How to remove mold in a humidifier

Effective water treatment methods and techniques

If a white deposit is found on the surfaces of furniture, you should not blame the device and rush to buy another. The presence of precipitation on things does not mean that the device itself does not work satisfactorily; it is only an indication of improper use. The first thing to do is to find out the reason for their appearance and carefully analyze all the preceding actions. Most often the problem is a breach of the instructions, prescribing not to store residual moisture in the tank and not to use hard tap water. If the consumer strictly follows these instructions, and the plaque still appears, you will need to use other methods to quickly get rid of it.

Water quality

Adding plain running water to the compartment is one of the most common mistakes made when handling a humidifier. From the tap in most cases flows a fairly good quality water carrier, but it is often characterized by increased rigidity. If such water is left to stand for a long time in a glass, for example, over time at the bottom there will be a clearly visible sediment.

It is advisable to boil the water well before filling it into the tank. If this did not help and the plaque still appears, you should switch to distilled water, sold at any hardware store.

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Installation of an additional filter

The use of built-in filters that purify water immediately before use will help to avoid or somewhat reduce the occurrence of unwanted scale. There are several varieties of such devices on the domestic market:

Despite the differences in the designs of these devices, they all do a good job, with more or less effective purification of tap water.

Buying an ultrasonic humidifier

In the ultrasonic (US) humidifier has a built-in filter that allows the liquid to be cleaned from impurities and bacteria. Devices of this type can be filled with running water without pretreatment. The downside of the expanded functionality of ultrasonic humidifiers is their high cost. But even with this factor to forget about the competent approach to the operation of the device is not recommended. The built-in filters must be replaced every 3 months, according to the instructions, otherwise you will be faced with the problem of white plaque again.

Use of reverse osmosis systems

Reverse osmosis is the most expensive, but most effective way to purify the water used in humidifiers. Thanks to its use it is possible to eliminate the formation of plaque and completely filter the water mass entering the room. The reverse osmosis system is mounted directly in the supply pipes, which allows you to effectively clean the liquid from salts and impurities.

Operating principle

Household humidifiers are often used in the winter. During this period, because of the intensive work of heating appliances air in the room is dry, because of this deteriorates the state of health. A humidifier keeps the humidity at the right level. This reduces the possibility of colds, allergies, and makes breathing easier.

Now there are devices in stores that saturate the air with moisture mechanically, by steam or ultrasound. The most popular are ultrasonic models. They not only improve the microclimate, but also decorate the interior, thanks to their modern and stylish design.

At the base of the device is a membrane, which breaks the water from the tank into tiny particles. As a result, the liquid turns into cold steam. When in use, impurities from hard water precipitate on the internal components. Therefore, the humidifier should be cleaned regularly. If this is not done, in addition to limescale, moldy fungus will grow and multiply inside the tank. As a result, harmful bacteria are released into the air along with the steam particles.

How to clean your humidifier from scale and fungus

Humidifiers help to create a favorable microclimate in the home. To ensure trouble-free operation of the unit, it is necessary to take good care of it. A humidifier can be descaled at home. Depending on the type of appliance, the washing process may vary, but the basic steps of this procedure remain the same.

A complete care of the humidifier includes regular cleaning of the tank, periodic disinfection and timely preventive maintenance. To fight the contamination of the device can be used time-tested home remedies: citric acid, baking soda, vinegar.

The appliance can get dirty for several reasons. Tap water is very hard, it contains calcium and magnesium salts, which provoke the formation of lime scale inside the humidifier, and during its operation spreads through the air in the apartment. It is very hard to get rid of this plaque. Also in this water can contain harmful microorganisms that not only contribute to mold growth, but also during the operation of the device enters the respiratory tract of the house owners.

Lack of maintenance can lead to malfunctioning of the humidifier. Even with clean filtered water, the appliance will gradually become contaminated if not cleaned regularly. Stagnant moisture inside the humidifier gradually creates favorable conditions for fungus and microbes to multiply.

