how to clean humidifier filter

In the dry winter months of Canada, it is extremely important to keep up with humidifier maintenance to ensure it works properly and to keep the air in your home healthy. Preventing the growth of bacteria and mineral buildup, which can impact air quality and appliance efficiency, is as simple as keeping the humidifier filter cleaned regularly.

This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to clean various types of humidifier filters and maintain them well – including additional tips for specific brands like Honeywell, GeneralAire, and AprilAire.

Why Should You Clean Your Humidifier Filter?

Keeping the humidifier’s filter clean is important for several reasons, including the health of your family, the efficiency of the device, the air quality in your home, and the longevity of the equipment. Keeping the humidifier filter clean is important for the following reasons:

Preventing health problems is a major reason to clean your humidifier filter regularly. When airborne mold, germs, and fungus from an unclean filter settle on a person’s respiratory system, they can trigger allergic reactions and other health issues. Asthma and allergy sufferers are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects that these microbes can cause.

You may rest assured that the air you breathe is safe and healthy because these possible hazards are eliminated by regular cleaning. People who are already at a higher risk of health problems due to poor air quality, such as children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems, should have this priority in their living space.

Your humidifier’s performance is strongly related to how often you clean the filter. Filters that are filled with dust, dirt, and mineral deposits cause the unit to work harder to push air through, which in turn increases energy consumption.

The goal of utilizing a humidifier, which is to give moisture to your interior environment, is rendered useless when its effectiveness is lowered, as it might result in higher electricity expenditures and reduced humidity production. Your humidifier will continue to work at its best with regular cleaning, which also helps to preserve its functionality and energy efficiency.

Keeping the humidifier clean and in good repair, especially concerning the filter, will greatly extend its life. The engine can overwork due to mineral accumulation or clogged filters, which can cause it to overheat and eventually fail.

You can extend the life of your humidifier and keep the motor and other mechanical internal components in good working order by keeping the filter clean. You can avoid spending money on maintenance and replacing the humidifier earlier than anticipated by doing this.

Humidifiers are great for improving indoor air quality and relieving dry eye, chapped lips, and dry skin symptoms by adding moisture to dry air. When the humidifier’s filter is clean, the mist it releases is pure and unadulterated.

Plus, it stops the growth of mold and bacteria in a filthy filter, which can lead to unpleasant aromas. Consequently, if you want to keep your home warm and pleasant, you must maintain the filters regularly.

Keeping the humidifier filter clean regularly is another way to keep costs down. Keeping the humidifier in good working order and extending its life will reduce the frequency of repairs and replacements. Furthermore, the humidifier’s effective operation reduces energy consumption, which in turn can assist in lowering your power expenses during the months when use is highest.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process for Humidifier Filters

Maintaining a clean humidifier regularly is critical to its effective operation and the improvement of indoor air quality. The humidifier filter is an important part that needs to be cleaned often. The following is an extensive, step-by-step tutorial on how to clean the humidifier filter:

how does humidifier work

Unplug and Disassemble: First and foremost, make sure you are safe before proceeding. Unplug and disassemble the item. Before you start, disconnect the humidifier from the wall outlet. Take it apart so you can get to the filter. To remove the filter without damaging the machine, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Remove Loose Debris: To begin, take the filter out of the machine and tap it lightly over a garbage can to release any dust or dirt that may have gotten stuck. Use a vacuum attachment or a soft-bristled brush to gently clean the surface of the filter if it is extremely dusty or visibly dirty.

Prepare the Cleaning Solution: Choose an appropriate cleaning solution based on the condition of the filter:

  • For General Cleaning: One cup of distilled white vinegar and two cups of warm water make a great all-purpose cleaning solution. Mineral deposits and everyday dirt can be easily removed with this solution.

  • For Heavy Mineral Buildup: If there is a lot of mineral buildup, immerse the filter in undiluted white vinegar. Dealing with substantial accumulation is made easier with this more powerful method.

  • For Disinfecting: If mold is apparent or if you wish to disinfect the filter, combine one tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of fresh water. Use the bleach solution with caution, since it might dissolve filter materials if used in excess. For this procedure, some manufacturers may suggest mixing 3% hydrogen peroxide with hot water. Repeat with the remaining solution in the second tank of your humidifier.

Soak the Filter: Fill a basin or big bucket halfway with the solution of your choice and submerge the filter. This will soak the filter and clean a humidifier well. Soaking in vinegar solutions for at least 30 minutes and bleach solutions for no more than 10 minutes will keep the material from degrading.

Scrub the Filter: To remove any leftover residue, gently scrape the filter with a soft brush after soaking. Carefully remove any debris, being careful not to harm the filter. If you want your filter fibers to be completely clean, this is an absolute must.

Rinse Thoroughly: Run a stream of cold or lukewarm water through the filter to remove any debris. Make sure the cleaning solution is completely rinsed out. To avoid dispersing any cleaning chemicals into the air when using the humidifier, it is essential to rinse it properly before each use.

Air Dry the Filter: To let the filter air dry, set it on a clean towel and set it aside in a well-ventilated spot. It may take a few hours for it to dry entirely. Keep the filter away from heat sources and bright sunlight to prevent it from warping or breaking.

Check and Replace if Necessary: Before reinstalling the filter, make sure it is dry completely and free of damage and wear. If it is damaged, it's best to replace it. After cleaning, if the filter still smells terrible or looks damaged, it's time to replace it. After the filter has dried and is in good shape, put the humidifier back together.

Maintain Regularly: Establish a regular cleaning schedule according to the product's use and the manufacturer's instructions for maintenance. Keeping up with routine maintenance keeps the humidifier running efficiently and stops hazardous bacteria from accumulating.

Tips for Maintaining Specific Humidifier Brands

Among AprilAire’s best-selling products are whole-house humidifiers that are engineered to integrate with your existing heating system. It is essential to inspect and change the humidifier’s filter or pad before the heating season starts and again halfway through the season if you reside in places with really hard water.

For best performance and damage prevention, AprilAire suggests utilizing only their water panels. As part of routine maintenance, you should verify that the humidistat is correctly calibrated and inspect the water line for any obstructions or leaks.

Just like other whole-house humidifiers, GeneralAires needs regular maintenance. During high-use times, you should inspect the filters once a month and change them once a year. Making sure the evaporator pad doesn’t get mineralized is crucial because a lot of GeneralAire humidifiers rely on evaporative technology. If your system is showing signs of excessive mineral deposits, you may want to consider running it with distilled water.

A variety of whole-house and portable humidifiers are available from Honeywell. Mold and scale can be prevented by cleaning the water tank and filter every week for portable devices. You should always refer to the user manual for Honeywell for the exact instructions on how to clean or change the filters, as they may be reusable or disposable depending on the model. To further prolong the life of the filter and decrease mineral buildup, Honeywell offers Protec Cleaning Cartridges, which can be inserted into the water tank.


If you want to keep breathing safe air and keep your humidifier running well, cleaning it regularly is a must. You can keep your indoor air quality high and your humidifier running smoothly for a long time if you follow the general maintenance guidelines and any model-specific advice. If you clean humidifier filters regularly, you can keep the air you and your family breathe free of mold, germs, and mineral deposits all year round.

For those who may not have the time or prefer a professional touch, Comfort Union is ready to assist. We can handle all issues related to your humidifiers to ensure they operate efficiently and effectively, maintaining the comfort and health of your home’s air.

Share this: