Can You Use Reverse Osmosis Water in a Humidifier?

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A humidifier brings relief to dry throats, noses, and lips. The moistened air helps soothe flu and cold symptoms. It also eliminates itchy skin.

But do you know that you can’t just use any water in a humidifier? The machine only uses pure water, the purest water you can find.

So, can you use reverse osmosis water in a humidifier? Yes, you can use RO water in a humidifier but only as a last resort.

Reverse osmosis water is not 100% pure since reverse osmosis only removes about 98% of all minerals and contaminants. This means that some minerals and salts remain in the water.

What’s the Best Water to Use in a Humidifier?

The best water to use in a humidifier is distilled water. This water is purified with zero minerals and contaminants.

Distilled water is demineralized, thus perfect for a humidifier. It also has zero additives, and you won’t have to worry about damaging the machine or your health.

Why Should You Use Pure Water in a Humidifier?

can you use reverse osmosis water in a humidifier

A humidifier takes water and mixes fine water droplets into the air we breathe. You need clean air, right?

The water droplets also settle in your hair and skin. You also don’t want to suffer from dry skin and irritation. Should the droplets containing minerals fall in your hair, get ready to deal with brittle air after a while.

The droplets also fall on your furniture and appliances, making them look like they have been coated by dust.

Therefore, if the water your humidifier uses has impurities and minerals, the impurities will be deposited everywhere the droplets reach.

Some of these impurities will also remain in the humidifier and grow into mold and bacteria colonies. The results will be a damaged humidifier and health complications like asthma and nasal congestion.

Can RO Water in a Humidifier Cause Allergic Reactions?

If you suffer from allergies, you most likely have significant reactions to mold and bacteria. In fact, even those with no allergies can get sick from inhaling the unhealthy spores released by these bacteria and molds into the air.

If you’re sensitive to dust, chances are you’ll suffer from allergies after inhaling the air in the mist mixed with RO water.

Although RO water contains only a small number of minerals, the minerals can easily attract germs and bacteria from the air.

Therefore, you should not only refrain from using RO water in the humidifier but also clean the machine and the tank regularly to avoid possible issues.

Can You Use Tap Water in a Humidifier?

If possible, avoid using tap water in your humidifier at all costs. This water is usually hard as it is rich in dissolved minerals and salts.

Should you use it in the humidifier, the device will disperse mineral-rich vapor, which will most likely settle down and form a cloud of white dust in your home.

These magnesium and calcium deposits are the best breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Therefore, you’ll have a lot of work cleaning the deposits from time to time to keep your home clean and safe.

Should you fail to clean the buildup often, bacteria and mold will grow. Be ready to start dealing with colds, allergies, and other health issues.

The same will happen if you decide to use unfiltered well water.

Should You Use Hot or Cold Water in Your Humidifier?

Some humidifiers boil water to disperse warm mist in the air. Others use wicks and fans to release cool vapor in the room.

Regardless of your model, never put hot water in the device. Hot water can damage the internal parts/components of your humidifier.

Always use cold or room temperature water.

Do You Have to Use Distilled Water in the Humidifier?

Yes, always use distilled water in your humidifier if you want to keep your family in good health. You also don’t want to go on a humidifier-shopping spree a few months down the line, right?

Using distilled water will also reduce the time spent maintaining the machine.


If you don’t have distilled water, you can use reverse osmosis water as an alternative(source). However, don’t prolong the usage if you want to keep your loved ones in good health and your machine in excellent working condition.

Use reverse osmosis water only as a last resort.

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