Mineral deposits that form on the walls of the device should be cleaned regularly, otherwise their accumulation will lead to the failure of the humidifier. The appliance will be easier to use if you use purified water, which contains fewer salts that lead to the formation of lime scale. You can clean your humidifier in the following ways:

  • 1. De-energize the unit and disconnect the tank from the base. Dismantle the machine into its component parts as far as possible.
  • 2. Drain all remaining water from the tank. Rinse it under running water.
  • 3. Take a soft sponge and carefully remove limescale, using a special limescale detergent (available at household supply stores).
  • 4. In ultrasonic humidifiers (Polaris, Electrolux) you need to clean the membrane with a special brush that comes with the unit.
  • 5. The outer casing should be wiped with a damp cloth with vinegar, this will prevent rapid fouling and dust settling on it.

A limescale remover can be prepared at home. There are several simple ways to remove limescale from the humidifier:

  • 1. Mix 3-4 tablespoons of salt or baking soda, pour it into the tank, add water and turn on the appliance for 1-1.5 hours. Then drain the solution and rinse the appliance thoroughly.
  • 2. You can clean a humidifier with citric acid. Take 2 tablespoons of powder per 1 liter of water, mix thoroughly until completely dissolved. Pour the solution into the unit’s tank and turn it on for an hour. You can leave the solution on overnight without pouring it out at once. Then rinse the container under running water.
  • 3. Ordinary table vinegar (9%) effectively copes with limescale. Pour it into the tank filled with warm water, turn on the device for 1 hour on the most powerful mode. In addition to combating lime scale, vinegar can clean the humidifier from mold and microorganisms, so it is also a good disinfection. The disadvantage of this method is the persistent smell of vinegar, which fills the apartment during cleaning. After the procedure it is necessary to ventilate the room.

Do not use abrasive agents to clean the appliance, as they may damage the surface of the tank.

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This procedure is necessary to remove bacteria and harmful microparticles. There are simple but effective ways in which you can disinfect the device:

  • 1. Pour the bleach solution mixed with water into the tank (proportion: 5-6 ml per 1 liter of water). Leave the solution in the tank for 1 hour. A longer duration of disinfection is not recommended as the chlorine can damage the walls of the tank. Drain solution after one hour and rinse humidifier with cold water. In order for the chlorine smell to disappear, several manipulations must be carried out. Fill the humidifier with fresh water and then plug it in. As soon as steam begins to form, turn the appliance off and drain the water. Repeat these operations several times until the odour disappears completely.
  • 2. Hydrogen peroxide can be used for disinfection. Pour 500 ml of the solution into the tank; the peroxide should cover the bottom and walls of the device. Pour it out after an hour and wash the humidifier with cold water. No need to fear that peroxide particles will get into the air when the machine is running. Even if some remains on the tank walls, they will disintegrate into water and oxygen the next time the humidifier is in operation.
  • 3. Vinegar can be used not only to remove slime and fungus, but also to effectively disinfect the humidifier. You need to make a solution: 250 ml of table vinegar in 4 liters of water, pour it into the tank, turn the appliance on and let it run for an hour. To prevent vinegar vapor from spreading into the living space, conduct the procedure on a loggia or in the back room of a private home. As a last resort, you should direct the spout of the device into an open window. After vinegar treatment, drain off the liquid, fill the machine with clean water and plug it in. Then this water must also be drained.

Clean and disinfect the appliance at regular intervals. We recommend washing every three days and disinfecting once every three weeks. To avoid the formation of lime scale, it is necessary to use distilled, bottled or settled water (it should be changed more often).

Water that remains in the tank for a long time not only leaves lime deposits on the walls, but also causes active growth of bacteria. The filters and cartridges in the device must be replaced promptly. The membrane must not be cleaned with a hard brush that is not part of the unit, otherwise it will be damaged.

