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Humidifiers serve an important medical purpose for many people. For those who are sensitive to dry-air conditions, a humidifier can make it easier to breathe, prevent nosebleeds and keep allergies at bay. Humidifiers require constant cleaning because they produce water vapor, and as a result they are vulnerable to the growth of mold, mildew and algae. If you have not cleaned your humidity in a while, and you notice signs of algae growing, you can remove the algae with common household bleach.
Unplug your humidifier. You should not attempt to wash out a humidifier while it is still connected to the power supply. Since you will be working with bleach, you should also move the humidifier outdoors.
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Remove the water tank from the humidifier. Depending on the type of humidifier you have, you may first need to remove a filter to access the tank. In most cases, algae will grow primarily inside the water tank due to the amount of moisture present, but sometimes it will grow in other parts of the unit, like the tray. Remove the tank and any other parts of the unit affected by algae.
Empty the water tank and leave all affected parts of the humidifier in the sun until they dry completely. This will deprive the algae of the moisture that it needs to grow, thereby weakening it.
Put on a pair of rubber or other nonporous gloves. Bleach can irritate your skin, so protect yourself before handling this corrosive liquid.
Mix 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of distilled water. It is very important that you clean and fill your humidifier using only distilled water, because regular water contains minerals that can harden inside your humidifier.
Dip a sponge in the bleach mixture and ring it out. Clean the water tank and any other parts of your humidifier affected by algae. Rinse out the tank and the parts with distilled water. Let everything dry. Refill the humidifier with fresh distilled water.
Always be sure to unplug the humidifier before cleaning it.