bacteria in humidifier

What Can I Put in My Humidifier to Kill Bacteria?

A humidifier is a lifesaver for anyone suffering from colds, coughs, or allergies. In areas where the air is dry, and the weather is too cool, humidifiers help by adding adequate moisture to the environment. This also helps people with respiratory problems.

However, humidifiers can be a natural breeding ground for mold and bacteria because they combine moisture, humidity, and heat and release steam into the room. You can often see green or black bacteria buildup around the water tank.

Fortunately, besides cleaning and scrubbing the humidifier tank regularly, there are a few other methods to eliminate the bacteria inside. One way is to put the right kind of cleaner or disinfectant in the water tank.

If you’re one of those confused and wondering what to put in your humidifier to kill bacteria, here are a few effective options.

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What Can I Put in My Humidifier to Kill Bacteria?

From cleaning balls to water treatments to natural oils, there are several options for what you can put in your humidifier to get rid of bacteria buildup.

You probably know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. These additives will effectively prevent bacteria from taking over your humidifier.

The following additives are both safe and effective to put into the humidifier. Still, you should remember to check for pet and child safety with each. Also, it’s essential to put the right additive or cleaner in an appropriate humidifier.

ANYHOW Universal Humidifier Tank Cleaner

ANYHOW 10PCS Universal Humidifier Tank CleanerANYHOW 10PCS Universal Humidifier Tank CleanerCHECK CURRENT PRICE

It may look like a floating fish from a distance, but this little tank cleaner is one of the most versatile humidifier cleaners you can get your hands on. The cleaner works in most types of humidifiers you can think of, from an ultrasonic humidifier to a cold or warm mist humidifier.

ANYHOW Universal Tank Cleaner uses the technology to drive bacteria out of the tank using an active silver ion compound containing aluminum. One of these fish in the tank, and you can be safe for at least the next 3 months.

It kills bacteria improves air quality and eliminates any odor caused by bacteria buildup.

Because of their appearance, most people want to use these purple fish in their nurseries. The only complaint people have is that one tablet doesn’t last as long as 90 days as promised in the instructions.

Essick Air 1970 Bacteriostatic Treatment

Essick Air 1970 1-Quart Humidifier TreatmentEssick Air 1970 1-Quart Humidifier TreatmentCHECK CURRENT PRICE

Essick Air 1970 Humidifier Treatment is specifically designed for cool mist evaporative humidifiers. As directed, you should add these antibacterial additives only after your regular tank cleaning.

The treatment effectively cleans the tank and provides an odor-free environment. Plus, the 32 oz bottle lasts longer than most other treatments. In this case, we’ve to warn you that you shouldn’t follow the instructions impetuously.

If you follow the instructions strictly and add the treatments, it can also lead to effective mold control. Make sure you only add a few drops, so it doesn’t foam when mixed; if it does, you’ve added more product than necessary.

However, the additive may contain toxic compounds that have questionable effects. One of the compounds is ammonium chloride, which can be harmful if it gets into the air through cellulose filters. The directions for use also include clear warnings and instructions to wear safety glasses and gloves before use.

Therefore, we recommend that you don’t use this product near plants, pets, or children. If there are people with sensitive airways, this treatment might be too harsh to use in home humidifiers.

Protec Humidifier Cleaning Ball

Protec Humidifier Cleaning Ball (PC-1)Protec Humidifier Cleaning Ball (PC-1)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Among all the additives you can put in your humidifier to kill bacteria, one of the safest and chemical-free additives is the Protec Humidifier Cleaning Ball. Thanks to its unique microbial cleaning technology, this cartridge eliminates any buildup of mold, fungus, or bacteria. You’ll get clean air, more clean water, and less mold in your humidifier by strictly following the instructions.

If you just slide it into one of the humidifier containers, it’ll also remove the slime in the water and the odor it causes. This pricey cleaning ball is most effective in ultrasonic humidifiers and less effective in Honeywell types. However, due to unknown ingredients in the cleaning ball, some people have complained that their water turns yellow.

People don’t opt for these additives because of the recurring expenses associated with using them. They only last about 30 days before you’ve to change the cartridge again.

PUREFY Humidifier Treatment

PUREFY Humidifier TreatmentPUREFY Humidifier TreatmentCHECK CURRENT PRICE

The most worrisome issue about adding treatments to your humidifier is that most contain harmful toxins. This is so much so that there are even warnings on the labels and instructions to wear gloves and safety glasses before using the product.

The Purefy Humidifier treatment is free of both toxins and VOC, which means you can use this treatment in humidifiers in the presence of children and pets. Whether you use evaporative or ultrasonic humidifiers, this hypoallergenic humidifier additive most effectively cleans bacteria buildup in your humidifier’s reservoir.