It is not recommended to turn on the device at full power, this will lead to a shortening of the service life. Once the optimum level of humidity has been achieved in the room, the appliance must be switched off; it must not run continuously. High humidity creates favorable conditions for the spreading of mold and bacteria.

Large amounts of contamination should not be allowed to accumulate. Only special chemical solutions and powders are able to remove thick lime scale. In neglected cases a metal sponge can be used. There is a high probability of damaging the housing, so this cleaning should not be abused.

The device should be used only for its intended purpose. Do not add aromatic or essential oils, herbal decoctions, use the device as an inhaler. This will cause the filters to clog and the device to fail.

If the humidifier has not been in use for a while, you need to drain it, rinse it thoroughly, and dry it. Replace defective or obsolete appliance. It is recommended to buy a new humidifier after 5 years of operation. An old appliance will do more harm than good.


After cleaning procedures, it is recommended to manipulate to destroy pathogens on the surfaces, parts of the device. Failure to disinfect causes allergic reactions, fungal, infectious pathologies in the household. Remove pathogenic bacteria can be chlorinated or folk remedies.


Pour water into the tank, mix with chlorine bleach, soak for 2 hours. The solution is then poured out, rinsing the unit in places of contact with the cleaner. Parts of the product should be thoroughly dried.

Hydrogen peroxide

Peroxide is a low cost solution for a variety of applications. It has powerful oxidizing, bactericidal, disinfectant, and bleaching properties. The preparation destroys bacteria, viruses, spores, fungi. The disinfectant requires 0.5 cup of peroxide, 1 liter of water. The solution is poured into the tank, left for half an hour, then poured out, rinsed the surface under the tap.


Acetic acid has a wide range of applications. Housewives use it for cooking, face masks, cleaning, use in gardening. Vinegar is used to get rid of mold, rust, unpleasant odors and scale. Acetic acid is considered a universal cleaner, clarifier, herbicide.

Manipulation should be performed in a well ventilated place. Pour 250 ml of vinegar essence into the tank and add water on a measuring scale. The plant is plugged into a socket, held for 60 minutes. Then the liquid is poured out and the device is rinsed generously.

How to clean the ultrasonic humidifier

For maintenance of the ultrasonic air humidifier a solution made of water and vinegar, baking soda or citric acid is used. Unlike the mechanical type of device, it should not be switched on. Prepared solution is simply poured into the tank and left to soften the hard limescale for 12 hours.

Important! Membranes of ultrasonic humidifiers cleaned with a special brush, which is included in the kit. In case it is not available, a piece of fleece cloth or a soft sponge is used.

Causes of scale and dirt

Scale and fouling inside the humidifier is caused by impurities in the water. Ignoring manufacturer’s advice most people use tap water for humidifier filling, even without running it through the filter first. Tap water contains many salts, minerals and impurities that determine the degree of hardness of the incoming liquid. Use of water with high hardness for humidifier charging increases the rate of scale appearance.

Scale formation inside the humidifier complicates its operation, reducing the quality of the microclimate in the house. High levels of salts and minerals in the water leads to scale formation. Besides that tap water may contain organic substances, which accumulate inside the water and form good conditions for reproduction of microorganisms. Mildew can result, which spores in the air can be harmful to health.

Use of poor quality water is the main cause of contamination inside the humidifier. It is important to perform not only the cleaning of limescale and scale, but also need to pay attention to disinfection of the surfaces of the device and measures to properly prevent the appearance of contamination. Stick to these recommendations and the benefits of a humidifier will continue to create a favorable microclimate in the home.

Cleaning Procedure

First of all you should choose a cleaning agent. Household chemicals for the treatment of bathroom surfaces, as well as detergents for dishes are not recommended. They are too aggressive to the material from which humidifiers are made. In addition, the residues of such products can get into the air when in use, which can lead to ill health of the inhabitants of the house or even to serious harm to health.

