Humidifiers provide clean air and prevent allergies. But you may have noticed a thin layer of slime building up in your humidifier. Perhaps you noticed it when you first opened the water reservoir tank to refill it. This slime can change colors over time. Molds are sometimes referred to by the term “dark, icky spots”. However, they can come in many different colors like pink, purple, orange, and green. The hard water can cause pink mold in humidifier. This can lead to you being very worried and could make it difficult for you to turn the humidifier on again. This residue is quite common and normal. But it’s also easy to get rid of.
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What is pink mold?
There are many types of mold, including black, green, and even shades of purple, red & orange. The most common mold in humidifiers is pink mold. Pink mold, like all mold species, thrives in darkness and moisture. You can see the spores spreading from the surface, which is why you will see pinkish to orange mold in surface. Pink mold, however, is a Serratia marcescens-bacterium growth. It is a water-borne bacteria, which occurs mostly in pink. This mold is pink because of the temperature at which it was grown. The pink molds are slimy. There are two types of pink mold.
- Serratia marcescens is a bacteria found around bathrooms, washbasins and toilets. Bathrooms are their ideal habitat because they feed on soap residue and shampoo.
- Aureobasidium pullulans is also quite common in washrooms. It can grow on organic matter such as wood and plants. At first it is yellow-white, but then it turns pink.
Don’t be alarmed if you are wondering how the mold got into your humidifier. Mold growth inside a humidifier can be almost inevitable and has nothing to do your housekeeping or cleanliness. Within 24-48 hours of using a humidifier, pink mold can develop. The level of bacteria in your humidifier and the distillation of the water will determine if it develops mold.
Why is my humidifier turning pink?
Pullulans is the pink mold infesting your humidifier. They aren’t as scary as they sound. But long exposures can prove to be dangerous so it is best to get rid of them as soon as possible. Don’t worry about how pink molds develop. There is rarely anything you can do about it. Humidifiers draw water from reservoir tanks and spray it in the air. Your humidifier’s water reservoir tank is a favorite place for bacteria and mold growth, as they love dark and damp places.
What are health risks of pink mold?
Although pink molds found in your home are not a threat immediately, they could pose a health risk. Pink isn’t as harmful as black molds. Pink mold growth can cause allergic reactions in people who have sensitive skin or aren’t careful. Pullulans from humidifiers could build up around your house for weeks before you notice them. Exposed to pink mold for prolonged periods of time can lead to hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Also known as “humidifier lungs”.
When your lungs become inflamed, it can cause difficulty in breathing. This causes permanent scarring to your lungs. If anyone in your household experiences symptoms similar to those of a cold or fever, it’s time to change the humidifier. People with weaker lungs are more likely to develop pneumonia because of pink mold. If the person has a poor lifestyle, their risk is even greater. Pink mold can cause bladder infections and urinary tract infection (UTI). This infection can only occur if there is a large amount of mold in your home and you are in poor health. If you aren’t careful, pink molds can grow on your contact lenses. Contact lenses contain the organic matter and moisture that pink mold needs to thrive.
Pink spores can cause severe reactions in people with compromised respiratory systems. This can cause severe reactions, including asthma attacks and recurring colds. Ingestion of the pink spores may cause diarrhea and upset stomach. Exposure to large amounts of pink molds can lead to poisoning. Pink mold spores can infect open wounds. This is because pink mold can be found in bathrooms or areas that are used for cleaning.
How to stop pink mold growth in humidifier ?
It can be hard to prevent mold in humidifiers because they are constantly moist. Regular cleaning is the best and most efficient way to prevent pink mold from your humidifier. The bacteria can easily reach your humidifier if it is not cleaned regularly. A common rule of thumb for humidifiers is to fill the water tank with fresh water every day so it doesn’t stagnate for too long.
Add effective cleaning agents to your humidifier to prevent pink mold growth. To prevent lime and mold buildup, you can buy humidifier tablets. A few drops of Tea Tree Oil can be added to the humidifier to prevent the growth or maintenance of pink mold. It can also help with breathing problems. It won’t cause damage to the machine like bleach and other cleaning agents. You should clean and maintain your humidifier at least once per week. This should suffice to prevent your humidifier developing pink mold.
How to clean humidifier?
- Unplug your unit. Remove the water basin from humidifier.
- Use mild soap and a sponge to clean the basin.
- Dry completely.
- Make sure to check the vapor sprayer for any mold growth.
- Use a mild cleaner with a rag to clean the vapor spout
- Unplug your unit. Remove the water basin from humidifier.
- Add vinegar or hydrogen peroxide into the water tank. Depending on your manufacturer’s recommendation, chemical ingredients such as bleach and vinegar can be added to water tanks.
- Allow the vinegar/peroxide mixture to sit in a container for about half an hour. This allows the vinegar to dissolve the pink mold, making it easier to get rid of.
- Rinse the tank with warm water & dry thoroughly.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean the base. Use water and peroxide or water and vinegar to clean it.
- Examine the vapor spout. You can clean it with the same vinegar solution or peroxide as before.
What happens to your body if you inhale pink mold?
Pink mold can cause respiratory distress. It can cause severe irritation, allergies, asthma attacks, and even coughing. If inhaled for prolonged periods, the spores may also cause infection to your lungs or other organs.
Are there spores in pink mold?
The spores in pink molds allow bacteria to spread throughout your home. Molds can quickly infest your entire house without you even knowing. It is important to remove mold from your humidifier or other areas as soon as you notice it.
Pink mold can build up in humidifiers. Although it may seem scary at first glance, pink mold can be easily removed by cleaning the humidifier thoroughly. It is crucial that you keep your device clean, and that you monitor indoor humidity and indoor quality. This will reduce the chance of mold growth and other diseases. If left untreated, pink molds can cause serious illness. It’s better to get rid of the culprit immediately than they have the opportunity to infiltrate your home.