How Do You Clean a Humidifier Filter?

All individuals need water to live, but did you know that your home also benefits from the right level of moisture? Water droplets in the air are needed to maintain a proper balance of moisture or humidity in the atmosphere of your home. This proper balance will be just enough humidity to dampen the air you are breathing, allow for smoother skin, a healthy throat and mucous membranes properly moist.

The number of water droplets in the air of your home should not be high to cause respiratory issues or irritate the skin by creating a dewy layer on the skin. Structural damage can also occur throughout the residence when the moisture levels are out of sorts. So it’s important to have a humidifier only if you need one and to make sure to keep humidifier filter clean.

How it Works

​A humidifier is a marvelous invention that controls the amount of humidity in your home by adding microscopic water droplets when needed and can put out of operation when they are not. Almost any style of humidifier comes complete with a filter, whether it is a portable (single-room) device or a complex device installed directly into your home’s central air system.

​This filter removes all sorts of things from the water droplets before they are released into the air; from bacteria to allergens to common household germs. If the filter of your humidifier is not properly maintained, not only are you sending all of these into the air you breathe but other bacteria can develop and be added to the mix; such as mold.

So how exactly do you clean your humidifier filter to ensure clean and healthy air? And can you clean one efficiently? Let’s take a step-by-step look together.

What You Will Need

​You’re probably asking yourself, “how do I clean my filter and what do I need?”. Unless your humidifier comes equipped during purchase with all the accessories or required tools for at-home maintenance and filter cleaning, the following items listed below are definitely recommended to ensure the quality of the cleaning. These items can be bought at your local hardware store, department store or even the closest dollar store.

Cleaning solution (can be homemade* or store-bought) or extra-strength soap

The cleaning solution is one of your own preference as long as the warranty doesn’t require a special one

Make sure whatever cleaning solution you chose has an ingredient that removes stains, kills germs and bacteria, and isn’t strongly scented which can cause headaches

A scouring pad (think S.O.S pads or scrubbing sponges)

Hot Water

A sink​​​​, basin or container for the hot water and cleaning solution

Homemade cleaning solutions typically contain equal parts of water and vinegar with the addition of bleach and/or baking soda if you choose. These homemade solutions will feature ingredients generally found in the home, for a deep clean that removes mold from any surface while killing the majority of germs and bacteria typically found in the household. To find a recipe for all strength of cleaning solutions made right at home click here.

Step-by-Step Cleaning a Humidifier Filter

When you take it upon yourself to bypass a professional routine cleaning and decide to instead clean your humidifier filter at home, it is important to mention how not only important it is but how essential it is to check the instruction manual that would have been provided with your device for any specific instructions. This could be instructions from the length of the soaking time of the filter or what sort of solutions you should or should not introduce to your machine.

There may also be steps to follow to ensure the warranty of your device is intact.

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​If the manufacturer of your humidifier requests that a replacement filter is used at certain intervals, then it is recommended that you do not attempt to clean your filter on your own as this can void any manufacturer warranty that exists on your device.

 Check the humidifier filter on a regular basis, such as bi-weekly or even weekly depending on the amount of time the device is in use.


Now that you not only know why it is important to clean your humidifier filter, you know how easy it can be to clean your humidifier filter right at home. Unless it is directly specified by your appliances warranty, you shouldn’t need to bring your humidifier to a local retailer for maintenance.

Central humidifiers that are installed directly into your home’s central air system are slightly more complex and unless the filter is easily accessible, a technician may be required to come into your home and remove the filter for cleaning.

Humidifiers are wonderful inventions that dampen the air of your home, allowing for all ages to breathe deeply and normally. It prevents fire hazards and the cracking or splitting of the wooden support beams found within your walls. But how good is this device if the filter isn’t clean and all you are doing is breathing bacteria or germs? Not very good! So with a little bit of time and elbow grease; you and your family could be breathing cleaner!

Remember to have the following:

Scouring pads

Hot water

Basin or container for hot water (sink)

Cleaning solution or extra-strength soap