Being a very lazy person, I get tired of vinegar spraying the inside of my dehumidifier's water basin every week. It's a highly compact machine, and the water basin is has an odd shape, with all sorts of hinged doohickeys at the top (which is the opening), so it takes a bit of dexterity to ensure that I coat all of the interior, deep down to the bottom.
After spraying liberally, I let the basin marinate in the vinegar for about 20 minutes before rinsing it out, then wiping down the outside. Since the bottom has complex contours, I jiggle the basin every few minutes to ensure a fresh layer of vinegar on the surfaces that are not at the lowest point. It's not exactly a hands-off process.
One way to avoid the need for this might be to simply pour a few table spoons of vinegar into the basin whenever I empty it out (daily), and leave the vinegar in there while the dehumidier operates. It will mix with the condensed water extracted from the air, and be in constant contact with the bottom of the basin. The top of the basin, which doesn't touch liquid water (but might be exposed to high humidity air due to the water in the basin) doesn't get contacted with vinegar with the exception of one of the side walls during the emptying of the basin.
Has anyone ever tried this? Does it actually make it unnecessary to do the weekly disinfecting? Would the constant exposure to vinegar harm the plastic? Would the lack of exposure to vinegar of the top part of the basin (including the complex doohickeys) be at risk of developing grime, mildew, or mold? Does it make the home smell like vinegar all the time? Would that be bad for one's lungs?
I also wonder whether it would be just the smell of vinegar in the air, whether the vapour in the air would actually be acidic. If so, then in the long term, constant exposure could harm all things exposed to the air, e.g., books, plastics, fabrics, HEPA filters, etc.
Just wondering about the overall wisdom of indulging my laziness....