Humidifier Maintenance: What You Should be Doing

In the quest for a comfortable and well-humidified living space, understanding the ins and outs of humidifier care is paramount. From preventing the growth of mold and bacteria to optimizing the lifespan of your device, maintaining your humidifier is about safeguarding your health and will help you save money in the long run. 

*Keep in mind that maintenance and cleaning steps may differ based on your humidifier's type (cool mist, warm mist, ultrasonic, evaporative). Therefore, we always recommend checking your humidifier's user guide to ensure proper care.*

Daily Maintenance

Believe it or not, you should be draining your humidifier of the unused water before every use. This ensures clean water is being cycled through. When you empty the water tank (after unplugging the humidifier), rinse it out, and then wipe down with a dry, clean cloth. Refill the tank with distilled water. This is the best type of water to use as it tends to be free of minerals and microorganisms and will help your humidifier last longer. 

Weekly Maintenance

In addition to the minimal daily maintenance, it's recommended to actually clean your humidifier once a week. Again, refer to your humidifier's user guide for appropriate types of cleaners to use.

Here are a few things you should NOT do when cleaning your humidifier - no matter the type:

1. Do not use detergents! 

2. If you choose to use distilled white vinegar or bleach, DO NOT MIX them together as this can create a toxic gas. 

3. Do not use abrasive brushes or scrubbers. 

What you can use and do when cleaning your humidifier: 

1. It is suggested to use distilled white vinegar. Be sure to mix the vinegar with water on the tank. Check user guide for exact measurements. Let the mixture sit for up to 20 minutes. 

2. Empty the tank. You can use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to loosen any mineral build-up. 

3. Rinse all parts of the tank several times. Let the tank dry completely and wipe off with a dry, clean cloth. 

Extend the Life of Your Humidifier

In addition to daily and weekly maintenance, see the humidifier's user guide on replacing and/or cleaning the wick, if the humidifier has one. Usually, it's recommended to replace it every 30 to 60 days depending on condition and use. To keep the wick in tip-top shape, you can turn it over every time you fill the tank to prevent the top from drying out and help the filter age more evenly. 

If you start to notice any type of odor or a decrease in moisture output, it may be time to replace the wick or if it gets hard and crusty. 

If storing your humidifier for the season, clean the humidifier as you normally would do. Make sure the water tank is empty and all parts are dry. Store the humidifier in a cool, dry place. Never store the humidifier with water in the tank. 

Doing all of these things will ensure that not only will your humidifier stay healthy, but your family will also!