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What is a humidifier and how to use one

Read on for a simple guide for how to use a humidifier, as well as steps to help you clean it.


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a light green humidifier in front of a window with plants

If you live in dry weather, a humidifier can help to add moisture to the air to prevent dryness – and the possible allergies that come with it (to help with these you can look at our home remedies for allergies guide). In this article, we'll answer questions like what is a humidifier, how to use one, and how to clean it properly.

Be safe when using a humidifier at home. Take care when adding water to ensure your humidifier is unplugged and you do not get water near electrical sockets.

How to use a humidifier: frequently asked questions about humidifiers

Read on for our answers to common questions about humidifiers.

  1.  What does a humidifier do?  When it comes to answering the question ‘what is a humidifier used for?’, it’s easier than you think.  

    • Humidifiers add moisture to the air.

    • By adding moisture, humidifiers can help alleviate symptoms such as sore, scratchy throats, dry, cracked lips, allergies and more.

  2. What is the right level of humidity for your home? Ideally, you want humidity that measures between 40-50%.

  3. I have hard water; can I still use a humidifier? Yes, you can! Take care to ensure that the humidifier you purchase includes a mineral cartridge. This will help to absorb the mineral content from the water, making the mist it releases into the air safe for you to breath. 

  4. How do I clean my humidifier and filter? Without regular cleaning, your humidifier could become a breeding ground for bacteria, which it will then release into the air. Here is our guide for how to clean humidifier equipment:

    • Unplug the humidifier.

    • Empty the water tray.

    • Remove the filter. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

    • Lay the filter in the bottom of a sink or bowl. Add equal parts white vinegar and water to the bowl until the filter is covered.

    • Allow the filter to soak for at least an hour.

    • Once removed from the solution, check for remaining deposits or dirt.

    • Soak the filter again if it’s still not clean.

    • Rinse the filter with clean water.

    • Allow it to dry fully before replacing it into the humidifier.

With this article, you now know what a humidifier does, and how to clean a humidifier filter. Hopefully, this will allow you to deal with stuffy air and experience fewer allergic symptoms.

Key steps

  • Humidifiers add moisture to the air.

  • They can alleviate symptoms such as allergies, dry throats and more.

  • Keep humidity between 40-50%.

  • If you have hard water, use a humidifier with a mineral cartridge.

  • Clean your humidifier regularly.

  • Use equal parts white vinegar and water to clean the humidifier filter.

Originally published