The best way to remove white buildup is to use plain soap or vinegar. When using the latter, it is also important not to allow particles of the agent to remain in the mechanism, as this provides at least an unpleasant odor when working. Some manufacturers recommend using specialized products. for each model it is individual, usually this information is indicated in the manual. To clean a Benco humidifier, for example, a special mixture is used.

You also need to know how to clean a particular element.

Cleaning the humidifier is as follows:

  • To remove limescale in the humidifier, prepare a solution of water and soap. It is best to use an ordinary household detergent as the safest. Soap is mixed with water and shaken until foamy. The resulting solution is applied to the surfaces of the unit, then they are wiped with a soft cloth or brush.
  • In order to clean the tank of white plaque, you need to apply a soapy solution to a cloth and gently wipe all available surfaces. You can also use a toothbrush for cleaning, it is important that it be soft. Stiff bristles can scratch surfaces of the unit.
  • If you want to get rid of the hard crust in the tank, you need to citric acid, baking soda or vinegar. Trying to remove it manually is dangerous for the mechanism. Any of the above substances is diluted in water, the resulting solution is poured so that it occupies the entire volume of the tank. Allow limescale to soften before removing it. Approximately one hour is sufficient.
  • Vinegar and water in the ratio of one to one is best for cleaning the nozzle.
  • All elements of the mechanism that have been cleaned should be thoroughly washed.

IMPORTANT! No detergent particles should remain on the surfaces. Therefore it is recommended to rinse as thoroughly as possible. Clean the humidifier should be careful, because the surfaces of the device is very sensitive, they can easily scratch or damage up to breakage.

Recommendations on how to clean a humidifier can be found in the manual. Depending on the model, they may differ, as each type and brand humidifier is different in principle and design. For example, some parts of the ultrasonic device can be cleaned with an accessory, which comes with.

Cleaning rules are different for ultrasonic humidifiers: A solution of water and vinegar (soda, citric acid, your choice) is poured into the tank and allowed to stand for at least twelve hours. Rinsing by hand is not recommended.

Humidifier also needs preventive disinfection with chlorine. It is important to rinse the humidifier so that you do not smell the product when you use it.

How to effectively clean the humidifier from bacteria: scale, mold, dust?

Using a humidifier helps to create and maintain a favorable microclimate in the home. It not only saturates dry air with moisture, but also has a positive impact on our health. However, in order to ensure the quality and smooth operation of the device, you must take good care of it.

On how to clean the humidifier, we will talk today.

How often you need to clean?

Cleaning the humidifier is an indispensable part of a comprehensive procedure to maintain its performance. The cause of contamination of the device lies in the principle of its operation and depends on the selected model variant.

For example, the operation of steam humidifiers is often compared to that of an electric kettle. boiling water turns into steam and joining with the air markedly increases its humidity. But in boiling all the salts and other mineral compounds do not evaporate, but are deposited on the heater, forming a hard lime scale.

How To Clean A Humidifier-Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew

The principle of ultrasonic devices looks somewhat different. A special membrane creates ultrasonic vibrations that break up the moisture into fine particles, which then mix with the ambient air. The salts contained in the water will precipitate on the internal parts of the appliance and on the surfaces around it (furniture and walls).

The traditional version of the humidifier works by creating an airflow based on contact with the wet cartridge, forming a process of moisture evaporation. In this case, all the mineral salts remain in the cartridge, clogging it and thus putting the unit out of service.

In regular use, the humidifier should be cleaned at least once a week, thoroughly wiping it down and removing any salt deposits.

Cleaning with vinegar

As noted, the nozzle humidifier is regularly covered with scale, which should be promptly removed. Harsh detergents must not be used, as they can damage the nozzle, resulting in a costly repair procedure. Use in such a situation, we recommend a special agent, but in their absence, you can use and ordinary vinegar solution. To do this, moisten the swab and wipe the nozzle. After that the humidifier can be filled with water and run.

