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A humidifier is a great thing to have especially in winters when dry air can cause chapped skin, flu, and other respiratory issues. However, the mineral deposits and mold can begin to build-up in the water tank and filters which can be easily dispersed into the air you are inhaling. Therefore if you are relying on a humidifier, it’s better you get in the habit of cleaning it regularly to ensure the health of your family.
What is a filter?
Warm mist humidifier heats the water and uses its steam to add moisture into the air. As bacteria and other pathogens cannot survive in boiling water, warm mist humidifiers don’t need filters. Cool mist humidifier use filter as a wick. Moisture is drawn in the filter material, and a fan causes the necessary evaporation. These filters are coated with an anti-microbial coating that prevents the growth of mold and bacteria.
Why do you need to clean the filters?
Filters are also designed to trap the minerals in the water that you add in the unit. Any mineral deposit in the water vapors is trapped into the filters that prevent it from entering the air of the room. These filter can gather mold and mineral deposits with time and therefore should be replaced regularly.
Filters should be replaced from time to time to keep the atmosphere of a room healthy and clean. But they can also be regularly cleaned to prevent any buildup of mold and bacteria. You can also increase the life of your filter by cleaning it regularly.
How to clean the filter?
First of all, it is important to note that paper filters cannot be cleaned and should be discarded. However, filters made of plastic can easily be cleaned. You can clean the filter with water, vinegar or bleach depending on the condition of the filter. If it is slightly dirty, it can easily be cleaned with fresh water. A small amount of mold or mineral deposit can easily be removed with vinegar. However, for more dirty filters you can use bleach.
Cleaning a filter with fresh water
Before starting to disassemble your device unplug the device. You will be handling too many wet parts, and a plugged device can cause an accident.
- Choose a flat surface as your work area.
- With the help of the manufacturer’s instruction, disassemble all parts of the humidifier.
- Lay the water tank in a sink or towel in case it continues to drip water.
- Take out the dirty filter and rinse it under running water. Gently remove the mold or any mineral traces. You can use a brush to remove any stuck up debris. Don’t apply too much pressure to prevent any damage to the mesh.
- Set the filter on an absorbent towel to rinse off the water and let it dry. Air drying is a better option, leave the filter for 1-2 hours. Don’t use air dryer as it can damage the filter.
Cleaning filter with vinegar
Vinegar is naturally acidic and can be used for cleaning the filters.
- Submerge the filter in water for some time to soften the dirt and other residues. For deep cleaning warm or hot water will work best.
- You can use one part of vinegar in two parts of water. Mix the vinegar in water and let the filter sit in this solution for 30-40 minutes.
- Gently rinse the filter in fresh water to remove the vinegar solution and leave it to dry.
- Make sure to rinse off the vinegar properly.
Sanitize the filter using bleach
More dirty filters, or especially those having mold, should be cleaned with bleach.
- If you are using bleach, you need water in more concentration than you would need with vinegar. You only need to add a teaspoon or two of bleach in a faucet of water.
- Avoid touching the bleach solution with bare hands, or it can damage your skin. You can wear gloves to stay safe.
- Keep the filter in a bleach solution for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the filter and rinse it thoroughly with fresh water.
- Make sure to rinse off all bleach, or it could be released with water vapors into the air.
- You can use the filter again after drying it into the air.
Filters are used to keep your environment clean and healthy. But they can trap mineral deposits and mold, and these traces can be dispersed into the air of your room. For optimizing the health, filters should be replaced regularly, but hard cleaning can extend their lifetime.