Humidifiers are becoming quite the popular home appliance and can be found almost everywhere. While everyone can benefit from a humidifier, these benefits do not last unless you clean your device frequently. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your humidifier:

The Benefits of a Humidifier

Humidifiers release moisture into the air, which has a great effect on personal health. The most obvious affect of extra, controlled humidity is the lack of dry air, which dries out skin and can cause static electricity that affects the hair. Humidifiers also allow for mucus and phlegm to move more easily through the nasal passages, making them excellent tools for dealing with a dry cough or sickness. Humidifiers may also reduce snoring in some situations, since the added moisture lubricates the airway.

 

Aside from personal benefits, humidifiers can also decrease static electricity in the air, which is vital for delicate electronics that can easily be damaged by a stray shock. The extra humidity may also benefit your house plants as well.

Why Clean?

Like any oft-used device, humidifiers can get dirty. What sets them apart from other appliances, however, is the danger that comes with a dirty humidifier or humidifier filter. Since humidifiers need water to function, the appliance itself can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. While airborne bacteria is everywhere, adding excess can spread illness, and breathing in mold spores can cause serious respiratory damage. Minerals in the water may also affect a humidifier’s performance as well, since they can build up and clog the filtration system. To prevent mineral buildup and mold growth, it is best to clean your humidifier once a week.

How to Clean Your Humidifier

Before cleaning your humidifier, take a look at your device’s instruction manual. You’ll need to take things apart to clean them, and knowing how to effectively disassemble and reassemble the necessary parts will help prevent damage. Plus, the device manual may also include important information about cleaning the device. Never wash your humidifier’s filter, since that can damage the thin, paper-like material. Replace any dirty filters instead of washing them. To begin cleaning your humidifier, you will need the following materials:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Liquid bleach
  • Cold water
  • A small brush or cleaning cloth, like a washcloth or a dish brush

To begin, disassemble the humidifier following the steps provided by your instruction manual. Be sure the device is unplugged. If there is any water in the tank, empty it. Next, fill the humidifier tank with distilled vinegar, and place it on the base of the device. This will help clear out any mineral buildup. You can remove buildup on smaller parts of the device by washing them in vinegar as well.

 

After the humidifier has been rinsed off completely, you can disinfect it using either a water-bleach mixture, or by washing it with antibacterial dish soap. This process works just like the vinegar: pour one gallon of water and one teaspoon of bleach into the tank, let it drain into the rest of the device, and let the humidifier sit for about 15 minutes. Empty the tank and rinse until there is no bleach smell, and let the humidifier sit to dry before reassembling.

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