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Quick Guide: Water for Humidifiers

A humidifier brings welcomed relief to dry noses, throats, and lips. The moistened air often eliminates itchy winter skin. Also, humidifiers soothe flu and cold symptoms.

With all those benefits comes filling, upkeep, and cleaning. The last thing you need is one more chore. What if we told you the type of water you use in your humidifier is a game-changer? 

In this article, we will teach you what type of water to use in your humidifier. Choosing the right water will reduce the time you spend on maintenance and protect your health.

distilled water in a humidifer
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Can you use tap water for humidifiers?

According to Mayo Clinic, “Tap water contains minerals that can create deposits inside your humidifier that promote bacterial growth. When released into the air, these minerals often appear as white dust on your furniture. It’s also possible for you to breathe in some minerals that are dispersed into the air.” Additionally, a study done at the University of Alberta that determined that, “operating an ultrasonic humidifier with tap water resulted in particulate matter concentrations equivalent to a polluted city.”

In other words, no. You should not use tap water in humidifiers. The minerals in tap water are called total dissolved solids (TDS). It also consists of heavy metals and contaminants. TDS is not an indicator of water quality rather the amount of dissolved “stuff” in the water. Stuff that you should not breathe.

humidifier in room with plant
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What type of water is best for humidifiers?

Distilled water is often referred to as demineralized or purified. No matter what you call it, it has very low mineral content. In fact, it has almost none at <1PPM. Distilled water is an optimal choice for humidifiers as the lack of minerals allows the machine to operate smoothly. When you use distilled water in your humidifier, you can breathe easy. The output steam will be pure and TDS free.

Reverse osmosis water can also be used safely in humidifiers. Reverse osmosis (RO) is 98% free of dissolved impurities. The difference between distilled and RO water is the process. RO water is purified using intense filtration. Whereas distilled water is boiled and condensed to steam to remove solids.

young boy breathing steam from humidifier
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Do you have to use distilled water in a humidifier?

Yes, you should always use distilled water in your humidifier (or the alternatives listed above). In addition, for your health and to make your machine last longer you should follow this maintenance schedule:

  • Change the water often.
  • Clean the humidifier every 3 days.
  • Rinse the tank well after cleaning
  • Change humidifier filters on a regular basis.

By using distilled water in your humidifier, you will increase your health and reduce time spent maintaining your machine. Distillata has been producing the highest quality distilled water for more than a century! It is available in a variety of sizes and can be delivered to your home or office on a convenient schedule.

Additional resources: 

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