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How to Clean a Humidifier Wick

Jenny Harrington

An evaporative humidifier is the most common type of humidifier and one of the easiest to maintain. It has a wick that absorbs water from the humidifiers tank or reservoir and allows it to evaporate and add moisture to the air.

As the wick becomes dirty, it no longer absorbs water efficiently and causes the humidifier to not work properly. While the wick can be replaced, it is more cost effective to clean the humidifier wick regularly. It is a simple procedure that will lead to cleaner air and aid the humidifier in doing its job.

  1. Empty the reservoir and fill with warm water. Add 1 tablespoon of bleach which will eliminate any organic growth within the reservoir.

  2. Follow the instructions for your humidifier to remove the wick. Most models have a wick that slides out and requires no tools for removal.

  3. Rinse the wick completely in cool running water until the water runs clear and the wick appears clean to the sight. Return the wick to the humidifier.

  4. Rinse the reservoir completely making sure no bleach remains.

  5. Fill the reservoir with water and add 1 cup of vinegar. Allow to sit for 20 minutes so the wick can absorb some of the water. The vinegar will complete the cleaning process for both the reservoir and the wick. Empty the reservoir and refill with clean water before using again.


Clean your wick at least once a month if you use your humidifier often to extend its life.


Rinse the bleach out completely or you will release harmful fumes into the air.