How to Sanitize and Clean your Humidifier
The air becomes so dry in winter that many of us use a humidifier so that we feel more comfortable. With better management of humidity levels, our skin will feel better and we can ease the irritation of a scratchy throat, chapped lips, and so on. There are also things inside your home that like it best when the air isn’t too dry. Some examples are musical instruments made of wood, wood floors and furniture, and leather goods including shoes as well as sofas. Your house plants will be happier with a slightly higher humidity and you will have lower levels of static electricity. Experts say that the optimal humidity for inside your home is in the 30% to 50% range. This is easy to achieve with a good cool mist humidifier that can help you maintain a healthier, happier home.
What You’ll Need
- toothbrush or other small bristle brush for scrubbing
- soft scrub pad
- SNiPER disinfectant and odor eliminator
- towel and rag
- white vinegar (maybe – depending on whether you have a buildup of mineral deposits, aka scale)
Remove the reservoir from the base unit and give it a visual inspection. If you see any crusty deposits from mineral content of the water, you’ll need to use vinegar and that scrubbing bristle brush to remove those deposits. Wet a rag with vinegar and wipe those areas and allow a few minutes for the vinegar to work. While the vinegar is working, examine the base unit for those crusty deposits also. If you see them then give the base a wetting with vinegar also. Use the toothbrush and gently scrub away those deposits, being sure to get into the nooks and crannies.
If you used vinegar on the mineral deposits, be sure and carefully rinse away the vinegar residue, which is acidic. Use the towel to dry wherever the vinegar was.
Spray the inside of the reservoir with SNiPER and swish it around. Allow it to sit for up to 15 minutes. During that 15 minutes, swish it around every few minutes times to keep the inner surfaces wet with Sniper. At the end of the 15 minutes, add water until the reservoir is about half full. Cap the reservoir and give it a good shaking. Pour out the Sniper/water mixture and rinse the entire inside of the reservoir
The base unit from different manufacturers will vary a lot in shape and layout. But you should still be able to spray Sniper around on the base to sanitize and clean your humidifier. You may need to respray to try and keep those areas wet for 10 minutes. Or, you may be able to just wipe it around a few times during that 10 minutes.
Mix 2 or 3 ounces of SNiPER with water and add it to the reservoir and run the unit for 10 minutes or so. Since SNiPER is non-corrosive and has such low toxicity to pets and people, this may smell a bit like a swimming pool, but will not cause any harm to you, your pets or the machine. After your machine has run for 10 or more minutes, you can pour the excess out. Give the reservoir a good rinse and then you can fill the reservoir with fresh clear water before putting your sanitized and clean humidifier back to work for you.
How does that saying go? A gram of prevention is worth a kilo of cure? Haha! There is a lot of truth there. You can prevent unwanted growths in your tank by adding a couple of ounces of Sniper to the water reservoir now and then
Why Not Use Bleach For This?
Bleach is highly corrosive and can corrode the seals and gaskets that keep water where it belongs and your unit will start leaking. SNiPER is non-corrosive and you need not worry that it will harm your machine. Not only that, if you fail to rinse away all the bleach and you wind up breathing bleach vapor, it could be quite dangerous for your health because bleach is tremendously corrosive to your lungs
Should I Use Tap Water in My Cool Mist Humidifier?
The EPA tells us that, “Researchers have documented that ultrasonic or impeller humidifiers are very efficient at dispersing minerals in tap water into the air. In addition, some consumers are bothered by a “white dust” that may appear on surfaces during use of these devices. Most importantly, minerals in tap water may increase the development of crusty deposits, or scale, in humidifiers. Scale can be a breeding ground for microorganisms. Retarding the growth of scale is the most compelling reason to find alternatives to tap water.” If your machine has a demineralization filter – use it! These minerals are the source of the white crusty deposits that you may find. If possible, use water that is labeled as “Distilled” if at all possible.
Humidifiers come in all shapes, sizes and capabilities. Your machine may differ quite a bit from mine, but in general, they will all have a reservoir that usually separates more or less easily from a base unit. You should be able to adapt these instructions so that you can sanitize and clean your humidifier both safely and easily
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Thank you, Ted!
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Best Odor Control for carpet
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Christmas tree and Raggedy Ann
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