Humidifiers are wonderful in the winter.... but they get quite disgusting pretty quick if you don't clean them. I didn't realize this when I ran mine all the time last winter. I now have some very yummy mineral deposits all over the heating plate and the bottom of the humidifier.

And I really need to use it considering it's 20 degrees outside and my heat is running all the time. And I keep shocking the cats when I pick them up and I think they're angry with me. And I have crazy electric hair...

Let the cleaning begin!

Disclaimer - I have a warm mist humidifier without a filter, so yours might be different. This is only a basic cleaning guide for those of us that never keep our instruction manuals. :D

Step 1: There Are Two Things You'll Want to Watch For.

1 - The Water Tank

This can end up an awful mess if you're not careful. You should be emptying and rinsing this everyday. You can also clean this when the humidifier is off by removing the tank and adding 1 teaspoon of bleach to it when it's full of water. This will kill bacteria as well as keep mold from growing. Yuck!

2 - Mineral Deposits on the Heating Element or Water Resovoir

You can prevent this by using distilled water, but I find that wasteful (so many bottles!) and expensive.

Instead, you can help keep these areas clean using just a toothbrush and white vinegar. This will keep the humidifier in better shape and help reduce the risk of malfunction. :)
You wouldn't think that something that steams itself would get dirty.
<p>Mineral deposits.... enough said. Also, heat + humidity = bacteria growth so yes these things will grow mold and other things if left damp and dirty for semi-long periods of time (a day or so can make it grow mold).</p>
Solution of citric acid works even better than vinegar.
What a coinkadink! I just had this same model humidifier in the tub yesterday for its first cleaning EVER! I got it from an old roommate without any manual so I just went at it. The heating element was completely covered with mineral deposits and, even after going at it with a screwdriver, there is still a nice chunk of it on there. I will try the vinegar method promptly! I didn't go past dishsoap on the tank because mine never seems to be growing anything and it smells fine but I might do the bleach method once just to be sure. Great instructable!
Cool Instructable, funny part was with your cat's tail sticking out. Can you post a picture of your cat, I would like to see it. :-)
This is Ms. Jade Pants. She is an attention whore. :D
I don't like those kinds of people. Animals are okay. I like your cat with the hat. :-)
thats EXACTLY what i do to get mineral stuff off of really anything. cause here in my part of ohio the water is like the 'hardest' ever. ya

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Bio: part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working on! ^_^
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