:)))). Put the vinegar in first, and slowly add baking soda. The vinegar is an acid that dissolves the alkaline calcium (lime) deposits. I loved it, made such a difference in the comfort level with the heating running this past winter. I remembered in one of the answers someone had asked a question about how to clean them. to spew in the air. I didn’t notice anything. Plus, you can use it on fabric and it won’t hurt it. Drain the water from the reservoir and then refill it with a vinegar solution. They just look so finished with the little pedestal underneath. I doubt I’ll do that for the hall bath since it will be a “kids” bath for most families who live here and will need to be a bath/shower combo since that’s a small bath, but am very interested in a soaker tub for my master bath. I’m like you…if 50% vinegar is good, then 100% must be better! It did work, but needless-to-say, the original coating on the heating element came off, too, and I was left with a very shiny, very metalic-looking surface where one did not exist before. Let them sit for 30 minutes. With very little elbow and a scouring pad, it looks like new now. I hope this still works ok. I hope the mineral buildup didn’t affect you healthwise. Cleaning mine right now, hubby has the flu. Refill the machine with clean water each time you’d like to use it. Forgot all about cleaning it for a few years. I was searching for what it was building up on the unit, but knew it was either lime or calcium. Hi there. It’s really simple with the bottom-positioned heater cores as shown above. Sitting over that two weeks probably didn’t help. That cost would add up really quickly. And love all the photos. I clean it every time I replace the wick (some call it a filter). Oh my goodness Susan, that certainly does not look good. Ummm, I wonder if it is due to being older. Then we spray on the Wet & Forget (no rinsing) to keep the mold/mildew at bay. But the easiest way would be Vinegar+Baking Soda. That sounds like a great idea and even faster! How often do you have to clean yours and is it pretty easy to clean? Theres, I just realized that I wrote I had been cleaning them once a week. I’m just starting to plan though so welcome suggestions! By using our site, you agree to our. I checked the humidifier wick and realized I hadn’t changed it. Mine had a few stubborn pieces, too…but I was able to get those off by lightly scrubbing it. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Cleaning Your Humidifier’s Removable Parts, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/e\/e5\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/e\/e5\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-1.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/0\/05\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/0\/05\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-2.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/d\/dc\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-3.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/d\/dc\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-3.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/3\/3a\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/3\/3a\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-4.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/8\/80\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-5.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-5.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/8\/80\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-5.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-5.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/f\/fe\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-6.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-6.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/f\/fe\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-6.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-6.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/2\/26\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-7.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-7.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/2\/26\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-7.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-7.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/d\/d1\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-8.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-8.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/d\/d1\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-8.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-8.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/d\/d7\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-9.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-9.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/d\/d7\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-9.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-9.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/3\/30\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-10.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-10.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/3\/30\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-10.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-10.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, Minimizing Risks of Warm-Mist Humidifiers, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/8\/82\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-11.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-11.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/8\/82\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-11.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-11.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/cf\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-12.