Pink Mold in Humidifier – What It Is and How to Deal with It

Brad LackeyCleaning Tips and Checklists, Mold Removal

Woman changing water container of dehumidifier at home

Woman changing water container of dehumidifier at home

Many people enjoy the benefits that humidifiers provide, and for good reason. Some of those benefits include sleep improvements, assisting with allergy relief, body moisturization, and flu symptom relief. There’s no doubt about it – humidifiers can provide a great deal of comfort.

However, like any home appliance, humidifiers need to be maintained and cleaned regularly. Neglecting to do so can result in the formation of pink mold, a dangerous compound that can have harmful health consequences if ingested at a high rate over a long period of time. Continue reading for more information on pink mold, its dangers, and how to prevent it from forming within your humidifier.

Pink Mold – The Basics

Pink mold is distinguished by its pinkish color. This is different from most other types of molds which are typically green or black in color. All molds are formed in damp, moist areas that are obscured from light sources. This makes the dehumidifier a hotbed for pink mold growth.

Pink mold is the most commonly seen mold in humidifiers. There are three main types of pink mold:

  • Serratia marcescens – This is the most common type of pink mold and is typically found in areas of your home that are prone to moisture and dampness, such as the humidifier, in your bathroom, or around the shower.
  • Aureobasidium pullulans – This is another fungus that, similar to Serratia marcescens, is typically found in bathrooms and other moisture-heavy areas of your home. However, unlike Serratia marcescens, this mold can also grow in areas with a high level of organic matter such as wood or on plant surfaces. It typically starts off with a white or yellow color, then it slowly becomes pink.
  • Fusarium – You will more than likely never encounter this type of mold growing in your home as it is found mainly on plant surfaces. However, if you have a large number of indoor plants in your home, you should be aware of it as it can quickly move from plant surfaces and infiltrate your carpet or drywall.

Modern air humidifier on wicker pouf indoorsThe Dangers

Unlike the more severe molds, pink mold isn’t as dangerous or impactful on your health than say, black mold. However, like all molds, it always poses some sort of a threat and should be treated with precaution. Here are some of the dangers associated with a pink mold infestation in your humidifier:

  • Prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory and heart issues, as well as asthma attacks.
  • If you were to get pink mold into an open wound or on a pair of prescription contact lenses, it can lead to infection.
  • If it makes its way into your food or fingernails, it can lead to infection.
  • Allowing the pink mold to circulate through the air for extended periods of time leaves your loved ones susceptible to “humidifier lung”, which results in a bad cough and difficulty breathing.

Pink Mold Prevention

The number one way of preventing a pink mold breakout in your humidifier is by cleaning it and maintaining it thoroughly. Try using the following cleaning techniques to avoid a pink mold infestation in your humidifier:

  • Regularly empty the water used in the unit. Water change frequency is dependent on how often you use your humidifier. We recommend changing the water on a daily basis to be safe.
  • Rinse and scrub the unit regularly. Use a combination of hot water and white vinegar to clean the interior of the unit. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the interior surfaces clean of any pink mold or mineral buildup.
  • Let the unit air-dry before using again. Be sure to allow the unit to dry completely before reusing it. This way, you’re fully eliminating any dampness and moisture before reusing the unit.

Abiding by a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule can go a long way in preventing pink mold buildup in your humidifier. Another efficient way of preventing pink mold growth in your humidifier is by adding chemical additives to the water. These additives help curb pink mold growth.

  • Humidifier tablets – Some units are sold with brand-specific tablets that are designed to help fight against mold buildup in the humidifier. Be sure to ask your humidifier’s manufacturer where to purchase such tablets.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Cost-efficient and effective, a few droplets of hydrogen peroxide in the humidifier water can go a long way in preventing mold growth within the unit.
  • Tea tree oil – As a natural disinfectant, not only does tea tree oil act as an anti-bacterial component for the humidifier, but its antiviral properties act as an aid for people with respiratory issues.

Air purifier cleans up airMold Remediation in Fort Wayne, IN

If you live in the Fort Wayne, IN area and believe your home is suffering from a mold infestation for any reason, give the area’s premier mold removal and mold remediation company a call today. Call ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors at (260) 420-1502 to schedule an appointment today.

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