Why Does my Humidifier Have White Dust Around It?

Why does my humidifier have white dust around it?


The white dust that you often see around a humidifier comes from mineral deposits in the water used in the humidifier.

Hard water calcium deposits are often noticeable around your faucet and shower heads. Humidifiers that use the same water can also develop the same white calcium deposits.

The dust is not considered harmful but it can become airborne and inhaled.

  The high mineral content from the water can also be responsible for accelerated bacteria growth inside of the water basin of the humidifier.

How to clean the white dust off of your humidifier?

Hard water stain removal is an easy process that you can do with items that you generally have in your home already.

You will need a cloth towel, a bottle of apple cider vinegar, and some Dawn dish soap.

1. Completely soak the cloth towel with apple cider vinegar.
2. Cover the white calcium deposited areas on and around your humidifier with the vinegar soaked towel.
3. Allow it to sit for about 3 hours
4. Take the cloth off
5. Use the Dawn dishwashing soap to completely wash the area
6. Rinse the towel and wipe the area dry.

What can be done about the white dust that gets on your humidifier?



1.  Clean the humidifier more often

This step we have already gone through, but it cannot be stressed enough that a humidifier must be kept clean.

  Humidifiers can begin to grow bacteria inside of the water in as little as 48 hours. Operating a humidifier that has had standing water sitting in it can turn the device into a health hazard.

And water that has a lot of minerals in it can provide food sources for mold and bacteria to take root inside of the humidifier.

  Simply breathing and inhaling the mist from a dirty humidifier can result in illness and cause pneumonia-like symptoms.

  Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever are serious conditions that occur from inhaling bacteria that has grown on water. Legionnaires can be deadly.

So stressing the importance of keeping your humidifier cleaner and done more often, not only helps keep the white dust away, it is honestly imperative that it is done.

2.  Switch the type of water 

The white dust deposits around your humidifier are there because of the high mineral content in your water.

Tap water and drinking water are full of minerals. Spring water even more so.

Even water that is processed by osmosis has minerals added back into it for consumption.

So what kind of water should you use in a humidifier?

A. Distilled water

The only water that is near perfect to use in a humidifier is distilled water.

It is because distilled water goes through a process that removes the minerals and particles from it.

Distilled water can even lengthen the life of your humidifier because  it eliminates the likelihood of mineral buildup inside of your machine. Build up that will eventually diminish the effectiveness of it.

B.  Boiled water

Boiling water will also separate the minerals of the water. If you have ever seen a pan that is used for boiling water over and over, then you probably noticed the white rings that develop on the pan.

If the pan is used specifically for boiling water, it will develop a layer of white calcium deposit that will eventually flake off.

But the main issue with using boiled water for the humidifier is filtering the clean part of the water into the humidifier without the big build ups of sediment getting into the humidifier with it.

Also it’s a huge ordeal to have to boil water every time you need to fill your humidifier.

( Notice we said boiled water and not boiling water, don’t pour boiling water into the humidifier. You will probably damage the humidifier beyond use and you will also risk getting burned badly in the process.)

C.  Filtered water

Water filters do not take out 100% of minerals and particles from tap water. But they do remove a huge portion of them. Using filtered water is better than using tap water but it is still not as good as using distilled water.

D.  Vaporizer/ warm mist humidifier

Warm mist humidifiers or vaporizers have a built-in advantage when it comes to keeping the water inside of the humidifier clean.

The advantage is the heat that they produce. Since these machines heat the water to a boiling point to produce steam, they also inadvertently kill bacteria and germs before they become an issue with your humidifier or your health.

Boiling water also separates minerals in water which are removed through the humidifiers filter.

Warm mist humidifiers have a lot of benefits and advantages over using cool mist humidifiers.

But they do have the downside of making a room feel steamy. Which can be great for a little while, but not so much when you’re trying to sleep. Especially if you’re sick.

They also have the danger element of containing scalding water. This is why every warning label you’ve ever seen about vaporizers says that they should not be used around or put in children’s rooms.



For most people, the prospect of purchasing gallons and gallons of distilled water for humidifier use will get less than an enthusiastic response.

  But cleaner water doesn’t just amount to just purchasing water that is already been treated.

There are products that you can purchase that will distill water for you, and or purify and filter your water.

And though some of these items may be more of an upfront cost, it is a cost that can end up saving you money in the long run.

1. Hard Water Filter

Hard water filters can be screwed right on to the end of a faucet or shower.

And if using the shower to fill your humidifier is an option for you, there is a much wider range of hard water filters you can purchase for the shower.

And since the shower head and the filter usually have the same size threads, you can easily put a filter on a shower.

More so than on a kitchen sink.

Hard water filters do not filter out 100% of all minerals from tap water but they do filter a majority of particles from the water.

And the price of one filter that can last you 6 months and even up to a year is a huge savings that will also help lengthen the life of your humidifier.

AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter

MULTI-STAGE sediment filters, redox media, calcium sulfite, activated carbon and ceramic beads deliver MAXIMUM WATER FILTRATION

2.  Home water distiller

Distilled water machines can be installed right on your kitchen counter.

These machines will distill up to six gallons of water per day. They not only remove minerals but completely eliminate any harmful chemicals that have been used to clean your water.

CO-Z 1 Gallon Water Distiller

This tabletop water purifier by CO-Z purifies water, filters out impurities, and dissolves VOCs at 0.3 gallons per hour

3.  Water purifier

You can take your water to a new level by purchasing a water purifier that will put your water through a vigorous four stage filter and reverse osmosis process with ultraviolet light.

Water purifiers can remove up to 99% of viruses bacterias and chemicals as well as heavy metals chlorine and fluoride.

Interested and having clean water available 24/7, not only for your humidifier, but having clean uncompromised drinking water, water purifying may be the way to go.

APEC Water Systems ROES-50 Essence Series Top Tier 5-Stage

Premium long-lasting filters remove up to 99% of contaminants such as chlorine, taste, odor, VOCs, as well as toxic fluoride, arsenic, lead, nitrates, heavy metals and 1000+ contaminants.

4. Demineralization cartridges

Demineralization cartridges are drop-in additives that you place into the water of an ultrasonic humidifier that binds particles together and causes them to stay on inside of the water tank.

  An excellent product for minimizing the amount of white dust that collects around a humidifier. But unfortunately they only work in ultrasonic humidifiers.

HoMedics Demineralization Cartridge for Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Eliminate Buildup: Ultrasonic humidifier demineralization cartridges help reduce the potential for white dust


What is the white dust that accumulates around my humidifier?



  The white dust that accumulates around a humidifier is mineral deposits.
It comes from tap water and more specifically, hard tap water.

Though it is not dangerous as far as being poisonous, it is capable of becoming airborne where it can be inhaled and cause a respiratory reaction.

The high mineral content in tap water can also Foster the growth of mold and bacteria faster in a humidifier water tank.

