Wednesday, January 24, 2018

How to Clean Your Warm Mist Humidifier Without Chemicals

I’m doing something a little different today, but it starts with a short story.  During a nasty cold in our home, we decided pulled our humidifier out.  We were using an adorable Hello-Kitty cool-mist humidifier in our kids’ room, but needing a second and after doing some research, I realized that a warm-mist humidifier would be better for our family,
so I began to search online.

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After a few days of reading reviews, I chose the Vicks Warm-Mist humidifier.

This is what I grew up using, but the style has changed on the newer units.  They used to be a giant basin with a device that sits over the basin and water (leaving mineral and sediment at the bottom of the basin that rinses out pretty easily), but now they have a tank (that refills super easily, but the heating element sits under the water and collects the minerals instead). They had mostly great reviews on Amazon, but some people complained that the heating element gets disgustingly grubby.  Here is my cleaning regimen...
Wait for it...vinegar... yes, simple, white distilled vinegar.  That is it.

First you will need
  • Used Warm-Mist Humidifier
  • White distilled vinegar - mine is organic, but yours doesn’t have to be
  • A clean cloth rag
  • New Toothbrush (optional)
  • Permanent marker or Washi tape (to mark toothbrush)

Here is a really nasty humidifier.  Please do not let it get this dirty, but if it does (you go on vacation and forget to empty your machine first, etc.) don't toss it out!  Try this first, you won't be disappointed! (This image is from a 1 star Amazon review.  The owner did not clean it for an extended period of time and this is what happened! Sadly, this was not the only image that looked like this.)

Here is mine.  I empty and rinse it daily, and then clean it according to this tutorial 1-2x a week.

First, push on the release tab (as shown below) to remove the heating element cover.

Then pour some white vinegar into the water basin.  Fill it generously and replace the heating element cover (it gets gross too).

 Now leave it alone for a bit.  I like to let mine sit for at least 30 minutes (you can let it sit overnight, it won't harm your unit).  Wash some dishes, take a shower, read a book, shop gorgeous organic fabric, anything you'd like!  Me?  I sorted a batch of beans and began to cook a fresh pot.  Yum!

After letting it sit for a period of time, remove the cover again and wipe it clean with a soft dry cloth.  I'm using a flannel wipe here.

Now we can tackle the heating element.  Look at how clean it already looks!  Nothing has even touched the surface.  This is just the vinegar in action. Get a new toothbrush and mark it so that it doesn't go into someone's mouth later (Yuck!) and begin to lightly scrub any remaining minersl residue.

After it the caked on mineral falls right off, empty out the vinegar into your sink.  Dry the heating element with a clean cloth.

 Give the water reservoir a quick rinse with a little vinegar and let it air dry.

Enjoy the very light work of your hands!

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Here are some other posts you may like:
How to Make Authentic Mexican Beans - Slow Cooker Hack
How to Easily Wash and Dry Your Rugs without a Carpet Cleaner
Fluffy Dairy-Free Whole-Wheat Pancakes from Scratch


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