You can also use vinegar to clean the tank. To do this, pour the solution prepared in advance into the tank and leave it there until the softening of plaque.

Citric acid

In addition to table vinegar for cleaning the device from a solid scale is also actively used citric acid. To prepare the cleaning composition you need to dissolve 4 tablespoons of citric acid in water, pour the resulting liquid into the tank and turn on the humidifier for one hour. During operation, the solution will soften the salt deposits and help clean the tank.

It should be noted that, unlike mechanical-type devices, ultrasonic humidifiers include a cleaning solution inside does not need. just pour the liquid into the tank and leave there until the softening of scale (in the case of heavy contamination. for 12 hours).

What else you can do?

According to experts, the use of chemical cleaners and detergents when washing the humidifier is best, since later their small particles can spread throughout the room, negatively affect not only the state of surfaces, but also on the well-being of family members.

The best option in such a situation is baking soda. experienced users prefer to use it to eliminate unpleasant odors and remove minor dirt. Only special solutions and powders, and in some cases a metal sponge, can cope with serious plaque. But as the probability of damage to the body is quite high, the abuse of this agent is not recommended. The best way to prevent serious deposits is through preventive cleaning.

Step by step instructions for humidifier cleaning

As mentioned above, timely cleaning of the humidifier can keep the unit from forming a tough crust of plaque. To perform “hygienic” cleaning, it is absolutely necessary to unplug the appliance. Allow the humidifier to cool down (in the case of steam humidifiers), remove the tank and drain off the remaining liquid. After that you can proceed to cleaning.

The dirt can be removed with a soft cloth soaked in a soap solution (100 grams of shavings per 200 milliliters of warm water). A toothbrush can be used to remove soft plaque in hard-to-reach places, but it is not recommended to apply too much pressure, as this could damage the surface.

To get rid of dirt from the nozzle, prepare a solution of vinegar, citric acid or baking soda, and with the same damp cloth gently remove the soft limescale and dirt from the nozzle.

After treatment, the humidifier should be rinsed under running water and wiped dry with a soft towel. You can turn on the device only when it is completely dry.

How to clean the membrane properly?

Membranes of ultrasonic humidifiers should be cleaned with a special brush, which is included in the set. If there is no brush, you can use a fleece cloth or a soft sponge.

Cleaning the filter of the humidifier

In the vast majority of humidifier models (especially ultrasonic) filters are consumables and require regular replacement (once every 2-3 months). However, during the cleaning of the device do not leave the filter without attention specialists recommend to wash it under cold water to wash away existing dirt, and then leave to dry on a clean towel, while all efforts to clean thrown to other parts of the device.

It should be noted that the use of cleaning agents for cleaning the filter should be avoided, as chemicals can damage it and thus render it unusable.

What will help against mold, slime and greenery?

To get rid of mold, greenery and slime, the device can be disinfected, and there are three main ways to do it:

  • With bleach or bleach solution. Dilute a teaspoon of the reagent in 4.5 liters of water and pour it into the tank. Leave the solution in the tank for an hour, after which the liquid must be drained and the container thoroughly washed under running water.
  • Using vinegar. Take a glass of vinegar for the same volume of water and leave it in the operating device for one hour (for ultrasonic humidifiers. in non-operating). Carry out the procedure outdoors, otherwise the room should be well ventilated.
  • Peroxide. Pour several cups of the solution into the tank and allow to stand for one hour. The peroxide must cover both the bottom and the walls.

Are there specifics of cleaning an ultrasonic humidifier?

Unlike steam and traditional devices, ultrasonic humidifiers with a cleaning solution inside can not be turned on. just pour the liquid into the tank and leave until the complete softening of plaque.

