A humidifier is a necessary appliance for those particularly dry days and nights, but as with anything that is continuously damp, you may start to notice an unpleasant smell wafting from the machine. So what do you do about this problem? We've done the research to give you some ideas.
To make your humidifier smell good, you should try:
- Cleaning the appliance regularly.
- Changing out the water after each use.
- Changing the filter regularly.
- Fighting mold and bacteria with vinegar, tea tree oil, or hydrogen peroxide.
- Adding your favorite essential oils to the water tank.
Now that we've given you a basic list of how to fix your musty humidifier, you may want to know why these suggestions are helpful and how they work. Keep reading to learn more about how to improve your humidifier's smell.
Deodorizing Your Humidifier
Freshening your humidifier is important, as a musty smell often also means a build-up of fungus or bacteria. This is not only unpleasant, but it could also mean compromising the health of you and your family. Here are several ways to both clean and keep this household appliance smelling its best.
This is the most essential way to maintain a humidifier. Without regular cleanings, the appliance will become ineffective, dangerous and eventually will wear down and stop working altogether.
To clean your humidifier, you must:
- Empty and disassemble the appliance.
- Pour an appropriate, natural cleaning agent into the water tank.
- Place the water tank on its base and allow it to empty through the reservoir.
- Empty the water tank manually and scrub inside the tank using a brush.
- On all other areas, wipe with a cloth or sponge saturated with the cleaning agent.
- Rinse and air dry.
You should clean this appliance at least once a week, though you can do it as often as desired. You may find that you'll need it more often if anyone in the home is ill or experiencing respiratory problems.
Always Change The Water
It may be tempting to just add more water as necessary, but you should always empty the water tank and replace the water. Stagnant water is a prime atmosphere for bacteria and mold growth.
In addition to this, the old water may have taken on some mineral deposits as the evaporated water was filtered. Emptying, rinsing, and replacing the water in the tank is always good practice and will help keep the tank and filter clean.
Change The Filter
If you use your humidifier daily, you should change the filter every two months. If used sparsely, the filter should be changed every three to four months.
When a filter becomes caked with filth, it will no longer be filtering the air that is released by the humidifier. It also will be promoting bacteria growth inside the machine, causing both a putrid smell and air that is not fit to be breathed in.
Fight Mold And Bacteria
Even with regular cleanings and changing the filter, a humidifier is still at risk of growing mold and bacteria inside the machine.
To fight this, you can add 1 cup of white vinegar, three drops of tea tree oil, or half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to the water tank of the appliance. All three of these products contain antifungal and antibacterial elements that will help fight the growth of mold.
Check out this tea tree oil we found on Amazon.
Is It OK To Run Vinegar Through A Humidifier?
While tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide can be run through a humidifier without any issue, you may find that running vinegar through a humidifier can be irritating to your nose and throat. It may be best to run the humidifier in a room you are not occupying while there is vinegar in the water tank.
What Can I Put In A Humidifier To Disinfect The Air?
You can purify the air that is emitted by a humidifier by adding any of the previously mentioned products, which have antibacterial properties, and also by adding essential oils.
Studies have found that many essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. There is a wide variety to choose from, and it will depend on your preference and purposes which of these essential oils you would like to use.
Add Essential Oils
Our final suggestion is to add essential oils to the water tank of your humidifier. It's a wonderful way to deodorize the machine, as well as create a scent that's all your own.
Essential oils are natural, healthy, and many of them have fresh, pungent smells that will quickly fill a room. Some favorites are peppermint, clove, eucalyptus, and lemongrass.
We've given you a list of suggestions to keep your humidifier and home smelling lovely, but you may have some other questions about using this machine. We'll answer two of the most common inquiries below.
Where Is The Best Place To Put A Humidifier In Your Bedroom?
Generally speaking, the exact location of a humidifier is unimportant. What is important is its proximity to the person or persons in the room.
Typically, a humidifier should be about three feet away from any sleeping person in the room. This is both for safety and for optimal benefits. Whether this is closer to the corner or center of the room is less important.
The only exception would be if you own a particularly large unit, in which case it may be best to place it in the corner of the room, further away from the inhabitants.
Can You Over Humidify A Room?
Yes, you can over humidify a room. The humidity level is best kept at between 30-50% inside a home. If the humidity is over 60%, this is too high.
If you use your humidifier very often, you may also consider purchasing a hygrometer to measure the humidity in the home.
Take a look at this hygrometer on Amazon.
What Is A Humidifier?
When the temperature outside reaches highs or lows and your furnace or AC unit is kicking on, you may notice that the air around you is dry. This can cause issues in your body and your home, including dehydration, dry skin, coughs, and unhappy house plants.
This is when a humidifier comes in handy. This nifty machine uses water and evaporates it into steam before depositing it into the surrounding air.
Types Of Humidifiers
There are two basic size-types of humidifiers. These include portable and whole-home machines. Portable humidifiers range in size. Some are meant to be on dressers, while others are so large that they are on rollers and must be moved around the home in this way.
On the other hand, you are not able to move whole-home machines. These machines may also be called central humidifiers. Most of these appliances are installed directly to the home's HVAC system and are a permanent fixture.
However, there are some units that are made to stand alone in a living area but still provide moisture to the entire house.
When categorizing by technology, there are two types as well. These are warm mist and cool mist humidifiers. Warm mist humidifiers emit hot, sterile air. Cool mist humidifiers release cool, filtered air.
Check out this cool mist humidifier on Amazon.
Uses Of Humidifiers
Humidifiers have many uses within the home. This appliance aids in promoting the general health of the people who live there, especially of skin and hair. Keeping the air moist with a humidifier helps prevent dry skin and hair. It is especially helpful for those who suffer from eczema outbreaks.
Some of the greatest benefits of running a humidifier are in preventing and fighting illnesses. Warm mist humidifiers release sterile steam into the home, and the humidity levels work to break down viral air particles.
Take a look at this warm mist humidifier on Amazon.
This prevents infectious illnesses such as influenza from spreading, a real draw when you would like to prevent one sick family member from infecting others.
Humidifiers will also help in keeping a cough productive. This is especially important in the healing process as one is recovering from a respiratory illness. A stagnant, unmoving cough promotes the development of pneumonia. A productive cough will help the person recover more quickly and prevent pneumonia.
Risks Of Humidifiers
While a humidifier is a wonderful technology, there are some risks that you should be aware of. Some unpleasant effects of using a humidifier that could take place are an increase in allergens, respiratory illnesses, body aches, and fatigue.
All of these unwanted effects are linked to unfiltered air from the humidifier as well as bacteria and mold. This is usually first noticed by unpleasant smells and gives one all the more reason to diligently disinfect and deodorize the machine.
The humidifier may be a fixture in your home that may often be in use, especially in the cool winter months, and if it's releasing an offputting odor, this can quickly become a serious problem.
Not only is this uncomfortable, but it also could be a sign of something dangerous. We've given you some great ways to both deodorize and disinfect your humidifier for the most effective, pleasant use.
Want to learn more about humidity and air quality? Visit these related posts:
The Best Indoor Humidity Level For Winter
What Should Furnace Humidifier Be Set At [In Winter And Summer]?