It is very easily cleaned. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent DIY product that you can soak a towel in and leave it on the hard water deposit stains.

After a couple of hours for 3, take the towel off and the stains will be virtually gone. Clean the rest with a little bit of Dawn dishwashing soap and water.

  One of the easiest things you can do to eliminate the problem of white dust and hard water deposits around your humidifier is to switch the type of water you are using.

Distilled water is the best for humidifiers because it goes through a process that eliminates the minerals from the water.

And though distilled water can get expensive there are ways to minimize the cost.

Home water distillers can be purchased and installed right on your kitchen counter.

One distiller can distill as much as 6 gallons of water a day. Plenty of water for a humidifier.

Purified water systems can eliminate 99% of all chemicals and minerals and create a system of safe water, not only for your humidifier, but for everyday drinking use.

Hard water filters are another product that you can attach to your shower head and remove most minerals and particles from your water.

Not on the same par as distilled water or purified water, still a great way to reduce the mineral content in your water for a small price.

Demineralization cartridges are also a disposable product that you can get as much as 6 months use out of that will help bind minerals together inside of your ultrasonic humidifier tank before they become a problem on the outside of your tank.

The biggest downside with these cartridges is that they only work with ultrasonic humidifiers.

The biggest thing you can do to minimize your exposure to any white dust or mold and bacteria that can form in your humidifier is to have a strict cleaning regimen for your humidifier.

Humidifiers can be very beneficial when used correctly. But when they are allowed to sit with standing water and then turned on, they can become a health hazard by emitting dangerous airborne bacteria into the air where it is inhaled.

Should You Run a Dehumidifier and a Air Conditioner at the Same Time?

If you’re a homeowner, you are well aware of the difference a rainy spring in the summer season can make compared to a dry spring and summer.

  And there are a lot of advantages that come with the extra rain. For one you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg watering the grass.

Plus the vehicles get a lot of good washing without going through the car wash or pulling out the hoses and brushes at home too.

But there are definitely disadvantages to having an extra rainy season.

And one of the primary ones is the amount of humidity in the home and how to deal with it.

Dehumidifiers are machines that are designed with excessively humid seasons in mind. But they come with a lot of questions.

Should you run a dehumidifier and air conditioner at the same time?

You shouldn’t have to run a dehumidifier at the same time as an air conditioner in an average rainy season.

The air conditioner dehumidifies as it cools and as long as you’re talking about typical on and off rain, the air conditioner should keep up just fine.

But as you know, there are always exceptions to the rules.

And sometimes a rainy season means that the rain does not let up for days and sometimes for weeks.

  And if you’re in Seattle or Florida, the climate may be excessively humid, just because.

The rain and humidity in Northern Texas last year was so high that it looked like the air conditioners were busted and had major leaks going on because of the amount of condensation that was pouring out of them.

The window air conditioners were creating so much condensation that the ground beneath them was basically just saturated mud.

So yes there are times when the humidity can be so high that the air conditioner is going to have a hard time keeping up.

In that case, you can place a dehumidifier or two in your house to help reduce the indoor humidity and take some strain off of the HVAC. (Central heat and air)

And you could possibly be avoiding an expensive service call for your HVAC down the line by helping it out now with a dehumidifier.

where do you put the dehumidifierBut where do you put the dehumidifier?

Good question.

Dehumidifiers expel heat from the rear. So placing them in a room that you are using is not the ideal situation.

But as a means of reducing humidity to take the strain off of the air conditioner running continuously, you don’t necessarily have to have the dehumidifier in the same room that you live in.

Placing the dehumidifier or dehumidifiers in bedrooms or guest rooms that are not being used can still reduce the humidity enough to help the AC.

If you do not have extra rooms, place a dehumidifier, you can minimize the heat by making sure that the filter and the coils are kept clean.

And you do not have to have the heat coming off of the dehumidifier pointed at you.

Just make sure that the unit is not against the wall or draperies, etc.

Can you use a window air conditioner as a dehumidifier?

Most modern window air conditioners have a dehumidifier setting that allows you to run the unit as a dehumidifier (dry mode) without any cold air blowing.

The effectiveness of a window air conditioner to reduce humidity won’t be on the same par as a dehumidifier because the heat that a window air conditioner creates is expelled outside.

  And the heat from a dehumidifier is expelled inside and used to create a circle of humidity to extract the humidity out of a room further.

But a window air conditioner does not have to be in dry mode (dehumidifier mode) to dehumidify.

And as a means of reducing the strain on the main air conditioning, you can run the window air conditioner as a supplemental air conditioner.

That way it will be helping with the cooling and the dehumidifying.

Plus there are many times where certain spots in the house are not as well cooled by the HVAC as others because of the amount of vents or distance of the vents from the main air conditioning plenum.

So putting a window air conditioner in or near those areas can actually be a good solution to expanding your central heat and air during the summer.

More and more, you are starting to see window air conditioners that have a heat setting on them too. So provided you have the right window air conditioning, it could be a solution for the low heat in those areas during the winter too.

  But remember, the more air conditioners or dehumidifiers you have running, the more amount of energy it’s going to take. And dehumidifiers and window air conditioners are both considered energy hogs.

But neither are considered as much of an energy hog as the main HVAC. And when it is running overtime to keep up with the amount of humidity,

Finally. What if you’re using evaporative air cooling?

Can you run a dehumidifier at the same time as an evaporative cooler?

Evaporative cooling basically amounts to a fan blowing over water to cool off the air as it enters into your room.

In dry areas, they work very well.

In humid areas, not so much.

And one of the main questions that people have about air coolers is how they can reduce the humidity in the house that comes along with using an air cooler.

A dehumidifier will help reduce the humidity caused by running an air cooler.

The purpose of a dehumidifier is to extract humidity from a room. Rooms that are being cooled with evaporative cooling are humid.

But you have to remember that dehumidifiers do expel heat and that the cool air that you get from a water evaporator is not on the same par as running a refrigerated air conditioning system.

  So you may find that the heat from the dehumidifier might conflict with the cool air from the air cooler more so.

And the amount of humidity might outpace the dehumidifier.

  Evaporative air conditioning even with a dehumidifier is not really going to be ideal if you’re having an excessively humid season.

Can you use a window air conditioner as a dehumidifierRecap

Can you run a dehumidifier at the same time as an air conditioner?

There are times when running a dehumidifier with an air conditioner can actually help take the strain off of the main air conditioning and cool down the house better.

If you’re having an excessively humid season, the air conditioning can run 24/7 trying to keep up with reducing the humidity.

Dehumidifiers can offset the amount of work the air conditioner is having to do.

Window air conditioners used as  dehumidifiers

Window air conditioners typically have a dehumidifier setting called dry mode that allows you to run the unit as a dehumidifier only.

But window air conditioners can also supplement the main air conditioning because they dehumidify and add cold air to the room at the same time.

