• Reviewed on 8/12
    By Dr. Tinkelman

Mold Allergy: Proper Humidifier Care

A neglected humidifier can be a major source of mold and mold spores. Learn how to keep a humidifier clean and reduce or eliminate this common allergen.

CAUTION: Use of a humidifier or vaporizer can increase dust mite and mold growth. Frequent use of a humidifier or vaporizer is not recommended for people who are allergic to these allergens. Routine cleaning of the humidifier or vaporizer is very important, as anyone can develop a lung condition known as humidifier lung (hypersensitivity pneumonitis).



  • Empty reservoir.

  • Wash reservoir completely with hot soapy water.

  • Rinse well under running tap water. Be careful that no water gets into the motor.

  • Fill reservoir to appropriate level. Distilled water is preferable, but tap water may be used.



  • Clean the equipment in an area away from the person with a lung problem.

  • Empty the reservoir.

  • Clean the reservoir with hot soapy water. Rinse well.

  • Add 2 cups white vinegar and enough water to enable the humidifier or vaporizer to create a mist. Allow the machine to run thirty minutes in a well-ventilated area. Alternatively, take outside and run through a solution of half-water and half-Chlorox. Run through plain water thereafter, and return inside.

  • Rinse the equipment well.

  • Operate the humidifier or vaporizer for 3 minutes with clean tap water.

  • Pour out the tap water and fill to the appropriate level. Distilled water is preferable, but tap water may be used.

When the reservoir water level is low, always discard water remaining in the humidifier before refilling with distilled water.

More Proper Humidifier Care Information
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