Using Bleach in a Humidifier

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Humidifiers can grow mold over time; using bleach to periodically clean them is common. However, adding bleach to the unit and allowing it to be dispensed is not recommended. This is a page about using bleach in a humidifier.


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October 22, 2009

Is it harmful to add bleach to the water in your humidifier?

By kim from Leominster, MA


October 22, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Bleach is an irritant. The fumes are unpleasant and can pose a health hazard. Undiluted, bleach is corrosive and will damage many surfaces such as skin and fabrics. So I would not do it.

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October 22, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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October 24, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

It's harmful to breathe in bleach under any circumstance!

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October 26, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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January 23, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Bleach will attack rubber parts of your humidifier, like seals and gaskets. It's OK to use a mild bleach solution for disinfecting while you clean, but you don't want to expose the parts to it long-term.

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