What to Put in a Humidifier to Prevent Mold?

Last updatedLast updated: July 28, 2021
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Humidifiers are handy appliances to keep the air in our homes moist, which helps prevent dry skin, bloody noses, asthma attacks, and other health issues. The downside of humidifiers is that all that moisture in the machines can create mold. This mold can create a whole new set of health problems, so it needs to be taken care of before it can start to grow. This has many people wondering what to put in a humidifier to prevent mold.

Luckily, there are many options when it comes to preventing mold from growing in any of the humidifiers in your home. Cleaning them regularly is the first step, but you can also use some handy additives to keep the heat and moisture in your humidifier from growing mold. This will keep the moisture coming out of the machine as clean as possible, reducing your health issues instead of making them worse.

Cheap and effective additives to prevent mold in your humidifier

Whether you’re using a filterless humidifier for cool mist or a steam humidifier for warm mist, there are a few cheap additives that you can use in the water tank to prevent mold. You may already have these items in your home for other purposes, so you don’t need to spend extra money to keep these additives on hand.

Hydrogen peroxide

What to Put in a Humidifier to Prevent Mold?

Hydrogen peroxide is the cheapest option when it comes to mold-prevention in your humidifier. It is anti-fungal and antibacterial, plus you don’t need a lot of it to keep mold from growing. Adding half a teaspoon to your humidifier’s water tank each time you fill it prevents mold and bacteria growth.

Tea tree oil

Distilled from the Melaleuca plant, this essential oil is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, so it is a fantastic choice for preventing mold growth. This natural disinfectant is also used as a breathing aid for anyone dealing with asthma or other respiratory illnesses, so it does double duty when you add 5 or 6 drops to your humidifier’s water reservoir.

White vinegar

White vinegar has antibacterial and anti-microbial properties, so it is another cheap and effective humidifier additive to prevent mold. A cup of vinegar added to the water tank when you fill it is more than enough to eliminate mold growth.

The 2 best specialty products for mold prevention

There are also a couple of other specialty items you can use to prevent mold in your humidifier. They cost a bit more but are extremely effective, so may be worth the higher price.

Tank cleaning cartridges

The ProTec Humidifier Tank Cleaning Cartridge, or any other brand for that matter, protects against bacteria and mold, so you can drop one in the tank and let it do its work. They last about 30 days, so you can leave them in when refilling the tank for less fuss.

Bacteriostatic treatment liquids

What to Put in a Humidifier to Prevent Mold?

Bacteriostatic treatment liquids, like the Essick Air 1970-2 liquid, are designed to reduce bacteria and algae build-up in evaporative humidifiers. You only need a small amount with each fill of the humidifier’s tank, so the bottle lasts a while and keeps the air in your home clean and fresh.

Easy steps to prevent mold

As well as using your chosen additive in the water reservoir, there are a few other humidifier mold prevention practices you can add to the list.

Regular cleaning

Cleaning a Crane humidifier, a typical Vicks model, or any other humidifier brands, is one of the most important tasks when it comes to reducing mold growth. This should be done every few days using a mild cleanser and a soft-bristled brush to get into all those nooks and crannies. You can also wipe down the machine’s exterior with a clean damp cloth for a cleaner humidifier. Let the parts dry completely before filling the tank and turning the machine on.

Use distilled water

Distilled water contains fewer minerals than tap water, which means there is less white dust emitted along with the moisture that comes out of your machine when it is used in your humidifier’s water tank. Not only does this create less mess, but it also reduces the chances of you inhaling that white dust.

Replace filters regularly

If your humidifier contains filters, changing them regularly can also prevent mold. These filters trap all the impurities in the water, preventing them from escaping the machine. This also means that the mold they trap can start to grow over time if not removed, so clean or change the filters often.

Why does mold appear in your humidifier?

Mold needs moisture and heat to grow, which is why humidifiers are such a natural breeding ground for it. Even cool mist humidifiers are sitting in a warm room, which keeps the water warm enough to make them the perfect home for mold. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to begin to grow, so it is best to take measures to prevent this for cleaner moisture coming out of your humidifier.

What is dangerous in mold spores?

Mold can grow almost anywhere as long as there is moisture present, so it is important to do what you can to prevent it. If mold is allowed to grow, it can cause some health issues, including asthma, allergic reactions, and respiratory issues with those who already have underlying conditions.

Even those who don’t already have any respiratory illnesses or issues may suffer some irritation or discomfort, so it is best to prevent any mold growth in your humidifier and any other moisture-related areas in your home.

Final thoughts

What to Put in a Humidifier to Prevent Mold?

Mold growth can cause a variety of health and respiratory issues, so it is a must to keep it out of the air in your home. Though humidifiers are great options to increase moisture in the air, they can also be breeding grounds for mold and other bacterial growth.

Learning what to put in a humidifier to prevent mold is simple, with a few options to keep the tank and the moisture coming out of the machine as clean and fresh as possible. There are several options to choose from, so you can stick with one or try them all to see which one you like best. It is also best to keep your humidifier clean and change the filters regularly to reduce the chances of mold growth even more. This will ensure your family is breathing the cleanest air possible.

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