How To Keep Your Humidifier Clean (And The Scary Repercussions If You Don’t)

Michael Rubino

February 2

Don't let issues like contaminated humidifiers negatively influence your wellness. Here's how to ensure your air is safe and you're not suffering from unwanted exposures.

Humidifiers can be beneficial for your health, especially when you’re sick or dealing with dryness in your home. But if you don’t regularly maintain them, they can cause more harm than good.

“If you don’t properly clean out your humidifier, it essentially turns into a gigantic petri dish, which isn’t great for air quality,” said Michael Rubino, a mold and air quality expert and founder of HomeCleanse. “What ends up happening is every time we breathe, which we breathe 20,000 times a day, roughly, we’re going to be inhaling these particles into our bodies.”

We talked to experts about the health repercussions of not cleaning your humidifier and expert-backed tips for properly disinfecting it.

What are the benefits of having a humidifier in your home?

Humidifiers release moisture into the air and can help with allergies, asthma, colds and flu symptoms. They are also particularly useful if your house is dry due to heat or air conditioning. They can relieve nasal dryness, a dry cough and even dry skin or eczema, Dr. Rupam Brar, allergist and immunologist and associate professor of pediatrics at New York University Grossman School of Medicine, told HuffPost.

The ideal humidity in the home is between 30-50%. You can measure it with a hygrometer, a thermometer-like gadget that measures moisture in the air, according to Mayo Clinic.

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