.
You can also add one cup of white vinegar to the water in your humidifier to prevent mold growth.

Can you clean a humidifier with tap water?

It is important to use demineralized, distilled, or purified water in your humidifier, as this will help ensure that you and your family members are breathing fresh, humidified air.
Tap water should be avoided, as it can contain impurities that can be harmful to your health.
By choosing the right water for your humidifier, you can help ensure that you and your loved ones are breathing in the best possible air quality.

Do all humidifiers get moldy?

If humidifier parts are not cleaned on a regular basis, mold and bacteria can develop. In visible cool mist humidifiers, mold spores and bacteria can potentially be released into the mist.

wrap up

Remember to clean your humidifier on a regular basis and avoid using tap water, as it can contain harmful impurities. 

Additionally, add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to the reservoir to help keep your humidifier clean and free of mold.


  1. Aparna K. Mohan, Charles E. Feigley & Caroline A. Macera (1998) Humidifier Use in the Home Environment and Its Effects on Respiratory Health, Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 13:11, 782-787, DOI: 10.1080/1047322X.1998.10389150
  2. US Environmental Protection Agency. Indoor air facts No 8: use and card of home humidifier. 1991. [cited 2011 Oct 4]. Available from:
  3. Jeon BH, Park YJ. Frequency of humidifier and humidifier disinfectant usage in gyeonggi provine. Environ Health Toxicol. 2012;27:e2012002. doi: 10.5620/eht.2012.27.e2012002. Epub 2012 Jan 26. PMID: 22347704; PMCID: PMC3274807.

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