This can be a good solution especially if you have hot spots around the house where the main air conditioning is not doing the full job.

  And window air conditioners can be purchased with a heat setting to offset the cool air from those same spots that are not getting adequate air from the HVAC.

For people using evaporative cooling, dehumidifiers can offset the amount of humidity being introduced into the room by the air cooler.

But air coolers are not necessarily made for regions that can experience high humidity.

And you may find that running dehumidifiers may reduce the humidity in the air enough to make the room comfortable without having to run the air cooler at all.

And since window air conditioners and dehumidifiers, depending on which one you purchase, can be a comparable price, you might decide that the better money is spent on a window air conditioner.


Warm Mist Humidifier – Benefits and Impediments

The humidity in your home has so many direct benefits to your respiratory and skin health but you don’t even notice till the air is dry.

And regardless of the temperature of the humidity, moisture is moisture and you will reap the benefits of a humidifier all the same.

But is there any advantage to choosing a warm mist humidifier other than a cool mist?

What are the benefits of using a warm mist humidifier?

1. Kills bacteria and mold
2. Relieve nasal congestion
3. Good for additives like Vicks and eucalyptus
4. Will warm up a cool room
5. Silent
6. Less hard water buildup and fewer particles released into the air

1.  Kills bacteria and mold

Warm mist humidifiers have a built-in advantage to keeping bacteria and mold from forming in and around the humidifier.

What is it?
Heat. Since the water and a warm mist humidifier or vaporizer is heated to a boiling point to create steam, bacteria and mold are a much smaller problem than with a cool mist humidifier because they simply cannot survive the heat.

Does that absolve them of regular cleaning? Not exactly. Any appliance like a humidifier, diffuser, dehumidifier, or air cooler that has a chance for water to be left standing inside it for even a small amount of time can and do have a tendency to grow bacteria in the water.

The chance for bacteria becoming a problem in a warm mist humidifier maybe smaller but it still exists and should not be taken lightly.

2.  Relieve congestion

If you have ever sit in a sauna, then you know the feeling of steam opening up your airways.
For many people, steam has a relieving feeling on their nasal passages and opens up their airways nicely when they are stopped up with congestion.

3.  Good for Additives like Vicks and Eucalyptus

The combination of warm mist and Vicks congestion medicine can make you feel so much better when you are down sick that there is a whole line of Vicks warm mist vaporizers that have been created and sold just for that.

Other essential oils like eucalyptus and peppermint can also be used in conjunction with warm mist and steam to help break up phlegm and open up your airways to breathe better.

4. Warm a Room Up


Warm mist humidifiers will warm up a space and make it more comfortable when the temperature is chilly.

5.  Silent


Warm mist humidifiers and vaporizers are completely silent.

6. Less hard water buildup and particles released into the air



Boiling water has the advantage of separating minerals out of hard water. Which can mean that there is less hard water buildup around your humidifier and less mineral particles that can be emitted into the air when you are using the humidifier.

warm mist humidifierWhat’s not to love?

Well there are a few things…

Disadvantages of warm mist humidifiers


1. Creates a swampy atmosphere
2. Not everyone experiences nasal relief from steam
3. Can be dangerous

1.Create a Swampy Atmosphere


  Warm mist humidifiers can make a room feel swampy. Humidity is not always the most comfortable feeling especially when the temperature is hot.

And when you’re feeling sick, that steamy feeling is not always welcomed.

2.  Not everyone experiences relief from steam.



When the air is dry, adding humidity to the air regardless of the temperature of the humidity will moisten your nasal passages as well as your skin and so forth.
But cool mist can offer more relief sometimes than warm.
Mayo clinic indicates that cool mist can be more of a relief for a cold than warm, but more research is needed.

3. Can Be Dangerous

  Warm mist humidifiers heat water to a boiling point as a means of creating steam to humidify the room.

That means that the water would be scalding hot if it were to spill on someone.

That’s why you will find a universal warning on vaporizers that they should not be used in the baby or children’s rooms.

Hot and Cold Combination Humidifiers

There is really no reason to pit a warm mist humidifier up against a cool mist humidifier. There are specific advantages to using both and they both have their disadvantages.

There are many times when you need a vapor machine to help you breathe better immediately, but don’t need the vapor on throughout the night.

There’s also times when the warm mist feels good, but that doesn’t mean you want to sleep in a steamy room.

Modern humidifiers like the Levoit 6L give you the advantage of being able to use the humidifier as a warm mist or cool.

Being able to diffuse essential oils with these humidifiers is a basic feature anymore.
They can be filled from the top, set on auto and left alone, and
They also have the capacity to schedule and turn them off and on via a smart app that can be used with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Humidifiers like Air Innovations are made from mold resistant materials and can also have ultraviolet lamps that target the water to keep mold and bacteria from ever becoming an issue.

warm mist humidifier disadvantageRecap.

Warm mist humidifiers have specific benefits that you do not get with a cool mist humidifier.


They have the advantage of heating water to a temperature that automatically reduces any bacteria, germ growth or mold that can take root inside of a humidifier.

They also work very well for disseminating essential oils like eucalyptus and peppermint and work great with Vicks. So much so that Vicks has their own vaporizer meant to do just that.

And many people consider steam to be more of a relief to swollen and dried nasal passages with congestion then using cool mist.

And you can’t beat the fact that they are completely silent.

But on the flip side,..

Not everyone likes the feeling of hot humidity especially when they are sick and trying to sleep.

And there is the issue of being dangerous because of the temperature of the water that they create.

Warm mist humidifiers are never recommended for the children’s room where they can get bumped and accidentally spill.

Best of Both Worlds




Humidifiers like the Levoit 6l give you the advantage of being able to operate the humidifier as a warm or a mist humidifier.

There are times when using vapor to disseminate essential oils can be an awesome way to open up your airways but that doesn’t mean that you want to sleep in a steamy room.

Having the option to use the vapor and then turn the humidifier on cool for the rest of the night while you sleep is a great feature/benefit.

This new style of humidifiers also comes with built-in hygrometers and humidistats that allow you to set and leave your humidifier knowing that it will elevate the humidity and turn off when the appropriate humidity is reached.

Most have the option of being able to fill them from the top as well as operate them from your smartphone or an Alexa or Google Assistant.

Humidifiers like Air Innovations also have the advantage of being made from mold resistant materials that resist bacteria and create a much safer humidifier.

Can You Run a Dehumidifier with the Window Open?

Should you run a dehumidifier with a window open?


A dehumidifier requires that a room be sealed off, at least windows and doors closed to function optimally. Letting outside air in while the dehumidifier is running dilutes the process and introduces new moisture that increases the amount of energy it takes and decreases the effectiveness.

Opening the window in lieu of running the dehumidifier is an option if the humidity inside the room is higher than the humidity outside.

For instance, you’ve recently taken a steamy shower and you want to air out the room. Opening the window or turning on the extraction fan is a better option than running a dehumidifier.

