Dry air can irritate a sore throat, thus prolonging your recovery time, according to Mayo Clinic's experts. Take a hot shower or plug in your humidifier to help relieve the pain. But if you go with this last suggestion, be sure to clean your machine before turning it on. (Here's how to clean a humidifier.) Left to abandon, the water tank of a humidifier can spawn bacteria and fungi, which are then pumped into the air, according to a Safety alert from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSP). While this may not aggravate your throat condition, it can cause flu-like symptoms or exacerbate allergies or asthma.