If you have a humidifier, you have probably wondered whether you should use regular tap water or source out other forms of purified or processed water.
The issue with tap water usage in humidifiers is based on the high levels of microbes and impurities in tap water that could be released into the air during the humidification process.
The decision of which type of water to use in your humidifier can be particularly stressful if you or anyone in your home has pre-existing respiratory health issues like asthma or other allergies that can be exacerbated or aggravated by the presence of microbes and contaminants in the air.
This brings us to the big question of the day, “can I use distilled water in my Vicks humidifier?” Well, the answer is yes. You can use distilled water in your Vicks humidifier. In fact, distilled water is among the safest water to use in your Vicks humidifier because it does not contain impurities.
This article discusses the composition of distilled water, the differences between distilled water and tap water, whether you can use distilled water in your Vicks humidifier, the potential benefits of using distilled water in your Vicks humidifier, and frequently asked questions regarding the use of distilled water in humidifiers.
In this post, we will address:
- What is distilled water?
- What is the difference between distilled water and tap water?
- Can I use distilled water in my Vicks humidifier?
- Why you should use distilled water in your Vicks humidifier?
What is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is the steam collected when water is boiled. During the distillation process, the steam is cooled to transform it from its vaporized form to its liquid state.
Based on the process that water undergoes during distillation, it can be assumed that distilled water is one of the most purified forms of water that exists.
Distilled water is usually used in the laboratory for experiments because it does not have any impurities, toxins, microbes, or other contaminants.
It is also commonly used in certain medical devices like CPAP machines that are used on individuals who have sleep apnea (difficulty breathing and loud snoring when sleeping) health issues.
Aside from removing bacterial, viral, and other microbes from the water, the distillation process also removes minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron that contribute to water hardness.
These minerals usually affect the quality of water by leaving a chalky white cast on humidifiers or other equipment used to heat water around the house.
All types of water regardless of where the water comes from (tap, river and other water bodies, natural springs, or a well) have a certain level of minerals. The amount of minerals and contaminants in water depends on the source of the water. Distillation removes a large percentage of minerals and contaminants in the water.
What is the Difference Between Distilled Water and Tap Water?
Tap water contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc in varying amounts depending on the source of the water and the region while distilled water has been processed through a distillation process to remove a large percentage of these minerals and other contaminants or impurities that might have been in the water.
For instance, tap water in Florida has higher levels of minerals compared to other states. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported that most of the groundwater in Florida contains an average of 180 milligrams per litre of minerals associated with hard water.
Florida has high levels of limestone and as it rains, the rainwater dissolves some of the limestones and pushes it to the water bodies in Florida, which explains why most of the water in Florida is hard water.
Recommended: Why Hard Water is not Good for Humidifiers
Can I Use Distilled Water in My Vicks Humidifier?
You can use distilled water in your Vicks humidifier. Distilled water is the best water for most humidifiers because of the absence of impurities in the water.
It is recommended to use distilled water in your Vicks humidifier to promote the longevity of your product and ensure that the water in the humidifier does not contain any contaminants that could either ruin your humidifier or affect its performance.
Whether you have a cool mist or a warm mist humidifier, if you can, you should use distilled water in the humidifier.
If you do not have access to store-bought distilled water, there are several ways that you can make distilled water in your home.
Using distilled water in a cool-mist Vicks humidifier will ensure that bacteria and other microbes will not be dispersed into the air in your home. It will also reduce the risks of the dispersion of mineral deposits into the air in your home.
If you are using a warm mist Vicks humidifier, the minerals in tap water can discolor the inner parts of your humidifier and lead to the accumulation of mineral deposits in the humidifier. Over time, the mineral deposits can affect the heating element in your humidifier and affect its performance.
Why You Should Use Distilled Water in Your Vicks Humidifier?
Reduced Dispersion of Minerals into the Air
Using distilled water in your Vicks humidifier will reduce the dispersion of mineral deposits in the air. As the mist is released into the air, the minerals in the water along with other microbes in the water get dispersed in the air.
These minerals and microbes can affect the quality of air in your home. The progressive release of these minerals in the air can also impact your health negatively.
Removal of Contaminants
Tap water or regular water has high levels of impurities like bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. If the water pipes in your city are old, there is a high likelihood that the tap water also contains specks of corroded metals among other contaminants.
