How to Clean a Humidifier With Vinegar

A portable humidifier releasing moisture into the air.
What You'll Need
Owner's manual
Warm water
Empty spray bottle
Scrub brush
Expendable toothbrush
Rinse water

If you own a home humidifier that has recently fallen prey to mold, mildew, or mineral buildup, you'll want to know how to clean it. Although you will be required to clean this device at least once a week to ensure that it functions properly, you'll be pleased to learn that it can be cleaned with nothing more than common household vinegar and several other basic cleaning tools. Vinegar will effectively purge your humidifier of filth and make the aforementioned weekly cleanings a breeze.

Step 1 - Disassemble Your Humidifier

When considering how to clean a humidifier, the first step is to take it apart in preparation for the cleaning. Begin by shutting off the humidifier and subsequently unplugging it. Next, using your humidifier's owners manual as a guide, proceed to take the device apart, starting with the tank. Once the tank has been safely detached, proceed to remove the humidifier's filter in the manner specified. If your humidifier features a detachable motor, take care to remove that, too. Although the execution of this step will vary depending on the brand and model of your humidifier, it should not require the aid of any tools. If you've misplaced the device's owner manual, you can generally find comprehensive disassembly instructions online.

Step 2 - Scrub the Tank

The next step in cleaning a humidifier involves giving the device's tank a good scrubbing. Start this step by combining one cup of vinegar with one cup of warm water in an empty spray bottle. Next, remove the tank's cap, empty the tank into one of your home's drains, and proceed to apply your cleaning solution to the inside. Allow the solution to sit for a minute or so before using a sponge, washcloth, scrub brush, or toothbrush to scrub away any dirt or mineral deposits inside. Repeat this process on the tank's exterior as well before rinsing and subsequently refilling the freshly cleaned tank.

Step 3 - Clean Your Humidifier's Filter and Base

Having thoroughly cleaned your tank, you've actually completed the most laborious part of the cleaning process. In the last step, you will need to soak the device's filter and gently scrub its base.

Begin by placing your humidifier's filter in a sink or bowl filled with a mixture of water and white wine vinegar and allow it to sit for 45 minutes to an hour. Next, pour a small amount of vinegar into the device's base and allow it to sit for the same amount of time. After the parts have been given ample soaking time, use a sponge, washcloth, scrub brush, or toothbrush to remove any remaining bits of filth or mineral residue. Follow up by giving both parts a thorough rinsing and making sure they are completely dry before proceeding to reassembly.

With these three helpful steps at your disposal, you'll never again be unclear on how to clean your humidifier.