Don't let your humidifier grow mold. Here are 6 cleaning tips you should know

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Humidifiers are an essential for many families during the winter months. Adding moisture to the air can help relieve the effects of the dry, cold weather. When congestion hits and dry skin gets itchy, a humidifier can provide some relief.
But how often do you clean your humidifier? The moist environment combines with hard water and minerals to create a perfect place for mold and mildew growth. Regularly cleaning you humidifier is the key to keeping your household healthy. Most manuals don't go into a lot of cleaning details, but these tips will show you how easy it is to keep your humidifier clean.
1. Wash your humidifier wick filter (h/t The Spruce)
If you have a humidifier featuring a wick filter, the first step to cleaning is to remove the filter. You will notice that it has a buildup. This debris can clog the filter and make your humidifier work harder. To remove any scale, simply soak the humidifier filter in cool water while you clean the humidifier. Rinse under running water and return to the machine.
2. Clean the base with vinegar (h/t Rant About This and Rave About That)
The majority of the grime in the bottom of your humidifier is a result of mineral deposits and limescale buildup from your water. The easiest way to clean your humidifier base is by using the power of vinegar. Simply pour a generous amount of vinegar into the base and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Gently scrub with an old toothbrush and wipe clean.
4. Clean the tank with vinegar (h/t Men Clean)
The tank usually doesn't show as much buildup as the rest of the humidifier, but over time hard water stains can develop. The water in your humidifier should be changed on a daily basis. For a weekly cleaning, fill the humidifier tank with 1/2 cup vinegar and cool water. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. You can usually stick a bottle brush inside of the tank to scrub the sides and bottom. Rinse well with fresh water.
5. Disinfect your humidifier tank (h/t One Good Thing)
Regular cleanings keep your humidifier running smoothly, but disinfecting can be the key to keeping your family healthy. All it takes is a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Fill your humidifier tank with water and add 1 teaspoon of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Allow to stand for 30 minutes, then dump and rinse.
6. Save a clogged humidifier (h/t Busy Creating Memories)
Sometimes really hard water causes excessive mineral deposits to the point your humidifier begins to struggle. To clear a clogged humidifier, simply add two cups of white vinegar to the tank and finish filling with fresh water. Put the tank in place and run the humidifier until most of the liquid has been dispelled. While the vinegar will not harm you, it does smell, so the garage is a great place for this process. Rinse the tank and run it with fresh water to clean out the vinegar odor.
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