Can I Use Tap Water In My Humidifier?

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a humidifer water in it

Are you thinking of using tap water in your humidifier? If this is the case, you are not alone.

These gadgets are quite essential in places with low humidity as they add moisture to the air. With this added moisture, people with asthma and other respiratory issues have an easier time breathing. It is thus quite common to come across them in nursing homes and offices, as well as homes.

They not only aid in breathing, but they also help in the preservation of items such as furniture. The humidity keeps things from drying out and cracking, and they thus last longer than is standard. With all these benefits in tow, you should take care of the humidifier. And what you put in it matters a lot.

One thing that you will note is that getting a humidifier is a pretty simple process. Thus, you can find these appliances anywhere. With this ease, one would think that using tap water in them would be okay. But is it?


Well, consider this. Tap water contains a lot of minerals that you would put into the tank of your humidifier. And you cannot tell what is in the water unless you test it. In some regions, the water may be rich in fluoride. In others, it may contain tons of zinc.

When you put such water in the humidifier, the minerals will circulate through your home. Where you do not have an issue with this, you can use tap water in the tank. Where this is a problem, you would be better off using distilled water.


Humidifiers require regular cleaning to keep them working at an optimum. While you may be thorough with the cleaning, it may not amount to much where you use tap water in the tank. The minerals in the water will build up a scale.

This buildup can not only reduce the efficiency of the humidifier but can also damage the appliance. It is thus quite risky.

Also, consider the kind of environment that this buildup would encourage. Humidifiers are warm owing to the heat from the water. Add the constant presence of water, and you have a breeding ground for microorganisms. And with the buildup in place, you would have quite an unhygienic situation.

The appliance would thus work toward circulating mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms that would adversely affect your health.

Where you are using a CPAP machine, the use of tap water is a complete no-no. Think about it in this way. The CPAP machine leads directly to the respiratory system. Suppose your tap water contains lots of minerals and they build up at the bottom of the tank.

Over time, this would encourage the growth of microorganisms, which are harmful to your health. These microorganisms would find their way to the lungs of the person using the machine. And there is no telling what kind of respiratory problems one would suffer owing to such exposure.

The only thing that is for sure, in this case, is that the condition would be severe. Thus, if you are using a machine connected to the respiratory organs, stay away from using tap water. On this note, remember that boiled tap water will have the same minerals.

What Should You Use?

Choose distilled water for use in a humidifier. It has undergone a process through which minerals get removed. You thus cannot run the risks outlined above and would, therefore, feel safer using it. Note that distilled water is quite different from bottled water.

In some cases, you will find that the latter option has tons of minerals as it has only undergone filtering.

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