Can a Humidifier Get Rid of Dust? It Doesn’t Remove It

Does a humidifier help with dust, and if yes, how?

Well, the truth is that this appliance does not help with dust at all. If you don’t believe me, check the user manual to see its purpose.

Ultrasonic humidifiers are notorious for causing humidifier white dust especially when you use hard, tap water in them.

To prevent the formation of white dust on your indoor surfaces, you might want to use distilled water or use a demineralization cartridge.

Anyway, let’s answer this question: Does a humidifier clean the air? Your humidifier is not going to remove dust from your indoor air. It does not have purifying capabilities, so an air purifier would help you better. A humidifier adds warm or cool mist to your indoor air to maintain the relative humidity level. If the humidity level in your home is below 35%, it is too low. The humidifier will maintain it at 35% to 55%.

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers do not purify the air. For that, you would have to get an air purifier, which can remove dust, fungi, mold spores, smoke, and sometimes even viruses from your indoor air.

What is dust, really?

What is dust

To understand whether a humidifier might help with indoor dust, albeit temporarily, first you need to understand what dust is.

Many people think that dust is just the loose soil particles that the wind blows indoors or that we bring indoors on our shoes.

It is more complicated and more hazardous to your health, than that!

Dust is made up of, among many other things, pet dander, pet hair, carpet and cloth fibers, small food particles, pollen, dust mites, human hair, spores from mold, dead skin cells, paper particles, and many more.

Is dust dangerous?

Yes, indoor dust is dangerous.

First, it is a serious indoor allergen. Some people can develop serious coughs and chest congestion when they are exposed to dust.

You might want to read our article on ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier.

If you have a small child who has a constantly runny nose, check the condition of your indoor air. If it is dusty, that is the culprit right there.

Many indoor allergens such as dust mites, thrive in dusty environments. Now, these allergens can cause asthma flare-ups, chest congestion, and other ailments. Therefore, you should get rid of it as soon as possible.

When you get rid of indoor dust, you will also get rid of other indoor allergens. So, is a humidifier the right appliance to get rid of dust?

Keep reading; we will see how it might, or might not, help.

How a humidifier might help with dust

Now that you know the ill effects of dust, you might want to know whether a humidifier can help get rid of the dust.

It will not, since by operation, a humidifier does not suck air inwards to cleanse or moisturize it. It is the dehumidifier and the air purifier that do that.

Here is a GENIANI top-fill humidifier that you can buy on

A humidifier just creates, and releases mist from the water in the tank.

But perhaps there is a way that a humidifier for dust might help. One of them is that when you maintain the right humidity level, the pollen, pet dander, soil dust, and other particles will absorb the water and fall to the ground.

Therefore, you will not inhale them!

But … This does not mean that the problem of the dust is eliminated. The dust is still there in your house. It is just waterlogged, so it is not floating about.

You can guess what happens when the humidity drops—it starts floating about. And then you start to inhale it.

When you have dust mites floating around in the air, they can provoke so many types of symptoms.

But there is a catch here: increasing the humidity too much is going to make the environment just right for dust mites to thrive.

So, in addition to setting the right relative humidity level, you need to find a means to remove dust mites from your air. You can start using an air purifier.

If you live in a highly polluted place, you should run an air purifier daily. Do not count on your humidifier or dehumidifier to help you in any way.

How to stop a humidifier from adding more dust

So we have seen that your humidifier does not help with the dust. It can add more dust if you are not careful.

If you live in a dusty place in Australia or anywhere else, here are things that you should do to prevent the unit from adding more dust to your indoor space:

Use clean, mineral-free water

If your humidifier mist comes from water that is laden with minerals, you will experience humidifier white dust.

While the ultrasonic type of humidifier is notorious for causing this pale dust, an evaporative one can also cause this dust, albeit in small amounts.

When the humidifier sprays the mist out, it will land on your surfaces. When the mist dries up, the dust remains. With time, it can accumulate in such a way that you feel it.

If your area has hard water, it will cause humidifier dust. You should use a demineralization cartridge to get rid of the minerals. That way, the mist coming out of the humidifier will be pure and fresh.

You could also opt to use distilled water only in your unit. This can help prevent humidifier dust since there are no minerals to form dust.

Change the water often

This is for people who do not use their humidifier daily. If the water stays too long in the unit’s tank, it can cause the development of mold, bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants.

Also read: Pure Enrichment Humidifier not working correctly

The sad thing is that the unit is going to pump out these contaminants with the mist, and you will inhale them.

Also, using fresh water ensures that you get pure and fresh air all the time. It will also not collect dust, which can be pumped out in the mist.

Clean the humidifier often

When looking for information about how a humidifier helps with dust, you will find a lot about the need for regular maintenance of the humidifier.

A dirty humidifier is not only going to cause the water in the tank to start breeding germs, but it is also going to cause the minerals to cause dust.

If you have a warm mist humidifier, you will find that the minerals from the water cake the walls of the tank. Of course, this only happens when you use hard water in the unit.

Clean the humidifier often. If you add humidity to your indoor air in winter daily, you need to clean the unit three to five times a week.

Does a humidifier help with dust allergies?

While it might not help with the dusty air itself, a humidifier is going to help a great deal with allergic symptoms that come from dust-laden air.

If you have an asthmatic person in the house, a humidifier is going to help keep the symptoms of asthma at bay.

If you have a small baby, you know you need a humidifier for the nursery. Your baby’s respiratory system is a bit delicate, so it needs air at the right humidity.

So yes, even for grownups, a humidifier does help a lot with dust allergies.

Does a humidifier help with dust? FAQ

To get the most out of your humidifier, you need to know what your appliance can do. To shed more light on this, see the frequently asked questions below:

Can a humidifier make your house dusty?

Yes. If you are using hard water with your humidifier, it may be going to make your house dusty from the humidifier’s white dust. Also, not doing regular maintenance on your humidifier can cause it to release white dust, bacteria, and mold spores in the mist.

Do humidifiers clean the air?

Humidifiers do not clean the air. However, they can release fresh and pure mist into your room, especially if yours uses HEPA filters. An air purifier cleans the air, making it free of dust, bacteria, and other contaminants, including odor.

You can buy a Medify MA Air Purifier with HEPA filter on

Is it good to sleep with a humidifier?

If you live in a dry neighborhood, you should use a humidifier when sleeping. During the night, the air gets colder and drier. So, it could hurt your delicate nasal passages and interrupt your sleep.

Do humidifiers cause mold?

If you do not clean your humidifier, the water in the tank is going to grow mold. This mold is going to be released with the mist from the humidifier. You can read about the mold symptoms in the humidifier to see what to look out for.

How do I stop my house from being so dusty?

Firstly, clean the house thoroughly at least once a week. You can also clean more frequently than that if you live in a dusty neighborhood.

Secondly, keep your windows and doors closed to keep the outdoor dust outside. Also, restrain the pets in their rooms to reduce the spreading of fur, pet dander, and dust mites in your living space.

Image of does a humidifier help with dust in the air

Thirdly, vacuum all the rooms, the carpets, and the spaces under the furniture frequently.

Does a furnace-mounted humidifier help with dust?

A furnace-mounted unit is also called a whole-house humidifier. It will not help with dust, but it will help to conserve energy. It makes more sense to run a whole house unit than to buy several portable units.


While your humidifier is not really going to help with dust in the air, it will maintain the required relative humidity level.

The good thing is that you can run a humidifier and an air purifier at the same time. That way, you can maintain relative humidity and purify the air at the same time.

If you live in one of USA’s most polluted cities, you should get an air purifier. If you live in a place with dry air, you need a humidifier.