How to Clean Vicks Humidifier in 7 Steps

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Last updatedLast updated: June 21, 2021
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A decent humidifier is an essential tool for the health of yourself and your loved ones. They can help with the alleviation of sinus problems and coughs. They protect you from dry and chapped lips if you’re using the air conditioning during summer. They can help if you’re feeling the toll of cold winter days. That said, maintaining a healthy living environment means regular cleaning of your humidifier. This is important for keeping it in good condition. We’re going to look at how to clean Vick’s humidifier. There are some general rules about their upkeep. Follow them so you and yours are always protected and breathing in the clean, refreshing air.

Things you will need to clean your Vicks humidifier

So, let’s start out with some essential supplies you’ll find you need before you start cleaning:

  • A bottle of white distilled vinegar

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier in 7 Steps

Vinegars used as a cleaning agent due to its antiseptic properties. It has been for centuries. There are cleaning-specific brands available on the market. That said, if you’re a fish and chips fan then any food-grade white vinegar will do the trick. You might already have some in the kitchen cupboard.

  • Bleach

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier in 7 Steps

For any, more stubborn, bacteria and germs.

  • Access to clean water

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier in 7 Steps

Don’t start the cleaning process unless you are in the vicinity of a tap. Even better is if you have a water filter. You can use distilled or bottled water as well. It helps to avoid mineral deposits building up in the humidifier over time.

  • Protective rubber gloves

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier in 7 Steps

These’ll protect your hands from bleach and vinegar! There is professional, high-grade gloves available on the market if you shop around. You may well have a set of rubber gloves already lying around too.

  • Lint-free, clean, soft cloth

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier in 7 Steps

If you wear glasses, you’ll already own some. If your vision is 20/20 then microfibre cloths are a good choice, brands like Mr. Siga are well-reviewed. You can buy an equal product at most general stores. Don’t think you can do without! Using standard cloths will clog and break the humidifier as they shed tiny particles.

How often should you clean your humidifier?

When you take your humidifier apart the different bits need their own cleaning. It makes sense to rinse out your humidifier daily, this will keep it pristine longer. Clean the humidifier each week. Do this to prevent limescale and mineral deposits in the water from building up. Mineral deposits damage the humidifier and prevent it from functioning.

Once a month it’s essential to disinfect the tray and the water tank. Even if they look clean you must make sure they’re all bacteria-free for your own well-being. This rule is the most important. You don’t want your humidifier putting sickly contaminants into the air you breathe!

How to clean a Vicks humidifier

We’ve used a warm-mist Vicks humidifier for this walkthrough. These basic rules apply to all models. Not sure about the taking apart and reconstruction of your specific device? It’s best to follow the specific instructions presented in the manual. As well as the previously mentioned supplies, you’ll benefit from having a soft toothbrush to help with this specific job. We wouldn’t go using the same one you brush your teeth with though. Yuck.

Step 1

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier in 7 Steps

Begin by switching off and removing your humidifier from the mains power. Empty the tank of any old water and then fill it with a gallon of fresh water mixed with a teaspoon of bleach. Give the tank a shake every so often, until it has soaked for about twenty minutes.

Step 2

Next up, after talking the cup out of the cooling chamber’s top lift the whole chamber away from the base. Now, remove the water tray and give it a quick rinse.

Step 3

It’s vinegar time. Soak the tray and the heating chamber with the white vinegar, this will take about twenty minutes again, the same as the tank. The vinegar breaks down, and removes, any mineral deposits and scale that might have built up. If you find some are a little stubborn, use a soft toothbrush to work away the remaining build-up that might be on the heating chamber.

Step 4

Now you need to get all that vinegar out of the tray and away from the heating chamber. Following this, dampen one of your lint-free cloths with a little more of the vinegar and wipe them both down.

Step 5

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier in 7 Steps

The heating chamber and medicine cup dealt with, remove the diluted bleach water from the tank and rinse until any traces of the disinfectant are gone. You don’t want to breathe in any bleach after all. Use another of the lint-free cloths to dry everything down.

Step 6

An extra helpful step at this point is to put the water tray, cooling chamber, and medicine cup around the dishwasher for a quick disinfecting cycle. If you don’t have a dishwasher then you can give them a thorough go over with boiling water for the same effect.

Step 7

Finally, after soaking one of the lint-free cloths in diluted bleach (you can prepare this when you make the gallon of diluted bleach for step 1), wipe down all the surfaces before giving them another go over with a damp cloth to remove any lasting traces. You’re now all set to refill and start the humidifier back up.

How to clean a Vicks humidifier filter

Not all humidifier models have a reusable filter. The disposable paper ones CANNOT be cleaned, they’re designed to be replaced and that’s what you have to do with them. Depending on the condition of your reusable filter, we have three levels of care to advise.

Basic water cleaning

The golden rule doesn’t attempt ANYTHING without turning it off and disconnecting from the power supply. Remove any remaining water and then take the removable filter from out of the motor housing. Depending on how the filter looks will dictate the level of cleaning required. If it doesn’t look too bad, you can give the filter a thorough rinse to remove dust and impurities and then dry it completely before returning it to the housing. Absorbent, lint-free cloths are your best bet here, avoid machines such as air dryers as the filters are delicate.

Vinegar soak before cleaning

This is for if your filter looks like it’s in need of more serious care and attention. Once the machine is off and the filter removed, fill a suitable receptacle, and fill it with two parts water to one-part white vinegar, enough that the liquid will cover the filter. Leave the filter to soak for three-quarters of an hour. The vinegar will break down the crusted mineral deposits and scale. After this is done, wash and dry the filter as normal.

Bleach soak before cleaning

If the filter is looking particularly moldy then a soak in bleach will be required. Use less bleach than vinegar, a teaspoon to a gallon of water is an advisable measure. Leave the filter to soak for an hour or so, and then thoroughly clean it to remove any traces of disinfectant. You don’t want to breathe any bleach particles once it’s all set back up!

Final thoughts

These were some bare-bones facts about the upkeep and maintenance of your device. Now you know how to clean Vick’s humidifier products. You should be guaranteed a long and efficient life for your humidifier. By extension, that means yourself and your loved ones.

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