How to Clean a Vicks Humidifier: a Comprehensive Guide to Keep Your Device in a Top-Notch Condition

Last updated: Apr 27, 2020

Using a humidifier during dry spells is a great way to help keep yourself feeling well and also prevent you from getting sick. Of course, if you don’t take the time to clean your humidifier, it won’t be able to do its job correctly. Thankfully, no matter if you have a Vicks warm or cool mist humidifier, the steps for cleaning are very similar. This process should be done on occasion to keep your humidifier operating at its best. As you would expect from a quality company like Vicks, this process is very easy to complete. All you have to do is follow our simple step-by-step guide, and you will quickly understand how to clean your Vicks humidifier.

Why you should clean your Vicks humidifier

No matter if you have a cool-mist humidifier from Vicks or a warm mist model, you are going to need to keep it clean. The main reason that you should clean your humidifier regularly is that it uses water. Even though the water we use in our homes is pretty clean, there can still be a big build-up of minerals in filtered models.

Even if you choose to use a filter-free humidifier, which can be a warm or cool mist model, there is still a high chance of bacterial growth. Since humidifiers are constantly wet, bacteria and allergens such as mold thrive there. By cleaning your humidifier out, you will make sure to get rid of these pollutants before they cause any issues.

Daily maintenance

As far as daily maintenance is concerned, the most important thing that you can do to extend the life of your humidifier and make sure it helps to keep you healthy rather than making you sick is to change the water each and every day. Even if you have water leftover from the previous night, you should not reuse it.

When it comes to the water that you use in your Vicks humidifier, it is a good idea to only use distilled, or mineral-free, water. That way, there won’t be a chance for any mineral buildup in the inner workings of the humidifier, or on the filter if you are using a standard Vicks cool mist humidifier.

Weekly maintenance of your Vicks filter-free humidifier

How to Clean a Vicks Humidifier: a Comprehensive Guide to Keep Your Device in a Top-Notch Condition

Depending on how much you use your humidifier and the type, you will need to clean your machine every few days or at least once a week. For instance, if you use a Vicks Germ-Free humidifier, you won’t need to clean it quite as often as their Starry Night model. Regardless of the particular model that you choose to use, the steps for cleaning out your humidifier are very similar. As such, the following steps will guide you through exactly how to clean your Vicks humidifier correctly to ensure that it lasts a good long time.

Disassemble the device

The very first thing that you will need to do is make sure that you disassemble your humidifier. Of course, before you do this, you need to make sure that you unplug the device so that you don’t need to worry about getting shocked. You should also disassemble your humidifier in the kitchen or bathroom. That way, you will be able to pour all of the water and cleaning mixtures down the sink without any issue. After you have completely taken apart your humidifier, take the time to pour out all of the leftover water from each piece.

Something else to keep in mind if you are cleaning a Vicks warm mist humidifier is that, once you have it unplugged, you also need to wait for the device to cool down. Otherwise, you won’t be able to clean it effectively.

Wash the water tank and remove the mist nozzle

After you have taken your humidifier apart, the first thing that you will want to do is to clean the water tank and remove the mist nozzle. The water tank should be rinsed out with some sort of cleaning solution. The solution that you use will depend on whether you are trying to descale the water tank or disinfect it. 

Descale the water tank

For weekly cleanings, you need to descale the humidifier’s water tank and other components. To accomplish this, you need to use a bit of white vinegar and follow these steps:

  1. Place the mist nozzle into the tank.
  2. Fill the water tank with the white vinegar until the bottom of the tank is covered.
  3. Swish the vinegar around so that it coats the entire tank.
  4. Place the tank back in the humidifier so that the vinegar runs out into the device.
  5. Allow this to soak for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Pour out the vinegar and rinse out the components until the smell of vinegar is gone.

Disinfect the water tank

Once a month, you should take the time to clean the humidifier more deeply. This can be accomplished by using a mixture of water and bleach. You should mix one teaspoon of bleach with a gallon of water. Once this is solution has been mixed, follow these steps to completely disinfect the device:

  1. Place the mist nozzle into the tank.
  2. Fill the water tank with the cleaning solution until the bottom of the tank is covered.
  3. Swish the solution around so that it coats the entire tank.
  4. Place the tank back in the humidifier so that the solution runs out into the device.
  5. Allow this to soak for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Pour out the solution and rinse out the components until the smell of bleach is gone.

Rinse everything with tap water

How to Clean a Vicks Humidifier: a Comprehensive Guide to Keep Your Device in a Top-Notch ConditionAfter you have completed the cleaning of your choice, you need to make sure to rinse out all of the different components with tap water. This will help to remove the excess cleaning solution and rinse out any leftover minerals. After you are done rinsing, you need to allow the parts to dry out completely before you reassemble your humidifier.

Wipe the scent pad area

Lots of Vicks humidifiers, including their starry night and germ-free humidifiers, have scent pads. These pads should be cleaned on the same schedule as the rest of the humidifier. These don’t need to be cleaned with any solution, however. Instead, you can simply wipe this area out with a damp cloth.

If your humidifier has a filter

Something else that you need to consider, especially if you have a cool-mist humidifier from Vicks, is how often to change your filter. Filters are not designed to remove bacteria from the water they are using, but rather to remove any unwanted minerals. These filters need to be changed once a month to remain effective. If you choose to use tap water rather than distilled water in your humidifier, you should change the filter twice a month.

If your humidifier is a warm mist

How to Clean a Vicks Humidifier: a Comprehensive Guide to Keep Your Device in a Top-Notch Condition

Warm mist humidifiers are better at putting more moisture into the air than cool mist systems and do not need any filters. However, something else to keep in mind if you are cleaning a Vicks warm mist humidifier is that, once you have it unplugged, you also need to wait for the device to cool down. Otherwise, you won’t be able to clean it effectively.

In conclusion

As you can see, cleaning your Vicks humidifier isn’t that big of a job, regardless of whether you have a cool or warm mist model. As such, there is no reason for anyone not to take the time to do their due diligence when it comes to both weekly and monthly cleanings.

If these processes are not followed, your humidifier will not work as effectively. If you completely ignore cleaning your machine, you could, in fact, cause yourself to develop some health issues, which is, obviously, something that you want to avoid. Thankfully, taking the time to clean your Vick humidifier is quite simple, as long as you follow this step-by-step guide.

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