How to Clean a Crane Cool Mist Humidifier

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Things You'll Need

  • Distilled or filtered water

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • Bowl

  • Lint-free microfiber cloths


Tap water contains mineral particles and chemicals that damage the humidifier and encourage buildup. Fill the tank with distilled water instead of tap water to reduce the need for cleaning.


Never leave water in your humidifier when it's turned off. Microorganism growth can occur within two days.

Keep air vents and electrical parts dry when cleaning to prevent a shortage in the humidifier.

Cleaning with chemical and abrasive cleaners damages the humidifier.

Humidifiers, such as the Crane Cool Mist models, add moisture back into the air, making them especially useful in warm, dry climates and during heating season. Despite their benefits, humidifiers can accumulate mineral deposits and promote the growth of microorganisms inside of the tank, including bacteria and mold. Weekly cleanings prevent this, whether you have a Crane Cool Mist Humidifier model that is a whimsical frog shape or one of the more adult-friendly drop or ultrasonic products.

Water Tank

Step 1

Turn off and unplug your Crane Cool Mist Humidifier. Lift the water tank off of the base via its handle or grasp it by the sides and pull upwards. Flip the tank over and unscrew the cap by turning it counterclockwise. Set the cap aside and empty the tank.

Step 2

Refill the tank with clean distilled water and add 2 tbs. of distilled white vinegar.

Step 3

Screw the cap back on the tank. Shake the tank to mix the water and vinegar. Let the tank sit for 30 minutes. Then, shake the tank vigorously to dislodge buildup.

Step 4

Uncap the tank, pour the water out and rinse the tank and cap thoroughly with cool water.

Step 5

Wipe the inside and outside of the tank with a damp, lint-free microfiber cloth. Leave the tank open and let it air dry for one to two hours.

Water Basin and Parts

Step 1

Fill the basin with water and 2 tbs. of white distilled vinegar. Let the basin sit and soak for 30 minutes. Empty the cleaning solution.

Step 2

Combine 2 tbs. of vinegar with 4 cups of water in a bowl. Dip a lint-free microfiber cloth into the solution and wipe the water basin down, taking care not to disrupt the water level sensor. Rinse the basin with a damp cloth until you can no longer smell the vinegar.

Step 3

Wipe the water level sensor gently with a damp cloth. If your model has a float-style sensor, lift the tabbed plastic cap from the plastic pin and circular water float. Wipe the pieces and pin with a damp cloth and re-assemble.

Step 4

Clean the nebulizer in the water basin if present. Wipe it gently with a cloth dampened with the vinegar solution until you've removed all scale buildup. Dry thoroughly with a cloth.

Step 5

Clean the exterior of the base and feet with a dry cloth.


Irene A. Blake

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.