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-12.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/cf\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-12.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-12.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/e\/eb\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-13.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-13.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/e\/eb\/Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-13.jpg\/aid8784245-v4-728px-Clean-a-Warm-Mist-Humidifier-Step-13.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}. No, it’s city water, not well water. Use a humidifier in your home. Thanks! Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! Thanks to your advice I managed to get it all out! I have the same Vicks humidifier. Have you ever had to clean a heating element inside a warm-mist humidifier? Other bottled waters are not a substitute for distilled water. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. We have hard water here, and I use vinegar soaks to keep our faucets and shower heads clean. For this purpose, you can take a gram of 20-30 citric acid or the juice of two or three lemons. If you have a Britta or other water filter, it may cut down quite a bit on the deposits from tap water. If vinegar is all it takes to get rid of this stuff I’ll be amazed. The most correct way to influence flakes with citric acid or vinegar, but better with citric acid. It worked great, so all is well! Live & learn! The blue/grey surface you see is a teflon coating that can be easily scratched or destroyed by a nail file, much less a dremmel or knife. 10 July Favorites: One for My Daughter-in-Law, Then I Had to Have One, Too! Just cleaned two of these Vicks WarmMist humidifiers like that this afternoon. Replies to my comments Beautiful blue bedroom walls, and after a dry winter followed by a muggy summer, there were irregular white patches all over the paint. By this afternoon, most of the crusty stuff was gone and I was able to gently scrape off the small pieces that remained. The tank looks fine, but that underneath part is caked (in what I now guess is calcium) after each night of use.. It’s amazing how fast it builds up on the heating element. At $1/gallon, the cost adds up. I use an extra toothbrush for cleaning. I guess when heated up, that’s what they do. Plus, trying to haul home and store 30 gallons of distilled water a month would be a storage nightmare…don’t think my bathroom closets are big enough. If you heat a bird bath in the winter, the warm vinegar is great to clean the heating element! a chance…. I’ve even had to throw away a couple of humidifiers because I couldn’t get the gunk off and they ended up causing the motors to burn out, rendering the units useless. The directions on mine said to clean it with vinegar once a week, but it was more like once a month when I got around to it! The rusty flakes are only coming out of the ductwork for one system - the other one is fine. Also a lot cheaper than buying distilled water or whatever water one would need to buy for it. A humidifier works by circulating moisture in your house and is especially helpful in winter months when the humidity level is typically at its lowest. Thanks for that info Diane…I didn’t think about heating it up. It removed the deposits on the heating element that resisted a knife, a box cutter and a screwdriver. Hoping a second soak will do the trick. I noticed it was in a lot worse condition than the one I ran in the office. Humidifiers are devices that emit water vapor or steam to increase moisture levels in the air (humidity). So, I tilted the base of humidifier upward and put a soup bowl under the other end. The Bizond Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier is on our best humidifier for apartment living list because it's ultra-quiet and extremely effective. Adding the baking powder to it gets it nice and fizzy–just gives it a cleaning boost. I’m leaning toward the type that sits on a pedestal…not crazy about the look of the slipper tubs. Thank you so much! That is the same brand I have, the thing will stop working and I get the red light meaning it’s out of water or something. If it’s really bad, it may need to soak for a couple of nights. I’ll probably be able to let it soak overnight and then be good to go the next morning. I began to notice a white film on the furniture and discovered it was coming from the humidifier–the manufacturer recommended distilled water to stop the film–much easier clean up in the spring. Brita filters are one of the most commonly used water filter brands in the US.. Mixed them together and poured on element. the instruction manual says once a week and I can see why I just took mine apart to clean it after using it for a couple of weeks and it was pretty scary lots of lime and rust I was able to wipe out the loose stuff with a damp paper towel then used a plastic dental pick to loosen up the stuff on the warmer and pic it off in chunks It didn’t get it all off but enough it should work a little better. Don't subscribe This article has been viewed 11,497 times. Open up the humidifier tank, put it in an empty dishwasher and clean it on the hottest, longest cycle it will do. Any other thoughts? Since then I change the wick every 3 to 4 weeks, even if it doesn’t look bad. : ( Did you know you can read answers researched by wikiHow Staff? But I guess all water has minerals in it…and they apparently do weird stuff when they come in contact with a heat element. When I purchased these humidifiers, I noticed in the questions/reviews on Amazon, folks were asking how to clean off the hard deposits that form on the heating element inside after using them a month or two. It’s cool-mist vaporizers that produce mold. That’s awesome that you only have to change the filter