What Type Of Water To Put In Humidifier (Don’t Make This Mistake)

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

Winter can be tough on our skin, sinuses, and breathing. The air outside is dry and cold, and the heat inside can make things worse.

A humidifier can help by adding moisture to the air, but what type of water should you use?

Key Takeaway’s

  • The type of water you use in your humidifier can impact your health.
  • Tap water may contain impurities that can be released into the air, including bacteria and minerals.
  • Distilled or demineralized water is the best option for your humidifier, as it doesn’t contain these impurities.
  • If you use tap water, clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the build-up of bacteria and mineral deposits.
Humidifier producing mist on table
What Type Of Water To Put In Humidifier

Here’s The Answer To What Type Of Water To Put In Humidifier

The type of humidifier you have may have an impact on the answer. For instance, using distilled water is probably your best bet if you have an ultrasonic humidifier.

This is because these types of humidifiers produce white dust when used with tap water. Dust is a microscopic mineral that is found in most tap water sources.

If you have an evaporative humidifier, you have a little more leeway regarding the type of water you use.

These humidifiers don’t produce white dust, so you can safely use tap or filtered water. Make sure to change the filter regularly if you opt for filtered water.

As for me, I like to use distilled water in all of my household appliances—including my humidifier.

The Type Of Water Can Affect Humidifier Performance

humidifier on a table next to people sleeping
The Type Of Water Can Affect Humidifier Performance

The kind of water you use can have a significant impact on how well and efficiently your humidifier operates.

You’ll want to use distilled or filtered water in your humidifier. Using hard water will cause mineral buildup on the evaporator pad (the part of your humidifier that produces mist).

This may make it harder for your humidifier to work properly, so it’s important to avoid using hard water in yours.

Using deionized or distilled water is best for most people since it lacks minerals, but if you don’t have access to that type of water, you can also use filtered tap water instead—just be sure it doesn’t contain any contaminants such as lead or chlorine before filling up your tank.

Distilled Water Is The Best Type Of Water To Use

Distilled water is the best type in your humidifier because it doesn’t contain minerals that can build up on the evaporator pad and reduce its efficiency.

Distilled water is free of minerals and other impurities that may be present in tap water, which would otherwise be deposited on the evaporator.

The purpose of an evaporator is to trap humidity from steam, so using distilled water will keep this part of your humidifier clean and functioning properly.

You Can Also Use Filtered Water In Your Humidifier

Although you’ll need to replace the filter more frequently than if you were using distilled water, you can also use filtered water in your humidifier.

Filtered water is better than tap water. Filtered water is better than distilled water. Filtered water is better than reverse osmosis water.

Filtered water is better than deionized water. Filtered water is better than hard water.

You May Want To Consider Using A Demineralization Cartridge With Your Humidifier

Consider using a demineralization cartridge with your humidifier if you live in a region with hard water.

Hard water can cause mineral buildup on the evaporator pad, reducing its effectiveness over time.

The demineralization cartridge helps prevent mineral buildup by reducing the number of minerals in the air that passes through it.

If you have hard water and don’t use a demineralization cartridge, your humidifier will likely need to be replaced sooner than if you did.

Always Follow The Manufacturer’s Instructions

When you purchase a humidifier, it will probably have specific instructions for what type of water to use.

For example, some may be designed only to work with tap water or distilled water. Others may specify that you should use a particular brand of bottled drinking water.

In any case, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when filling up your humidifier with water.

What Happens If You Use The Wrong Type Of Water In A Humidifier?

Room Humidifier next to a wall
What Happens If You Use The Wrong Type Of Water In A Humidifier

If you use the wrong type of water in a humidifier, it will be bad news, bears. The following are some potential outcomes:

  • Your humidifier will not work as well.
  • You will have to clean it more often and possibly replace it sooner than expected.
  • You may experience health problems along with other people who use your humidifiers.

What Are The Different Types Of Water Can Be Used In A Humidifier?

You might have heard that adding salt is a way of preventing mold from forming inside your humidifier.

While this is true, it’s not the only thing you can use to kill bacteria and prevent mold growth. You can effectively do this with tap water as well.

Distilled water: Use distilled water in models that don’t require putting in any cleaning solution or demineralization cartridge.

It’s always recommended to clean the unit before refilling it with fresh water, but some people also use this type of water every time they refill their machine.

What Are The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Each Type Of Water For Use In A Humidifier?

The main benefits of distilled water include its lack of impurities, which means that it won’t leave any mineral deposits on your air filter.

This can help prevent the need for frequent cleaning. However, because distilled water contains no minerals and is generally devoid of taste or smell, some people dislike it as a humidifier additive because it has no flavor and doesn’t add any aroma to the room.

The main drawbacks of distilled water are that it lacks nutrients and may be harmful when ingested in high doses over long periods (in other words: don’t drink this stuff!).

Filtered tap water has many benefits but also some drawbacks. One benefit is that most filters will remove heavy metals like lead and mercury from the tap water before entering your machine—which means less chance of buildup on parts inside, too.


So, now you know what type of water to use in your humidifier. Making sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the type of water that should be used in your individual humidifier is the next step.

You must do this, so you don’t damage your unit by using the wrong type of water or cleaning solution.


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 HumidifierSource.com, where I share my knowledge with others who want to learn more about the world of humidifiers.