Honeywell Humidifier Has A Burning Smell? Plastic Smell & Other Weirdos? The Causes That Escape the Minds of Many People

If your Honeywell humidifier smells like plastic, it is time to dig deeper and find out what could be the cause of that.

Also, humidifiers are notorious for smelling like burning. So, you are going to need to check that one too.

Of course, you will not experience this kind of problem with the Honeywell HCM Germ-free humidifier alone.

It can happen with any humidifier. For instance, there have been cases of people complaining about Vicks warm mist humidifier burning smell.

So, should you panic, ignore the smell, and carry on as if nothing is happening?

You should check it out. Humidifiers can have different types of smells, especially since they are always in contact with water and electricity.

Humidifiers also cause a musty smell in your house. Actually, you might not be able to tell the difference between burning, musty, and other smells from your humidifier.

The first thing that you need to do is determine what kind of smell is coming from the humidifier.

1. The humidifier is brand new

Did you just buy a new humidifier for a 2 x 2 grow tent, or for any other room? Well, humidifiers are mainly made of plastic, and when new, they smell like plastic.

Actually, it is not just the humidifiers and dehumidifiers that smell when they are new. All items smell.

The plastic smell can be from the item itself or from the plastic wrapping. If it comes covered in bubble wrap, it will smell like plastic. It is plastic!

Honeywell Humidifier Smells Like Plastic

You could check the Honeywell humidifier instructions to see what they say about this. Most of the time, just airing the unit for enough time lets the plastic smell dissipate.

Please beware; the plastic smell can linger for a few days or even a week. Apart from feeling nasty, it is not harmful. Besides, a little air spray around the area where you will be using it could help.

2. Honeywell humidifier has a musty smell

Having some mold in the humidifier will cause a musty smell, which you could mistake for burning and, distantly, for a plastic smell.

This should be easy to solve, though, by cleaning the humidifier with vinegar. It will go away.

It is very important to not only know how to get rid of mold but also to prevent the growth of mold in the humidifier. Exposure to the same will cause humidifier sickness symptoms among your family members.

Both white vinegar and bleach can get rid of mold very well. However, YOU SHOULD NEVER use bleach and vinegar together.

Whether you clean the humidifier tank with vinegar or bleach, rinse it thoroughly with clean, cool water to get rid of every trace of the chemical.

3. Humidifier burning smell from overheating

If you experience a humidifier burning smell, find out where it is coming from. If it is coming from the electric cord, the cord could be faulty. You can determine this by smelling the cord itself.

If the burning smell is coming from the humidifier base, it could be that the appliance became too hot. They usually do that if they overheat.

In extreme cases, an overheating humidifier can also cause a fire if it is left plugged in for too long. However, it can never explode.

4. The humidifier has an electrical burning smell

Image of Humidifier has electrical burning smell

Burning smells are not the same. For instance, electrical burning smells like fish. If this is the kind of Honeywell humidifier burning smell that you are experiencing, it means the electrical components of the humidifier could have burned up.

Another cause of a burning smell is faulty wiring. This can be due to a factory defect or some other trouble.

If your humidifier is still under warranty, you can have it replaced. If it is not, you can find a repair shop that can rectify the wiring.

5. You are running it without water

Perhaps the auto shut-down function of your humidifier has failed. That’s why it can continue running even when it has run out of water.

In such a case, it is possible to develop a burning smell. You can read more information about what happens when you run a humidifier without water.

Since this appliance runs on water, please make sure the tank always has water. That’s very important.

Honeywell Humidifier Burning Smell: What To Do

If the humidifier smells, and you determine that it is a burning smell, you need to act. First, unplug it from power immediately. That way, if it has run out of water and is overheating, it can start cooling down.

Image of my humidifier smells like it's burning

If the humidifier smells like mildew, the cause of that is most likely mold buildup in the filters. Thus, you need to clean the humidifier filters with vinegar. You could also replace the filters with new ones.

If the humidifier smells like fish, that is mostly associated with burning in the electrical components. Therefore, you need to turn off the humidifier immediately and unplug it from power. Do not use it again until a technician looks at the wiring and okays it.

Some people also complain that their humidifier smells like a wet dog. This sulfur smell comes from the humidifier because of mold or mildew. If you notice this, you just need to clean the humidifier thoroughly.

Sometimes, the humidifier can just smell when it is new. However, this should be a chemical or plastic smell, and it should go away after a few days of use.

Honeywell humidifier smells like plastic: FAQ

Honeywell and, indeed, other humidifiers do smell weird from time to time. These questions and answers might shed more light on the types of smells that you get from your humidifier:

How do you get the plastic smell out of a new humidifier?

The humidifier will smell like plastic when it is new. To get rid of this smell, just set the humidifier and the box it came in outside and allow a few hours for the smell to go away.

You can also keep them in a room that you do not use, and make sure to open the windows or run a fan.

If you do not mind the “newness” smell, you can run the humidifier that way. Use distilled water in the unit, and in a few days, the plastic smell will go away on its own.

How do I get rid of the smell in my humidifier?

If your small 2×2 humidifier for grow tent is producing a weird smell, you need to get rid of it (the smell, not the unit!).

Start by trying to identify the probable cause of the smell. If it smells like plastic, that is the smell of newness.

Many parts of the humidifier are made of plastic, and they smell like plastic because they are plastic.

If the smell is musty, it means you have mold in the humidifier. You need to clean and disinfect the humidifier tank with white vinegar or bleach to kill the mold.

Remember, you should never use bleach and vinegar together because they form a poisonous gas. Follow the Honeywell Cool Mist humidifier cleaning instructions carefully.

How often should I clean my humidifier?

Cleaning your humidifier properly is going to get rid of weird musty smells, burning smells, and others. How often you should clean the humidifier depends on two things:

  • How often do you use the unit?
  • Where do you use it?
  • What type of water do you use in the humidifier?

If you use the humidifier every day, clean it daily. If you are using the best 3×3 humidifier for grow tent where it might come into contact with chemicals, clean it daily after using it.

When you use tap water in the humidifier, clean it daily to prevent the formation of scale on the walls.

Tap water has minerals, and unless you use a demineralization cartridge in the humidifier, it will leave behind white dust.

Wrapping Up

If you notice a Honeywell humidifier burning, you now know what to do about it. If you are not sure whether this is the smell of burning, switch off the unit.

To be on the safe side, it is best to buy a humidifier that has a humidistat and an automatic on/off feature. That way, if it runs out of water, it will turn itself off automatically.

If you are looking for a good, foolproof humidifier for your home, you might want to try the Honeywell Topfill Tower humidifier on