Vinegar in Humidifier for Congestion: Does it Really Work?

Difficulty in breathing, persistent fever, headaches, and interrupted sleep are symptoms of an annoying health problem. Although congestion is a broad term in the medical sense, nasal congestion is one of the most common health problems that everyone might deal with.

Luckily, there are several house remedies that you can use to get better. So can you vinegar in humidifier for congestion? Is this a potent remedy for the annoying symptoms of congestion?

How about keeping your humidifier in the best condition? Can vinegar get rid of mold and germs?

You’ve come to the right place because in this article you’ll find the answers to all your questions, so keep on reading.

Can I Run Vinegar Through my Humidifier?

Yes, you can. Running vinegar through your humidifier is a potent way to clean it and remove irritants that might cause allergy and congestion.

Vinegar has disinfecting properties to keep your humidifier working properly and helps relieve congestion at the same time. Before adding vinegar to your humidifier, you need to check out the manual to make sure that you are disassembling it properly. Here are the right steps to add vinegar to your humidifier.

  • Unplug the humidifier and open the water compartment as if you’re filling it normally.
  • Use demineralized or distilled water if you can. It’s always better than regular water because it prevents scale buildup inside your humidifier.
  • Add one or two tablespoons of distilled vinegar to the water and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before turning the humidifier on.
  • Put the tank on top of the reservoir as you normally do and let it sit for another 30 minutes.
  • If your goal is to clean the humidifier, you can rinse the tank and use a Q-tip or a toothbrush to clean the corners. If your goal is to get rid of congestion, turn it on and breathe in the vapor for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Rinse the tank under tap water.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to dry all the parts, then let all the parts air dry before filling the tank with water to use the humidifier normally. If you’re storing the humidifier away, you need to make sure that it’s 100% dry before storing it away.

Is Vinegar Good for Congestion?

Distilled and apple cider vinegar can help with the symptoms of congestion. Vinegar helps soften the mucus in your nose and chest to facilitate breathing.

You can put apple cider vinegar in a humidifier to relieve congestion by breathing the steam. You can also drink apple cider vinegar by adding half a teaspoon to warm water.

This drink is rich in vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it will help you feel better. Drinking this mixture will help clean your nasal passage for better breathing, so you can have it once a day until the congestion symptoms get better.

However, you shouldn’t drink too much of this drink if you have a sensitive stomach. Remember that vinegar is acidic, so it might cause stomach problems if you drink too much of it.

Is it Safe to Breathe Vinegar?

Vinegar is a strong cleaner and can be used to remove stains and disinfect several surfaces in the house. This is why people use it to relieve the symptoms of congestion.

When you heat vinegar, it releases fumes that can help soften the mucus that accumulates in your nasal cavity and prevents you from breathing comfortably.

If you use vinegar in a humidifier, you can breathe the fumes, and you will immediately feel the improvement as your nose gets unblocked. However, there are some concerns that you need to think about before using vinegar as a safe home remedy.

  • Use vinegar with a maximum concentration of 5%. Stronger vinegar is not safe to be used as a home remedy.
  • Vinegar shouldn’t be used for relieving the congestion symptoms in children and toddlers because acetic acid can be too strong. It can cause serious internal burns if ingested or breathed.
  • Ask your doctor before using vinegar to help with congestion. It can interfere with the effects of the medication.
  • Don’t use undiluted vinegar as a home remedy.

What Can I Put in my Humidifier to Kill Bacteria?

A humidifier is a useful device that can be used at home to add more moisture to the air. Dry air can cause a lot of irritation, starting from your nasal passage and up to your lungs. If you suffer from a dry nose, skin, lips, and hair, using a humidifier will help you.

By adding more water to the air, the air acts as a natural moisturizer that can help with the symptoms of congestion and irritation. You can definitely see an improvement in the severity of your headaches, bloody nose, secretions, and dry cough.

However, the humidifier should be cleaned properly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Without proper cleaning, mold, fungi, and bacteria will accumulate in the corners of your humidifier, and when you turn it on, you will breathe in all these irritants.

Irregular cleaning of your humidifier can be causing so much harm because the germs find their way through your nasal passage and into your lungs, where they can cause serious infections. However, there are several ways you can make sure that your humidifier is clean and safe for use.

  • Don’t let the water sit in your humidifier for too long if you’re not using it. If you’re leaving the house for a weekend, for example, empty the tank, clean it properly, and dry it before storage to prevent the accumulation of mold.
  • Empty the water at the end of every day and don’t let it sit overnight to prevent the accumulation of buildup.
  • After emptying the water reservoir, use a mixture of white vinegar and warm water to clean and disinfect your humidifier. The vinegar has antibacterial properties, so it will help get rid of the irritants.
  • You can also use tea tree oil to clean the humidifier. It has lots of antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can get rid of germs. Moreover, it also helps with congestion, so you can use it to aid with breathing.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is another potent chemical that you can use to disinfect your humidifier. Although it’s inexpensive, this is one of the most potent ways to get rid of germs and bacteria in your humidifier. Just add a few drops to the water reservoir and don’t turn on the device. It will get rid of all the germs.
  • Use a toothbrush or a soft-bristle brush to clean the water tank. Scrubbing the tank will get rid of any scaly or mold buildup. Use a tiny brush to reach all the corners and angles.
  • Rinse the unit with warm water several times to get rid of the disinfectant you used.
  • If you’re still not 100% sure about the cleanliness of your device, you can buy one of the special humidifier tablets. These are special tablets that are designed to keep your humidifier squeaky clean and have no adverse effect on the internal parts. Buy the right tablets and follow the instructions to use them safely with your humidifier.
  • Let the unit dry before storing it away.

Can Adding Vinegar to Your Humidifier Destroy it?

When done right, adding vinegar to your humidifier will actually protect it. It also helps with increasing the benefits of using this device at home.

Vinegar has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It’s also a cheap disinfectant that you can easily find at home without going shopping for expensive cleaning chemicals. Moreover, vinegar is natural, so it’s suitable for those who want to stay away from using chemicals in the house.

However, there are a few things that you need to avoid to keep your humidifier working properly.

  • Use distilled or demineralized water to avoid scale and mold buildup.
  • Avoid using a high concentration of vinegar in the humidifier. You need to stick to 5% acetic acid distilled vinegar and dilute it. Only one or two tablespoons of vinegar should be added to a quart of water.
  • Don’t use vinegar too often, as it might be too strong.
  • Avoid letting the vinegar sit too long in your humidifier. This is a strong acid, and it has antibacterial properties, but it shouldn’t be used for a long period.
  • Always rinse the humidifier under tap water to get rid of the excess vinegar.
  • Use a cloth to dry the humidifier before adding clean water or storing it away.


A humidifier is an excellent device because it keeps the air moist.

Dry air can be linked to several health problems, including nasal congestion. However, a humidifier can help you overcome this problem because it helps soften the mucus, so you can breathe better.

Nevertheless, you need to keep the humidifier clean, and vinegar can help you. Just add a tablespoon to your humidifier to disinfect it and breathe on the steam to help relieve congestion.

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