How To Clean Humidifier Tank With Vinegar At Home

How To Clean Humidifier Tank With Vinegar At Home

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Ironically, the things that clean your home often need cleaning themselves. When the weather gets changes its tune, and your house gets too dry or too damp, you risk getting dust or mold.

Furniture and appliances aren’t exempt from these things that make your home dirty. Not only do you need to keep up with the vacuuming and dusting, but also the cleaning out of appliances.

Humidifiers need cleaning, too. You want the air you breathe to be clean.

Let’s take a look at how to clean a humidifier tank with vinegar.

What Is A Humidifier?

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Image via Flaticon

Before we get into the logistics of cleaning a humidifier tank, let’s first establish what a humidifier tank is.

Wikipedia explains that a humidifier tank is a home appliance that increases the humidity, or moisture, of a room.

While it can be confined to one place in the house, it is also capable of maintaining moisture in the entire home as well.

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If you live in a hot, dry climate, you'll understand the need for a humidifier. The air can get extremely dry. Humidity in the air can drop to as low as 10 percent in some more waterless, desert-like climates.

Living in a climate that is this dry can have severe effects on your health. This is because the air can dry out the membranes that line your respiratory system, leaving them incapable of producing mucus for lubrication.

Having a low humidity climate can also negatively affect other aspects of your home life as well. If you have wooden furniture, it may be at risk of shrinkage or even cracking when there’s next to no humidity in the air.

If you're using a humidifier in your home continually, it will need a good clean now and then. Let's take a look at how to clean your humidifier and what to clean it with.

The Benefits Of Cleaning With Vinegar

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Image via Pixabay

Vinegar is a great, all-natural alternative to some of those nasty, chemical cleaners that are available commercially.

Its natural cleaning properties are tough on mildew, bacteria, and dirt, effectively cleaning a lot of your household appliances. 

Berit Thorkelson of Better Homes and Gardens says that there are a number of ways you can use vinegar to clean your home.

Let’s look at a couple of these:


  • Drains need regular clearing out and cleaning. 
  • To effectively clean out your drains, pour vinegar onto a brush that's small enough to reach down the pipe
  • Add baking soda to the mix, then scrub the side of the drain to get rid of any unwanted odors and built-up dirt.


  • Boiled vinegar is most effective when cleaning a shower properly.
  • Once your vinegar has boiled, use a damp cloth to wipe it on the walls of the shower.
  • Repeat this process every five minutes for thirty minutes.
  • Then get another sponge and sprinkle with baking soda, before rinsing withwater.


  • Mixing a half portion of vinegar with water can create a great disinfectant, which you can then wipe on door handles when flu season comes around.

Why It’s Important To Clean Your Humidifier

It’s more important than you think to clean your humidifier clean.

Jeff Flowers of Allergy & Air explains that like any appliance, the better you take care of it, the better it will run. Most household appliances need regular maintenance and upkeep to make sure they're working correctly.

If you don’t take care of your humidifier, it could end up breaking down on you and not lasting as long as you would have hoped.

More important than getting your money's worth, however, is keeping your family's health in check. This is the second reason why you should clean your humidifier regularly.

Because a humidifier is continually producing humidity for its external environment, the chances of mold and mildew developing are higher.

The humidity in your humidifier will just sit there and be an excellent carrier for harmful bacteria if you don't clean it out regularly. This water turned terrible will eventually be released into the air, and your family will breathe it in.

Health conditions you may develop as a result include asthma, inflammation of the lungs, severe coughing, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and anxiety.

However, all you need to do to prevent these risks to your family is to clean your humidifier for a couple of minutes now and then before you use it.

What You’ll Need To Clean Your Humidifier

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Luckily, the list of equipment you need to clean your humidifier effectively isn't long. It's not an arduous process – in fact, it can be done within a couple of minutes.

White vinegar is the best type of vinegar to clean with, so it’s recommended that you get some for this job. You’ll also need a bit of bleach, and some rubber gloves to protect your hands from the bleach.

A soft-bristle brush is ideal for this type of job. The filter in your humidifier can be fragile, requiring a soft brush that’s not going to leave any scratches behind.

You'll also need plenty of water and towels to clean up afterward. It's recommended that you also use goggles for this task to protect your eyes from any bleach or mildew particles.

It's vital that you consult your humidifier's manual before cleaning it. Every humidifier is different and will come with a different set of instructions.

If your humidifier contains additional features along with the base and water tank, these can also be cleaned in a similar fashion.

How To Clean Humidifier Tank With Vinegar

  • Disassemble: First, unplug your humidifier from the wall. Using the manual, work out how to disassemble your tank correctly. This includes removing the water tank and emptying it out. If your model has additional features that unclip, remove these as well and lay them out in order so that they'll be easy to reassemble.
  • Let it Soak: Pour your vinegar into the base of the tank. You’ll want to cover all the areas that water regularly comes into contact with. You can even place any smaller parts of your humidifier into the tank where you vinegar is to give them a good soak. Leave for thirty minutes.
  • Rinsing: Pour the vinegar and bleach mixture out of the tank. Replace it with fresh water from the tap and make sure you’ve thoroughly rinsed everything, including the smaller parts. Lay everything out on the towels to dry.
  • Reassemble: Once you can feel that all the parts are dry, you can begin to reassemble your humidifier. If your appliances air filter is replaceable, you might want to do so.

How To Maintain A Clean Humidifier

Now that you've got everything you need to clean your humidifier tank let's take a look at the step by step process.

Now that you know how to clean your humidifier tank properly let's take a look at some handy maintenance tips to keep it running smoothly.

If you and your family use the humidifier tank on a regular basis, you may want to consider implementing this deep clean once a week. This will give you a good chance of avoiding breathing in air that’s full of bacteria.

Before you turn your humidifier on again, it's recommended that you pour any water that's been standing in the tank. While you don't have to disinfect the tank part every day, it's essential to use fresh water regularly.

You might want to also think about the type of water you’re using in your humidifier. Because regular tap water has added minerals, these will be included in the air when it’s released. Distilled water is recommended for humidifiers as it doesn’t have these added minerals.

When the dry season is over, and you're thinking about storing your humidifier, make sure to give it another deep clean. If any parts of the humidifier are damp when it's stored, there's a high chance of it developing mold.

Cleaning Your Humidifier Tank

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Image via Flaticon

When it comes to cleaning your household, your family’s health comes first.

That's why it's important to use natural cleaning products like vinegar when implementing deep cleans.

Vinegar is a potent, natural substance that eliminates dirt and bacteria while disinfecting at the same time.

Your family’s health is also a reason to clean your humidifier regularly. You’d be surprised at how quickly mold and mildew can build up when water is left to stagnate. If this water is in a damp environment, like a humidifier, the process will accelerate.

Learn how to clean your humidifier with vinegar and keep the entire family safe from potential health conditions caused by mold and bacteria.

Featured Image via Pixabay

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