How To Clean Humidifier Without Vinegar [Step By Step Guide]

Humidifiers offer several health benefits to homeowners, but when left unclean, they can also contribute to possible health risks. Most of the time, vinegar is used to clean and disinfect humidifiers, but what if you run out of vinegar at home?

Don't worry! We've researched the alternative options that you can use to clean your humidifier.

If you don't have vinegar at home, you can use liquid chlorine bleach to clean your humidifier. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Unplug and turn off the unit.
  2. Empty the humidifier's base and tank.
  3. Add a teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach to a gallon of water.
  4. Mix the solution and pour it into the humidifier's base and tank.
  5. Stir the solution to reach the other inner spaces.
  6. Let the solution disinfect the humidifier for 20 minutes.
  7. Scrub the surface or use a damp cloth to clean the other parts.
  8. Rinse the device and let it air dry.

There is still more to unpack about how to clean your humidifier, so read through the end of this post to learn more. In addition, we will also discuss a few more tips so you can maintain your humidifiers, so keep reading. With that said, let's dive into it!

Air purifier in cozy white bedroom for filter and cleaning removing dust, How To Clean Humidifier Without Vinegar [Step By Step Guide]

How To Clean Humidifier Without Vinegar [Step By Step Guide]

Humidifiers are used to moisturize the air within the space. It adds humidity to prevent dryness in the air that can cause several health issues such as:

  • Dry skin and skin irritation
  • Dry eyes, lips, and throat
  • Nosebleed
  • Asthma and other respiratory ailments
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Dehydration
  • Acne breakout

By adding moisture to the air, humidifiers improve the air's quality. However, if a humidifier is not correctly maintained, it will have difficulty working efficiently. 

Regular cleaning is part of its overall maintenance, and vinegar is the most common product used to clean a humidifier.

It acts as an organic disinfectant to kill growing bacteria inside the humidifier, but if you don't have vinegar at home and need to clean your humidifier, the next best thing to use is liquid chlorine bleach.

The white humidifier moistens dry air. Improving the comfort of living in the home, apartment

How To Clean A Humidifier With Liquid Chlorine Bleach

Sodium Hypochlorite, commonly known as liquid chlorine, is a chemical solution made by mixing water with chlorine gas. It acts as a disinfectant and is known in the laundry industry as an excellent solution for stains and bacteria. 

Although it is a chemical-based solution, liquid chlorine bleach is a great alternative for cleaning your dirty clothes, the other parts of the house, and, of course, your humidifier. 

Chlorine cleaner plastic bottles

If you're unfamiliar with this alternative method, here is a simple guide that you can follow.

See this liquid chlorine bleach on Amazon.

1. Unplug And Turn Off The Unit

Before proceeding to the cleaning process of any appliances and electric-powered units, the first and most important thing is to unplug and turn the unit off. This way, you can prevent any accidents and electrical hazards while working on your humidifier.

Pull out the plug from the power outlet and look for the on and off switch of your humidifier. Tick the off button before proceeding to the next step.

Unplugging the humdifier

2. Empty The Humidifier's Base And Tank

Next, remove the water in your humidifier's base and tank. When liquid stays too long in your device, minerals can build up over time. This buildup is one of the things you would like to prevent in order to keep your humidifier as good as new. 

Removing the excess water on the humidifier tank

3. Add A Teaspoon Of Liquid Chlorine Bleach To A Gallon Of Water

After emptying the humidifier's base and tank, the next thing you need to do is prepare the solution that you will use to clean it. In every gallon of water, add a teaspoon of liquid chlorine to make the solution.

Avoid pouring more than recommended. Too much chemical in the solution can harm you and your humidifier.

4. Mix The Solution And Pour It Into The Humidifier's Base And Tank 

Mix the liquid chlorine bleach and water thoroughly. Make sure that you are wearing your protective mask when doing so. After doing so, pour the solution into your humidifier's base and tank to begin the cleaning process.

