Humidifier Leaving Film

Updated on April 23, 2010
S.V. asks from Denver, CO
12 answers

I have been running a humidifier in my son's room all night and then during his nap time. We bought it last year so it isn't that old. It also doesn't have a filter on it. It's one of the new filter free ones. It has been leaving a film all over everything in his room. The film does wipe off but what a pain to wipe everything down daily! I have cleaned it out with vinegar and it seemed to help for the first day or so. Why does it do this and what can you do to prevent this from happening? Should I be cleaning it with vinegar on a daily basis? Any experience with this problem?

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answers from Denver on

If you use filtered water it will help and also.. I hate to tell you this but you should be cleaning it every day if you use it every day. I know it is a bummer but necessary. Bacteria and other things only need a small amount of time to grow and these things not only leave a film on things around the room, you also breath them in and guess where that film goes. Try cleaning it every night and use filtered water, I bet you won't have the problem anymore.

More Answers



answers from Denver on

It is the minerals in your water leaving the isn't dangerous, thankfully. Use distilled water instead and clean your humidifier once a week.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

You don't need to clean it everyday, just use filtered water. Lots of cool mist humidifiers do this, even mention it in the manuals. It's nothing to be worried about, just a pain to clean. We have a Vick's Cool Mist Humidifier and it recommended using filtered water to avoid the white "dust" problem so we use the water from our Reverse Osmosis tap and have never seen any white residue anywhere. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Hi S. - sounds like minerals in the water. Try using distilled water.



answers from Colorado Springs on

Sounds like you are using a cool mist humidifier. I had the same issue with those and couldn't seem to fix it. I switched to the warm "steamer" type humidifiers and love them! I dont seem to have the issue any more.



answers from Denver on

We had a humidifier that was shaped like a frog (and filterless) and it did the same thing. The film was fairly heavy and I started to worry about my son breathing in whatever it was putting out, so we got rid of it. Switched to a different cool mist and we've never seen the film again. I'm sure it's harmless, but it makes me feel better to not have to see it!



answers from Washington DC on

It sounds like there may be too much moisture in the room. Is it possible that it doesn't need to be run right now?

My other thought is the location of the humidifier. If it is set low, then the vapor is going up, gravity kicks in and the vapor lands on stuff. It should be set high on a dresser or tall cabinet, with a towel underneath it.




answers from Portland on

Minerals in water. You can avoid it by using bottled distilled water; more expensive, but it may be worth the cost in saved work.



answers from Denver on

We bought one of those expensive ones that did that... cleaning it won't help at all! It just happens to be what your model does.
It isn't harmful at all, just how the vapor is being sent out into the air.
We got a cheap one (and I mean cheap) and we have nothing- I just couldn't deal with the film anymore. But we do have replace those cheap paper filters when they get all gross.
Both our girls have them in their rooms full time and it has been great.
I was told by their doc that the warm mist ones can bread bacteria and to stay with the cool. But I am sure if kept clean either one works fine.


answers from San Francisco on

Letting it dry out all the way every day and cleaning it regularly should help... Maybe contact the manufacturer?

Our humidifier has never left film on stuff, so there's definitely something afoot.

Good luck :)


answers from Casper on

It is what Susan and Missy said, just the minerals in your water. It is annoying, but harmless.



answers from Atlanta on

Hi S.,

Yes, I'm afraid you need to be cleaning it once a day. Whatever is in the humidifier is sent into the room and will get into your son's lungs. The heat will make any bacteria breed as well. If it's a cool mist, that's fine until whatever gets into a warm little body.

You need to make sure it is clean. It will be easier to clean if you use filtered water in it or buy distilled from the store.


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