How to Change The Wick Filter & Clean Your Humidifier

  • 01 of 07

    Cleaning a Humidifier - Safety First - Turn Off & Unplug the Humidifier

    Humidifier Maintenance Step 1
    Unplug Humidifier Before Cleaning. Photo: © Mifflin

    Always turn off and unplug your portable humidifier before starting any maintenance cleaning and relocate it to a stable, well-lit surface. These steps for cleaning a humidifier and filter replacement are illustrated with the Honeywell HCM890 Humidifier and are very typical of most wick-type portable cool mist humidifiers.

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  • 02 of 07

    Cleaning a Humidifier - Remove the Water Tank or Reservoir

    Humidifier Maintenance Step 2
    Lift & Remove Water Tank. Photo: © Mifflin

    Using the built-in handle, lift and remove the water tank or reservoir from the humidifier base by pulling straight up. Empty any remaining water in the tank.

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  • 03 of 07

    Cleaning a Humidifier - Cleaning the Humidifier Water Tank or Reservoir

    Humidifier Maintenance Step 3
    Cleaning the Water Tank. Photo: © Mifflin

    Humidifier water tanks must be regularly disinfected to remove the presence of bacteria and reduce the risk of mold spores. Carefully remove the screw-on cap, fill with cool water and add a tablespoon of household bleach to the water. Replace the cap and set aside for 20 minutes. Once done, empty the water tank, rinse thoroughly with clear cool water, and wipe the outside with a soft damp cloth.

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  • 04 of 07

    Cleaning a Humidifier - Lift & Remove Motor Housing

    Humidifier Maintenance Step 4
    Remove Motor Housing. Photo: © Mifflin

    Carefully lift the motor housing off the humidifier base and set it aside. You can either vacuum dust or use a dry cloth to gently wipe the inside of the housing cover to remove any built-up dust. Ensure that no water drips into the housing or the fan unit during cleaning of your humidifier. Only knowledgeable persons should ever disassemble the housing unit for further internal cleaning or repair. Doing so can render your warranty null and void. If you are concerned about dust inside the fan...MORE mechanism, have a qualified repair shop do this process.

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  • 05 of 07

    Cleaning Humidifiers - How to Remove the Humidifier Filter

    Humidifier Maintenance Step 5
    Remove Old Filter. Photo: © Mifflin

    Simply lift off the old humidifier filter. The product manual or filter instructions for your particular model will confirm whether your unit's filter can be washed. This Honeywell HC-888 wick filter can be washed by soaking it in a sink filled with cool water to remove scale. I recommend a quick vacuuming first to remove the dusty scale residue, then proceed to wash it and it can be returned to the humidifier while still wet after the humidifier base has been cleaned. Do not squeeze or...MORE wring out a wick filter. Hand cleaning it can extend the life of your filter, but these filters are very economical and I prefer to replace the filter more often than washing it. For this illustration, the old filter will be replaced with a new one.

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  • 06 of 07

    Cleaning a Humidifier - How to Clean the Base of Your Portable Humidifier

    Humidifier Maintenance Step 6
    Cleaning the Humidifier Base. Photo: © Mifflin

    With the wick filter removed from the base, fill both sides of the base of the humidifier with one cup of undiluted white vinegar and allow to stand for about 20 minutes. You can use a soft cloth or brush to help with removal of scale build-up from the base of the unit. Instead of vinegar, you can also use specially formulated humidifier cleaner and follow the manufacturer's instructions for its use. Rinse the base thoroughly to remove all the cleaning solution. Now that scale has been...MORE removed, you can now disinfect the base, with a little of the water and bleach mixture from the water tank, let stand a few minutes and rinse the base.

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  • 07 of 07

    Cleaning a Humidifier - Insert Filter & Re-Assemble Humidifier After Maintenance

    Humidifier Maintenance Step 7
    Insert Clean or New Filter & Resassemble. Photo: © Mifflin

    Now that the water tank and base of your humidifier have been descaled and disinfected, insert your new or washed wick filter, return motor housing to base and position the water tank. Gently wipe the outside of your unit with a soft dry cloth and you're ready to store the unit, or fill the water tank and return it to operation.

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