Other similar indoor humidity problems can be related to running an evaporative air cooler or simply washing clothes and dishes.

These are usually temporary humidity problems that can be alleviated by letting some fresh air in.

But typically the indoor humidity is relative to the outdoor humidity. A rainy season outside will cause the indoor humidity to rise as well.

Hot humid temperatures outside will gravitate inside.

“Opening a window while you’re using the dehumidifier when the outdoor humidity is as high or more than the indoor humidity, you have zero chance of decreasing the humidity indoors with a dehumidifier.”

Indoor humidity problemsIn fact you will get a better result out of your dehumidifier if you take steps to seal up the windows and doors even further while you’re using a dehumidifier.

Most indoor humidity problems are related to the outdoor humidity affecting the indoor humidity levels.

Basements for instance, are usually built directly next to dirt that has a heavy moisture content. That is why the basement usually seems damp compared to other rooms.

Concrete walls can develop cracks where moisture can seep in from the ground and depending on your style a basement, pipes can be exposed and introducing moisture if there is any leakage.

Other areas like crawl spaces beneath the house can be continuously moist which has a direct effect on the moisture level inside of the house because of moisture coming up beneath the floor.

  A typical problem with crawl spaces is water in the yard that has etched out a ravine running to underneath your house. Broken gutters or dirty stopped up gutters can also be a cause of water seeping under the house instead of being directed out from the house.

Crawl space encapsulation is a process that uses a barrier to keep moisture from the ground from keeping moisture that is in the ground from humidifying your house through the floor.

Crawl space encapsulation can also include putting a large industrial dehumidifier beneath the house to extract the moisture.

But if the indoor humidity is much higher than the outdoor humidity, then you need to locate the source of the moisture and take steps to stop it.

Anywhere you have a leak, you have extra moisture in your home. A broken pipe, gaps in your windows or doors, or a leaky ceiling can all be a continuous source of humidity inside the home that if not fixed will cause the humidity to be high indoors.

  And running a dehumidifier even though it may be necessary to maintain a good comfort level in the meantime is only an expensive Band-Aid till you get the problem fixed.

Indoor humidity problems.


Humidity can do a number on the indoor structure of your house.

Window sills can warp and rot, wood flooring can expand as well as warp as well become creaky.

Ceiling texture can start cracking and flaking off and wallpaper can start coming loose.

And though very important, more important is the fact that your air quality can be compromised and cause allergies, headaches, fatigue, and even other more serious symptoms if mold has been allowed to take root and become part of your ambient air makeup.

How do you know?

How do you measure the humidity in your home?

Of course humidity is a relative term that means one thing to a person living in Arizona and quite another thing for a person living in Florida.

Certain climates especially if they are near the ocean are going to naturally have a higher level of humidity in the air.
And your personal comfortability meter is going to be a lot higher.

But if you are used to living in a dry climate and you take a vacation to the ocean, you may be completely overwhelmed by the humidity level.

So comfortability is not necessarily the best measuring stick for what is acceptable indoor humidity.

To be more exact and to keep an indoor relative humidity that is not only healthier but better for your home, you have to have a way to measure it.

The hygrometer is a gauge that usually comes in the form of a digital thermo hygrometer that you can install on a wall to be able to keep up with your indoor relative humidity level.

These little tools are inexpensive and can be placed in multiple locations throughout your house as a way to gauge where the higher humidity is coming from.

How do you measure the humidity in your homeWhat should the humidity level be inside your house?


The national library of medicine says that most health issues related to humidity can be curbed by keeping the indoor relative humidity between 40 and 60%.

The homeowners association says that the humidity should be between 30 and 60%.

So the ideal humidity to try to achieve inside the home is about 50%.

Dehumidifiers typically come with a built-in hygrometer and humidistat to gauge the indoor humidity so that the machine will run until the set humidity is reached.

Humidifiers can be purchased with built-in hygrometers and humidistats as well when the indoor humidity has dipped below 30 to 40%.


Can you use a dehumidifier with the window open?

To increase the effectiveness of a dehumidifier, close any windows and doors to the room that you are trying to reduce the moisture in.

Since the outdoor humidity is generally one of the main causes for excessive humidity indoors, opening a window with the dehumidifier running will only cause a never-ending cycle of extracting humidity from the air. And cause the energy hog dehumidifier to be even more expensive to run.

  If on the other hand, the fresh air outside is dryer than the air inside, then opening the windows in lieu of running the dehumidifier could be the better option.

Extraction fans in the bathroom and kitchen as well as the washroom will reduce the humidity without running a dehumidifier as a necessity also.

If the indoor relative humidity is consistently higher than the outdoor humidity, then you are more certainly looking at an indoor problem such as a leak from a pipe.

Fixing the issue is the only solution at that point.

If the outdoor humidity is continuously high then reducing the exposure indoors by sealing the house and fixing any issues with moisture and water humidifying from beneath the house is the key.

Maintaining an indoor relative humidity between 40 and 60% is the main objective.
You can use a hygrometer and even place them throughout your house to measure your humidity and gauge where the higher humidity levels are sitting in your home.

Can I Use a Humidifier Without a Air Conditioner? – With?

Can I use a humidifier without air conditioning?

The humidifier does not need cool air from an air conditioner to function. Its moistens  the air regardless of the temperature.

The humidifier is a device that’s purpose is to add moisture into the air.

And though an air conditioner’s primary purpose is to cool a room, it also dehumidifies in the process.

Air conditioners and dehumidifiers pull warm air out of the room and drag it across refrigerated coils that cause the moisture to condense and exit as a liquid.

This is why window air conditioners have a drip hole in the bottom of the case.

  It is so that the humidity that is pulled out of the air while the air conditioner is running has a place to escape from.

  Humidifiers are more commonly run in conjunction with heating systems and heaters.

During winter months when the air is naturally dryer and the heater is on and off drying the air out even further, humidifiers are used to combat the dry air.

Without the humidifier running you might start seeing a lot of telltale signs like everyone walking around zapping each other because of static electricity. Plus Dry lips and dry and bloody noses, and a lot of congestion.

But that does not mean that there is no need for a humidifier in the summer. Though we primarily think of the summer months as being extra humid, that is not always the case.

In Texas for instance, we have gone months without any rain and temperatures in the ’80s daily.

Which amounts to dry, dusty and windy heat.

You can bet we use our humidifiers with the air conditioner running.

  But, on the other side of the coin, if we’re having a rainy and humid season, you definitely don’t want to do something to add more moisture to the air like run a humidifier.

In fact, a dehumidifier may have to be run in conjunction with an AC when the relative humidity is so high that the AC cannot keep up with dehumidifying.

So regardless of the temperature or of the season, the humidifier is meant to add moisture to the air when the relative humidity is below the 40 to 60% mark.

And while it’s more common in the winter, dry conditions can occur throughout the year.

