Is Distilled Water Best For Humidifiers (We Asked the Experts)

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

Should you use distilled water, or will tap water do? The answer may surprise you.

Key Takeaway’s

  • Distilled water is often recommended for humidifiers because it is free of minerals and other impurities.
  • Using distilled water can help extend your humidifier’s life and prevent mineral buildup.
  • Although distilled water is generally safe to use, there are a few potential downsides.
  • Using distilled water in your humidifier may worsen the problem if you have hard water.
  • You may also want to avoid using distilled water if you have respiratory problems, as it could exacerbate your symptoms.
Humidifier misting
Is Distilled Water Best For Humidifiers

Here’s The Answer To Is Distilled Water Best For Humidifiers

Distilled water is often considered the best humidifier option because it is free from impurities and minerals.

This means that it won’t leave any white dust on surfaces in your home and won’t contribute to any buildup in the humidifier itself.

Tap water, conversely, can contain impurities and minerals that can be deposited on surfaces in your home or cause buildup in the humidifier.

Sometimes, using tap water in a humidifier can even void the warranty. So, if you’re looking for the best option for your humidifier, distilled water is the way to go.

Distilled Water Does Not Contain Minerals That Can Build Up In The Unit

Distillation unit
Distilled Water Does Not Contain Minerals That Can Build Up In The Unit

Distilled water is a pure, simple form of H2O. It isn’t the only kind of water found in nature, but it does have some unique properties that make it the best option for humidifiers.

First off, distilled water contains no minerals or impurities at all. Distillation is used to remove these unwanted items from the water. It involves boiling down a liquid like seawater or groundwater until just its parts remain (water vapor and minerals).

Because there are no other substances present in distilled water besides hydrogen and oxygen, there’s nothing left behind when you pour out your humidifier tank to refill it with fresh water—no mold spores, calcium deposits, or bacteria, for example.

So you can be sure that each time you add more liquid to your machine, it will continue running smoothly without any problems arising from contamination caused by chemical buildup over time.

Regular Tap Water Can Leave Deposits In The Humidifier Unit

Tap water is filled with calcium and magnesium minerals that can build up in the humidifier unit.

These minerals can reduce the efficiency of your humidifier and cause it to break down over time. Distilled water is free from these minerals, so your humidifier has no buildup.

Over Time, These Mineral Deposits Can Reduce The Efficiency Of The Unit And Cause It To Break Down

If you’ve ever owned a humidifier, you know that mineral deposits are a real problem. Over time, these mineral deposits can reduce the unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down.

These minerals are not present when using distilled water in your humidifier in place of tap water because the distilling process removes them.

This means they don’t build up inside your unit’s components over time, leading to deposits that reduce performance and shorten lifespan.

Distilled Water Is Also Less Likely To Harbor Bacteria That Can Grow In Standing Water

While you may think that hot water is safe in your humidifier, it’s not as hygienic.

The steam from a shower can harbor germs and mold, which can then be transferred onto your face or into the air when you breathe.

Distilled water has been boiled at such a high temperature that it kills off any bacteria that could cause illness or harm to humans.

So while distilled water may seem expensive compared to tap or faucet-filtered water, it is safer for your health and will save you money in the long run by preventing respiratory problems caused by bacteria or other contaminants.

Using Distilled Water In Your Humidifier Will Help Extend Its Lifespan And Keep It Running Smoothly

Distilled water in your humidifier will help extend its lifespan and keep running smoothly.

Distilled water is pure, so it won’t leave mineral deposits or harbor bacteria like tap water can.

It also won’t change the pH of the water and alter the humidity level of your room; this makes distilled water an ideal choice for humidifiers that have been overused with tap water or treated with other additives.

How Does Distilled Water Benefit Humidifiers?

Distilled water in a glass
How Does Distilled Water Benefit Humidifiers

If you’ve been thinking about getting a humidifier but are worried about the chemicals and minerals in your tap water, distilled water is the perfect solution.

Distilled water is safe and free of chlorine, fluoride, or other chemicals. This makes it ideal for humidifier use because it does not leave any minerals behind in the unit that could build up over time or cause scale buildup, which can lead to problems.

It’s also important to note that distilled water does not contain bacteria or viruses like tap water does.

If you’re using a humidifier as part of your air purification system—as many people do—then this is another reason why distilled water makes sense: it ensures only clean air will be released into the atmosphere after being purified by your machine.

Are There Any Downsides To Using Distilled Water In Humidifiers?

Well, yes. Distilled water is not good for plants because it can be corrosive. It’s also not good for metal, plastic, wood, or ceramics.

In short: distilled water is a great choice for humidifiers if your tap water isn’t great or if you have other reasons to avoid using tap water.

Just be sure to read the instructions with your humidifier before filling it with distilled water, and keep an eye on the unit’s indicator light to ensure it’s still operating correctly.

What Are Some Alternative Types Of Water That Can Be Used In Humidifiers?

  • Boiled water
  • Sterilized water
  • De-ionized water


While water from the tap may be convenient, it’s not always the best option for your humidifier.

The minerals in this water can build up over time, make it less efficient, or even break down your unit entirely.

Distilled water is great for humidifiers because it does not contain these minerals. It will help keep your unit running smoothly by preventing deposits from forming on its interior surfaces or growing bacteria that could harm users when inhaling their misty air.


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.