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Is there a solution that you ever add to the water in the humidifier to help prevent bacteria build-up?

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Re: Is there a solution that you ever add to the water in...

Yes they make Bacteriostat, you can find it on Sears's web site or at walmart or any Hardware Store. Here is the link to the sears bacteriostat:

Posted on Jan 05, 2008

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It runs but does not put out any mist.

You didn't specify the brand or model, but for generic advice, try using a strong solution of white vinegar and water and soak overnight or for several days (if very scaled up).

If you were using hard water in the humidifier, try using a commercial humidifier cleaner such as BestAir products (or similar - there are many to choose from): Amazon com BestAir 3US 6 UltraTreat Ultrasonic Vaporizer Water Scale...
(Make certain it's certified for steam and/or ultrasonic use, if your using that type of humidifier).
Follow directions on box. You will have to let soak for a period of time (hours/days) to allow chemicals to do their thing.

If you are using "soft" conditioned water, just refill with soft water and allow to sit for several hours, then discard and refill. The hardened minerals will re-disolve and will be removed when you flush the unit. For hardened minerals clinging to the sides, etc, just use your fingers to break up, possibly a brush or Dolby pad and break them loose.

(Soft water has just as much minerals as hard water, but in hard water there are mostly calcium based and turn rock hard and in soft water they are sodium based (sodium bicarbonate actually) and have a weak structure).

It's important to keep a humidifier clean of deposits, not just to keep the unit running, but to avoid air quality problems (bacteria will cling to scale buildup, which make excellent breeding grounds for them).

If you use "hard" tap water, clean (at a minimum) once a week. Use white vinegar and water - 50/50 mix. If your using "soft" conditioned water, clean once a month. Same with distilled water.
You could also consider using a small amount of bactericide in the water to prevent bacteria from growing. (Okay for filter type humidifiers, but DO NOT use in ultrasonic or vaporizer type humidifiers). 1/4 cap full should suffice. BestAir 3BT 6 Original BT Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment 32 oz

Jan 03, 2016 | Humidifiers

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I want to know best way to clean the humidifier and how often?

It all depends on a couple of factors.

First is the type of humidifier your using. Portable or whole house connected to the furnace. Steam, ultrasonic or filter. Your unit's instructions is the best guide as to how often you need to clean it and this can vary from every day to once a heating season.

My recommendation is to watch and clean the unit as soon as you see scale forming. Then in the future, reduce this to just before you see scale forming.

The second is the type of water you are using. Hard tap water is the worst and usually will require every day for small portable steam or ultrasonic units to once a week for filter models. For central whole house humidifiers, once a month (perhaps as little as every two weeks if your water is really hard, >10 grains hardness). There is no fixed formula for this, the idea is to perform on-going, preventive maintenance.

Soft or conditioned water will contain the same amount of minerals as hard, but the softener has replaced the calcium minerals with sodium minerals. (Sodium bicarbonate actually).The result is the humidifier will still form scale but it much easier to remove. With soft water scale, you can just break up the scale with your fingers and the filters can just be submerged in clean water and the salt scale will re-dissolve.

Third, with distilled water, you may only need to clean any of these units annually. (No minerals to for scale).

With any filter humidifier, consider using a commercial bactericide to prevent the growth of bacteria when the water sits for long periods (>14 days). Not so critical with soft water as the salt will retard the growth of bacteria, but very important with hard or distilled water. Don't use this product in ultrasonic or steam humidifiers as it will be carried into the air along with the water vapor, and can be considered as toxic.

With hard water, use a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water to dissolve the scale buildup. This works best if done on a regular basis. If left go too long, it become impossible to clean properly. You need only use regular water when using soft or distilled water in your humidifier.

Dec 25, 2015 | Kenmore Cool-Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier...

1 Answer

Why ismy Essick humidifier registering over 20 on the humidity level. I have changed the filters several times using high end filters?? I also have wet the filters

Sorry to ask, for clarification is this a dehumidifier or a humidifier? Do you want to add water to your air or take water out of your air. A reading of 20 for a humidifier sounds pretty good to me. I didn't know there were filters on a humidifier, I thought most of the time you just filled the tank with distilled water, it got heated and vapor came out. I guess a filter to keep airborne bacteria from floating into the water tank would make some sense, maybe a water filter to pre-filter the water going into your humidifier, but I don't think any filter is your problem. If you are trying to remove water from your air, then a dehumidifier is needed and you just have to empty the tank when it's full.