Getting to know the lingo

Of course there are so many devices, appliances and systems that do something to regulate the air, it is hard to know which is which and what does what sometimes.

  For instance, a true story. For years I personally ran an air purifier retail store.
The only thing we sold was air purifiers. 
We didn’t sell any other types of appliances or or anything that had to do with air other than clean it.

But like clockwork, every holiday when the family gets together, my brother-in-law asked me how my “water filter” business is doing. Jeez.

  The point is, unless you deal with these things on a consistent basis, there is really no need to keep up with what is what.

So when somebody asked me a question like ” can I use my humidifier without the air conditioner?” I’m more likely to believe that they meant “dehumidifier” instead of air conditioner.

The reason I say that is, air conditioners typically come with a dehumidifier setting. So that you can use the dehumidifier without using the air conditioner.

There are many times when the temperature is not all that excessive but the humidity level in the house makes it feel like it’s 110°.

  At those times, you can run the dehumidifier on your air conditioner without running the “cool” setting and be able to cool the house off by extracting the moisture out of the air and never turning the air conditioner setting on at all. 

In that case, the answer is yes. You can run the dehumidifier setting on your air conditioner without running the air conditioner per se.

humidifier-air conditionerRecap.

When someone ask” can I use a humidifier without the air conditioner ?” They can mean one of two things.


They want to know if it’s good to run a humidifier when the air conditioner is on?

Or they are confusing the dehumidifier setting on the air conditioner for a humidifier.

The answer is, you can run a humidifier anytime that the relative humidity is below 30 or 40%, and get benefit out of it.

Even in the summer, there are times when the air is so dry that it calls for a humidifier to be going even with the air conditioner running.

But air conditioners do not come with a humidifier setting.

They do on the other hand come with a dehumidifier setting.

Which leads me to believe that a lot of people confuse the lingo and call the dehumidifier a humidifier.

The dehumidifier on an air conditioner can be run without the air conditioner running on the cool setting along with it.

There are many times when reducing the humidity in a room will increase the comfort because it’s the humidity that’s making the room feel so uncomfortable.

Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are very similar appliances. If you take them apart, their mechanics look almost identical.

The difference is, an air conditioner cools the air as it pulls the moisture out and dispels the heat outside of the room.

A dehumidifier does not cool the room off as it pulls the moisture and it dispels The heat inside of the room which helps pull even more humidity out of the air.

You generally don’t need to run a dehumidifier if you have an air conditioner.

But there are times when the humidity level can be so high that the air conditioner can’t keep up with pulling the moisture out alone.

At that point a separate humidifier can help to reduce the moisture in a house further, cool things off a bit more, and take some strain off of the air conditioner.

Can I Use Boiled Water in a Humidifier?

There is quite a bit of confusion when it comes to knowing what type of water you should put in a humidifier.

Some people say it doesn’t matter and some people are emphatic that it must be distilled and nothing else.

  But what is the primary issue with using any type of water regardless of how it is processed?

Mineral content is the answer.

Water that has a lesser mineral content is going to be easier on your humidifier and not have as much white calcium dust buildup and a lesser chance of mold.

Can I use boiled water in a humidifier?

Boiling water is a way of taking hard water and turning it soft. In other words it removes the minerals. Or at least separates them. The idea is to boil the water and when it cools, the minerals will collect on the bottom of the pan.

We are talking about water that has been boiled and allowed to cool and not water that is boiling. Don’t make the mistake of pouring boiling water into your humidifier. It will more than likely melt the humidifier and could cause a terrible injury if you had an accident with it.

“Boiled water is good to use in a humidifier because boiling separates the minerals and causes them to settle.”

But the real trick of using boiled water in a humidifier is filtering out the settlement from the rest of the water. 

If you can do that successfully, then you have good clean soft water that will work well in your humidifier.

If you can’t filter it well, then the water will have bigger chunks of sediment then otherwise, which would leave you worse off than you were then if you hadn’t boiled it in the first place.

Ideally, distilled water is the best water to put in a humidifier because it has gone through the process of removing the minerals. But when you know how much water a humidifier can actually go through, purchasing distilled water to use exclusively in a humidifier will get expensive.

So boiling tap water is an okay solution if you’re absolutely concerned about the content of your local water or if you just have hard water in your area. And mostly you just don’t want to pay for water.

There are a few products you can purchase though that are a little expensive up front can and I’m saving you down the road. Even if we’re just talking about your time.

One set of products is purchasing a hard water filter and placing it either on your kitchen faucet or your shower.

  A Search on Amazon brings up quite a few more shower filters that kitchen filters when you do a search for a hard water filter. And if it’s all the same where you fill up your humidifier, the price for shower filters is a little better than putting a filter on the kitchen sink.

AquaHomeGroup 15 Stage Shower Filter

  • EFFECTIVE shower filters to remove chlorine and fluoride, heavy metals and other sediments. 
  • Clean, soft water means no more issues with lime scale build-up on the shower head or fixtures and no hard water spots.

Another solution, although a little more expensive up front, the purchase of a water distiller. You can set up a water distiller in the kitchen for less than a couple of $100 and never have to purchase distilled water for your humidifier ever again.

CO-Z 1 Gallon Water Distiller

This tabletop water purifier by CO-Z purifies water, filters out impurities, and dissolves VOCs at 0.3 gallons per hour

The third product is made by pure guardian technologies and it’s called the aqua stick.
It is an additive that you place into your humidifier similar to a cleaning pod that you place in the back of a commode.
The aqua stick will keep mold from growing in your humidifier for up to 90 days.
So it is a recurring purchase.

But if mold occurring because of hard water is your primary concern, aqua stick can save you a lot of time and money versus purchasing distilled water all season.

Guardian Technologies GGHS15 Aquastick Antimicrobial Humidifier Treatment

Pure Guardian GGHS15 Aquastick humidifier water cartridge helps reduce the growth of mold and odor causing bacteria in the water of a humidifier tank 

Clean your humidifier often.

Another solution which in truth should be your first solution is to clean your humidifier with an acidic vinegar cleaner more often.

Vinegar cleaner is 25% more acidic than regular white distilled vinegar and it will remove hard water deposits if you allow your humidifier parts to soak in it for 30 minutes or so whenever you clean your humidifier.

Bacteria and mold can take root in the water basin anytime the water is allowed to stand even in as little as 48 hours.

If you turn the humidifier on after there has been standing water in the humidifier then the bacteria will become airborne and can cause illness when inhaled.

Very serious diseases like legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever are caused by inhaling bacteria that has grown on water.

The symptoms are very similar to pneumonia.

So even though using the right water will help provide longevity for your humidifier and keep humidifier dust to a minimum, cleaning the humidifier thoroughly and often is a must.


When it comes to choosing the right water for your humidifier there is a lot of back and forth on the subject.

And a lot is made of being very careful not to use tap water because it is considered hard water and full of minerals.

