Can You Use Tap Water In Humidifier (And Keep Humidifier Clean)

  • By: madison
  • Date: December 2, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

A humidifier is a household appliance that increases the air’s humidity level.

Many people use them to relieve the symptoms of dry air, such as static electricity, nosebleeds, and cracked lips.

However, some people are concerned about using tap water in their humidifiers because they worry it may harm their health.

Key Takeaway’s

  • Humidifiers can be used with either distilled or tap water.
  • Tap water may contain minerals that can build up in the humidifier and potentially damage it.
  • If using tap water, it is recommended to clean the humidifier more frequently.
  • Distilled water will not cause any buildup in the humidifier.
  • It is generally safer to use distilled water in a humidifier, especially if you have hard water.
Water coming from a tap
Can You Use Tap Water In Humidifier

Here’s The Answer To Can You Use Tap Water In Humidifier

Yes, you can fill a humidifier with tap water. As a result of the minerals it contains, which can help to improve the quality of the air, it is the best kind of water to use.

When using tap water in a humidifier, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Make sure that the water is clean and free of contaminants.
  • Be sure to change the water frequently to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.
  • Avoid distilled or reverse osmosis water, as these types of water can worsen the air quality.

You Can Use Tap Water In A Humidifier, But It Is Not Recommended

Water getting filled from a tap into a tumbler.
You Can Use Tap Water In A Humidifier, But It Is Not Recommended

Tap water contains minerals that build up and cause problems with your humidifier over time.

These minerals include calcium and magnesium, which can leave residue on the heating element of your humidifier, leading to corrosion and, ultimately, the failure of the product.

If you use tap water in your vaporizer, clean it regularly so that these deposits don’t build up too much over time and damage your device.

Tap Water Can Contain Minerals That Can Build Up

Unfortunately, tap water contains minerals that can build up and cause problems with your humidifier. It can also contain bacteria, which can also cause problems with your humidifier.

Tap water is not recommended because it can cause problems with your humidifier.

If You Do Use Tap Water, Be Sure To Clean Your Humidifier Regularly

For most people, that means about once a week during winter and once every two weeks during summer.

If you want to avoid cleaning altogether, an evaporative model with an internal filter will usually last longer than one without one (as long as it has been cleaned properly).

By all means, clean the unit when necessary, but if you can get away with simply replacing the filter or replacing a cartridge in a reverse osmosis system every so often, then do so.

You’ll save time and money in the long run.

Distilled Water Is The Best Type Of Water To Use In A Humidifier

In a nutshell, distilled water is free of minerals, which means that tap and bottled water can contain minerals that can build up and cause problems with your humidifier.

If you want to use tap water in your humidifier, it’s best to run the tap for about 45 seconds, so it flushes out any leftover minerals.

If You Must Use Tap Water, Let It Sit For 24 Hours

If you must use tap water, let it sit for 24 hours before using it in your humidifier. This will allow some of the minerals to settle out.

It’s also a good idea to keep track of how long you’ve had the humidifier running so that you don’t accidentally use too much mineral-laden water at one time.

If the humidifier has been running for more than 24 hours with no change in humidity level, chances are good that its mineral content has increased significantly—so don’t use it.

The same goes for drastic temperature fluctuations (say, from winter to summer).

How Does A Humidifier Work?

A person filling a glass of water from a tap
How Does A Humidifier Work

A humidifier does exactly what it sounds like: it adds moisture to the air. Since we all know that winter is coming (sorry, Game of Thrones fans), it’s important to keep your home moisturized during these cold months.

This can be done with a humidifier, which will help you stay healthy and comfortable throughout the season.

Humidifiers are also beneficial during allergy season because they act as mini sponges that collect pollen and dust particles in their filters, preventing them from floating around in your home—and up your nose.

Moisture-filled air is also great at keeping skin soft and hydrated when you’re suffering from dryness or eczema flare-ups, so if this has ever been an issue for you before, then buying a humidifier may be a good investment for your health.

What Are The Types Of Humidifiers?

There are various types of humidifiers, each with its own pros and cons. The most common type is a cool mist humidifier.

This type works by evaporating water into the air, making it easier for your body to absorb moisture from the air.

Another option is a warm mist humidifier—it uses heat from boiling water to evaporate into the air.

Warm mist humidifiers are especially useful during winter since they don’t leave behind any residue or particles like cold mist ones; however, they can be more expensive than their cold counterpart (but still much cheaper than traditional heating systems).

Which Type Of Humidifier Is Best For Tap Water?

The best type of humidifier to use with tap water is one that has a demineralization cartridge. The cartridge filters out minerals and other impurities in your water supply.

You can buy these cartridges at a hardware store. They’re usually made of plastic or ceramic and come in different sizes depending on your humidifier’s size.

If you’re using an ultrasonic humidifier, it’ll have to be cleaned out more often since it’s impossible for this type of humidifier to remove minerals from the water, as well as some other types, can do.

But don’t worry! It’s not complicated—you just need to dump out any water left inside when you’re done using the unit for the day (which should be about every 4-5 days), then run plain tap water through it until all traces of mineral build-up are gone.


Although it is not advised, you can use tap water in your humidifier. In the humidifier, the minerals in the water can accumulate and cause issues.

It is best to use distilled or filtered water.


Kenneth Sine
Kenneth Sine

My name is Kenneth Sine, and I’m a product engineer who has been working with humidifiers for over ten years now. In my spare time, I write for, where I share my knowledge with others who want to learn more about the world of humidifiers.