Feb 19, 2015 | Essick Air Humidifiers

1 Answer

Lime build up on coil has to be cleaned weekly how do i prevent so much and many times cleaning the coils is their a additive i can add or device to prevent

You could add an inline water supply filter. That would help some, since it appears you have a hard water situation. A 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water will clean the existing lime scale. Adding a whole house water softener is also a good solution.

Hope this helps solve your problem.

Mar 15, 2011 | Honeywell HM509H8908 Humidifier

1 Answer

Humidifier Water antibaterial additive

Hello. Humidifier water tanks must be regularly disinfected to remove the presence of bacteria and reduce the risk of mold spores. Carefully remove the screw-on cap, fill with cool water and add a tablespoon of household bleach to the water. Replace the cap and set aside for 20 minutes. Once done, empty the water tank, rinse thoroughly with clear cool water, and wipe the outside with a soft damp cloth and you are good to go. Do this once per week. Regards, Joe
PS please rate my answer. thank you.

Jan 06, 2010 | Crane Panda 1 Gallon Humidifier

2 Answers

How do I clean my hunter humidifier 33201? the filter blocks have white calcium? built up. I have sick kids and want it to be clean and running properly.

Soak the filters in a solution of 8 oz of white vinegar per gallon of water for about 20 minutes once per week and rinse well.

Better yet, do this once every 2 weeks, and on the off weeks soak the filters in a beach and water solution (rinse well) to keep the mold and bacteria growth from becoming a problem. I also add about a teaspoon of vinegar or a teaspoon of bleach (one or the other, not both at the same time) to the water when I fill the tank.

That helps keep the calcium scale from forming and it keeps the unit itself MUCH cleaner.

Oct 13, 2009 | Hunter 33201 Humidifier

1 Answer

Water pours out the tube from the lennox humidifier

A small discharge of water coming out of the bottom of an April Aire drain spud is normal. This feature constantly tries to rinse the system. This helps to prevent the possibility of mold or bacteria accumulating in the unit from standing water. It may appear to be alot of water. But be reassured that you are breathing in cleaner air. Now if it continues to drain constantly even when it is turned off then you should repair the unit.

Apr 04, 2009 | Aprilaire 550 Humidifier

3 Answers

Makes a dripping water sound continously

Most likely you do not have the humidifier assembled properly. Mine did that and I found out that not all of the parts were fully in their final position.

Problem: My water always has nasty particles floating in the water and the inside of the humidifier has a snot-like substance on the inside. The humidifier is supposed to be care-free for life time. What's the deal?

Dec 17, 2007 | Hunter CareFree Plus 33222 Humidifier

2 Answers

Humidifier blows out dust

As the previous poster said, it's probably a problem with your water.

Are you using tap water or bottled mineral water? If so, there are minerals which get nebulized along with the water, and leaves a white, dusty, residue. I fill my Crane Pig humidifier with DISTILLED water, which is pretty pure. Make sure that the water is DISTILLED ONLY, since some of the water companies distill the water and then add minerals back in (they almost got me here until I noticed the label that said "with minerals added"). The reason this is important is because during the distilling process, the water is boiled, evaporated, and then the vapor is condensed back to liquid. This removes any impurities or dissolved minerals from the water. You can see Wikipedia for more on this topic here.

Additionally, I use both the Crane Demineralization Filter Cartridge (which works for the penguin as well, and gets installed in place of the original water tank cap), and the ProTec PC-1 Humidifier Tank Cleaning Cartridge (which I plop into the water tank) to keep the water both de-mineralized and bacteria free. I got both products at

With these 3 things, so far I haven't had any white dust residue, and the mist feels fresh and clean.

On a side note, by using distilled water, you also prevent any mineralization from building up on the nebulizer or water level sensor, which can cause the humidifier to eventually stop producing mist...

Nov 19, 2007 | Crane Penguin 1 Gallon Humidifier

1 Answer

Hunidifier doesn't add enough moisture to air

here is the link to the manual for the w7 - they suggest a replacement wick filter would solve the problem due to bacteria or mineral build up - i would expect this to solve your problem as the only way these wicks can not soak up the water to the top is if they are clogged or the tank is empty. try the cleaning routine on page 9 first - might be enough but the wicks probably will need replacing soon anyway. Hope this helps :)

Mar 08, 2007 | Bionaire W7 Humidifier

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