Mixing the liquid solution

5. Stir The Solution To Reach The Other Inner Spaces

You would like to ensure that every inch of your unit will be cleaned. To do this, gently stir the solution or swirl it while making sure the solution reaches all areas. 

6. Let The Solution Disinfect The Humidifier For 20 Minutes

Once you're done making sure that all areas are covered with the solution, you can let the solution sit for 20 minutes. It will disinfect the humidifier and soften any mineral buildup inside the tank and the base. 

7. Scrub The Surface Or Use A Damp Cloth To Clean The Other Parts

While waiting for the solution to disinfect your humidifier, you can proceed to clean the other parts as well. You can soak a clean cloth in the same solution and then wipe the outer parts of the humidifier.

After 20 minutes, grab a brush with soft bristle and begin scrubbing the inner portion to make sure you get rid of all the dirt and mineral buildups that softened because of the solution.

Microfiber cloth for perfect for cleaning a vacuum filter

8. Rinse The Device And Let It Air Dry

Empty the humidifier and then proceed to rinse. You can use tap water, but distilled is more recommended when rinsing your humidifier.

It is because distilled water doesn't have the minerals in tap water. These minerals build up in your humidifier's tank and base when not removed for an extended period.

Ensure you rinse the device thoroughly until all the chemicals in the solution are entirely removed. You wouldn't want your humidifier to produce air that contains these chemicals. 

After rinsing the unit, let it dry before plugging it again. Wiping it with cloth is okay, but allowing it to air dry is better.

Can I Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean My Humidifier?

Absolutely! Another alternative cleaning option for humidifiers is hydrogen peroxide. It is a mild antiseptic that's best known in the medical industry due to its ability to treat burns, minor cuts, and irritation prevention.

Aside from its benefits when in the medical area, it is proven to kill molds and bacteria when applied to the affected areas, making it a great solution to use when cleaning your humidifier.

You must mix one cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with four cups of water. Pour the solution into the humidifier's tank and base. Swirl the solution to make sure you coat all the areas evenly.

After doing so, let it sit for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing the inner areas.

Rinse the humidifier thoroughly before letting the unit completely dry.

Check out this hydrogen peroxide on Amazon.

Why Is My Humidifier Producing White Dust?

If you are using tap water in your humidifier, then it is likely that your unit will produce white dust. These are minerals present in the water you are using.

Over time, minerals build up in your humidifier's tank and base, so when you are using your humidifier, you will likely spot some white dust coming from the unit.

Although this white dust isn't harmful, the best way to prevent your humidifier from producing dried minerals is to clean it regularly and switch to distilled water.

Cleaning prevents mineral deposit buildups, and distilled water doesn't have at least 99.9% of the minerals you may find in tap water.

Getting rid of the mineral deposits inside your humidifier can also prevent your device from producing weird smells. 

Why Does My Humidifier Smell Like Burning Plastic?

Keeping the humidifier clean and dry after rinseng

Your humidifier might give off a smell of burning plastic when it's still new. The smell should go away after several days of using it. 

However, if you've been using your humidifier for quite some time and you noticed that it starts producing a burning smell, unplug the unit and have it checked by a professional if you do not have knowledge about electrical devices. 

The burning smell could be an indication that your humidifier is experiencing a motor meltdown, overheating, or short circuit. Make sure you have the problem fixed before using the unit again to prevent any electrical hazards. 

Moreover, regular cleaning and maintenance checks will help prevent this. Also, it will help the device to have a longer lifespan.

Final Thoughts

Air purifier in cozy white bedroom for filter and cleaning removing dust

Caring for your humidifier requires a regular cleaning schedule. Just don't forget to use protective gear when using chemical solutions such as liquid chlorine bleach to prevent any health hazards during the process.

Before you go, don't forget to check out these posts, too:

Is Pink Mold In Humidifier Dangerous [Inc. How To Eliminate It And Prevent It]?

Impeller Humidifier Vs. Ultrasonic – Which To Choose?

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