Can You Use Tap Water in a Humidifier? Find Out Here!

is it ok to use tap water in humidifier ?

A humidifier is a great way to add moisture into the air. They are beneficial during the winter months when the air can be extremely dry.

But what if you have hard water? Or live in an area with high mineral content in the tap water?

This blog post will answer the question: can you use tap water in a humidifier? 

The short answer is no. Tap water can contain minerals that will build up and clog your humidifier, or worse, can create white dust all over your house.

Read on and find out more about using tap water in your humidifier! 

Can I Use Tap Water in My Humidifier?

It is not suggested to use tap water to fill your humidifier.

This is because tap water can contain minerals that do not evaporate and will build up in your humidifier.

If you don’t change the water, you can have a gritty or mineral buildup on your humidifier plates which won’t let the mist come out.

Additionally, it will clog up your water tank, making it difficult to clean as well. 

You may also see white dust forming on your humidifier or even in the room where you have it running.

This is a sign that there is a buildup of minerals in your humidifier.

It can be difficult to clean out and get rid of mold and bacteria that grow in this mineralized water as well.

This buildup of minerals can also be in the air.

You can also inhale these dusts, which may lead to respiratory issues such as a stuffy nose.

The mineral buildup will even lead to a less effective humidifier.

In essence, using tap water in your humidifier is telling it to deliver dust into your room instead of moisturizing mist. Who wants that?!

Also read: Humidifier White Dust: What is it and how to avoid it?

Is It Dangerous to Use Tap Water in a Humidifier?

Yes, using tap water in a humidifier can be dangerous and harmful to your health.

Both the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend that you fill your humidifier with distilled water rather than tap water to keep possibly hazardous bacteria out of the air you breathe.

This is especially true if you live in an area where the water is not treated or processed to remove harmful bacteria and minerals.

If your tap water has a high mineral content, there is also a chance that you may see white dust all over your electric humidifier!

This can be hard to clean off and even more challenging to get rid of it completely.

What Is the Best Water for a Humidifier?

The best water for humidifiers is distilled water.

Distilled water is good because it has no minerals and can be used in almost any type of humidifier. 

This includes ultrasonic, cool mist, or warm mist humidifiers.

Distilled water is also safer to use in your humidifier because it has no bacteria or minerals that can build up inside of it. 

That buildup will make the life span of your humidifier shorter and decrease its effectiveness.

Additionally, distilled water is also safer for you. 

It won’t have any bacteria or minerals that can irritate your throat and lungs. 

What if I don’t have Distilled Water for My Humidifier?

If you don’t have distilled water for your humidifier, it is suggested to use demineralized or filtered water instead.

Ultimately, you want the best water in your humidifier.

So even if it isn’t distilled water, if you use demineralized or filtered water instead of tap water, you won’t have as much buildup inside your humidifier.

If you live in an area where the tap water is hard and doesn’t have any minerals, this is a good option for you as well. 

Filtered water can take out the minerals in the water, leaving you with a smooth and possibly clearer mist instead of a dry or dusty one.

In essence, using demineralized or filtered water can keep your humidifier cleaner and safer for you as well.

If you are interested in learning more about filtered water, you can view our discussions about water filters here.

Is Bottled Water OK For Humidifier?

Bottled water is also not a good option for your humidifier.

Even if the bottled water comes from a well-known natural spring, you should not use it in your humidifier.

The majority of bottled water will still contain dissolved minerals, even if they are from natural sources.

Although drinking this would not harm you, it is not recommended for your humidifier because it still can cause the buildup of minerals and bacteria, as mentioned above.

In essence, bottled water should not be used in your humidifier for all the same reasons that tap water should not be used.

Is Boiled Water Good for Humidifier?

Boiled water is another type of water that should be avoided in your humidifier.

Even though boiling water effectively kills germs and viruses, it is ineffective in removing dissolved minerals.

So when you put boiled water in your humidifier, it will still be chock full of dissolved minerals that can cause buildup and result in the decreased quality of mist output.

You can use boiled water to clean your humidifier, but only use distilled water when you want to turn it on for the actual mist output.

Also read: Is Water Filter Necessary in 2021?

How to Make Tap Water Safe for Humidifiers?

To make your tap water safe for a humidifier, you can distill your tap water in your home.

In essence, distillation will remove any dissolved minerals or impurities, so the end product is distilled water.

You can use this to fill up a humidifier for all of the aforementioned reasons with no problems.

So let’s talk about how to make distilled water for your humidifier.

How to Make Distilled Water for Your Humidifier

You can go out and buy distilled water.

However, making distilled water is much more cost-efficient. 

It is also a good idea because you get the distilled water right when you need it and don’t have to store any of it before you use it in your humidifier.

So here’s how to distill your tap water for your humidifier:

  1. Fill a pot or a pan with tap water to almost the top.
  2. Place the collection bowl in the water and let it float. The idea is to drip water steam into this bowl from the inverted lid, so make sure it’s big enough to catch the drips.
  3. Place the pot lid on the pot upside down.
  4. Preheat the pot to get the tap water boiling.
  5. As the steam comes off, it will drip inside the inverted pot lid and collect in the bowl. 
  6. Place ice cubes on top of the pot lid if you have some. The ice cools the pot’s cover and aids in the condensation of water vapor into liquid water.
  7. Remove the lid off the pot with caution to avoid being burned by steam, the pot, or the boiling water.
  8. The water left on your collection bowl is distilled water.
  9. You can use it in your humidifier, and you won’t have to worry about harming your humidifier from the buildup of minerals or bacteria.

Here’s a video guide to make your life easier:


In this article, you have read about the different types of water safe for a humidifier.

You should not use your tap water for your humidifier because it contains dissolved minerals and impurities.

You should stick to distilled water or demineralized water if you would like to keep your humidifier as clean and safe for you as possible.

I hope this article has been helpful, and you can now use your humidifier without worry.

Until next time, stay healthy!

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