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Can you use Well Water in a Humidifier?

Updated on March 2, 2023

No. You must not use well water with a humidifier because humidifiers are designed to work with distilled water.

Why is Well Water Harmful for a Humidifier?

A humidifier heats water in the reservoir and then turns it into steam. You shouldn’t use well water in a humidifier because it is mostly hard and rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. These elements have higher boiling points than water and get stuck on the heating element, filters, or other components.

Well water will not make your humidifier go bad in a month or two, but it will reduce its working capacity. The reason would be the gunk buildup from calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Using well water in a humidifier is not only bad for your humidifier but also bad for your health. The hard well water will produce white dust inside the humidifier. It is not a defect or flaw in the humidifier but an accumulation of minerals found in well water. White dust can cause respiratory problems when inhaled.

Moreover, using distilled water has its advantages. It keeps the humidifier clean and running optimally. It also keeps humidifier filters clean and prevents mold growth, improving air quality around you.

Can I use Treated (Purified) Well Water in a Humidifier?

You may think that treated or purified well water is safe for humidifiers. No. It is not safe, but better than untreated well water. Moreover, it also depends on what systems you have at your home.

A water softener will remove hardness, but it won’t remove minerals from water. An RO system will remove minerals, total dissolved solids, and 99% of other impurities. It is better than soft water but not completely safe for a humidifier.

It is better than soft water but not completely safe for a humidifier

Can I use Well Water in a Cool Mist Humidifier?

Cool mist humidifiers don’t have a heating element. They use ultrasonic vibrations to turn water into a vapor. These machines come with sophisticated filters that trap bacteria and other contaminants. Using well water can block these filters and reduce the machine’s efficiency and overall working capacity.

Can I make Distilled water at Home?

Yes. Distilled water is commonly available in stores and online. It is a good idea to buy a water distiller for your home if you have multiple appliances that use distilled water. The common appliances that use distilled water are steam mops, steam cleaners, humidifiers, lead-acid batteries, and automotive cooling systems.

humidifiers, lead-acid batteries, and automotive cooling systems

What if Distilled Water is not available?

Using well water (treated or untreated) a couple of times will not hurt your humidifier. It becomes a problem when you continuously use well water. So, it is perfectly fine to use well water in a humidifier 1-2 times but not continuously.

Can I Use Tap Water (City Water) in Humidifier?

It is fine to use tap water in a humidifier if the it is soft. The biggest indication that your home has hard water is the scale buildup and stains on appliances and plumbing fixtures.

On the contrary, if you live in an area with hard tap water, you must only use distilled water for your humidifier.

Can I use Bottled Water in Humidifier?

No. Bottled water must not be used in a humidifier. Bottled water contains minerals. It can damage your humidifier.

Can I use Boiled Water in Humidifier?

No. It is not recommended to use boiled water in a humidifier. Boiled water is free from bacteria and viruses but contains minerals and dissolved solids. Boiled water is more dangerous than tap or bottled water because boiling increases the concentration of minerals as water is evaporated via steam.


  • Earl Rojo

    Earl Rojo has been a senior mechanic in well drilling and maintenance firms for 3 years. He is from Longview, Texas, and he loves sharing his experience with others. He frequently writes on various well water issues with a special focus on well maintenance and drinking water quality.

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