Vicks produces a line of humidifiers designed to treat the air in uncomfortably dry environments; these devices are also capable of filling a room with medicinal vapors that may soothe the symptoms of a cold, flu or allergies. Vicks humidifiers come in a variety of models, some equipped with wick filters that draw water up from the humidifier's reservoir and into the path of a fan that blows the moisture into the room. Over time, these filters may develop a mineral buildup, which can prevent them from working properly.
Set the device's power switch or knob to the “off” or “O” position. Trace the device's electrical cord back to the power outlet; grip the plug and disconnect it. Grip the water tank by the handle or sides; lift the tank out of the humidifier and pour the contents into a nearby sink. Set the water tank aside.
Place your hands on either side of the humidifier's top housing. Apply a small amount of pressure to the sides of the housing, then lift the component off the humidifier's base. Set the top housing aside.
Fill a small tub with undiluted white vinegar. Place the tub on a flat, level, waterproof surface. Move the humidifier's base next to the tub. Grip the top edge of the wicking filter; lift the filter up and out of the base. Place the filter into the tub of vinegar. Leave the filter undisturbed for approximately 20 minutes.
Remove the filter from the tub and pour out the vinegar. Fill the tub with cool tap water, then gently dip the filter into the water to wash off the excess vinegar. Reinstall the filter in the humidifier's base and replace the top cover. Return the humidifier's base to its original location.
Fill the humidifier's water tank and install it in the device's base. Connect the electrical cord to a power outlet and set the power switch to the “on” position.
While you have the humidifier disassembled, use some of the excess white vinegar to scrub away any mineral buildup present on the interior. You should replace the humidifier's filter once or twice a year; if you see signs of damage or discoloration on or if the device is generating less moisture than usual, install a replacement filter.
The humidifier's wicking filter is delicate and may suffer damage during the cleaning process; to minimize this risk, avoid handling or scrubbing the sides of the filter.