The Vicks humidifier is a great home product. It helps to reduce the symptoms associated with the flu, sinus infections, and colds. Each humidifier has a filter to purify the air. In return, these filters can also make them unsanitary. Mineral deposits can also build up in the humidifier it it is not maintained. When there is build up, the humidifier will stop working properly.

The problem can be easily fixed. Learning how to clean Vicks humidifier is easy and anyone can do it. For best practices, you have to clean it on daily basis and deep clean it weekly. Disinfecting it monthly will ensure your humidifier is clean and works for a long time. This article will teach you how to clean your Vicks humidifier. But first, we will explain the benefits of a humidifier and why it is important to clean it. So, let’s continue.

Benefits of a Humidifier

Vicks Humidifier on a Bead side Table
Vicks Humidifier on a Bead side Table

A humidifier’s basic use is to put moisture into the air. It is useful in winter when weather and indoor heating systems dry the atmosphere. Dry conditions make your lips, nose, eyes and skin dry. A humidifier makes breathing easier if you have a cold or another health condition. Humidifiers also have the following advantages:

  • One of its benefits is its use for dry or irritated eyes and skin.
  • It is also used for a sore throat and allergies.

After knowing what humidifier is. We will discuss how to clean Vicks humidifier.

Read our helpful guide of alternatives to Tineco Cleaning Solution.

Why Cleaning Your Vicks Humidifier is Essential

When you breathe in clean air, it affects your health in a good way. Dry air can irritate the throat nose and sinuses. Clean air reduces the risk of different respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and asthma. So you need to learn how to clean Vicks humidifier. The top two benefits are listed below.

1. Preventing Health Problems

A clean humidifier improves air quality in your home by adding moisture to air. It helps relieve dry air symptoms such as sore throat and itchy eyes. Clean devices prevent respiratory infection and also avoid the spread of bacteria and viruses.

2. Prolonging the Lifespan Of your Vicks Humidifier:

Regular cleaning helps to increase the lifespan of the Vicks humidifier. When minerals build up inside the humidifier, it will make it less efficient and damage the unit. Regular cleaning removes these deposits and allows your humidifier to run smoothly.

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier: (Warm Mist Humidifiers)

How to clean Vicks Humidifier
Woman Cleaning Vicks Humidifier

It is essential to learn how to clean Vicks humidifier and keep a cleaning routine. To clean its heating element properly you should follow below steps.

  • First make sure to unplug it and unit is off.
  • The second step is to remove the tank, cooling chamber, and removable tray.
  • To submerge heating element, fill the base with undiluted white vinegar.
  • Keep in mind not to submerge the whole base in any liquid.
  • It is necessary to soak the heating element in vinegar for 20 minutes. During cleaning, remember not to turn the unit on.
  • If the mineral build is excessive on the heating element, you have to soak it for a longer time. It may take several hours or overnight.
  • Take a soft bristled brush and scrub it to remove minerals on the heating element. Do this process while the heating element soaks in vinegar.
  • Empty the heating element and rinse it thoroughly with water.

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier: (Cool Moisture Humidifiers)

For the best performance of the ultrasonic, it is important to clean the nebulizer. A nebulizer is a strong round disc that is in the base of the unit. It vibrates at an ultrasonic speed to create a mist. Minerals from water collected in the nebulizer slow down its performance. This will not allow enough mist and can cause problems. So, cleaning the nebulizer is important and we discuss some of the steps for its cleaning below.

  • For cleaning a cool mist humidifier humidifier, it is necessary to unplug and turn off.
  • Remove the water from the tank and the base of the unit into your sink.
  • Fill its base with undiluted white vinegar and leave it for 20 minutes. For extra mineral buildup, soak it for a longer time.
  • Take a cotton swab and wipe around the nebulizer to remove the mineral build up. Remember you have to soak the nebulizer in vinegar during the removal process.
  • Empty the base of the unit from vinegar. This is required, as you can’t run the unit without removing the vinegar.

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Methods for How to clean Vicks humidifier

There are three methods on how to clean Vicks humidifier. Let’s find out the three methods in detail.

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier Daily

Place Humidifier On Flat Surface.

First place the humidifier on a flat surface such as a table or even floor. It is important to keep water from running off the sides. Make sure to turn off the unit and unplug it. It is necessary that you have enough space to clean the humidifier.

Remove Parts

Remove the water tray and tank. You can attach these pieces to the base of the humidifier. For easy removal of the tray, take off the water tank first so that it allows you to slide out the tray. It is necessary to be careful while removing the tray and tank.

Sometimes humidifiers don’t have tanks. So, remove its top housing and lay it upside down on a flat surface. Ensure you don’t rest housing on the water tube, otherwise you can damage it.

Empty the Tank & Flush With Warm Water.

Empty the water tank into the sink. Take clean and warm water and wash the container. Shake the container to clean it properly to slosh the water around inside of it.

