How to clean humidifiers

To keep your steam humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers and evaporative humidifiers  free of scale and bacteria and keep them running smoothly, be sure to follow the these tips:


You can use tap water in your humidifier however in hard water areas, tap water contains minerals that can appear as lime deposits or scale in your humidifier, also with ultrasonic or cool mist humidifiers without ion exchange filters for best results we would recommend that you fill your humidifier with distilled or demineralised water.


Change the humidifier water every day. Do not allow films or deposits to develop inside your humidifiers. Empty the water tank, dry the inside surfaces and refill with clean water every day.


Cleaning scale build up


Both cold water and steam humidifiers require the removal of any mineral build-up. Remember for safety when you are cleaning your humidifier to unplug it from the mains.


Removal of mineral build up:


  1. Remove the water tank from the unit and pour undiluted white vinegar into the base of the unit, just enough to cover the base. (you could also buy proprietary descaler)


  1. Allow the vinegar to sit in the humidifier for a minimum of 30 minutes. Depending on the amount of mineral build-up you may need to leave the vinegar soaking for longer. You will see scaled up areas turn white and start to fizz.


  1. Invigorate the vinegar occasionally by gently shaking the base. Swish the solution around the container making sure that it coats the entire base.


  1. Use a soft brush to gently scrub the interior of the container on areas that are encrusted with mineral build up.


  1. If there is a large amount of scale, after some time the vinegar will no longer clean the scale, becoming inactive. If this happens you will need to use more new vinegar and repeat steps 2 to 4.


  1. Once the unit appears to be clean you can pour the vinegar out of the base.


  1. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove the mineral and vinegar residue.


  1. Rinse the container a second time to ensure that you have removed all the solution. Never allow any vinegar residue to remain in your humidifier.


Disinfecting humidifiers


If the water in your humidifier becomes slimy or has an odour it may mean you have a bacteria build-up and therefore you should disinfect it.


  1. Fill the tank or base with approx 1 litre of clean cold water and add no more than one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach.


  1. Allow this solution to sit and soak for at least 30 minutes.


  1. Once the 30 minutes has passed, pour the bleach solution away.


  1. Rinse the base several times until the smell of bleach has dissipated. Never allow any bleach to remain in your humidifier.


  1. If your humidifier is the cold water evaporative type we would recommend to change the evaporative mats.