What we like most about this humidifier because its composition is such that its pH is balanced. It won’t irritate your skin, eyes, or throat. People who suffer from allergies, sensitivities, and sinuses should opt for a balanced treatment. You’ll get better results if you do your regular cleaning and apply the treatment afterward.

BestAir Original Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment

BestAir 3BT-PDQ-6 Original BT Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment, 32 fl oz, Single Pack, GreenBestAir 3BT-PDQ-6 Original BT Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment, 32 fl oz, Single Pack, GreenCHECK CURRENT PRICE

The BestAir Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment is specially developed for evaporative humidifiers. The ingredients it contains fight mold and microorganisms in the humidification tank. You can also use this treatment to fight odors that arise for the same reason.

Users are enthusiastic about the fact that this treatment doesn’t form a film on the humidifier tank walls and doesn’t require cleaning after several uses. Still, you should be careful when using this powerful treatment in smaller spaces. Since the treatment contains stronger additives, there may be a chemical after-smell since it’s a non-fragrant treatment.

There’s also confusion about the size and dosage of the amount you should put in your humidifier. Therefore, you should read the instructions thoroughly before use. Adding more than you need can do more harm than good and make nosebleeds and sinuses worse.

Guardian Technologies Aquastick Antimicrobial Humidifier Treatment

Guardian Technologies GGHS15 Aquastick Antimicrobial Humidifier TreatmentGuardian Technologies GGHS15 Aquastick Antimicrobial Humidifier TreatmentCHECK CURRENT PRICE

Adding treatments can be confusing when they come in a dosage form. Guardian Aquastick humidifier treatment cartridges only need to be dropped in the tank. This effectively eliminates mold and minor bacteria in the water reservoir.

If you’ve pets and children, the chemicals in the treatment might be too aggressive for the little ones. Due to its compact size, the device shouldn’t be kept near children without supervision.

Tea Tree Oil

Adding essential oil to your humidifier is a traditional practice. Still, recently more and more people are opting for essential oils as a humidifier additive. One of these oils is tea tree oil, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. When added to the humidifier’s water tank, it gradually eliminates the microorganisms that cause mold and bacteria growth.

Not only will this result in clearer, cleaner air in the room, but you’ll also like the subtle scent of the oil. Tea tree oil has also long been used to treat colds and coughs. Although it’s a natural oil, you shouldn’t use it if you’ve children or pets around.

If you put tree tea oil in a humidifier, it can boost your immune system and nourish your nervous system. At night, tree tea oil-infused air can reduce anxiety and calm you down so you can sleep better all night.

White Vinegar

White vinegar not only has countless other benefits, but it’s also acidic. It contains bacteria-fighting properties that can eliminate mold and bacteria in your humidifier. The great thing about white vinegar is that we use it in our food. That means the natural ingredient is safe to use in front of pets and children if you’ve houseplants you’re worried about.

Still, you shouldn’t run your humidifier with vinegar solution like most other treatments and additives if you put it in your humidifier. While white vinegar has excellent cleaning and antimicrobial properties, it’s acidic and shouldn’t be used with a humidifier. Otherwise, it could irritate your eyes and skin.

Instead, you can clean the humidifier with vinegar instead of harsh cleaners. This will remove mold in the tank and eliminate odors and any bacteria.

Chlorine Bleach Solution

Chlorine bleach is one of the most potent natural disinfectants you can find. Although this disinfectant can destroy and remove small bacteria and even larger fungal growths, you should only use chlorine bleach to clean the humidifier.

To do this, you must first disassemble and clean the humidifier’s tank. To get rid of the bacteria inside the humidifier, you need to add one teaspoon of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water. When the solution runs into the tank, let it sit for about 10 to 20 minutes for it to work.

After you’ve drained the solution and thoroughly cleaned the tank with clean water, dry it completely. Remember not to operate the humidifier while the chlorine bleach is still in the tank.

Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Hydrogen peroxide has numerous uses and associated benefits. It can be used as an antiseptic ingredient in ointments, creams, and solutions. In addition, it can also treat mouth ulcers and mucus problems due to its antifungal properties.

Often, hydrogen peroxide is used in humidifiers to eliminate bacteria and mustiness. Hydrogen peroxide is both effective and safe, relieving coughs and respiratory problems when added to humidifiers.

Health stores and pharmacies sell 3 percent solutions to add to the humidifier tank. If you use the stronger 35 percent solution, you must dilute it with water. A suitable amount is 1.5 cups of the solution to a gallon of water.


If you’re wondering about substances you can put in the humidifier to kill bacteria, this article hs answered all your questions.

You can go all natural with tea tree oil and vinegar. Still, chlorine and hydrogen peroxide solutions are also incredibly effective disinfectants.

Always look for the safety label when choosing cartridges and treatments. If they contain harmful chemicals, you run the risk of irritation even though you’ve removed the bacteria from the humidifier. It’s advisable to choose additives that are safe for plants, pets, and children, especially those that are free of toxins and VOC.

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