Once you purchase a portable humidifier – whether it's for its energy savings, portability, price or any of the other reasons we talked about in recent posts – you likely won't need to clean the base for quite some time.
Now, the reason this process needs to be done often is the dirt and residue you find in your base could be making their way into your air – reducing the quality that you paid for when originally purchasing your product. As such, to best protect the purchase, this cleaning should be done regularly. Certain steps are pretty much self-explanatory (but, I'll repeat them here as they are important).
Always ensure the machine is unplugged when cleaning the device, as the resulting injuries, while certainly not life-threatening, could make the remainder of your day unpleasant. Also, even though my advice has helped me clean my product year in and year out, refer to your manual before you begin. There may be specific parts of your humidifier that differ substantially from mine, and these are usually worth noting, lest they cause unnecessary complications.
So, without further ado, here is my secret process.
1) Remove the wick filter from the base (If you can't find where this is, refer to your manual. If you've lost this item, the manufacturer may offer a PDF link of this document online).
2) Fill both sides of the base with white vinegar or an approved humidifier cleaner (I recommend pouring and measuring with a standard measuring cup).
3) Let stand for about 20 to 30 minutes.
4) Use a soft cloth or brush to scrub away any visible residue.
5) Rinse and disinfect the base.
6) Repeat as often as necessary.