  And naturally that brings up the practice of boiling water before using it in a humidifier. Should you do it?

“Using boiled water in a humidifier is fine because it does separate the minerals and cause them to settle.

The only problem is filtering the sediment out of the boiled water so it doesn’t get into the humidifier.”

  Otherwise, purchasing distilled water will save you the time and you will not have to worry about filtering the boiled water perfectly.

And if the cost of distilled water over the humidifier season is too expensive, then there are other purchases you can make that even though there is an up front expense, could end up saving you in the long run.

Hard water filters are available for your faucets. For around 50 bucks you can filter the minerals out of your tap water and not worry about it till it’s time to exchange the filter.

Another solution is to buy a water distiller and make your own distilled water. The upfront cost is a little more expensive but it will pay for itself and save you down the line.

Aqua sticks are humidifier additives that will keep your humidifier from getting moldy for up to 3 months.
A reoccurring price but cheaper than buying gallons of distilled water from the supermarket.

Finally, and like I said before, and should be the first option, is keeping your humidifier cleaner by soaking your humidifier in vinegar more often.


Can a Warm Mist Humidifier Make You Sick?

Humidifiers in the winter are a genuine lifesaver when it comes to healing dried out nasal passages, bloody noses, congestion, and keeping viruses at Bay.

But the same humidifier that can give you such amazing relief when you are  feeling congested can also be the source of illness when it is not maintained carefully.

Yet there is one type of humidifier that is inherently safer than other types of humidifiers.

Warm mist humidifiers or vaporizers have a built-in protection mechanism against mold and bacteria growing in them.

The safety feature they possess is that they bring water to a boiling point to create steam.

Bacteria cannot survive the temperature of boiling water. So Warm mist humidifiers actually clean the humidifier as they are operating.

The typical problem that humidifiers possess is that they can become full of bacteria when they are not cleaned often enough.

That results in the humidifier becoming a source of airborne mold, fungi, and bacteria. Attaching themselves to humidity aerosols floating and waiting to be inhaled.

Anytime that water has been left inside of a humidifier for over 48 hours there is the potential of mold and bacteria already starting to take root in the machine.

According to health professionals including the national library of medicine “the relative humidity inside a home should be kept between 40 and 60% to avoid humidity related issues”


But though warm mist humidifiers may have the advantage when it comes to staying cleaner, they do not lend themselves to being a system for humidifying a large area for very long.

The problem is that they are hot ,steamy and Sticky. 
A good solution when you want to use a product like Vicks or an essential oil like eucalyptus to clear out your nasal passages, but not such a good solution when you’re entire house is dry and you’re trying to raise the moisture level.

Warm mist humidifiers and vaporizers tend to make the area swampy and uncomfortable when you are feeling sick.

So even though they are less likely to be responsible for getting dirty and making someone sick, they are also uncomfortable to be around when you are sick.

They also have a big disadvantage of being scalding hot if they happen to spill on you.

Most vendors make a point of warning that warm mist and steam humidifiers should not be used in the kids rooms or the baby’s room for that exact reason.

warm mist vaporizerWhat to do…

Humidifiers in the 2000s are not the same humidifiers that you purchased at the local pharmacy in 1985.

The amount of features that humidifiers have these days can suit just about everyone’s humidification needs.

One of those features like you can find on the Levoit 6l large room humidifier is the capacity of the unit to be used as a warm mist humidifier or a cool mist humidifier.

This is a great solution for people who want to be able to use the steam setting to help open up their airways but don’t want to have to try to sleep in a sauna atmosphere.

Humidifiers like that same Levoit model or also loaded with the latest Wi-Fi smart technologies to allow you to control and schedule your humidifier directly from your phone or your Alexa device.

  It also allows you to set and leave your humidifier without the concern of it ever over humidifying or running out of water without you knowing it.

Other advances in humidifiers are concentrated on reducing mold and bacteria growth inside of the humidifier water.

An example is the…. Humidifier that uses antimicrobial mode resisting plastic and it’s construction.

Another example is the… Humidifier that features an ultraviolet light that targets the water container so that bacteria is stopped before it has a chance to take root.

Which only makes sense since UV has been used for aquariums and barber shop disinfecting containers for as long as I can remember.

Though UV is also something you probably do not want in the children’s rooms either because it can damage your eyes if you stare into it.

warm mist humidifierSummary

In this article we tried to make the point that warm mist humidifiers can actually be safer because they raise the temperature of the water to a boiling point which is a bacteria killer.

Humidifiers for all their benefits also have a dark side.

Which is, they can grow mold and bacteria in the water when they are not cleaned often enough.

The result is that the mold and bacteria inside of the water becomes part of the air you breathe when the humidifier is turned on.

Inhaling airborne bacteria that come from water is the cause behind the horrific legionnaires disease.

Which can cause death primarily in people with low immunity such as the elderly.

Pontiac fever is a milder version of legionnaires that produces symptoms closer to pneumonia and is not usually fatal.

But although you can make the case that vaporizers and warm mist humidifiers are safer because they produce less bacteria, there is also the other side of the coin which is that vaporizers can create a swampy atmosphere which is uncomfortable when you are sick, and especially when you are trying to sleep.

What’s the alternative?

Thankfully humidifiers have continued to get better over the years and now you can purchase humidifiers that function as both warm mist and cool mist humidifiers.

There is also a new breed of humidifiers that is tackling the problem of humidifiers creating bacteria by building their units out of antimicrobial plastic that resists mold and targeting ultraviolet light on the water inside the basin to kill any bacteria before they become airborne.

But if purchasing a new humidifier is not in your immediate future, then there is the old elbow grease method combined with some acidic vinegar to keep your humidifier clean and protect you from bacteria growing in your humidifier and becoming airborne.

What is the Ideal Humidifier Setting in Winter?

What is the Ideal Humidity Setting in Winter?


It seems that humidity and humidification are a subject that are gaining interest as people are becoming more aware of the impact that moisture levels in the home, School, work or otherwise, can have not only on dry noses and cracking skin but even more importantly the transmission of viruses.

“The ideal humidity setting on a hygrometer or humidifier is 50 Percent. According to the National Library of Medicine: “the majority of adverse health effects caused by relative humidity would be minimized by maintaining indoor levels between 40 and 60%.”

When conditions are dry, airborne viral particles become smaller and or able to travel much further.

Humidity makes the particles wider and weighs them down so they are not able to float, which reduces the particles located in the ambient air (the air you breathe) and inhibits their capacity to spread.


It’s interesting that simply adding moisture to the air can create indoor conditions where viruses and bacteria along with other dust particles can reduce respiratory illness.

humidifier settings in winterHumidity levels in the winter are typically exceptionally low. The lack of moisture in the air creates all types of havoc with your body including:

  • Dry skin
  • Lowered immunity
  • Raw and bloody noses
  • Dry throat
  • Acne
  • Congestion
  • Static electricity
  • Frizzy hair

But you may be asking how do you know what your humidity actually is in the house?

