How To Clean a Humidifier?


Humidifiers are a great investment, especially if you live somewhere where winters are cold and dry. Properly humidified air can work wonders to boost your immune system and save your respiratory system from a wide range of cold weather ailments. Humidifiers can also work wonders for your skin, preventing it from drying out and cracking much! They do, however, require regular maintenance in order to keep the air in your home humidified to an optimal level.

Fortunately, this is a relatively simple process and gets easier and more straightforward the more often you do it. Here at Top9Rated, we’ve put together a handy guide on how to clean a humidifier in order to help you keep your humidifier in the best condition possible. Follow our top humidifier cleaning tips, and you can keep everything running perfectly with minimal stress and effort.

Why do I Need to Clean my Humidifier?

There are a number of major reasons why it’s important to keep your humidifier clean and well maintained. Firstly, like any other mechanical appliance, keeping everything clean helps to make sure that it runs smoothly; if you don’t look after it properly, it won’t last as long as possible, and you’ll need a costly replacement in order to keep your living environment at its best.

The biggest reason to keep your humidifier clean, though, is that it can affect the quality of your air significantly. If you don’t clean and disinfect a humidifier regularly, you run the risk of blasting mold and bacteria into the air; standing water, such as is found in the bottom of a humidifier, is a breeding ground for toxic particles and spores, and humidifiers are an ideal way to spray those particles across the room and into your lungs.

Spreading bacteria and mold across the room like that can cause major health problems, ranging from asthma to infections, and potentially longer-term lung infection and disease. Cleaning your humidifier regularly can ensure that you don’t build up this range of bacteria and mold spores, keeping the air moving around your house fresh and healthy and avoiding all the risk.


It’s important to prepare properly for cleaning a humidifier, as with any major cleaning project; cleaning chemicals can be harmful, and preparation can keep you safe. First, you’re going to need a good pair of rubber gloves, and safety goggles are recommended too.
What you’re going to need in order to clean a humidifier is a relatively short list of equipment: vinegar, warm water, bleach, a soft brush, and some clean, soft towels. All of these are easy to buy commercially, and you probably have most of them lying around in a cupboard at home without needing to shop specifically to clean your humidifier at all!

How to Clean a Humidifier Step by Step?

Step 1: Disassembly

First, you’re going to want to switch your humidifier off and unplug it from the wall. Remove the water tank and empty it down a drain, before carefully removing all other removable components and separating them. If your humidifier features an air filter, put that aside for separate cleaning. Once you’re sure you’ve removed every part you can, you’re ready to start cleaning them properly.

Step 2: Disinfecting the Water Tank

The best thing to do next is to disinfect the water tank, a process that can take a little while. Fill the water tank about half full with a weak bleach solution (if using powder, approximately one teaspoon of bleach powder per gallon of fresh water). Swirl it around a bit and use a brush to make sure the bleach comes into contact with all of the inside surfaces of the tank, and then leave it for approximately half an hour while you clean the rest of the humidifier.

Step 3: Cleaning the Parts

Now, take every remaining part of your humidifier and put it into a large container filled with vinegar. Avoid doing this with any component featuring electronic circuits; this is a process for simple plastic moving parts. Give it half an hour in the vinegar to break down any build up of sediments and limescale, and then use a soft brush to scrub off any remaining residue. Toothbrushes are a great choice for cleaning smaller and harder to reach areas!

Step 4: Rinsing

Once you’ve cleaned the water tank and other removable parts, you need to rinse them clean to avoid spreading bleach and vinegar throughout your house. Rinse every component, including the air filter you removed at the start, under the cold tap until you can’t smell any cleaning aromas any more.

Step 5: Drying and Reassembly

When the rinsing step is complete, place every component on a clean towel and leave it to air dry completely. When you’re sure everything is dry, refill the water tank with clean, filtered water (minerals in unfiltered water can build up and clog your humidifier quickly) and reassemble the device. Once it’s all put back together, you’re ready to plug it back in, switch it on, and get back to having clean, fresh, humidified air again.


Cleaning your humidifier is an important process and one that’s simple enough that you don’t need to feel intimidated by it. If you follow our tips here at Top9Rated, you can clean humidifiers with confidence and ease in no time, making it a part of regular household cleaning and maintenance that you won’t worry about at all. Cleaning a humidifier doesn’t even require any specialist tools or equipment so anyone can do it at minimal expense, no matter what your level of confidence and experience may be!