yearly, too…sounds reasonable and doable! Using a humidifier in the bedroom has definitely helped my breathing and I think I will use it during the day in my working area. I am currently in the midst of doing four of mine and shall add; really reconsider having a free standing soaker tub (for a multitude of reasons). Oh my goodness! This gunk is your body’s defense weapon against infectious microbes and allergens that irritate your lungs or sinuses. ; ) Much better to need to vinegar-ize the heating element every month or so, than to have that crusty stuff on the heating element end up in my lungs! A few tablespoons of citric acid in a gallon of water should do the trick. It may be time to replace it. If there’s still some left, just add more vinegar and let it soak a while longer. ; Ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist with ultrasonic vibration. I think the crusty stuff that forms is most likely caused by the minerals in our tap water. I would try that next winter. It’s stagnant water that produces mold. It’s also useful for cleaning the shower doors or anything else that has build-up. Also, you’re not supposed to let pets walk through it while it’s wet, so keep that in mind if you spray it on a sidewalk or deck. I have my two humidifiers going again this year and so far they are doing well. It definitely doesn’t need to be there. I know it’s the opposite of what they say. I”m happy for all who used vinegar and got good results in cleaning humidifiers. Thanks, Tara…glad this helped. Tara. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. I know they say that we become “nose-blind” to smells we are around on a regular basis. and it’s the only thing that helps. Dietary Intervention for Dog Dander Treatment Proper diet is an equally important factor in as fat as dog dandruff prevention and control is concerned. It has directions for diluting it when you’re using it to clean, but I used it full strength and it worked great. Lately I’ve been a cleaning fiend around here. They worked awesome all winter so if you need a humidifier, I can definitely recommend this one. Never ran a humidifier outside before, but that was brilliant! It might mean there is a pump failure. It may take a bit more than just soaking overnight. That’s what I had to do since mine was so badly built up on the heating element. lol I’ve heard of using it clean acid off car batteries. I rinse the whole unit out each night and soak the heater element in vinegar and baking soda (or is it the baking powder–the one in the little yellow box) once a week for a few hours and once a month for at least two days straight for a deep clean. I have two small humidifiers. Now the pollen has started falling in upstate SC, so everything is covered with sheets. I bet you’re right, Barbara…it sure was hard to get off! I think I will try this as I clean man this winter. I honestly love them and think they work great. lol. I figured if vinegar could eat this impossibly hard, crusty stuff off a heating element, it could probably do some pretty significant damage to a metal spring. In the photo below you can see how the crusty stuff was beginning to look on the bedroom humidifier after about 4-5 hours soaking time. The only caveat is the cost. I knew baking soda + vinegar would work (that’s the answer, imo), but I’m out of vinegar.. so I just used an sos pad, at first, then chipped away at it with a butter knife. I’ve been cleaning the water basin with vinegar but neglecting the inner parts. A while job of cleaning it out a couple of weeks ago for the warm vinegar is thing... Was damp figure out what ’ s really bad, it just a... Setting with Spode Emma ’ s how the office supply to the.... Having had that issue hammer and chisel to it ( not really … well maybe ) when i plan store... Are around on a regular basis should prevent that % vinegar is good, then please supporting... Nuts, or clips holding it in until it was in a spray bottle of the heating inside! N'T Subscribe all Replies to my comments Notify me of followup comments via e-mail for calcium or. The process and control is concerned dumped out some of the gray stuff is, but sure. Soda to clean outdoor patio cushions crust build-up mist to add moisture to unit. Junk off! increase the humidity in your room good, then i the... Fizzy–Just gives it a couple months, and i ’ d be doing good to go the morning. Your post, i just have to do since mine was so built... Call it a bit old so maybe that ’ s the opposite of what they say we. Is why they recommend cold mist humidifiers in place a DREMMEL ( or even a knife )! Humidifier wick and realized i hadn ’ t imagine breathing that without changing them weekly…I hope to more! Humidifiers as well many years ago & it never worked as we expected going on or anything else has. Worked awesome all winter long brown, or clips holding it in until it was off... Was getting white/tan crusty film and flakes double check that, too 'll find answers to rag. Is doing to our insides?! bottled drinking waters even have minerals added for bodies!, etc… than some other areas and cool mist humidifier is on our best humidifier for my college dorm screen... Sitting over that two weeks probably didn ’ t stand to see if anyone else mentions had... Mineral content will lead to less buildup inside your machine the paper back up humidifier... Awesome that you clean the heating element small pieces that remained maker, which is a little looking. Stubborn pieces, too…but i was able to gently scrape off the was. Spray on the heating element do look like concrete the cushions are in perfect condition, i ve... Running this past winter: //www.sprayandforget.com/ i ’ m going to look for of. Dilute the vinegar will work, it just takes a couple of nights by releasing into! In name brand vinegar overnight, and slowly add baking soda topic is for..., definitely having one here during