Cleaning the humidifier Boneco and Polaris

The cleaning procedure recommended by the manufacturers is as follows:

  • disconnect the device from the network;
  • free the tank from the residual liquid;
  • Fill part of the prepared solution (1 package of a special cleaning composition for 1 liter) into the tank and part into the lower compartment of the device;
  • Clean the tank with a soft brush;
  • Leave the lower compartment for 3-5 hours;
  • rinse elements under running water;
  • assemble the unit and put it into operation.

With a video on this topic we suggest you read here:

Thus, cleaning the humidifier from mold, limescale and scale. not the most difficult task, and cope with it independently can each. Of course, you can also ask for help from special service centers, but the provision of such services usually costs a pretty penny, equal to one-third of the cost of the device.

We would like to point out that only quality prophylaxis of heavy contamination through regular flushing of the system is able to ensure the possibility of long-term operation of the device and a high level of ensured functionality, so it should not be neglected.

Cleaning options

You can qualitatively clean the air humidifier from accumulated sediments and contaminants in it in several ways. The choice depends on the construction of the appliance, the type of scale (scale or mold) and the mass of accumulated impurities. Select the optimum cleaning agent for each of these areas.

Limescale removal

To clean a fouled device from scale, you need to remove the water tank, disconnecting first the other elements of the design. Remove very fresh limescale with a soft cloth without using any special preparations. Cleaning the housing in hard-to-reach places is recommended using a toothbrush with soft bristles. If a thick layer of scale is detected, a special descaler is required.

Before pouring the cleaning composition into the vessel, the remaining water is completely drained from it, after which the following sequential operations are carried out:

  • The container is rinsed under the faucet with warm water.
  • The interior and exterior of the housing is wiped with a soft cloth soaked in a weak solution of vinegar.
  • Leave the appliance to dry for some time.

If the cleaning procedure is performed in full accordance with the above instructions, the appliance will serve its owner for a long time.

For mold and bacteria

You will need special chlorine-based cleaners, which you can prepare yourself. Vinegar or hydrogen peroxide is required. The components are diluted in the proportion 1-2 tablespoons per 1 liter of well-boiled water, after which the resulting solution is poured into the container humidifier for about an hour. These formulations provide effective surface disinfection and mucous membrane removal.

Once these operations are completed, all accessible areas are scrubbed with a soft brush or sponge. After that the humidifier must be rinsed with water from the kitchen tap, and then dried with airing.

Disinfection of internal surfaces will allow for some time not to worry about mold and other unpleasant contaminants.

Cleaning the ultrasonic humidifier

A solution made from a mixture of vinegar and water with the addition of baking soda or citric acid is used to care for the ultrasonic appliances. Do not wash them with aggressive compositions such as hydrogen peroxide, as this often leads to their premature wear and tear. When using them, chemicals can get into the water sprayed by the device itself. If it is not washed carefully, the occupants may show signs of sickness (severe headaches or exacerbation of allergies).

Unlike a conventional device, there is no need to turn on the ultrasonic device before cleaning it. Prepared according to the recipe solution is poured into the container unplugged device and left to soften the scale for about 12 hours. Further actions:

  • drain the used mixture and rinse the tank of the device under running water;
  • Pour clean (filtered) water into the tank and connect the humidifier to the mains;
  • As soon as steam appears over evaporator disconnect device from power line;
  • Drain the used liquid, rinse the tank thoroughly, then fill it with fresh water and turn the unit back on.

Repeat the cleaning procedure until no more chlorine can be emitted from the tank. To clean and well disinfect the emitting membrane, you will need a special brush that comes with the device and allows you to penetrate into the most remote places.

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Cleaning with Citric Acid

Citric acid is most often used to remove a not very thick layer of plaque. In this case, to clean the humidifier need to fill its container with water and pour there about 60 grams of agent, and then turn on the device for one hour. The hard plaque softens and gradually falls off the surfaces of the tank. After about an hour, remove the remains with a soft cloth or sponge, and rinse the tank with water. Since citric acid vapors are harmful to the human body, cleaning the device is recommended on the balcony.

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