Consumer Reports offers tips to keep indoor air purifiers in top shape

Adding humidifiers and air purifiers can help with dry and dirty indoor air, but they require some TLC. The experts at Consumer Reports reveal the secrets to keep humidifiers and air purifiers clean and running at peak performance.

To keep your humidifier fresh, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which typically include daily and weekly maintenance.

Here are some general guidelines from Consumer Reports (CR):

Every day, rinse, then towel dry the tank and fill it with clean water.

Every week, give your humidifier a deep cleaning with vinegar. Remove the tank and add one cup of vinegar to the well in the base. Use a cleaning tool or toothbrush to get into the crevices and scrub off any built up scale. Then, rinse well.

To clean the tank, fill it with one cup of vinegar and one cup of water and let it soak for about 20 minutes – giving it a few good swooshes along the way. Then, rinse well and towel dry. And be sure to replace the filter or wick according to your owner’s manual.

If your current humidifier is tough to clean, maybe it’s time for a change.

Replace the filters regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have an air purifier with a permanent filter, vacuum it gently with the brush attachment about once a month. Some permanent filters can also be washed but again - check your manual!

If you don’t have an air purifier, Consumer Reports says you can improve indoor air quality by vacuuming regularly, and limiting indoor smoke from wood fires, candles, and incense.