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

what is the white dust coming out of your humidifier

If you’re reading this blog post, there’s a good chance you are asking Google about the white dust coming from your humidifier.

Well, you’re in the right place.

In this blog post, you’ll find:

  • What causes humidifier white dust?
  • Is humidifier white dust harmful?
  • And how to avoid (prevent) the white dust from your humidifier.

So if you have experienced this problem, you will love our discussion.

Let’s dive right in.

What is the White Dust Coming from the Humidifier?

Let’s say you’ve ever used a humidifier in the past. 

In that case, then you may have noticed that particles will appear on surfaces around your home. 

The white dust is actually minerals from water vapor that has been emitted by the humidifier.

The white dust that is left around your home represents the minerals present in your water.

In case you haven’t heard of the term “hard water,” it refers to water that contains more minerals than ordinary water.

These minerals are basically dissolved salts such as calcium and magnesium.

Hard water can leave spots on glassware, clothing, and other fabrics.

That means that when you fill your humidifier with hard tap water, white dust is created because of these minerals.

The water vapor that is created by your humidifier has these dissolved minerals within it.

When the water vapor is heated, it is turned into minuscule droplets of liquid.

When these droplets leave your humidifier and contact other surfaces like furniture or counters, they become dust, leaving behind white patches that are difficult to remove.

Which Humidifiers Produce White Dust?

You’ll have to look closely at your humidifier to find out if it creates white dust.

Any humidifier that uses water vapor can produce white dust. 

Still, only two types are known for creating excessive amounts of this mineral-rich substance.

These are ultrasonic humidifiers and impeller humidifiers.

You’ll know if your particular model uses one of these two methods to create humidity inside the air or in your room.

In particular, with ultrasonic humidifiers, the white dust is made worse because of how these machines work.

An ultrasonic humidifier uses high-frequency vibrations to turn water into a mist so it can spray out of the machine and into the air.

When this mist has minerals dissolved in it, they become larger particles that then fall back down when they enter the room or environment.

The white spots will appear on surfaces such as hardwood floors and will often be very hard to remove.

If you have an ultrasonic humidifier, then you’ll want one to check your water supply before filling the machine.

In fact, you should probably check your tap water before using any humidifier to make sure it doesn’t have high levels of minerals.

If you know that your water is hard and can cause these white spots on surfaces, you just want to make sure that you don’t end up with a room full of white spots.

It’s very common for people to forget that using hard water in a humidifier is going to cause problems later on.

As you can imagine, there are other ways to moisturize the air if you have this type of problem with your humidifier.

Using distilled or filtered water can prevent white dust from forming–especially if you use an ultrasonic or impeller machine.

You may also want to try another type of humidifier entirely if you’re not having good results with a non-hard water version.

Selecting the right type and model for your needs is essential no matter what humidifier you purchase. 

So be sure to do your research before making a final decision.

If hard water is a problem in your home, you may want to consider an alternative option that wouldn’t clog up the air with minerals and white dust.

We will talk about how to prevent white mineral dust around your humidifier in the next section, so keep on reading.

Also read: 8 Benefits of Humidifier Every Homeowner Should Know!

Is White Dust from Humidifier Harmful?

Yes, the white dust from your humidifier can be harmful to people with dust-related allergies.

The minerals in white dust are often the same minerals that can cause problems with seasonal allergies as well.

The minerals it contains can also be harmful if you breathe in the white dust.

Suppose you notice that your furniture, clothes, and carpeting have a thick coating of this dust. 

In that case, you should try to eliminate it as much as possible so that the dust doesn’t become airborne while you breathe it in.

One study has shown that breathing in white dust can cause serious health problems like lung damage.

This is why you should take steps to keep the white dust around your humidifier from getting into the air or settling on surfaces in your home.

Let’s take a look at some simple steps that you can take to prevent white dust from getting out of control.

How to Prevent Humidifier White Dust

Inhaling the white dust from your humidifier can cause allergic reactions and lung problems in those with allergies.

Here are some simple tips that you can use to prevent white dust from forming in the air or around your humidifier.

Use Filtered or Distilled Water

Knowing that humidifier white dust is actually minerals in the water, starting with the simplest solution makes sense.

Let’s say you want to avoid having your house covered with this white dust. 

In that case, you should start by using filtered or distilled water for your humidifier instead of hard tap water.

Filtered or distilled water will have less mineral than your regular tap water.

Using filtered or distilled water will make a huge difference in preventing white dust from getting out of control.

You could use bottled water if you have difficulty finding quality water supplies at your local store.

This is important because the minerals and other particles in hard tap water will make a big difference in the amount of white dust produced when you use your humidifier.

Hard water will produce a lot more white dust than filtered or distilled water, so this is step one to keeping your house free from white dust created by your humidifier.

Also read: Does Water Filter Remove Minerals? The Truth About Your Water and Minerals!

Change the Water Frequently

Running the same water through your humidifier day after day will cause it to pick up minerals and particles, so you need to change the water every day.

It doesn’t take long for the minerals to build up, so you should always be prepared by having a fresh supply of water on hand.

Before running your machine every night, make sure that you have a new batch of clean water waiting for it to be used instead of just adding more dirty water.

This will help prevent white dust from building up in the air around your humidifier.

Avoid Using Ultrasonic Humidifiers

One of the worst types of humidifiers for creating white dust is the ultrasonic model.

The minerals and particles that are dissolved in water will be dispersed around your home when you use this type of humidifier instead of settling near the surface like they would with a different kind.

You may want to consider purchasing a portable warm or cool mist humidifier if your water is really hard and the dust is too much to manage.

These humidifiers don’t create as much white dust, and they are easy to clean.

You may have to replace your water filter more often than usual with this type of humidifier. Still, it will be worth it if you want a less dusty environment.

Keep Your Humidifier Clean and Change Filters Regularly

If you use your humidifier regularly, you must make sure that the air passages in your machine are kept free of dust.

You can loosen the fixtures and check for blockages at least once per week if you notice white dust around your humidifier or inside the machine.

Any water that sits in the machine will collect minerals and particles over time, so you should clean your humidifier regularly and change the filters at least every two weeks.

Your humidifier can’t do its job without keeping these air passages free of dust buildup.

It’s not just white dust that is a problem with humidifiers.

While cleaning your machine, you should scrub the outside of it to help prevent mold and mildew buildup.


I hope by now you have realized that white dust is not something to be ignored.

Humidifier white dust is usually made up of minerals from your hard tap water, so you can avoid it or reduce the amount that gets out in the air by just using filtered or distilled water.

Run new water through your humidifier before each use to clean out any minerals or particles built up inside it.

Cleaning your machine regularly will help prevent mold and mildew buildup as well, so this is good practice no matter which type of humidifier you use.

White dust is a problem for most users of humidifiers, and it can get out of control quickly if you don’t take care to prevent it.

The white dust problem can be managed easily as long as you follow the tips in this article, so don’t hesitate to try them out.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

Are you a humidifier user? Have you experienced white dust problems as I did?

How do you manage it?

Please share in the comments if you have something to say. Thanks.

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