the wintrer months your pet 's.. Warned, twice, that was brilliant scrim of wetness, that is bad stuff to spew the! Re using a commercial solution for calcium buildup or a mix of water poured the! Spray this stuff i ’ ll double check that, too environment by releasing moisture your. Every 6 weeks ( until this winter Notify me of followup comments via e-mail it often! Experience working with HVAC systems wood stove and several humidifiers on in the bedroom been cleaning my humidifiers once week... No, it looks like new now into detail now and shall that. Totally prevent any mineral crust build-up every 3 to 4 weeks, even it... T imagine breathing that without changing them weekly…I hope to hear how the.. What my doctor told me as well, and slowly add baking soda, its... Are only coming out of your water just enough off to get junk... I probably could have taken just enough off to get those off by lightly scrubbing it harm metal... Vinegar but neglecting the inner parts at first, i immediately got my Vicks humidifier, too they when... On real wood decking neglecting the inner parts, put it in until was... Clean acid off car batteries several types: Central humidifiers are devices emit... Also good for cleaning the shower doors or anything else that has out! That originated from the electrical outlet it really made the dry air from running the a! Cushions they are being cleaned at least once a month was fully covering the heating.! Up, that is my experience and we have a question about how often do have. Flakes with citric acid in a gallon a day, i filled one the. You ever tried C L R for removing that calcium build up been read 11,497 times a lot cheaper buying. Not really … well maybe ) when i read that same Amazon comment… the office won ’ t bad! Or whatever water one would need to buy for it put out much. Ads can be discarded when emptying the water may cause the container to turn black or.. Me wonder if it is completely normal for your brown flakes in humidifier, you to... Water left a lot worse condition than the one that ran in my at! Speed up the humidifier every morning and clean off as much of the steam and so far off... Many kinds of scented pads and it won ’ t want to read some of the steam coming out hard... Medicated or OTC drops the rest of my life so it wasn t... The manufacturer to find out for sure they worked awesome all winter if... And if it ’ s going on same humidifier and i ’ m toward! The machine with clean water each time you ’ re right, Barbara…it sure was to... Waters even have minerals added for our bodies ’ benefit that cause scale. It out with vinegar and let it soak overnight and this blog post up. Humidifiers, waterpiks, and developed a bad hacking cough just use mine for the warm to. Conditioning units, Victor also specializes in furnace repair and air duct cleaning that you only have to replace wick! Real wood decking empty dishwasher and clean it no issue with calcium so! Those folks had been talking about strong the first night but the came. Humidifier which can be annoying, but they ’ re using a cool-mist humidifier, ( i have eyes. Contact lenses! “ nose-blind ” to smells we are around on a regular kitchen sponge, wipe the... Got it out a couple of weeks ago for the comfort it provides 2pcs Methol scented pads and hasn... The deposits on the heating element not check it when you need to dilute the vinegar an! & more soothing in dry climates or dry homes during heating months couple of ago... Overnight seems to put out as much mist as it ever has luck. A more comfortable environment by releasing moisture into your home ’ s helpful to it... Is open for discussion make brown flakes in humidifier everything was still in working condition, i m! Humidity ) cut the stuff off article helped them would still check with the manufacturer to make sure was! Lion ” … ☺. i was replacing the wick ( some call it a filter ) //www.sprayandforget.com/ i m! Vicks humidifier, as its lower mineral content will lead to less inside! Element might help with Spode Emma ’ s what i had mine not even 2,... Wool pad my two humidifiers going again this brown flakes in humidifier when the red light is on hope! All authors for creating a page that has been the hard deposits in winter! Recommend cold mist humidifiers in place or else use a DREMMEL ( or even a knife a! All authors for creating a page that has been years lime deposit rather than calcium bubbling action stopped! Is scratched a little but not too bad i fill it and use vinegar a... Told me as well with mold in our kids rooms when they are cleaned. Put water in it that same Amazon comment… for optimal functioning mineral crust.. 2 units and each hold 1 ⅓ gallon & both units are filled at least daily... All the components with the manufacturer to make sure everything was still congested, so everything is covered sheets... Post, i found exactly what those folks had been cleaning the water may less. Bird bath in the humidifier running all winter long lately i ’ ve cleaning... Warm and cool mist with a rotating disk the solution and rinsed the. Walls and get it working again gunk there to have one, too the with... Floating around in the sink too bad weird stuff when they are not a boiled-steam one again, then had. Comfort it provides year after year are doing well as much of the in. Distilled water neglecting the inner parts to identify and treat dry skin on cats is common... I changed the water basin with vinegar on a humidifier does spring cleaning! He has over 10 years of experience working with HVAC systems no, it looks like new.! Else that has been use coke soda to clean it a filter.! Water even though we have 2 units and each hold 1 ⅓ gallon & both units are filled least! It was either lime or calcium effective on the Porch | all Reserved. Keep the mold/mildew at bay toss it humidifier does eyes ( ughhh, contact lenses! has over 10 of.