Cleaning the humidifier with vinegar.

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
User avatar
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:37 pm
Location: Australia

Cleaning the humidifier with vinegar.

Post by markinOz » Sat May 24, 2008 9:11 pm

Hi all,

Firstly, let me point out that this is probably old ground and that many before me have made a similar post. However, I thought as new people join all the time it wouldn't hurt to make the post any way.

I have been a bit slack with cleaning my Resmend H2i humidifier. As a result there was a bit of calcification build up on the metal plate and on some of the nooks and crannies of the humidifier.

I took to it with a scrubbing brush, hot soap and water. The result was not what you may say 'impressive'.

My wife suggested I try soaking the humidifier in vinegar. Well it came up brand new after just a few hours soaking. The calcification just wiped off. I then soaked the unit in hot soap and water for another couple of hours to remove any remaining vingear scent. Truly worked wonders.




User avatar
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:51 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by grandmma » Sat May 24, 2008 9:17 pm

MarkinOz, I'm impressed. Wondering if that principle would work with the shower glass also? Mine is about 13 years old, and whilst not at all dirty (I have cleaners each week come in), it is showing a lot of 'spots' or whatever due to calcification.

Meanwhile, my humidifier is cleaned regularly, but what you've described won't hurt - will try it.

Thanks for the info - lots of applications other than humidifiers, I think!

Mask: Mirage Activa™ Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Also use Swift II Mask on occasion
"You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me!"

User avatar
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:37 pm
Location: Australia

Post by markinOz » Sat May 24, 2008 9:20 pm

My wife has sinced used vinegar to clean an egg cooker that we have. Worked a treat. Helps to be married to someone smarter than me.



User avatar
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:30 am
Location: UK

Post by chipbutty » Sun May 25, 2008 4:17 am

Vinegar is great. I use it on my water distiller to get rid of deposits. Also keeps the piping in my espresso machine clear.

Software: Encore Smart Card Reader - USB
Additional Comments: Also Hybrid, Quattro, Liberty, Zzz FFM, Mirage Series 2, DisComfortfull 2, F&P 432

User avatar
Posts: 976
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:08 pm

Post by dieselgal » Sun May 25, 2008 6:05 am

I use vinegar to clean my humidifier, and our coffee pot. Once a month or so I also run some through the dishwasher.

I'm not anti-social; I'm just not user friendly

Posts: 882
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:43 am
Location: North Dakota

Post by bap40 » Sun May 25, 2008 7:32 am

Same here! I use vinegar to clean humidifier about every 6 weeks or so. I use vinegar to clean both my coffee maker and dishwasher. I also use vinegar to disenfect my bathroom and kitchen counters. It works just like bleach for killing things we don't see.


Posts: 125
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:00 pm
Location: Indiana

Post by thimarine » Sun May 25, 2008 8:38 am

I have had the same machine for over a year and have yet to wash the humidifier tank out with anything but with a baby shampoo and then only once a month or less. I used to take apart the tank and dump all the water and wipe it dry every day. Now I do it once a week. I use only distilled water and have never had any calcification, odor, changes in color or any other problem. I don't know if this is unique to your machine or not, but I'm not sure why distilled water would ever cause calcification. I have not had sinus infections or any other problems, so see no reason to mess with success. Maybe it has something to do with the brand of machine or type of humidifier? I was once told by one of the techs at the VA not to use vinegar to clean any par of my machine.

User avatar
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:22 pm
Location: Canada

Post by silver123 » Sun May 25, 2008 8:50 am

The recommendation from my provider was to soak the humidifier tank for a half hour once a week in a 1:10 solution of vinegar to water. So far, so good...

Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:47 pm
Location: Ontario

Post by trice54 » Sun May 25, 2008 6:50 pm

Another use for white vinegar...when your wash sits in the machine overnite and has a bit of that funky smell....after filling the machine again for a rinse cycle, add some vinegar and run it thru and bye bye odor. I used to do that with a bit of bleach, but this is better, esp for colors. Also(and I am just testing this) it is supposed to be a good weed killer. Ditto to the other uses posted. Trice

Mask: FlexiFit HC431 Full Face CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Pressure - 11


Post by Guest » Mon May 26, 2008 1:07 am


yes...the white vinegar is the best cleaner (kills all bacteries) works better than soap at times. do not use feeds the mold. use white vineger spray on the bath rooms as well.


User avatar
Posts: 3377
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:13 pm

Post by bdp522 » Mon May 26, 2008 6:50 am

Vinegar will kill weeds, and ants, and lot's of other bugs. It will also kill the grass and flowers in the surrounding area so be very careful with application. My husband has destroyed whole flower beds and large patches of grass by using vinegar too liberally.


Machine: S9 AutoSet™ CPAP Machine
Humidifier: S9™ Series H5i™ Heated Humidifier with Climate Control
Additional Comments: Love my papillow, Aussie heated hose and PAD-A-CHEEKS! Also use Optilife, UMFF(with PADACHEEK gasket), and Headrest masks Pressure; 10.5

Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:04 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Post by Claire » Mon May 26, 2008 5:16 pm

You can also use a vinegar-water solution for your hose as well as the humidifier. I make a 50-50 solution. I got this info based on some info about CPAP from the Canadian Lung Association.

guest M.D.

humidifier cleaning

Post by guest M.D. » Mon May 26, 2008 6:39 pm

Vinegar is used to remove mineral deposits not to disinfect.A weak bleaching solution should be used to disinfect.Rub the inside of your humidifier with a Qtip and see if there is some discoloration..often red. If so, then use bleach not vinegar

User avatar
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by billbolton » Mon May 26, 2008 11:37 pm

Anonymous wrote:the white vinegar is the best cleaner (kills all bacteries)
Ah, the usual poor advice, yet again!

Vinegar by no means "kills all bacteria" and is by no means the best cleaner! At best it has mild disinfectant properties.

Additional Comments: CMS 60C Pulse Oximeter, ResScan 5.6

User avatar
Posts: 1624
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:58 am
Location: Southeast Michigan (Lower Peninsula)

Post by birdshell » Tue May 27, 2008 12:10 am

Please search for "cleaning" and stand back...I had 1085 postings returned, including this one and another on the Aussie hose that are current. There have been many PROLONGED discussions of the topic just over my short time here.

RE: Vinegar

I live in an area with a fair amount of calcium and lime deposits in our drinking water. Water with ice in a restaurant begins to develop a white precipitate that slowly sinks. This lovely mineral deposit is fairly harmless but is annoying. Vinegar does remove the hardened white deposit, but it must stay in contact with the surface for a while. That can be tough if the surface is vertical.

Please recall that vinegar IS an acid, specifically acetic acid. It can, and has, eaten off the brass-colored finish on some shower fixtures when allowed to sit for a few minutes.

Click Here for "Acetic Acid" on Wikipedia

And, the only way that vinegar would need to be used to remove any deposits in a CPAP humidifier is if tap water has been used. That said, it does remove the white stuff quite easily. I have done this with tea kettles and cooking pans that have boiled water. It saves a LOT of elbow grease.

As to its anti-microbial properties: I've wondered if the 1:10 vinegar:water rinse is to further disrupt the acid balance and make it hard for bacteria and viruses to flourish? Is it to ensure the thorough removal of soap from the freshly washed CPAP equipment?

What is the exact reason for this, and why are there variations on the strength of the vinegar solution? Some of us have been told to always use a 1:4 solution, while I have had an RT recommend that I use a 1:4 vinegar to water soak DAILY if I have a cold/sinus infection/etc. Image


Who wishes folks would tell us WHY we are to do things!

Be kinder than necessary; everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Click => Free Mammograms