How to Clean a V5100NS Vicks Ultrasonic Humidifier

Irene A. Blake

The Vicks brand V5100NS Ultrasonic Humidifier is a cool mist humidifier that moisturizes the air with up to 20 hours of cool mist between water tank fillings. Its features include an optional vapor therapy using Vicks scent pads to help combat allergy, cold and flu symptoms.

Although the humidifier generates cool mist, it can promote bacteria growth and accumulate mineral deposits. Daily and weekly cleaning is necessary to maintain the unit, as well as to remove dust, dirt and smudges that build up with use and handling.


  1. Turn off and unplug your humidifier.

  2. Lift the water tank from the base. Remove the demineralization cartridge from the reservoir (if applicable) and dump any water in the reservoir. Unscrew the tank cap from the bottom of the water tank and dump any water in the tank.

  3. Pull the mist nozzle from the tank and set it aside. If you're using a Vicks pad, pull it from the slot at the front of the base and throw it away.

  4. Wipe the exterior of the tank and mist nozzle gently with a clean, damp microfiber cloth. Wipe the reservoir and around the water sensor carefully with another clean, damp cloth.

  5. Fill the tank with lukewarm water. Replace the cap and shake the tank gently to rinse it. Dump the water and refill the tank with fresh, distilled water.

  6. Insert a new Vicks pad, if desired, into the pad slot and return the demineralization cartridge to the reservoir (if applicable). Return the mist nozzle to the tank and the tank to the base. Plug in and turn on your humidifier.


  1. Turn off and unplug your humidifier. Disassemble it as you would to begin a daily cleaning.

  2. Put on your mask and gloves. Fill a 1-gallon jug with water and 1 tsp. of bleach. Cap the jug and shake it vigorously to mix the solution.

  3. Fill the water tank halfway with the solution. Recap the tank. Shake the tank every three to five minutes for 20 minutes.

  4. Dump the water and refill the tank with clean, lukewarm water. Shake and rinse--adding fresh water as needed--until you can no longer smell bleach.

  5. Set the empty tank aside. Dampen a cloth with bleach solution and wipe the reservoir to remove bacteria and mineral buildup. Wipe again with a water-only damp cloth until you no longer smell bleach.

  6. Wipe the mist nozzle and around the ultrasonic nebulizer and water sensor with undiluted white vinegar and a cloth. Rinse with a damp, water-only cloth.

  7. Refill the water tank with fresh water. Reassemble your humidifier, installing a new Vicks pad if desired. Plug the humidifier in and turn it on.


Using distilled water can reduce mineral buildup. Follow "Weekly" cleaning instructions before or after storage or if you haven’t used your humidifier for more than five days. If you're sensitive to bleach, use the same amount of 3 percent solution hydrogen peroxide instead. Combine equal parts water and vinegar in a cup and pour into the reservoir and over the nebulizer if dealing with tough deposits. Soak for one hour. Rub around the parts with a cotton swab. Dump the solution and rinse with a damp cloth.


Keep water away from the air outlet and never immerse the base.

Direct contact with the water sensor can damage it.

Touching the ultrasonic nebulizer with your fingers can transfer oil to the nebulizer, resulting in malfunction.