That’s all good and fine knowing that humidity can affect your health but if you don’t know what your humidity is or how to correct it, what’s the use?

Humidity is measured with what’s called a hygrometer.

Hygrometers can be purchased as standalone devices but you will mostly find them as digital units combined with thermometers these days.

A thermohygrometer coupled with a humidifier to add moisture to the air is all the tools you will need to increase your relative humidity when conditions are too dry in your home or workplace.

This method works by using trial and error and increasing or decreasing the output of your humidifier as needed.

But even though it works, it’s not the most convenient as it will take a lot of monitoring between the humidifier and the hygrometer to achieve and maintain the proper humidity level.

humidifier winterLucky for us, humidifiers have raced into the new age and are among the upper echelon of appliances that come equipped with smart technology to auto control your humidifier, but it turns on and off as needed according to censored hygrometer technology.

In other words, it increases and decreases humidity automatically.

Smart humidifiers not only can be controlled using Alexis and Google Assistant, they can also tell you your home humidity levels directly from an app on your phone and let you control it as needed.

Smart technology is only the beginning of where this new generation of humidifiers get started.

For instance the Levoit 6 l whole house smart humidifier can be utilized as either a warm mist or a cool mist humidifier.

It is equipped with sleep mode, essential aromatherapy oil ready, and is ultra quiet.

And one of the smartest features of this new breed of humidifiers is that they are top fill.

Which means they are much easier to put water in than the old plastic pharmacy style humidifiers that had to have the tank taken off and turned upside down underneath a faucet to fill it.

Other advances in humidifiers include methods of keeping humidifiers cleaner longer.

Technologies like UV light and antimicrobial plastic or advancing humidification to a new level. see: Self Cleaning Humidifiers

It’s no secret that humidifiers are among the most maintenance heavy devices.

Humidifiers must be kept clean to avoid germs and bacteria from growing inside of the water.

Unfortunately the same device that can reduce your chances of getting sick in the winter can also make you sick if it is not maintained properly.

That’s what makes these new technologies like ultraviolet light and antimicrobial materials so exciting.

You can imagine that in the future we are going to see humidifiers that alert us when they are in danger of developing bacteria and humidifiers that simply clean themselves.

We’re not quite there yet. But it’s definitely on the horizon. (Vaporizers use boiling water to create steam. Since the water is brought to a high temperature, bacteria is not able to survive)


What Humidity Setting Should You Use in Winter?

According to PubMed, 40 to 60% relative humidity in the home, School, or workplace is the ideal humidity to minimize adverse health effects caused by humidity. 

Humidity can adversely affect your health when it is too low or too high.

Though most people generally pull out the humidifier when they start getting bloody noses and congestion, humidifiers can relieve all types of conditions including dry and cracking skin, dried out nasal passages, acne, viral spread, and lowered immunity.

Though they can be purchased separately and used in conjunction with your humidifier, hygrometers, which are the tool that is used to measure humidity, come built in to humidifiers as a standard feature these days.

Smart humidifiers can automatically increase or decrease the humidity level inside of the house to maintain the optimal humidity of 40 to 60%.

They also give you the advantage and convenience of being able to control and schedule your humidifier with your phone or using an Alexis device or Google Assistant.

This new breed of humidifier offers features like the capacity to use the humidifier is either a warm mist or a cool mist device. Antibacterial features like ultraviolet light and antimicrobial plastic, and one of my favorites, the ability to fill it from the top.

Top fill humidifiers take a huge amount of hassle out of using a humidifier.

It hasn’t been that long since humidifiers only came with basins that had to be taken off and turned upside down in order to fill.

Top fill humidifiers can be filled with a water pitcher.

Hydrogen Peroxide in Humidifier – What’s the Controversy?

Have you heard of putting hydrogen peroxide in a humidifier?

This practice is not as seemingly innocent as it may first appear. It actually is controversial and a bit polarizing. Honestly something that I did not expect to hear.

Hydrogen peroxide is something we’ve had in our medicine cabinet for as long as I can remember. As far back as I can recall my parents told me to put hydrogen peroxide on any skinned knee or abrasion that I got playing outside.

So when I found out that not everyone agrees about the use of hydrogen peroxide, I was a little surprised.

Why do people put hydrogen peroxide in a humidifier?

1. Cleaner

1. As a cleaner it oxidizes and removes bacteria and fungi. It is a natural disinfectant that will disinfect your humidifier when you use it as a cleaner.

It makes sense that the stuff that you put on a wound to keep it from getting infected or removing the infection would be the ideal choice for cleaning a humidifier and removing the germs and bacteria from it.

That in itself is not too controversial.

2.  Surface disinfectant.

This is an issue that actually has scientific backing and research.

Misting a room with hydrogen peroxide by using a humidifier and wiping down surfaces with hydrogen peroxide will cut down the ability of viruses to spread.

This is the same concept that a lot of air purifiers use that create hydrogen peroxide ions as a method of cleaning air.

The technology in air purification is called photo catalytic oxidation(PCO).
It’s a method of creating hydrogen peroxide ions by targeting ultraviolet light on a titanium oxide catalyst.

In an article published by the national library of medicine it was stated that “HPV (hydrogen peroxide vapor) was virucidal for structurally distinct viruses dried on surfaces, suggesting that HPV can be considered for the disinfection of virus contaminated surfaces.”

An article published by OHS, the occupational health and safety website states that “hydrogen peroxide vapor represents a major technological advance in preventing the spread of dangerous bacteria inside a hospitals”

Again it only makes sense that hydrogen peroxide would be an excellent surface disinfectant. 

breathing hydrogen peroxide

3. To Breathe Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor

This is the one that is controversial.

A lot of people including many alternative medicine practitioners encourage the inhalation of hydrogen peroxide vapor as a way of clearing the nasal passages and lungs of viral particles that have been ingested.

But for the amount of people suggesting that it’s a good idea, there are many more that say that it is a dangerous practice and that it should never be done whatsoever.

The reason that it is frowned upon is that hydrogen peroxide is a corrosive agent that could possibly oxidize your lung tissue.

Food grade hydrogen peroxide will burn your skin if you get it on your hand or anywhere else while using it.

So you certainly don’t want to ingest it.

But the proponents of using hydrogen peroxide vapor are not suggesting that you drink hydrogen peroxide or that you use it full strength in a humidifier or nebulizer.

The ideal is that a deluded low level of peroxide is not enough to cause any damage but is strong enough to have an antiviral oxidizing effect on viruses.

There are people who say that you can put straight 3% hydrogen peroxide into your humidifier and that is completely safe.

Others point out that the type of cheap 3% hydrogen peroxide that you buy in the local pharmacy section lacks the stabilizers to make it safe and say that you have to use food grade hydrogen peroxide but you have to be careful to dilute it by 10 times.

