Should you use distilled water in humidifiers?

air humidifier near plant

Should you use distilled water in humidifiers?

Distilled water can be the best type of water to use in humidifiers!

Humidifiers play a crucial role in maintaining indoor air quality and comfort levels, especially during dry seasons or in arid climates. They work by adding moisture to the air, aiding in alleviating respiratory issues, preventing dry skin, and safeguarding wooden furniture and musical instruments. However, what often remains a topic of discussion is the type of water best suited for these devices. 

What is Distilled Water?

Distilled water is water that has been purified through a process called distillation.

During distillation, water is boiled, and the steam is collected and condensed back into a liquid. This process removes impurities, minerals, and contaminants, leaving behind a purer form of water without any dissolved solids. 

As a result, distilled water is often considered very pure and is commonly used in various applications where purity is essential, such as in laboratories, medical procedures, and certain household appliances like humidifiers and irons.

10 Reasons for Using Distilled Water in Humidifiers

The purity of distilled water makes it an ideal choice for humidifiers as it prevents mineral buildup, ensuring the device operates efficiently. Additionally, the absence of minerals inhibits the growth of bacteria and mold, contributing to better air quality in the room.

Using distilled water in humidifiers offers several advantages over tap water:

  1. Mineral-Free: Distilled water lacks minerals, preventing mineral buildup inside the humidifier. As a resut, there is less or no chance that any chemical substance get aggregated and effect the function of your device. On the other hand, tap water contains minerals that can form deposits, reducing the device’s efficiency and lifespan.
  2. Reduced Microbial Growth: Distilled water’s purity inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, and algae within the humidifier. Tap water may contain impurities that promote microbial growth, especially bacteria.
  3. Cleaner Mist: Distilled water produces a cleaner, finer mist compared to tap water. Because tap water may contain impurities like bacterial spores or heavy metal that can be dispersed into the air along with the mist.
  4. Prolongs Humidifier Lifespan: The absence of mineral deposits in distilled water helps prevent clogging and damage to the humidifier’s components, extending its lifespan.
  5. Healthier Air Quality: Using distilled water reduces the likelihood of releasing airborne impurities into the room, which can be beneficial for people with allergies or respiratory issues.
  6. Prevents White Dust: Tap water’s mineral content can result in a white dust settling on nearby surfaces when the humidifier operates. Distilled water minimizes this residue.
  7. Maintains Humidifier Efficiency: Regularly using distilled water helps maintain the humidifier’s efficiency by preventing buildup that can obstruct its operation.
  8. No Unpleasant Odors: Impurities present in tap water might sometimes cause unpleasant odors when vaporized by the humidifier. Distilled water eliminates this issue.
  9. Less Maintenance Required: Since distilled water reduces mineral deposits, the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance of the humidifier is no more a headache.
  10. Preserves the Air’s Natural Aroma: Using distilled water ensures that the air’s natural scent remains unaffected, as it lacks the added odors or tastes that can be present in tap water.

Why you should avoid tap water for humidifiers?

Continued use of tap water in humidifiers leads to mineral deposits, commonly referred to as “white dust,” settling inside the machine and on nearby surfaces. These deposits not only compromise the device’s performance but also pose potential health risks when released into the air. Inhalation of mineral particles may irritate the respiratory system, especially for those with allergies or asthma.

Alternatives to Distilled Water

While distilled water is the recommended choice, there are alternatives that can be used in humidifiers. Filtered water, especially through reverse osmosis or carbon filtration systems, can reduce mineral content and serve as an alternative to distilled water. However, it’s essential to ensure the water is adequately filtered to avoid similar issues caused by tap water.

Tips for Using Distilled Water Efficiently

Using distilled water efficiently involves proper handling and storage. Storing water in clean containers away from contaminants and ensuring timely replacement in the humidifier helps maintain optimal air quality. Regular cleaning of the humidifier also prevents bacterial growth, irrespective of the water type used.

air humidifier for plants
Distilled water used in Air humidifier for plants

Misconceptions: Distilled Water and Humidifiers

There are misconceptions surrounding the use of distilled water in humidifiers. Some people believe that type of water doesn’t matter for humidifiers. Debunking these myths is crucial for making informed choices regarding humidifier water. In the view of science, there is no confusion that, distilled water is anyway better than using tap water.

Environmental Impact of Using Distilled Water

Considering sustainability, the use of distilled water might raise concerns due to the energy-intensive process of distillation. Exploring eco-friendly alternatives or ways to minimize environmental impact while using distilled water is a subject worth delving into.

Cost Analysis: Distilled Water vs. Tap Water

While distilled water may seem more expensive upfront, analyzing the long-term costs, including maintenance and potential health-related expenses, can provide a clearer perspective on the economic impact of water choice for humidifiers.

Expert Recommendations and Best Practices

Experts recommend using distilled water for humidifiers to ensure optimal performance and air quality. They also advocate for regular maintenance, including cleaning and changing water, to prolong the device’s lifespan.

Case Studies and User Experiences

Real-life experiences and case studies can offer insights into the impact of water choice on humidifiers. Testimonials from users who have switched to distilled water or faced issues due to tap water usage can provide valuable lessons.


The choice of water for humidifiers significantly affects their functionality and the quality of air they produce. Distilled water stands out as the recommended option, given its ability to prevent mineral buildup and bacterial growth. However, alternatives and proper maintenance also play vital roles in ensuring efficient and healthy humidifier usage.

Tarek Siddiki Taki

Hi! This is Tarek Siddiki Taki, a plant science graduate, passionate about biotechnologies and their role in addressing environmental issues. I aim to contribute to the advancement of plant science, particularly in horticulture, climate, and gene behavior. I am dedicated to sharing my knowledge and insights with others through my writing and research.