Is It Better To Use Distilled Water In Humidifier (Is It Really)

  • By: madison
  • Date: December 2, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

If you have ever used a humidifier, you know it can be a pain to constantly refill it with water.

And if you live in an area with hard water, keeping your humidifier clean can be even more difficult. So, is it better to use distilled water in your humidifier?

Key Takeaway’s

  • Humidifiers are devices that emit water vapor into the air to help maintain a desired level of humidity.
  • There are two types of humidifiers: those that use evaporative pads or wicks and those that use ultrasonic vibrations.
  • Both types of humidifiers can be used with distilled water.
  • Distilled water is often recommended for humidifiers because it is free of minerals and other impurities that can build up in the device over time.
  • Using distilled water can help extend the life of your humidifier and keep it running more efficiently.
Distillation of water
Is It Better To Use Distilled Water In Humidifier

Here’s The Answer To Is It Better To Use Distilled Water In Humidifier

Yes, it is better to use distilled water in a humidifier. Here’s why: 

When water evaporates, it leaves behind minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up in the humidifier and eventually be released into the air you breathe.

If you have hard water, this is especially true. Distilled water has been boiled to remove all impurities, so you won’t have to worry about mineral buildup in your humidifier.

Another reason to use distilled water is to prevent bacteria growth. Bacteria can grow in standing water, even if you clean your humidifier regularly.

To stop the growth of bacteria, you’ll need to clean your humidifier more frequently if you use tap water.

But if you use distilled water, you won’t have to worry about bacteria growth because there are no impurities for the bacteria to feed on.

Distilled Water Is Better To Use In A Humidifier Because It Is Free Of Minerals And Other Impurities

Water being distilled in a controlled environment
Distilled Water Is Better To Use In A Humidifier Because It Is Free Of Minerals And Other Impurities

In your humidifier, distilled water is what you should use. That’s because distilled water is pure, meaning it doesn’t contain any minerals or other impurities that can build up inside the appliance.

Tap water can have these minerals, which will get into your house and make you sick if you breathe them in.

Distilled water is also better for humidifiers than tap water because it evaporates more quickly than non-distilled sources of H2O.

This means that you’ll need to refill your humidifier less often, saving both time (because refilling takes some effort) and money (since propane tanks cost money).

Regular Tap Water Can Contain Minerals That Can Build Up In The Humidifier And Lead To Problems

If you are using tap water in your humidifier, it’s important to know that the minerals and contaminants in your water can build up over time and cause problems.

This is because those minerals and contaminants settle on the tank’s walls, where they will remain when the water evaporates. This can cause bacteria growth, mold growth, or even lead to a clog in your system.

To prevent this from happening: when refilling a tank for use with an ultrasonic vaporizer (which uses heat), run through 1 liter of distilled/reverse osmosis filtered water before putting it into service – this will clear out any built-up residue or sediment from previous use.

Distilled Water Will Help Extend The Life Of Your Humidifier

When you use tap water in your humidifier, it may build up minerals that can cause problems for the unit.

Minerals in tap water can lead to mineral deposits on parts inside the unit, which can cause the machine not to work properly or even fail altogether.

These mineral deposits are hard to clean off and could damage your humidifier over time.

Using distilled water will keep these buildups at bay because of its lack of impurities that would otherwise get stuck in your machine’s components.

Using Distilled Water Can Also Help Prevent Mold And Bacteria Growth In Your Humidifier

If you’re anything like me, your humidifier is probably essential to your daily routine. It helps to keep my sinuses nice and clear during the cold season (and any other time), but when I don’t use distilled water in it, mold can grow easily.

Mold can be dangerous for several reasons: firstly, it smells really bad—like a damp basement that hasn’t been opened for months; secondly, it can cause respiratory problems if breathed in heavily over long periods; and finally, the chemicals used to kill mold are unsafe for small children or pets to be near.

The problem with not using distilled water is that mineral deposits from tap water will quickly build up inside the machine.

This causes clogs that prevent air from moving through effectively, leading back up into those same nasty issues we just covered.

Make Sure To Change The Water In Your Humidifier Regularly

While distilled water has benefits, it’s not the best choice for humidifiers. This is because distilled water has a higher mineral content than tap water, and this can cause damage to your humidifier over time.

The biggest issue is that as your humidifier ages, it may become less efficient at converting minerals into steam and releasing them into the air.

If you use tap water instead of distilled water in your humidifier, this problem won’t occur since the pH level in tap water is lower than that of distilled water.

How Does Distilled Water Benefit A Humidifier?

Water being distilled in a boiler
How Does Distilled Water Benefit A Humidifier
  • Distilled water is free of minerals and other impurities.
  • Using distilled water can help extend the life of your humidifier because it reduces mineral buildup that can cause damage to internal components.
  • Using distilled water can also help prevent mold and bacteria growth in your humidifier, which could potentially cause health problems for you or your family members if inhaled regularly.

Are There Any Downsides To Using Distilled Water In A Humidifier?

Distilled water is safe to use in humidifiers, but there are some things you should know.

Distilled water is not always safe for consumption.

If you have a well and store your water, you must check the pH level of your distilled water often and ensure it stays within the safe range of 6-8 pH levels to avoid drinking a corrosive substance.

While distilled water can be used in humidifiers, it also has downsides: if the minerals are removed from the tap or well water, those minerals are gone from your body.

So if you regularly use a humidifier with distilled water, be aware of this.

How Often Should The Humidifier Be Cleaned When Using Distilled Water?

The answer to this question is simple: Clean your humidifier as often as possible. If you’re using distilled water, it will evaporate more quickly than tap water, and the relative humidity in your room will be higher than usual.

This means cleaning out your humidifier every day or two might be a good idea, especially if you have pets or children who tend to spill things around the house.

If you spend hours just trying to keep up with all the cleaning chores that come with running a humidifier (because let’s face it—it’s not exactly fun!), then I suggest switching to tap water.

In addition to saving time and money on frequently replacing filters due to their increased size (which requires a larger surface area), using municipal water may also save some energy since these machines require less power.


If you use distilled water in your humidifier, you must clean it regularly.

You should also check the wick and tank regularly to ensure no buildup of minerals or bacteria growth.

You can also add some vinegar into the tank if you notice any mold growth or buildup on the walls or sides of the tank.


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.