How to Disinfect a Humidifier

Investing in a humidifier especially if you live in a city, county, or community that experiences colder and dryer winter is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make. A humidifier is an essential home appliance capable of fighting everything from mold or bacteria build-up around your home to cold weather airborne diseases and ailments. Interestingly, these humidifiers help to prevent your skin from cracking when the heat is on. 

Like any other home appliance, especially those that make use of water, humidifiers require proper maintenance and care if you want it to keep performing at an optimal level. While cleaning a humidifier may be a simple task, most people have found it very difficult. To help you out, in this piece, we will discuss how to disinfect your humidifier to prevent damage of any sort. 

Why Make Use of Humidifiers? 

Before we dive into how you can disinfect your humidifier, it is important that we refresh our minds on why we use this appliance. While those that live in moderate climates may not have to worry about dry seasons, those who find themselves inland there is a chance that extreme weather conditions can be challenging for your and your loved ones. 

According to reports from experts in the medical field, using a humidifier in the home is not only effective in keeping everyone comfortable, but it plays a key role in preventing a couple of ailments. Some of the benefits of these humidifiers include: 

  1. Humidifiers offer better health - Findings from one study conducted reveal that raising the humidity level of your home to a mere 43% is capable of rendering over 85% of all airborne viruses in your home ineffective. Based on this finding, those in the medical field are seeking ways to raise the humidity level of hospitals and clinics to offer better health to patients. Using a humidifier will help improve the health condition of you and your loved ones. 
  2. Humidifiers prevent dryness - Generally, those who breathe through their mouth find it very difficult to prevent dryness from settling in. This becomes worse when they are sleeping. With a humidifier, you are able to add moisture to the air, in the process creating a more favorable situation capable of soothing the tissues at the back of the throat, preventing dryness. This will not only offer you better sleep but will help prevent snoring. 
  3. It helps to prevent dryness of the skin - Since over 60% of the human body is made up of water, extremely dry conditions may begin to pull moisture out of your skin, leaving your skin dry, your lips chapped, and your eyes bloodshot. Using a humidifier will help prevent any dryness of the skin. The added moisture from your humidifiers will help soften your dry skin, peel off your chapped up lips, and also remove dry eye irritation. 
  4. Humidifiers can contribute to the long-lasting nature of your furnishings - Aside from the human body, humidifiers are capable of increasing the lifespan of some of your home furnishings. If you live in a city or region that is prone to extremely dry conditions, there is every possibility that your wallpapers, paintings, and even pieces of furniture may begin to look older than they actually are. In those extreme dry conditions, the paintings and wallpapers may begin to peel off. Humidifiers can help by adding moisture to the air, preventing your home furnishings from looking old and cranky. 
  5. It saves you money and time - Using a humidifier will definitely save you money and time. Using a humidifier in your home will prevent the spread of various airborne viruses and prevent dry skin. It will also prevent your furnishings from looking old. This saves you money that ordinarily would have been used to care medically for you or your loved ones when they fall sick. 

Problems Associated With Humidifiers 

While humidifiers are capable of offering you great benefits, there are a couple of problems owners may face when using this home appliance. 

Those who live in developed countries with unlimited access to clean water may feel that there is no need to care for their humidifier since the water coming in is pretty clean. Results from studies conducted have revealed that water although clean contains minerals that are capable of clogging up the humidifier over time, thus affecting its performance level. While most of the cool-mist humidifiers available today come with filters to trap these minerals, it definitely cannot trap them all. Since most people are callous or less concerned about changing their filters, these minerals clog up the humidifier. 

These clogged up materials make their way to the atmosphere when the humidifier is running. Since these materials are not beneficial to humans or even to your home furniture, they begin to grow into bacteria, making them harmful to the human body. Basically, disinfecting or cleaning your humidifier is of utmost importance if you do not want your loved ones to suffer ailments of any sort. 

How To Disinfect A Humidifier 

To prevent bacteria or mold build-up, it is important that you regularly disinfect or clean your humidifier. To do this, you shouldn’t be needing a lot of cleaning materials. Some of the essential materials you'd be needing include: 

  • Gloves and goggles 
  • White vinegar 
  • Soft bristle brush 
  • Clean towels 
  • Plenty of water 
  • Bleach or hydrogen peroxide 

While most of the humidifiers are constructed differently from the others, most of them come with an operating base and a water tank. Before cleaning or disinfecting your humidifier, it is important that you take a moment to go through the users' manual before disassembling any of the parts. 

To clean your humidifier, there are a couple of steps you need to take. By simply following these straightforward and easy to carry out steps, you get the most from your humidifier and also improve the quality of air in your home. 

Step 1 

Unplug your humidifier from the wall and disassemble it completely. Find the water tank then remove and empty it. Depending on the model of your humidifier, you need to either unlock or unlatch other parts and keep them separate for easy identification. 

If your model comes with an air filter, it is equally important that you remove it. To clean the air filter, you simply need running water. Once that is done, you leave it to dry. 

Step 2 

The next thing is pour a substantial amount of white vinegar into the operating base of the humidifier to the point that it fills all of the areas that water comes in contact with. If there are smaller detachable parts, soak them in a large container with white vinegar. Leave for 30 minutes or thereabout. The reason for this is so that the mold or bacteria build-up is broken down. 

Once that is done, you need to make use of your soft bristle brush to clear off any residue that may have stuck to some of the parts. Smaller brushes have proven to be ideal for this. 

Step 3 

To disinfect your water tank, you need to add 1 teaspoon of bleach or hydrogen peroxide to 1 gallon of water. Since you need to leave this to disinfect for 30 minutes as well, it is best that you do this at the same time as Step 2. 

Step 4 

Once the 30 minutes wait period is over, use running water to wash the base, water tank, and the other components or parts of the humidifier. You are advised to shake these parts to ensure that all clogged up moisture is dislodged. While it may take time before the smell begins to dissipate from the parts, be rest assured that it will happen. 

Lay all of the cleaned-up parts on your clean towel to dry. This helps to remove any foul smell. 

Step 5 

Once you have allowed all parts to dry out completely, it is time to assemble them. You need to fill your tank with clean water, distilled water preferably. If there's a need to, you may have to replace the air filter. 

If there are additional components or parts not mentioned, you are advised to clean them the same way other parts were cleaned. 

Conclusion

The importance of humidifiers cannot be overemphasized especially for people living in countries or regions prone to extremely dry weather conditions. While cleaning or disinfecting a humidifier has posed a challenge to most owners, we have discussed a step-by-step guide on how you can do this efficiently. 

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