Multiple big box stores carry the MyPurMist steam inhaler including Walgreen's, Target and Costco, according to each company's respective website. Steam humidifiers are especially useful in easing the symptoms of dry sinuses, colds and other respiratory illnesses, states Mayo Clinic.
Keeping a humidifier clean is of the utmost importance, as dirty mist or an increase in the growth of allergens can worsen allergies rather than improve them, according to Mayo Clinic. Dirty humidifiers can easily breed mold or bacteria. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning of steam inhalers or humidifiers. Some tips to ensure cleanliness include using distilled or demineralized water, changing the water often, and cleaning the inhaler every three days. Mineral deposits and film may be cleaned with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Rinse the tank when cleaning is finished to avoid inhaling chemicals.
Steam vaporizers may be less likely to release airborne allergens than other types of humidifiers, states Mayo Clinic. Steam vaporizers use electricity to create hot steam which is cooled enough for inhalation. Ideal humidity in the home is between 30 to 50 percent. Levels that are higher or lower can cause problems. A dehumidifier is needed when humidity is too high, and a humidifier is best when humidity is too low.