Cleaning Your HumidifierIf you live in an area where the environment around you gets below 35-50% humidity, it's important to have a humidifier to help maintain a proper humidity level. Your health depends on it. However, your health also depends on that humidifier being CLEAN. If it's not clean, it's spewing mold and fungus into your air - and into your lungs. Just how do you properly clean a humidifier?
Use Clean Water
This makes sense, but start by putting only clean water INTO your humidifier! If you live in place where your water has minerals and such in it, find ways to get the water as clean as possible before using it in your humifier or consider buying distilled water. It will save you enormous grief on the cleaning end.
Cold Water Scrub
Once a week, completely empty the humidifier and take it apart. Normally there is a base part with the electronics in it and then other parts which are just plastic. Put the plastic parts into the sink or tub and scrub them down with cold water and an old toothbrush. Get into all the nooks and crannies. You don't want mold growing in there. For those electronic parts, unplug first of course. Then dampen a microfiber and carefully go around the plastic areas to clean those off.
For the parts in the tub, now it's time for vinegar. Vinegar is a natural acid. This helps combat germs and mold. Keep white vinegar on hand. Pour it - straight - into the water-holding areas of the humidifier. Swish it around a bunch so that all the surfaces get coated. Then let it sit for a half hour. This is just like when you soak your faucet head or shower head in vinegar. The acid eats away at all the mineral deposits and other build-up without harming the plastic and metal parts.
I highly recommend NOT using bleach for the disinfect stage of this process. I know many people who are sensitive to bleach, including me. You don't want to be blasting that into the air you breathe. Also, bleach isn't very environmentally friendly. It can create dioxin, for example. In comparison, hydrogen peroxide is a natural substance that just breaks back down into hydrogen and oxygen. Make sure you use only a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide can be corrosive in higher levels both for your humidifier and for you.
So, start by dumping out the vinegar from the tub items. Rinse those tub items with water. Now add in water and then a portion of hydrogen peroxide. A half-gallon of water with a quarter-cup of hydrogen peroxide works well for most sized containers. Swish it around thoroughly, and then let it sit another half hour.
Rinse, refill with water, and enjoy your clean, humid air!
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