However, the internet has a huge amount of people testifying that breathing hydrogen peroxide vapor has helped them and in a lot of cases is the only thing that has helped them.

Breathebetterair is not a medical website, nor are we doctors.

If you should decide that you want to try this, this is completely up to you and we do not encourage or discourage the method either way.

4.  Gargling hydrogen peroxide

This has nothing to do with humidifiers but it definitely goes down the same path.

Many people claim, including alternative medical professionals, that gargling hydrogen peroxide as well as nasal washing will quickly stop the progression of respiratory complications due to ingesting viruses.

The suggestion is that you use a 1.5% solution of hydrogen peroxide when doing so. PubMed points out that it is safe to use hydrogen peroxide on the mucous membranes as it is already a common practice in otolaryngology.


“Putting hydrogen peroxide in a humidifier can work as a disinfectant to clean a humidifier and also as a way of misting the air with hydrogen peroxide vapor to clean surfaces.”

Hydrogen peroxide is widely used as a disinfectant on cuts and abrasions to keep them from getting infected as well as a method of this infection when there is already an infection present.

So the use of hydrogen peroxide in a humidifier only makes sense if you stick  to using it as a cleaner and a surface disinfectant.

But there are also those who claim that breathing or inhaling hydrogen peroxide vapor can prevent viruses or reduce the length of time that they persist in your body.

Along the same lines is the practice of gargling and nasal washing with hydrogen peroxide.

This seemingly makes sense because of the disinfecting qualities of hydrogen peroxide but there are many people who say that the practice is absolutely too dangerous because of the corrosive nature of peroxide.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide in humidifierIf you were going to try it, remember that food grade hydrogen peroxide will burn your skin if you get it on you, so it will need to be diluted with water as much as 10 times before you use it.

  The 3% hydrogen peroxide that you purchase in the brown bottles from your local pharmacy should be deleted by half before you use it also.

We do not encourage or discourage this method. This is an informational website and not intended to be advice.

Tap Water in Humidifier? The End of Civilization?

If you have been doing any type of research on whether or not you can put tap water in a humidifier, you undoubtedly come across a lot of fear porn.

  A lot of sites make it sound like if you put tap water in a humidifier you will have committed the unpardonable sin.

Can You Put Tap Water in a Humidifier?


“You can absolutely put tap water in a humidifier. Is it the best water to put in the humidifier. No. But if you have a regular cleaning schedule using and acidic cleaner like “cleaning vinegar” then you should have very few issues putting tap water in your humidifier.”

What are the issues with putting tap water in a humidifier?

1.  Minerals

The primary problem with putting tap water in a humidifier is that it is full of minerals that can eventually stop up your humidifier or at least cause it to have less output.

2. Humidifier dust

Those same minerals that can reduce the effectiveness of a humidifier over time also contribute to the amount of white humidifier dust that settles on and around your humidifier.

3.  Mold

And thirdly, the minerals in tap water can increase the chances of mold growing in your humidifier water.

Do these issues constitute some type of crisis that will keep your humidifier from operating? Not really.

And if you look around, you will find some humidifiers like Vicks that tell you to put tap water in your humidifier basin right in the instructions.

And like we pointed out before, if you are keeping up with a regular schedule of cleaning your humidifier with an acidic vinegar, you might not even notice these being issues at all.

And plus there are additives that you can purchase like aqua stick that will cut down the chances of mold becoming a problem with your humidifier for up to 90 days even with tap water.

The primary issue with any type of tap water  that you use in a humidifier is how many minerals and other particles that it contains.

What water is best for a humidifier

What Water is Best for a Humidifier?


“Distilled water is the best water to run in a humidifier. Distilled water goes through a process that removes 99% of the minerals and sediment that you find in your usual tap water.”

Distilled water simply has less particles that can gum up a humidifier than any other type of water.

So if you want to give your humidifier the best chance for lasting longer, then make distilled water your choice for running inside of your humidifier.

You will find that it cuts down on the amount of humidifier dust that settles around your humidifier.

Does using distilled water in the humidifier mean that you do not have to clean your humidifier?

Not at all. Mold and bacteria will grow in distilled water that has been allowed to sit and become stagnant.

Maybe not as quickly as when you use tap water, but using distilled water in no way prevents the eventual bacteria in water over time.

And if you are using a warm mist vaporizer type humidifier then you already have a built-in mechanism for keeping mold and bacteria from becoming an issue with your humidifier.

These types of humidifiers raise the temperature of the water to a boiling point which will kill any bacteria in the water before it becomes airborne and inhaled by the user.

Humidifiers these days are pretty sophisticated. You can buy humidifiers that operate as both cool mist and warm mist as well as get them built with mold resistant plastic.

   Top Fill designs take a huge amount of work out of using a humidifier because they do not require you to take the humidifier apart or turn the basin upside down to fill it with water.

So understandably, once you’ve made that extra investment into a humidifier with all the extra features, then you want to give your humidifier the best chance of lasting longer.

So using distilled water over tap water in your humidifier makes perfect sense at that point.

But the risk of putting tap water in a humidifier really doesn’t amount to a whole lot of excitement. And it’s up to you whether or not you want to deal with a little extra clean up.

Bottled Water in Humidifier?

Should you put a bottle of water in the humidifier if you don’t have any distilled?

Bottled water in a humidifier may be a little better than tap water because it does go through a little stricter of a purification process than tap.

But the minerals are not taken out of bottled water and since it’s the minerals that are the main issue with tap water, you’re only going to get a little bit of improvement using bottled water vs tap water.

How about using boiled water in the humidifier?

Boiling water will kill the bacteria or any type of fungal threat that could be present and water.

But the primary problem with boiling water then putting it into a humidifier is that boiling separates the sediment in the water and getting the water into the humidifier without getting the sediment in the humidifier along with it is going to be a little tough. Not impossible but tough.

Stream water seems like it would be a great solution for a humidifier but it probably has more minerals and sediment in it then tap water. And the likelihood of it already containing bacteria and fungus goes up a thousand percent.

bottled water for humidifier Summary

Tap water in a humidifier?

“You can use tap water in the humidifier as long as you understand that the minerals and other particles in it can eventually reduce the output of the humidifier.”

And tap water generally creates more humidifier dust on and around the humidifier than other types of water.

But if you have a regular cleaning schedule for your humidifier that includes a good acidic vinegar, you may not ever notice that these are issues. 

But humidifiers can be quite expensive if you get the type with all the bells and whistles.

So understandably you want to put the best water possible in the machine to keep it working like new.

Distilled water is the best possible water for a humidifier because it does go through a process of removing the minerals and other particles as well as bacteria.

And it can reduce the amount of humidifier dust you see around your humidifier as well.

So tap water in a humidifier? You can do it and it’s not the end of the world. But if you want the best water for your humidifier that will increase the chances of it lasting much longer, go with distilled water.