The process of distillation removes a large percentage of these contaminants. Most contaminants cannot be vaporized, which explains why the process of distillation promotes their elimination from the water that forms the end product.
Some of the contaminants that will be removed during the distillation process include dirt, mold spores, bacteria, copper, arsenic, pesticides, toxins produced by bacteria and viruses, and parasite.
Reduce Risks of Mold Growth
Mold can grow in your humidifier if you leave the water in the humidifier for a few days without using the humidifier. If you use distilled water, the risk of mold growth in your humidifier is significantly reduced.
The growth of mold is promoted by the presence of mold spores and the right conditions that support mold growth. The presence of other bacteria, viruses, and other microbes in tap water supports mold growth.
Purification of water through the distillation process destroys any mold spores that might be present in the water, thereby reducing the risks of mold growth in your humidifier. As such, using mold growth will limit the growth of mold in your humidifier and reduce your mold exposure.
Removal of Carcinogenic Chemicals
The distillation process removes carcinogenic chemicals that might find their way into water distribution systems used to distribute tap water.
Some of these chemical compounds include pesticides, arsenic, uranium, and other byproducts of disinfectants used to clean tap water.
While the vast majority of the water used in most communities meets legal standards, some communities do not have access to clean water.
Studies argue that using ozone water treatment is much safer than using chlorine because some contaminants can still leach into water that has been treated with chlorine.
Since the level of carcinogenic compounds that leach into tap water is unknown, it is safer to use distilled water as opposed to tap water in your Vicks humidifier.
If you can afford it, using distilled water or other forms of purified water could be much better and healthier (in terms of your respiratory health) than using tap water.
Better Respiratory Health
Using distilled water will promote better respiratory health. Tap or regular water contains high levels of minerals which when dispersed in the air can affect your overall health. Inhalation of the minerals and contaminants found in tap water increases your risk of infections.
Tap water has high levels of bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. Distilled water has been processed through the distillation process to remove a large percentage of these microbes.
Removal of these microbes through the distillation process ensures that the mist released in the air does not put you at risk of respiratory illnesses.
The contaminants in tap water can also increase the risks of respiratory illness aggravation, especially among people who have health conditions like asthma or allergies. Using distilled water in your Vicks humidifier ensures that individuals who have existing respiratory illnesses have a lowered risk of complications.
Avoiding “White Dust” Accumulation in your Home
The minerals in tap water or regular water usually leave a white mineral deposit in your humidifier and around your home.
During the distillation process, any mineral deposits, dirt, or other unwanted objects in the water will accumulate at the lower part of the boiling kiln or container while the distilled water is collected in a different container. This process ensures that the distilled water is free from any contamination.
If you are using a cool-mist humidifier, which does not rely on heating and the mist released in the air is drawn from the cold or warm water placed in the humidifier, then the mineral deposits will be dispersed into the air.
Over time, the minerals will form a cloud of chalky white dust on the furniture and equipment in your home. It is important to note that the mineral deposits released into your home when you use a cool-mist humidifier can affect the performance of your electric equipment, especially if the mineral deposits get inside the humidifier.
The white mineral dust can also discolor the furniture or equipment around your home. Using distilled water can prevent the discoloration damage associated with using tap water.
Using distilled water in your Vicks humidifier or any other humidifier will promote the longevity of your device. Tap or regular water has high levels of minerals associated with hard water.
A high percentage of these minerals are usually removed during the distillation process, which reduces the water hardness.
The minerals in tap water form a cloud of chalky white dust or precipitate that remains on the lower part and inner sides of your humidifier.
If you use tap water for prolonged periods, the white precipitate will continue to accumulate on the inner parts of your humidifier and affect the heating element of your humidifier, if you are using a warm mist humidifier.
Using distilled water significantly reduces the mineral deposits that will accumulate in your humidifier because distilled water has trace levels of these minerals. As such, the longevity of your humidifier will be prolonged if you use distilled water instead of tap water.
I believe that this article has been able to answer the question of whether you can use distilled water in your Vicks humidifier. If you skimmed through it, well then the answer is yes. You can and should use distilled water in your Vicks humidifier.
Distilled water is the most purified form of water and contains little to no minerals. Minerals like calcium and iron which can be found in tap or groundwater usually affect the performance of a humidifier because they leave mineral deposits in the humidifier.
