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By: Alison Jacobson
Posted on: Nov 11, 2017

Cool Mist Humidifier Cleaning Tips

Our guest blogger Alison Jacobson, The Safety Mom, is back again this week to share cool mist humidifier cleaning tips.

While many Americans are cold weather fans, it’s pretty safe to say that no one is a fan of the “cold season” as it relates to the viruses that seem to hit all of us during the winter months. Especially for parents who inevitably end up with sick kids and missed school days, the cold and flu season is never fun. Unfortunately most colds simply need to run their course and for children under the age of six, cold medicines are not recommended. One of the best ways to help sick kids breathe a little easier is using a cool mist humidifier to help eliminate dry nasal passages, sore throats, coughs, nose bleeds, respiratory ailments and more. Cool mist humidifiers are recommended over warm mist humidifiers as cool mist is easier for the body to inhale than warm mist and eliminates the risk of burns should it accidentally tip over. But beware – if your cool mist humidifier is not cleaned and maintained properly, this helpful tool can actually become a health risk and a breeding ground for mold, bacteria and germs. Dirty humidifiers can be particularly problematic for people with asthma and allergies.

To make sure your humidifier is helping heal you rather than hurt you, I am sharing 9 cool mist humidifier cleaning tips for you to keep in mind.

9 Cool Mist Humidifier Cleaning Tips:

  • There are different opinions on how often you should clean your humidifier but it should at least be every three days and deep cleaning it once every two weeks.
  • While it’s not necessary to use distilled water, tap water does contain minerals which can cause deposits in your humidifier and promote bacterial growth.
  • Don't allow film or deposits to develop inside your humidifiers. Empty the tanks, dry the inside surfaces and refill with clean water every day.
  • To clean your humidifier unplug it, be sure to keep the motor part away from water and disassemble all of the pieces. Check your owner’s manual to see if there are pieces that can go in your dishwasher.
  • You can use hydrogen peroxide, small amounts of bleach or simply vinegar. I prefer just vinegar as it eliminates the risk that remnants of bleach could be released into the air after cleaning.
  • Pour vinegar into the base of the humidifier and allow it to sit for an hour. If your unit doesn’t come with a small brush, use a bottle brush to clean away any deposits.
  • Mix a cup of vinegar and a gallon of water in the tank and allow it to stand for a while. Rinse thoroughly several times to get the vinegar smell out.
  • Be sure all of the pieces are completely dry before re-assembling.
  • The best solution to keeping your cool mist humidifier clean, is to purchase one with built-in antimicrobial technology.

Keep in mind that while humidifiers are important in keeping dry air moist for people with colds, continuous moist air can promote dust mites and mold which many people are allergic to.

Be sure to keep the area around humidifiers dry. If the area around a humidifier becomes damp or wet — including windows, carpeting, drapes or tablecloths — turn the humidifier down or reduce how frequently you use it.