PSA: Your Humidifier Could Be Making You Sick
Let’s clear the air
Ah, the humidifier. How did we ever survive cold season without one? We rely on its steady stream of steam to soothe our scratchy throat and keep our sinuses in check, but without proper maintenance, it can actually make things worse. Here, three ways to keep yours clean all winter long.
1. Stick to distilled water. This is one instance where you want to get a little fancy with your H2O. Tap water contains minerals that can build up inside your humidifier and then get into the air you breathe. You can buy jugs of distilled water (which is basically condensed steam) at the grocery store or drugstore, right next to the spring water.
2. Change the water often. Empty the tank and let it dry completely between uses so that it doesn’t form a film of mildew. (Yep, so gross.)
3. Clean it every three days. Before you do anything, unplug the device. Then, using hydrogen peroxide, diluted bleach or whatever disinfectant is recommended in the manual, scrub away any residue inside the tank (which should be minimal if you’re doing steps one and two). Give it a thorough rinse and let dry.
Bottom line: Keep your humidifier clean and it will do the same for the air around you. (The extra moisture does wonders for your skin, too.)