Do You Have To Use Distilled Water In Humidifier (What We Found!)

  • By: madison
  • Date: November 24, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

If you own a humidifier, you must know what type of water you should use. You could be unsure whether to use tap or distilled water or maybe you’re trying to decide if filtered water is an acceptable alternative.

This article will answer all these questions and give tips on how often distilled water should be used and why it’s important for your humidifier (and, ultimately, your health).

Key Takeaway’s

  • Humidifiers add moisture to the air to help alleviate conditions like dry skin, sinus congestion, and static electricity.
  • There are many different types of humidifiers, each with pros and cons.
  • One factor to consider when choosing a humidifier is the type of water you’ll use.
  • While distilled water is often recommended for humidifiers, you can also use tap water.
  • If you use tap water, clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.
An industrial water distillation unit
Do You Have To Use Distilled Water In Humidifier

Here’s The Answer To Do You Have To Use Distilled Water In Humidifier

You’ll be happy to know that distilled water, which has no minerals or impurities and is also free of chlorines, is the preferred choice for most humidifiers.

The reason? Mineral-free water can help extend the life of your humidifier. I’m a huge supporter of using distilled water for my home’s humidifiers, as you might have figured by this point. A quick online search will show how many people agree with me.

But even though we’re all on the same page about using distilled water in our humidifiers, there are still some questions left unanswered:

Why exactly do distillation processes remove minerals from tap water? What happens if you use tap instead? Does it matter where your tap comes from (in terms of mineral content)? And finally—what about those high-end models that require special ingredients like salt blends and glycerin for proper operation?

To answer these questions and more—including whether or not using the tap instead of freshly squeezed rainwater will affect the lifespan of your machine—we spoke with several experts who brought us up to speed on everything we need to know about choosing between one or another when shopping around next time.

No, You Do Not Have To Use Distilled Water In Humidifier

A humidifier producing mist
No, You Do Not Have To Use Distilled Water In Humidifier

The quick answer is no, and you can use regular water in your humidifier instead of distilled water. Any type of plain old tap water will work just fine.

Distilled water is more expensive than tap, and it’s not great for plants or the environment—it can cause them to die.

Additionally, distilled water is not necessary to clean a humidifier because the device already filters out any impurities in your home’s tap.

You can save money using cheap bottled H2O instead of buying fancy “purified” stuff at the grocery store.

However, Using Distilled Water Can Help Extend The Life Of Your Humidifier

Why? Because distilled water does not contain minerals or other contaminants that could potentially clog up your humidifier’s mechanism and cause it to break down sooner than expected.

Instead of using tap water in your humidifier, use distilled water. You also eliminate having to clean out mineral buildup that might otherwise form inside the unit. This means no more messes or delays in getting ready for bedtime.

Distilled Water Has No Minerals Or Other Impurities That Can Clog Up The Humidifier

Humidifiers are supposed to help you breathe easier. Still, your health could be at risk if your humidifier is clogged up with minerals from tap water.

Distilled water has no risk of mineral buildup because it has been purified via distillation and stripped of all minerals.

When using tap water in a humidifier, calcium and magnesium salts can build up inside the device, making it more difficult for it to operate effectively.

These minerals will eventually become so thick they’ll cause airflow issues throughout the system or even prevent incoming air from getting through.

This makes your machine less effective and increases its overall maintenance costs since you’ll need to clean or replace parts regularly as they become blocked by mineral deposits.

Distilled water won’t have these issues because there aren’t any impurities to build up around—it’s just pure H2O.

If You Use Tap Water, You Will Need To Clean The Humidifier More Often

Your humidifier may need to be cleaned more frequently using tap water. Your humidifier may need to be cleaned more frequently using tap water. The minerals in tap water can clog up the humidifier and leave a white residue on the inside of it.

This can also affect the quality of the mist and how clean your humidifier is.

If you want to keep your humidifier looking and working like new, distilled water is what you should be using.

Some People Prefer To Use Essential Oils With Their Humidifier, Which Is Also Safe To Do

Some people prefer to use essential oils with their humidifiers, which is also safe. Essential oils contain therapeutic properties that can help relieve respiratory problems and allergies.

You can mix them up yourself or buy pre-made blends for your humidifier. Essential oils are great for people who suffer from dry skin and want a more natural option than traditional moisturizers.

How Often Should You Use Distilled Water In A Humidifier?

Water distillation unit for distilled water
How Often Should You Use Distilled Water In A Humidifier

The first thing you’ll want to do is find out how often your humidifier needs to be cleaned. Some models are designed for daily cleaning, while others can go longer between cleanings.

Check the manufacturer’s website for more information if your model isn’t labeled with instructions on how often it should be cleaned.

You should change the water in your humidifier at least once every 3-4 days if possible—your health depends on it.

If you don’t want to worry about keeping track of when it’s time for a refill, consider investing in a humidifier filter that will extend its life by up to 6 months (or even longer).

What Are The Dangers Of Using Tap Water In A Humidifier?

Tap water, while generally safe in humidifiers and other household appliances, can contain bacteria, mold and viruses harmful to your health.

It also may have minerals that can clog up the humidifier’s system and make it more difficult to clean.

And suppose you’re using distilled water with your humidifier. In that case, there’s no reason to worry about adding chlorine-based cleaners or chemicals from tap water because those will be removed in the distillation process.

Can I Use Filtered Water Instead Of Distilled Water In My Humidifier?

The short answer is no. While filtered water may be free of impurities, it still contains minerals that can build up in your humidifier over time.

This can lead to problems such as decreased efficiency, corrosion, and even bacteria growth.

Distilled water, on the other hand, is completely free of impurities and minerals. This makes it the ideal choice for a humidifier, as it won’t lead to any buildup or problems down the road.

If you’re using a humidifier in your home, it’s always best to use distilled water. This will ensure that your humidifier runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.


In conclusion, as long as you clean your humidifier regularly with water, vinegar and baking powder or bleach, you can use any type of water in your humidifier.

Please do so if you prefer distilled water over tap or filtered water. We hope our article has answered all your questions about using distilled water vs. other types.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use RO water in a humidifier?

This is not recommended, as RO water may contain minerals that can build up over time and cause problems with the humidifier. The best humidifier option is distilled water, which must be used almost exclusively.

Why is the Humidifier Wick So Important?

The humidifier wick is responsible for dispersing water vapor into the air. The water vapor then mixes with the air and moisture in the room, helping to relieve symptoms of dryness or moisture deficiency. If your humidifier’s wick isn’t delivering water vapor evenly, it will result in inefficient humidification and possible mold growth.

How do I clean my humidifier wick if it becomes clogged?

If the humidifier wick becomes clogged, you can try using a water jet sprayer to clear it. You might need to swap the humidifier’s wick if that doesn’t work.

What happens if I don’t use distilled water in my humidifier?

It may not run as efficiently if you don’t use distilled water in your humidifier. This can lead to mold growth or problems down the road.


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.