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How to Clean a Humidifier

"It’s always best to follow the cleaning directions of your model,

What you'll need

You don't need detergents or abrasive brushes to clean a humidifier. Just gather up the following:

  1. Unplug and empty the humidifier

  2. For the base and tank, pour one cup of undiluted white vinegar into the water tank and swish it around to completely wet the interior of the tank.  

  3. Place the vinegar-filled tank on the base and allow the vinegar to drain into the reservoir to loosen mineral build-up. Let stand for 15-20 minutes.

  4. Empty the vinegar from the tank and base and use a small brush to scrub crevices and remove any stuck-on mineral deposits.

  5. For small parts like the tank cap, wipe with a clean cloth or sponge dipped in full-strength white vinegar. 

  6. Rinse all the parts thoroughly and air dry, then reassemble.


Don't try to wash the wick filter as it can damage the paper-like material and potentially remove an antimicrobial coating. You're better off replacing the filter with a new one. 

How to disinfect your humidifier 

If you think your humidifier's in need of a deeper clean, you can also use a bleach solution to help kill lingering bacteria.


  1. Disassemble and clean your humidifier as outlined above.

  2. Mix 1 gallon of water with 1 teaspoon of liquid bleach. Pour ½ to ¾ of the bleach solution in the water tank and swish to wet the entire inside. If your humidifier has a second tank, do the same with the remaining solution.

  3. Place tank in the base and allow the bleach solution to drain into the water reservoir. Allow it to stand for 15-20 minutes.

  4. Empty the bleach solution from the tank(s) and base. Rinse with clear water until the scent of bleach is gone. 

  5. Wipe dry and reassemble.