It's good to keep the water in your humidifier smelling fresh. This guide contains homemade humidifier treatments.
Is it harmful to add bleach to the water in your humidifier?
By Kim from Leominster, MA
Don't run the humidifier with any bleach in it (it's VERY bad for your lungs to breath it!) but do clean your humidifier once a week with bleach-water (to kill mold spores)! Vinegar can also be used to clean it.
* If you'd like to add something to your humidifier, you can add one drop of tea-tree oil (only occasionally) or if you have a cold or flu you can add a drop or 2 of eucalyptus or mint oil or a teaspoon of the old fashioned Amber colored Listerine (it has eucalyptus and menthol in it), but don't use the blue mint or citrus Listerine because they have a sweetener added which can encourage mold growth.
It's harmful to breathe in bleach under any circumstance!
The Wal-mart in our area sells an additive to keep the water in a humidifier clean from mold and bacteria. It is fairly inexpensive. One bottle usually lasts awhile. I believe the manufacturer is Holmes. A humidifier should be disinfected every 4-6 weeks or when needed. I use a mix of bleach and water, rinsing thoroughly before using.
My humidifier uses wick filters and I'm replacing the filter every 2-3 weeks. I've tried various water treatment solutions, but they're expensive too. Can anyone please recommend solutions which don't involve spending a lot or which use common household ingredients and not a number of questionable chemicals? Our water is reasonably hard and fluoridated. Thanks kindly.
Rose Anne from Calgary, Alberta
Don't know cause I haven't dealt with this but couldn't you put a water filter on your sink faucet and use that water in your humidifier?
First, see if you cant' make a filter out of the same thing the furnace uses. I used to make my own vacuum cleaner filters that way, but I'm not sure it it would work with moisture.
Most of the time I've found that cleaning the filters in a mild beach or vinegar water will clean them. I've elongated the life of my filters three-fold by doing this.
I use bleach and water to soak the filters about once every ten days. Make sure you use gloves, and don't squeeze the filters, just rinse them afterwards. It will have a slight bleach smell for a day, but it will give the filter about six months of lifespan. I've also heard citric acid is good for removing minerals, but have not tried it.
Home Depot makes tablets to treat the water in humidifiers and it's less than $2.
Will white vinegar neutralize the smell coming into the humidifier?
By Allen from Rochester, NY
White distilled vinegar is excellent for removing odors and safe for cleaning humidifiers. Use full strength.
You must make sure to clean the humidifier as bacteria can build on things as well as mold. Vinegar is a good water conditioner for this too.
A bottle of Holmes Humidifier Water Treatment was left in the house I just bought. I do not have a humidifier. Are there any other uses for this product?
Rose Mary from Jackson, MI
I don't know but why not donate it to Goodwill or a similar charity so someone who can use it, will!
This product is designed to prevent mineral build-up in the humidifier.
So it might be useful for removing mineral deposits from shower heads, around sink and lavatory faucets, etc.
I'm not sure how strong it it - it might not work, but what have you got to lose?
I have an older room humidifer with the removable 2 gallon plastic tanks that I refill when empty. I need to know how to maintain the humidifer, keep it clean and get rid of lime build-up. I used to buy cleaner that I put directly into the tanks, but it was expensive and hard to find. I've heard vinegar, but I can't stand the smell! Thanks!
Alica from Missouri
Nothing beats straight white vinegar for cleaning a humidifier tank. Fill with vinegar, soak overnight (don't run it), empty, then rinse. If you have a heavy buildup, you will have to wipe out the deposits after soaking. You only have to bear the smell occasionally, and it really works well.
White Vinegar is the only product I have found to clean out my humidifier of the lime in it. I do it once a week with success at an economical price ($1.47 gallon). The vinegar is less potient than the vinegar used when I cook pickles in the summer.