The Best Way to Clean and Disinfect Humidifiers

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The Best Way to Clean and Disinfect Humidifiers

The Best Way to Clean and Disinfect Humidifiers Tidyhere Infographic

Humidifiers can be essential for comfort in any home or apartment. But without regular cleaning, disinfecting, and maintenance, your humidifier can turn into a nasty cesspool of bacteria and mold. That hardly makes for a relaxing and healthy experience for anyone, does it?

Fortunately, maintenance is pretty easy, if you do it properly and often enough. Most humidifier manufacturers recommend a weekly cleaning cadence. That might sound like a lot of work, but it’s worth doing to avoid the dreaded humidifier lung.

Ready to find out how to clean your humidifier? Let’s get started!

How Often to Clean Your Humidifier

Your should aim to clean your humidifier at least once a week, but you can certainly do it more frequently if you or anyone in your family has respiratory problems and use it daily.

The Environmental Protection Agency actually suggests cleaning and disinfecting your humidifier every three days. The important thing is to clean and maintain it regularly.

Stagnant water is a magnet for bacteria growth, and you don’t want bacteria spewing back into the air, especially if you or your family members suffer from asthma or allergies. It only takes a short time for bacteria to grow, so it’s always best to start with fresh water.

How to Clean Your Humidifier

Customer Reactions to Miro Humidifiers

Some humidifier brands may also have parts that are dishwasher safe. Check the owner’s manual to be sure.
✨ Unplug and empty the humidifier and disassemble it completely.
✨ For the base and tank, pour one to two cups of undiluted white vinegar into the water tank and swish it around to completely wet the interior of the tank. Some brands recommend a mix of white vinegar and water.
✨ Place the vinegar-filled tank on the base (or, if your humidifier allows, pour vinegar directly into the base), and allow the vinegar to drain into the reservoir to loosen mineral buildup. Let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
✨ Empty the vinegar from the tank and base, and use a small, soft brush to scrub the crevices and remove any stuck-on mineral deposits. For small parts like the tank cap, wipe with a clean cloth or sponge dipped in full-strength white vinegar. If your model has a valve on the bottom of the tank, manually press the release button to allow some vinegar to flow through it.
✨ Rinse all the parts thoroughly, air-dry, then reassemble.

How to Disinfect Your Humidifier

Cleaning and disinfecting a humidifier when it’s freshly out of storage is a must. Bacteria, mold, and viruses could be present even if they’re not visible. When you’re using your humidifier regularly, you can get rid of germs and prohibit bacteria and mold growth when you disinfect a humidifier.

Just try one of these disinfecting methods in your humidifier’s water tank daily and enjoy cleaner, healthier indoor air.


Please note: DO NOT mix bleach and vinegar when you clean anything, not just your humidifier!

Disassemble and clean your humidifier as outlined above.
Mix one gallon of water with one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach. Pour one-half to three-quarters of the bleach solution into the water tank and swish it around to wet the entire inside. Some brands may recommend a mix of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water for this step. If your humidifier has a second tank, do the same with the remaining solution.
Place the tank in the base and allow the bleach solution to drain into the water reservoir. Allow it to stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
Empty the bleach solution from the tank(s) and base. Rinse with clear water until the scent of bleach is gone.
Wipe dry and reassemble.

Hydrogen Peroxide

✨ Mix four parts of water to one part of 3% hydrogen peroxide in the humidifier tank.
✨ Let the solution sit for 30 minutes, then empty and rinse the tank and let it air dry before reassembling the humidifier.

Tips for Keeping Your Humidifier Clean

The Best Way to Clean and Disinfect Humidifiers Tidyhere Image of a Humidifier on Table Near Woman Working

After giving your appliance a thorough cleaning, follow these steps to keep it running smoothly:

✨ Always empty the tank and reservoir when the humidifier’s not in use. Bacteria can grow in as little as one to two days.
✨ To prolong the life of your wick filter, turn it over each time you fill the tank to keep the top from drying out and help the filter age more evenly.
✨ Replace the filter every 30 to 60 days, depending on condition and use, especially if it gets hard and crusty from water minerals, gives off an odor or the moisture output of the humidifier decreases.
✨ Remove and discard the filter, and ensure all parts are clean and dry before you put the humidifier into storage, per the manufacturer’s directions.


What is the best way to clean a humidifier?

We find the best way to clean it naturally is to fill it with 2 cups of pure white vinegar, seal it shut, and then shake-shake-shake to effectively agitate any grime. Do this for several minutes or as long as your arm muscles will tolerate the workout.

How do I remove the buildup from my humidifier?

Distilled white vinegar, citric acid powder, or a similar weak acid: One of these will help you remove any buildup of limescale and other minerals that can stick to parts of your humidifier.

How do I keep mold out of my humidifier?

Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are also options worth considering. A few drops of hydrogen peroxide or one cup of vinegar can kill bacteria and mold build-up and keep your humidifier running clean for months.

Can I clean my humidifier with dish soap?

You can wash everything in the sink with dish soap and water, except the filter if your humidifier has one. Use a brush and vinegar to scrub mineral deposits and residue from the water tank. Rinse the parts and let them air dry.

For more cleaning tips and tricks for around the house, check out our blog and browse the full cleaning guide library! Remember to book your house cleaning in Boston with us soon so that you and your home are happy, healthy, and ready for the holidays!