How to Clean a Humidifier Without Filter? – A COMPLETE Guide

How to Clean a Humidifier Without Filter? – A COMPLETE Guide

How to Clean a Humidifier Without Filter?

Many of us have humidifiers that help us with our various symptoms. Some units have filters that trap dirt and allergens, preventing these dangerous substances from entering our airways. 

Once these filters have done their job, simply replace them with a new one and you're good to go.

However, many other great humidifiers do not have filters and require regular maintenance to function optimally. 

Imagine what it would be like if you have a breathing condition or allergies, and your humidifier is not cleaned correctly. 

Having a dirty humidifier can be dangerous to your health because it can be a breeding ground fungus and bacteria. 


In the US, the environmental protection agency (EPA) has warned that breathing air from a contaminated humidifier can cause specific types of lung inflammation.

Most of us know that we should clean our humidifiers, but do not know the proper way how. The question then becomes, how do you clean humidifiers without filters?

What are the Risks of Not Cleaning Your Humidifier?

Let me take a wide guess...

The above question is what you secretly dread!

If you fail to clean your humidifier property or even regularly, you risk turning this fantastic home appliance into a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

Especially for people with allergies and asthma, a dirty humidifier can be very problematic.

OK, what if you don't have respiratory issues? Does that mean you are free?

I don't mean to scare you, but it does not!

Dirty humidifiers can cause flu and lung infections to people with no history of respiratory problems.

It is essential to clean your humidifier regularly, to prevent contracting infections.

How Often Should I Clean My Humidifier?

How Often Should I Clean My Humidifier?

How often you clean your humidifier will depend on environmental factors and how many times you use it.

In general, you must rinse your humidifier once per day and clean it thoroughly once per week.

But remember this...

Cleaning recommendations can vary in some cases, based on the type of humidifier you are using.

So let's get down to business.

How to Clean a Humidifier Without Filter? 

Steps to clean a humidifier without filter

Are you sick and tired of breathing bad air? Yeah, I thought so... Below you are going to see step by step guide on how to clean your humidifier. 

Following this guide will help you improve the air quality in your house:

1. Unplug and disassemble your humidifier

Unplug and disassemble your humidifier

The first thing to do when you want to clean up your humidifier is to unplug it from the wall.

After that, you must start to disassemble it immediately. Remove the tank of the humidifier and empty the water in it.

Depending on the model of your humidifier, you should unlock or unlatch any removable parts.

Also, after removing them, keep them apart to enable you to recognize them when putting them back together.

2. Washing the Water Tank

Washing the Water Tank

After pouring out the old water from the tank, you now use three cups of vinegar to fill the tank.

Is now time to swish the tank around, this is to able the vinegar to cover all areas that water can enter.

Now let it sit for one hour. The reason you use vinegar is that it serves as a cleaner that can loosen any build-up that is at the bottom of the tank.

That's not all...

You can also use a scrub brush to scrub any form of grime that may be found in the water tank, especially the once at the bottom of the tank.

Since the liquid from your humidifier tank is pumped into the air, you mustn't use any other form of cleaner.

So to avoid negative consequences, you should stick with vinegar.

Unlike other forms of cleaners, vinegar helps you to create a safe environment for you and your loved ones.

Using Vinegar to wash the Water Tank

Here comes the tricky part...

If the tank of your humidifier doesn't have an opening for your brush to enter into it, you can consider using one or two tablespoons of rice.

Yes, dry rice.

You may be asking why dry rice? Well, like most grains, rice is hygroscopic. This means that it can trap water molecules inside it.

Because rice can gain and lose water in an osmotic balance in the atmosphere, it balances out the pressure of the water vapor, which becomes equal to that of the atmosphere.

This is why you can use dry rice to absorb water from your wet humidifier, phones, and some other wet electronics.

Note you can't use cooked rice because it has been saturated with water.

Sorry to bother you with that lecture.

Let's get down to business.

Add vinegar and cold water to help make the loose tank slurry. Now close the tank and shake it vigorously for one minute.

Leave it for a while, and then repeat the shaking. Make sure that the grime in the tank has been dislodged before you stop.

Rinse the humidifier tank thoroughly to make sure that no grain is left behind.

3. Disinfecting the water tank 

Disinfecting the water tank

These another critical stage in the process of cleaning your humidifier.

When it comes to disinfecting your humidifier water tank, it takes a little longer than expected.

It takes about half an hour to wait for the process to finish, so it's advisable to do it alongside step the previous step.

Performing disinfection is very easy, mix one teaspoon of bleach into one gallon of water.

Now use it to fill the tank of your humidifier halfway, and swirl the mixed solution around.

What's more...

Make sure the inside is completely coated with the solution.

Alternatively, if you prefer hydrogen peroxide to bleach, you can substitute 3% of it instead of bleach.

4. Rinse with water

Rinse with water

Use running water to thoroughly rinse the tank, base, and other components from the humidifier.

As the running water is going through it, shake it very well to make sure any trapped moisture is dislodged.

It's pretty obvious once you think about it...

Because of the different solutions used in the process of cleaning the humidifier, it may have an unusual smell.

But don't worry, after several minutes, it will return to the usual smell.

Laying the humidifier parts out in the air to dry, and also using fresh towels, will go a long way to clear any remaining residual aromas.

5. Reassemble

After drying the humidifier parts, you've got to reassemble the pieces before using it again.

Now fill your water tank with clean water, remember the water should be mineral-free.

Plug your humidifier in and start enjoying fresh humidity inside your home again.

Additional Tips to Clean a Humidifier Without Filter

There are few things you can do to make your humidifier last a little longer than expected:

  • Deep clean once a week
  • Rinse out old water before use
  • Use distilled water
  • Clean and drain before storage

Deep clean once a week

One of the best things you can do for your humidifier is to perform deep cleaning at least once a week.

Remember to use the steps mentioned above for your deep cleaning primarily if you use your humidifier daily.

Performing deep cleaning will ensure that bacteria do not compromise the humidity in your home.

Rinse out old water before use

Most of us are guilty of using the same water over and over again.

Don’t even try to deny it...

To be on the safe side, make sure to rinse and empty your water tank of any water that is remaining in the humidifier tank.

These will help to eliminate any bacteria that have to begin to grow inside the tank.

You may not be able to disinfect your humidifier daily.

Well, it won't hurt to do so...

But adding fresh water will be a great idea.

Use distilled water

Use distilled water

When using a humidifier, the recommended water to use is distilled water.

You may want to ask what about tap water?

Let me be frank with you...

Minerals are usually added into tap water, and most of the time these minerals are dispersed into the air as the water evaporates.

In most cases, this leads to some small amount of white dust covering the room surface, instead of the humidifier.

One more thing...

These minerals often aid bacteria growth, because the mineral deposits are usually difficult to clean.

Clean and drain before storage

Clean and drain before storage

After using your humidifier, you must do a deep cleaning and dry it properly before you store it away.

Make sure there is no damp area. Storing it when there is still a wet area result to mold growing inside it.

Conclusion - How to Clean a Humidifier Without Filter?

How to Clean a Humidifier Without Filter?

Nobody would like to disperse harmful bacteria or mold into the air in their home.

If you have wondered how to clean a humidifier without a filter, that very well might be the first step to keeping your humidifier working for as long as possible.

You just have to follow a regular cleaning and maintenance routine.

It is essential to use the five steps in this article and other pieces of information by the manufacturer of your humidifier.

And be assured that you will enjoy a healthy and fantastic humidity at home.

I’ll stop now before I start sounding like my old lady.

Now it's your turn to give it a try!