Keep in mind to choose warm water but not hot water to clean the tank. Hot water is harmful as it melts or warps the plastic.

If your humidifier doesn’t have a water tank, empty the base by removing the remaining water. Wipe down with a lean rag or paper towel to dry it off.

Wipe Down the Water Tank

Take a paper towel or clean cloth. Use it to wipe down all areas of the water tank. Do this until it is dry. You can remove dirt or dust with a cloth or paper towel that is damp.

Safety Warning:

Keep in mind to remove all the water from the tank otherwise, it will give you electric shock. Please avoid this when learning how to clean Vicks humidifier.

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier Weekly (Deep-Cleaning)

Remove the tank and unscrew the cap. Make sure to remove all water. Add some warm water, shake it well to flush around the tank. After cleaning the tank, set it aside until you finish the cleaning of humidifier.

Note: Place the tank upside down in such a way that it removes excessive water to run out of it.

Turn On Humidifier

Following all the steps of how to clean Vicks humidifier. The next step is to turn on the humidifier to allow air to flow through the filter. To make it possible, turn on the humidifier without the tank. Check when the filter is completely dry, turn the humidifier off and unplug the charger. You can dry the filter completely in about 10 to 15 minutes.

For a humidifier without the removable tank. Turn off the humidifier, unplug it, remove the top housing and remove the left over water. Wipe it and dry it down with a paper towel and cloth.

Lift Filter From Water Tray

The next step for how to clean Vicks humidifier is to gently remove the filter. Remove it in a way that it is safe from tearing out. Keep in mind to do it when it is completely dry. If it isn’t dry, wait at least another 5 minutes.


Some humidifiers have different types of filters such as cartridge filters. These filters require replacement instead of cleaning.

Remove Water Tray

Slightly slide out the water tray and set it aside. Pour undiluted vinegar into the tray and leave it for 30 minutes. Vinegar will help it to loosen any residue that builds up with time.

Some humidifiers don’t have a removable tray. In that case use a sponge soaked in vinegar and wipe the base from inside. After that rinse it with warm water. Keep in mind to use distilled white vinegar.

Scrub Water Tray

When the time of 30 minutes is over, take a sponge and scrub off any scale from water tray. Check if the scale is not coming off. Soak the tray in vinegar for further 30 minutes. After this scrub it again.

Note: To scrub the tray properly, use the abrasive side of sponge.

Rinse Parts With Warm Water

Once you have scrubbed and cleaned the tray, proceed with the next step. Rinse the water tray and pickup the tube that transfers water from the tank. Ensure that the water is not too hot as it damages the parts of the humidifier. Dry the tank, tray, and tube with a paper towel or clean cloth.

Note: Rinse from inside and outside of the pickup tube.

How to Clean Vicks Humidifier Monthly (Disinfecting)

Fill the water tank with water and bleach. Make sure the quantity is according to the recommendations. It is one teaspoon equal to 4. 9 mL of bleach and 1 gallon equal to 3. 8 L of warm water. Let the water tank soak for 20 minutes. Gently shake the container every few minutes to make sure that the bleach reaches each and every part of the tank.

For a humidifier without a removable water tank, add water and bleach mixture to water reservoir in base.

Pour Out Bleach Water

The next step is to remove the pickup tube. Carefully pour the bleach in a way that it doesn’t affect other parts of the humidifier. You can pour it into the sink or any other safe disposal area. Ensure that the bleach water never splashes on any other area of the humidifier. If it accidentally splashes on an area, dry it off immediately with a cloth or paper towel

Safety Precaution:

One of the precautions for this process is to keep you safe from bleach. Do not breathe in the fumes from the bleach.

Rinse Parts Finally

Flush away all the bleach from the humidifier. Rinse the water tank with warm water repeatedly until no smell of bleach remains in the tank. Flush the pickup tube as well.

If the model of the humidifier doesn’t have a removable tank, flush the water reservoir in the base.

Dry the Vicks humidifier.

Take a clean and dry paper towel or cloth to dry any surface area that remains wet. It is important to note that the humidifier exterior is completely dry before you plugin to use it.

Note: Let the Vicks humidifier air dry for about 3-4 hours for assurance that it is fully dry.

How Often Can You Clean your Humidifier

We recommend you to rinse the humidifier daily. It is best that you deep clean it weekly and disinfect it monthly. If you rinse it daily, you will get a fresh clean unit of humidifier. Weekly deep cleaning will end mold, bacteria and mildew.

Disinfecting monthly will kill bacteria, viruses and germs. It makes air in your home clean, safe, and infestation free. If you have young children and babies, it is important for their health and safety.

Also read our guide about Frigidaire dehumidifier EC coder error.


We hope that our guide about how to clean Vicks humidifier will help you. Cleaning is important, and if you don’t do it your humidifier will stop working after some time. It’s function is to keep your air clean so, you must take the steps to keep it clean.

For any repairs, installations, builds, or questions; We recommend you to hire a professional. Find A Pro Near You Here!