Using distilled water eliminates the risks of having to deal with these mineral deposits and the damage associated with them.
If you want your Vicks humidifier to serve you for a longer time, using distilled water and following maintenance guidance are some of the things that you might want to implement in your home.
What Kind of Water Do You Use in a Vicks Humidifier?
You can use distilled or purified water in your Vicks humidifier. If you cannot access distilled water, you can buy bottled water from a local store. Bottled water is likely to have a lower percentage of microbes and minerals compared to tap water.
Using distilled or purified bottled water will reduce the likelihood of having mineral deposits at the bottom of your humidifier. Tap water contains high levels of minerals that can ruin your humidifier over time.
Why Does My Humidifier Say Not to Use Distilled Water
The manual in your humidifier might say not to use distilled water and offer you the option of using any other form of purified or softened water.
Just because your humidifier says not to use distilled water does not mean that you should use tap water, unless the humidifier has a filter that removes mineral deposits and dirt that might be in the tap water.
It is important to understand the type of humidifier that you have in your home and the kind of care that it needs to work effectively.
If your humidifier says not to use distilled water, check the manufacturer’s instructions to see whether a filter has been installed to protect the humidifier from mineral deposit damage.
You could also opt for purified or softened water, as these do not have high levels of mineral deposits and are good alternatives for distilled water.
Aside from that, you could also consider buying water-softening tablets and using them to soften the tap water in your home. This is an economical way that can help you avoid the recurrent expenses associated with buying distilled water.
Should You Use Distilled Water in a Warm Mist Humidifier?
It is recommended to use distilled water in a warm mist humidifier. Warm mist humidifiers work by heating the water placed in the humidifier and releasing a mist of steaming water into the air around your home. Using regular tap water in a warm mist humidifier will leave mineral deposits in the humidifier because tap water has high mineral levels.
When the water is heated, these minerals leave a white cast in the humidifier and over time the mineral deposits can accumulate and ruin the heating element in your warm mist humidifier. As such, it is recommended to use distilled water or any other form of purified water in your warm mist humidifier.
Should I Use Tap Water or Distilled Water in My Humidifier?
You should use distilled water instead of tap water in your humidifier. If you can, it is recommended to use distilled water in your humidifier.
If you cannot access distilled water, you can make your own distilled water at home by boiling the tap water and collecting the water vapor from the boiling water using a different container. While the process can be tiresome, it is easy to do and does not require additional costs.
Should you Use Distilled Water in a Vaporizer?
Yes, you should use distilled water in a vaporizer. Vaporizers like warm mist humidifiers rely on heat to increase the temperature of the water and release vapor or mist into the air.
Using distilled water in your vaporizer ensures that the water released into your environment is clean and that your vaporizer is protected from mineral deposit damage.
Distilled water contains trace levels to no levels of mineral deposits when compared to tap water. Using tap water in your vaporizer, could increase the accumulation of these minerals in the vaporizer and damage the vaporizer.
Is Boiled Water the Same as Distilled Water?
Boiled water is not the same as distilled water because boiled water is retained in the container where it was boiled and can be used as hot or cold water after it has cooled down.
On the other hand, distilled water is water that has been boiled and the vapor that rises from the water during the boiling process is collected separately. As such, distilled water can be perceived as cooled vaporized water collected after boiling.
Boiled water and distilled water can also be differentiated based on the components of the water. After boiling, since boiled water remains in the container that it was boiled in any dirt or minerals that were present in the water before boiling will either remain at the bottom of the boiling container or form a precipitate on top of the water.
In the case of distilled water, since dirt and minerals present in the water before boiling cannot vaporize, then the collected water will not have bits of dirt or a precipitate of the minerals that were initially in the water.
The only similarity between boiled and distilled water is that the percentage of microbes such as bacteria and viruses in both types of water is equally low. Only thermo-resistant microbes are likely to survive after the boiling or distillation process.
Where to Buy Distilled Water for Humidifier?
There are numerous water purification companies around. Aside from that, most retail stores have distilled water that you can buy and use in your humidifier. If you are struggling to find a place to buy distilled water for your humidifier, you could always consider Amazon and other online stores.
Amazon has bulk distilled water that will ensure that you have enough distilled water to use in your humidifier for several months. Ensure that you buy the water from a credible online store to avoid dealing with scammers.
It is also advisable to check your local retail stores and any water treatment companies that might be near you first.