- What Is the Pink Bacteria in My Humidifier?
- Pink Bacteria: How They Form & the Different Types
- How to Clean Out Pink Bacteria?
- Tips to Avoid Bacteria & Maintain Your Humidifier
- Is Bleach Safe in Humidifiers?
- Why Does a Clean Humidifier Still Make Me Sick?
Running a humidifier could fix your comfort, health, and even your home structure due to dry air. Perhaps you have been relying on it to keep your skin nourished and help you get sound, deep sleep. But while you are enjoying its practical use, you may notice a small pink slime on the tank’s sides. It is incredibly distressing and could dissuade you from turning the unit on again. But should you worry?
Fortunately, these pink bacteria are normal. You will commonly see them in humidifiers. And to give you extra assurance, cleaning it is not as backbreaking or expensive as it seems. In this post, have an accurate understanding of pink bacteria, why they occur, and how to remove them.
What Is the Pink Bacteria in My Humidifier?
Pink bacteria are a common residue found in humidifiers. They often occur in wet and damp areas. Even a clean water tank is prone to getting this mold. So long as you store the humidifier in a dark room. While it has no reports of immediate, severe threats, it still has the possibility of damaging your health. And thankfully, there are simple steps you can do to remove all pink bacteria in your humidifier.
Pink Bacteria: How They Form & the Different Types
For those who are not fully aware, bacteria come in many different colors – and attractively nauseating multicolor. Aside from pink, there are also varieties of brown, red, etc. But sometimes, you may encounter a mixture of these colors. And they do not only harm your humidifier. These bacteria reside in certain areas of the bathroom as well, such as in the shower.
As have mentioned, pink bacteria develop in damp and dark areas. So, don’t blame your housekeeping or cleaning schedule just in case. Most people use it all night to aid with their sleeping pattern. Mold and bacteria take this as an opportunity to grow and spread. Pink residues are supposed to form after usage – around twenty-four to forty-eight hours. However, it may also be unlikely to develop, depending on some factors. Such as when the water purifies.
Pink bacteria are typically called Serratia Marcescens – with varying colors like pinkish-orange. Besides the humidifier, they are often present in the kitchen, restroom, and any other damp areas, with water lines and tile grouts as their most desirable spots. They may even become evident on floors, walls, and even on bathroom cabinets.
There are two other known types of pink microbes:
It is less likely to invade your home since it tends to develop on plant-based, organic materials. Examples are wood and plants. As such, you’d often see fusarium on houseplants before moving to the carpet or wall nearby. Once you get in contact, infection on the eyes or nail is likely to occur. People with inadequate immune responses might suffer from severe illness.
2. Aureobasidium Pullulans
Similar to Serratia Marcescens, this type of pink mold also favors damp spaces such as the bathroom. And sometimes, it grows on plants or any other organic materials. The color usually begins with yellow or white and eventually becomes pink. When exposed for longer, a person may experience a humidifier lung. It causes fever and breathing problems.
How to Clean Out Pink Bacteria?
Since a humidifier affects your wellbeing, it needs regular cleaning and maintenance. Either do it whenever you fill-up the water tank or at least once a week. A grimy humidifier could be home to mold – creating germs and other microorganisms. They are not innately hazardous and do not require emergency cleaning. But when left untreated, your health and property structure will be both at risk.
Too long exposure may cause various health issues and infections, including pneumonia and respiratory disease. Those with a compromised immune system are more vulnerable. Pets are even exposed to health risks.
Thankfully, you don’t need to call a licensed specialist to get rid of the pink microbes. Unless, of course, if you have a respiratory condition. Here’s how to clean your device the easy way and eventually become bacteria-free.
Step 1: Switch off the unit’s power supply. Disconnect all the removable parts.
Step 2: Unload the water in the reservoir if there’s any. Disinfect the components with vinegar. Soak for around thirty minutes to destroy accumulation or residue.
Step 3: Get a gallon of water and hydrogen peroxide. Mix and then pour down the solution into the tank. Please give it a fair shake then allow to sit for another thirty minutes.
Step 4: It’s time to wash off the components with fresh water. There’s no reason to hurry. Rinsing the sanitized parts will usually require several washes before completely drying out. That’s because of the solution’s prolong smell.
Step 5: Put them over clean towels, allow to dry, and reassemble.
However, note that manufacturers provide detailed instructions on how to clean the humidifier. These are just the steps mostly recommended to prevent your device from producing pink microbes in the first place.
Tips to Avoid Bacteria & Maintain Your Humidifier
A humidifier is always susceptible to dirt, bacteria, and pollutants even if you clean them well. It won’t serve you forever, but below are some tips to increase its lifespan and fully enjoy its benefits.
1. Clean the Humidifier Regularly
Perform cleaning once every few days. Avoid using abrasive cleaning materials to protect the unit’s surface and function. If the base has mineral deposits, use an old toothbrush with vinegar. You can do a deep cleaning at least once a week.
2. Replace the Water Tank Often
Another common mistake most homeowners are prone to. Do not let the water sit in the reservoir for longer. Mineral residues tend to backlog on the sides and bottom of the unit.
3. Use Only Clean Water Sources
Avoid using tap water. Distilled, purified, and demineralized water is always a go-to option when it comes to refilling humidifier tanks. Since they have less mineral content, the possibility of expelling white specks of dust in the air is extremely low.
4. Change the Filter Regularly
The filter is the reason why you are exhaling cleaner air. Improve the device’s sanitation by investing in a new filter more often.
5. Store the Unit Properly
Don’t just stash out the humidifier in a specific room. It should be thoroughly cleaned and dried before storing. Dispose of any temporary parts such as used filters. Don’t hold the new cartridge or filter separately. Place it along with the device.
6. Use Natural Cleaning Solutions
A natural cleaning solution is a much safer alternative for people with asthma or allergy. Use pure white vinegar for disinfecting the machine. Otherwise, pour some drops of tea tree oil in the water.
7. Maintain Proper Moisture Level
The humidity level should range from 30-50 per cent. No more, no less. Too much moisture allows fungi and harmful microorganisms to settle and spread out. A lot of instruments are available to help you determine the humidity level in your home.
Is Bleach Safe in Humidifiers?
Yes, bleach is safe to use in humidifiers. It effectively kills mold and any particles residing inside. It serves as an alternative to vinegar. Use it to disinfect the unit every ten days or so. Add a cup of bleach or half to the water. Then, gently pour the mixture into your humidifier. Allow to sit for a few minutes before emptying and rinsing with clean water. Be sure there is no smell residue. Dry out and ready to use.
Why Does a Clean Humidifier Still Make Me Sick?
In some cases, you may notice your throat and sinuses are further heightened instead of reducing the symptoms. The water you are using could be to blame. Experts always recommend using distilled or demineralized water for humidifiers. But sometimes, it is the accumulation of mineral residues that prevent your device from functioning correctly. You can replace your old unit with an antimicrobial humidifier as it emits healthier and fresher steam.