How to Clean an Ultrasonic Humidifier

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Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar

  • Bleach

  • Cloth or paper towel


Make sure your hands are completely dry before plugging in or unplugging the humidifier power cord to avoid the risk of electric shock.

Fill an ultrasonic humidifier with cool water only. Using warm or hot water may damage the unit.

Some ultrasonic humidifiers can produce both cool and warm mist.
Image Credit: zts/iStock/Getty Images

Ultrasonic humidifiers provide some advantages over conventional humidifiers because of their virtually silent operating noise level, low power consumption and the absence of filters to clean or replace. As with any other kind of humidifier, proper cleaning and maintenance of an untrasonic humidifier are key to increasing the unit's efficiency and life span.

Daily Maintenance

Step 1

Turn off and unplug the humidifier. Remove the mist nozzle from the top of the humidifier; rinse the nozzle with plain water, and wipe it with a paper towel to clean and dry it.

Step 2

Remove the water tank from the water basin and completely empty all remaining water from both the tank and the basin. Allowing water to remain in the tank and basin when the humidifier is not in use can result in mineral deposit buildup as well as bacteria growth.

Step 3

Allow the water tank to air dry, with the water tank cap off, before replacing the tank on the basin. Wipe the water basin with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any water residue. Take care when wiping or cleaning around delicate parts, such as the water sensor or nebulizer, if your humidifier has such features.

Weekly Cleaning and Maintenance

Step 1

Perform a deep cleaning on the humidifier on a weekly basis to keep the unit working properly. Turn off and unplug the humidifier. Remove the mist nozzle. Empty water from both the water tank and water basin.

Step 2

Fill the water tank halfway with lukewarm water and add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or 1 tablespoon of bleach; never use abrasive cleaners or detergent to clean, as doing so may damage the humidifier. Replace the water tank cap securely and shake the water tank to mix the contents. Allow the tank to sit in an upright position for at least 20 to 30 minutes so the vinegar or bleach water can disinfect the interior of the tank.

Step 3

Shake the tank again, then drain the water mixture out. Rinse the tank with plain water to remove the vinegar or bleach residue, then allow the tank to air dry with the water tank cap off before placing the tank back on the basin.

Step 4

Make a similar mixture of lukewarm water and white vinegar or bleach in the water basin to disinfect the basin. Allow the basin to sit with the water mixture in it for 20 to 30 minutes, then empty it and rinse with plain water. Never immerse the water basin or power cord in water. Wipe the interior of the basin with a clean cloth or paper towel to dry.


Charity Tober

Based in Lake Mary, Fla., Charity Tober writes mainly on finance, career, interior decorating, parenting and weddings. Tober has also self-published two children's picture books. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the University of Florida.