Out of concern for the safety of your family, you might be tempted to use boiled water for a humidifier.
But here, I think you should not. Or maybe you should, if it will make you feel better that you have done something for your family, well, do it.
In fact, to some extent, I would not recommend a warm mist humidifier, especially for use in a room that has pets and children.
Boiled water is a serious hazard when you have kids and pets around. Should that humidifier fall from its position, it can cause serious scalding.
Besides, the heating elements in the appliance may require frequent cleaning especially if you use hard water in your area.
Why boiling water for a humidifier doesn’t help much
So, why are we saying that boiling water for a humidifier might not help as much as you think. There are a number of reasons, as you will see below:
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1. Your humidifier already has HEPA filters
If your humidifier already has HEPA filters, there is really no need to boil the water to kill germs, viruses and bacteria.
HEPA filters are able to capture up to 99.97% of pathogens, and other water contaminants. Granted, some would still pass through, but they are minimal.
So, if the HEPA filters are going to remove the contaminants from the water, well, there is no need to “reinvent the wheel” by boiling water.
2. Better use a demineralization cartridge for hard water
If the main reason why you have considered boiling water is because you have hard water, well, you would be better off buying a demineralization cartridge.
As its name suggests, it demineralizes the water, and from the prefix “de” you can well guess what it does. It removes minerals from the water!
You can read our article on how a demineralization cartridge works to see just how effective it is. It will capture all the minerals so that none gets to the mist.
Remember, using hard water in a humidifier causes white dust. Although harmless, the pale dust settles on your surfaces, making them look dirty.
In another article, we also looked at how to clean a demineralization cartridge so that you can give it a new lease of life.
3. Boiled water is dangerous around kids and pets
Portable humidifiers have to be set in rooms with people. Perhaps you want to increase the humidity in your baby’s room.
Unless you are using a battery operated humidifier, there is one power cord from the device to the wall socket. It would be easy to stumble against the power cord.
When it comes to the position of the humidifier, you cannot set it too close to the wall. So, the cord will be trailing on the floor.
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In that case, a pet could trip the cable and cause the unit to tip over and pour its hot water on the animal or on your baby.
For your peace of mind, it is just best to get a cool mist humidifier. It does a good job of improving the air quality of the baby’s room, and cold water does not scald.
4. Boiling water does not kill all pathogens
Sure, boiling the water can kill many pathogens, but not all of them. For instance, boiling water even at 100 degrees Celsius is not going to kill Clostridium bacteria. These bacteria can cause illnesses such as the inflammation of the colon.
If boiling the water is not going to kill all the pathogens, well, it is better to just not boil it. A HEPA filter can capture particles that are as minute as 0.3 microns. Most bacteria are way larger than this. Thus, you can depend on the filters to capture them.
5. Boiling water does not remove minerals
You can boil the water for several minutes at 100 degrees Celsius, but it is still not going to remove minerals.
Boiling does not remove minerals. Only filtering can do that. For this reason, many people prefer to install a filtration system at home, so that they can filter their water just before it gets to the tap.
When you boil the water and wait for it to cool down, you can see mineral build up on the walls of the container you used for boiling.
This means the minerals are still there in the water. A demineralization cartridge can do a good job of removing the minerals from the water. In this regard, the energy that went to boiling the water was for nothing.
Boiled water for humidifier FAQ
All the time, we have been advised that boiling water makes it safe for many things. However, do not boil it for a humidifier. It is just not worth it.
Here are some frequently asked questions in this regard, that might help you:
What if I don’t have distilled water for my humidifier?
Just use tap water as long as it is soft water. In any case, the mineral scale does not form on the walls of the humidifier tank as long as the water is not hot. So go ahead and use the tap water in your cool mist humidifier.
What kind of water do you use in a humidifier?
Preferably, use demineralized or distilled water, which you can buy in the stores. However, to save on this cost, you can also get a demineralization cartridge to help trap the minerals in the humidifier water before they can come out through the mist.
Is boiled water distilled?
Yes, if it is done on an industrial scale where the water is boiled at high temperature to a vapor, which is then cooled. Since you boil water at home and then let it cool, boiling in the house does not make the water distilled.
What can I use instead of distilled water?
You can use tap water if it is soft water. Most people believe that tap water is not okay for using in a humidifier. You can also filter water with a home filtration system to remove minerals and use it in your unit.
Does boiling water make it distilled?
Unless you collect the condensation that collects on the cover/lid of the container that you use for boiling the water, boiled water is not distilled.
Distillation removes all minerals since you collect the steam and condense it. That is the purest form of water.
How do I purify water from my humidifier?
Use a demineralization cartridge to remove minerals from the water that you intend to use in the humidifier.
You can also remove any mineral scales from the walls of the humidifier tank. White vinegar also removes mineral scales and mold from humidifier.
Is boiling water a good way to humidify?
The kitchen and the bathroom are humidity generators because there is a lot of warm and hot water coming from there.
So boiling water can increase humidity to more than 70 percent. This is not a reliable method to increase humidity because there is no way to control it.
Final Thoughts on Boiled Water for a Humidifier
Boiled water for a humidifier is more risky than useful. It does not remove contaminants from the water, well, apart from germs and bacteria.
Hot water is risky in a house with kids. That is why cool mist humidifiers are safer than warm mist units.
Alongside choosing the best unit, also ensure that you keep the unit as clean as possible. Whatever is inside the tank will be dispelled with the mist and your family will inhale it.
Check for mineral scales on the walls of the tank. You can clean them out with white vinegar. If you have hard water, clean the unit more often.
Just don’t use boiled water. Its meager benefits are not worth it.