Mold can be a serious health risk. If left untreated, it can cause severe health problems. So what is mold? Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in damp, warm areas. The spores of this fungus are very small and easily spread to other areas such as basements, bathrooms, closets, and even air conditioning systems.
In recent years, humidifiers have become an essential part of our daily lives. This best filterless humidifier ensures that the air in our homes and offices is kept at a constant level of humidity. However, these devices are often plagued by germs and mold. Here’s how to prevent humidifier mold and clean your humidifier regularly to avoid bacteria growth in it.
How to prevent humidifier mold?
First and foremost, you must clean your humidifier regularly. The mold problem can be prevented by simply taking care of the machine. Use a long brush to remove all visible particles from the surface of your unit. When using it for weeks or months at a time, empty any standing water that is inside daily – especially if there is an unpleasant odor in the room that could indicate mildew has begun growing within this standing water (this odor should be taken seriously).
Here’s how to clean the humidifier in detail: Disconnect the power or remove the batteries from your unit. Remove any filter, if there is one attached to it and place this in a bowl of white vinegar or other mild cleaning solution overnight. The next day rinses well with water (allow 15-20 minutes). Dry them gently with paper towels before putting them back into position on your machine.
Have some regular wipes available ready to instantly wipe down the exposed water tank and surrounding area to remove any visible flecks of dirt that may be on it. Larger debris can fall easily through the machine into the water chamber, contaminating your entire supply potentially with germ growth in a matter of days or even hours if you don’t stop it immediately.
Alternatively, clean the humidifier by simple boiling (don’t place plastic parts in a hot pot!). Fill a large pan with water and add a few drops of tea tree oil. Place your humidifier in the pot; cover with lid or aluminum foil to prevent excessive evaporation. Heat on high until boiling point, turn off the stove and let everything soak for at least 20 minutes before draining out (wash it well afterward).
If you don’t have any other option but rinsing machine parts under running water, do so only when hot! Run cold water until it heats to running a temperature because this will minimize the risk of any bacterial growth. To clean a warmer (also known as a vaporizer), boil and then wipe either with vinegar or other disinfectant wipes right after use.
If you have an ultrasonic humidifier – do not put water indirectly! Apply rubbing alcohol instead, which is far more sanitary than plain old tap water. Also, cover all openings with tissue paper when cleaning your machine.
And no matter which humidifier you own – avoid rinsing it with water and instead wipe your entire machine dry after each use. This will keep the inner surfaces of the device free from any forms of contamination that may cause growth in warm, moist surroundings like those found inside a vaporizer or ultrasonic unit. Keeping them as sanitized as possible also guarantees optimal performance during the winter months.
Extra solution to prevent mold in a humidifier
Vegans and people with chemical sensitivity problems can buy commercial versions of anti-bacterial solutions that are added into humidifier reservoirs. If you’re not allergic to them or use regular demineralized water, then adding vinegar or iodine preventer is still a great thing to do!
However, just like I mentioned earlier – only add these substances one time per month at most in order to control the growth of mold, mildew and fungus. The reason is that too much of these additives will cause irritation to the mucous membranes and skin in contact with them, so be careful out there! Add these substances into clean reservoirs or humidifiers when you’re planning on storing them for longer than 48 hours.
Now, if, despite this advice, your unit has gotten moldy – then I suggest immediately wiping everything dry and washing under running water from a hose (or an additional mister). The citric acid in vinegar can also be a helpful mold-killer, but you’ll have to wipe down your device and store it somewhere clean if the odor seems too strong.
Reseal with spare tap water and dry everything off again before inserting back into storage or during use – then replace as necessary when full containers become completely discolored and useless!
Things to consider before cleaning mold from humidifier
The simplest way to get mold out of a humidifier is by using plain white vinegar. The reason is: it’s 100% natural and safe for use inside any device that filters the air you breathe as well!
But if you are concerned about how long non-filtered tap water will last after adding additives into your unit, then I suggest cleaning with pure distilled or reverse osmosis water only. When possible, also take apart smaller units and break any dark or black mold into pieces to make sure that no precious water has been tainted by the presence of harmful organisms – causing bacteria & molds.
If you don’t have a filter, though, my advice is not to mix vinegar or bleach with any type of metal as it will corrode if left sitting in one spot for too long. Instead, clean your unit with non-metal brushes and cotton swabs, then re-seal the reservoir and wipe down everything else with a paper towel.
Cleaning can be as simple or difficult as you want, but at least try to do a thorough job, so it doesn’t get worse before good bacteria takes over!
The best way to prevent humidifier mold is to keep the water clean and free of mineral deposits. You can use a quality humidifier filter to remove particles from the water, as well as chemicals and other contaminants that can cause mold. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of buying filters for your humidifier, consider using an ultrasonic cleaner instead. Ultrasonic cleaners are fairly inexpensive and will help keep your humidifier running at peak performance.