How to Prevent Pink Mold in Humidifier?

Photo of a humidifier expelling pink mold. How to Prevent Pink Mold in Humidifier?

If you have a humidifier, you will likely also have a mold problem. Below is everything you need to know about how to prevent pink mold in humidifier and fixing it!

You can prevent pink mold growth in your humidifier by cleaning it at proper intervals using the right methods. The most popular is white vinegar, but you can also use hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, and even purpose-designed cleaning tablets. You can’t permanently prevent pink mold from growing in your dehumidifier, but you can ensure that it doesn’t hang around by focusing on proper care, maintenance, and storage!

Do all humidifiers grow mold?

Unfortunately, yes. All humidifiers are going to grow mold no matter how new they are or how fancy they are. It also doesn’t matter how “clean” your air or your home is. All humidifiers grow mold, as Honeywell explains. Don’t get tricked by fancy and expensive humidifiers that talk about mold growth resistance. Pink mold is still going to creep in.

What is pink mold, and why is it dangerous?

Pink mold sounds cheerful, but it’s just another color of mold that you’d find in your bathroom or kitchen. The most common pink mold is Aureobasidium pullulans, which often starts as white and then turns pink. It can grow in your appliance in as short as 24-48 hours after using it. 

In rare cases, pink mold can also be Serratia marcescens. This typical house mold appears in most moist and warm areas of your home, especially bathrooms. 

Pink mold isn’t dangerous compared to something as severe as black mold. But it can still be hazardous to your health. It’ll worsen the health conditions that those with respiratory issues have. Pink mold can also cause an infection if you get pink mold in contact with your eye or an open wound!

Is using a humidifier worth the risk of pink mold?

If you’re feeling alarmed about pink mold and a humidifier, don’t be! Humidifiers greatly benefit all users, including better skin and illness recovery. Even with the fear of mold growth, they still have accounted for $643.1 million in sales in the US alone, according to Statista. To minimize the risks, you simply need to focus on learning how to clean it to help avoid its growth.

How to identify if your humidifier has pink mold

If you’re feeling nervous about your humidifier’s current mold status. You can identify this common problem by checking your reservoir for signs of slime and colored deposits. Don’t forget to check the spout of the dehumidifier, too, as that’s a common growth area!

What causes pink mold in humidifiers?

Humidifiers are the ideal home for mold spores. After all, they’re damp, warm, and dark. Mold will take an opportunity to grow anywhere, so if your humidifier offers the perfect location, they won’t look any further!

Cleaning pink mold from your humidifier

To ensure that you can evict pink mold properly from your humidifier, you’ll want to get the right cleaning method for you. As I mentioned above, your choices include the following:

  • Vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Tea tree oil
  • Purpose-designed tablets

Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide

This is the most popular option because most homeowners already have it in their homes. Pour a cup of vinegar into your empty reservoir. Let it sit in those especially slimy areas, and it’ll break it down for you. If those areas are in areas that aren’t submersible (such as the spout of your humidifier), then put a soaked paper towel over them.

Follow the same instructions for hydrogen peroxide if that’s what you prefer.

Hydrogen peroxide

This is another popular choice for those that use hydrogen peroxide for other cleaning methods! Follow the same instructions as above for this one.

Tea tree oil

For this particular method, you’ll want to fill the reservoir with fresh water and add 5-10 drops of the tea tree oil. This will dilute it properly and allow the potent ingredients to work hard at breaking down slime.

Purpose-designed tablets

These can be costly, but they’re an excellent choice for those looking for something simple and effective. To use these, follow the instructions on the package. This includes frequency and their actual use.

How to prevent pink mold from growing in your humidifier

If you’re looking for some tips to help keep pink mold from growing, focus on cleaning your unit as recommended and inspecting it thoroughly each time.

To clean your unit correctly, empty it, rinse it with hot water, and use your cleaning method of choice. Then, scrub your reservoir with a brush to help remove scaling, residue build-up, and invisible mold spores. After that, rinse it again, and allow it to air dry.

As far as the inspection goes, this is to ensure that you have removed all of the deposits that could promote pink mold growth.

Here are a few more suggestions from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Use only distilled water
  • Change your water every single day
  • Change the filters as recommended 
  • Store humidifiers properly

Tips for storing humidifiers during the off-season

As you may have figured out from the tips above, how your store your humidifier will be much more critical than most people think. When the time comes to tuck them away, clean them and air-dry them thoroughly before tucking them away. 

Make sure to remove all filters, cartridges, and cassettes. These are prime areas for mold to grow!

Your humidifier and mold are perfect for each other, so learning how to prevent mold in this popular household appliance is essential. You’ll need to clean your humidifier regularly using vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, or purpose-designed cleansing tablets.

Also, ensure you know why pink mold grows in humidifiers and how to recognize it. Lastly, understand how to properly store your humidifier to prevent mold from growing during the off-season!

If you know someone who has this problem, share this with them and help give them peace of mind!

Rosa Peterson

Rose is the writer and creator of Better That Home, a blog about home design and decor. Rose has been designing spaces for over 10 years and writing home design and decor for big publishers. She has been inspired by many other creatives from around the world and loves to share those inspirations with her readers. Read more about Rose here