White Dust & Mold with Humidifier

Updated on January 15, 2011
T.P. asks from Cedar Park, TX
8 answers

Hello Ladies!
I'm having trouble finding a good humidifier. We have tried 2 brands and both cover everything in white powder and the most recent one's filter is covered in brown mold after 1 use. We have tried distilled water, filtered water, and cooled boiled water like the manual said and there is still this dust everywhere. I was wondering if you all have had the same experience with different brands of cool mist humidifiers or what your experience was with warm mist humidifiers. I was thinking of trying that next. I would appreciate your advice and recommendations because the reviews I have read online about different ones are even worse with mold and crazy leaking.

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answers from Phoenix on

We use the Vicks Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier in our daughter's room and I've never had a problem with white dust. I do fill it with water from our reverse-osmosis tap, as the manual recommended filtered water to prevent problems with white dust and I try to be proactive with that stuff. We bought ours at Babies R Us and it wasn't super expensive either. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I run a warm mist humidifier pretty much 24/7 during the dry winter months. I bought a Walgreen's store brand vaporizer and it has been running like the energizer bunny--and I just use water out of the tap. I soak the uptake tube in vinegar a couple time a months to break down any deposits. I am pretty sure that I paid less than $25.

I find the warm mist to be more hygeinic and effective. You do need to have good circulation to ensure that the room's humidity levels don't get too high...but that is the same with a cool mist.

Good luck.



answers from Houston on

I would love to find out what you learned as we are having the same problems with the white dust everywhere - good luck



answers from El Paso on

This may sound crazy, but the best success we've had is with an under-$50 model from Wal-Mart! It's the Hunter brand, and they're usually stocked in the pharmacy. It's a cool-mist humidifier that has special filters that need to be cleaned only once per year--plus we fill it with water from the bath tub! They are kinda small, so we have one in each bedroom and the living room. But, for the price, it's not so bad! We've had one of ours for three years, and the one problem we had was covered under warranty, and Hunter replaced the whole unit immediately. We've never seen any white dust or mold!



answers from Chicago on

All you need to do is call the manufacturer and ask them to send out a bottle of solution that will eliminate the dust (caused by minerals) in the humidifier.

Add one capful of the solution to every 2 gallons of water or so. How much to use depends on how hard your water is. Your village or city can provide that information to you.

IF you have a private well, be thankful that you've experienced the rapid brown element as you NEED to have the well shocked.

My humidifier is a Holmes and I received and started using it the same day as a big snowfall. I thought I was hallucinating all this dust! NOT! And what a BEAST it is to get the dust out of puter keys, TV's, etc.

Since Holmes sent me the solution, I've not seen a SPEC of that white dust.

Hope this helps!

K. >^*v*^<



answers from Houston on

I am currently looking for a better humidifier myself. The only ones that can create the white powder are the ultrasonic humidifiers. For the ones with filters, I have found that the YAZ filters are the worst ever and easily get mold on them. I recommend a cool mist humidifier that does not use a filter, nor is ultrasonic. You will need to make sure you clean it on a regular basis. Also check your water. My bathroom faucet will cause mold to grow very fast, however my kitchen faucet will not. Water supply and pipes can make a huge difference. If it keeps happening, then just go with distilled water. After going through so many humidifers there are only 3 left for me to check - Vicks cool mist filterless, Honeywell and Graco. As far as the reviews about the leaking - just keep them level, if they have a vent on the bottom do not put a towel underneath, and make sure it is turned off and unplugged before remove the water chamber. For the problem with everything getting soaked - you have bought a humidifer that is too strong for your room. A small bedroom should not use anything that holds more than 1 gallon of water. Hope this helps!



answers from Houston on

Hi T.,

I have the cool humidifier and I haven't experience what you are saying but they make a tremendous amount of mess. I tried using this thing for my daughter room because she is currently being treated for early stages of asthma. My daughter allergy & asthmas doctor ask me not to use those things because, they create more problems down the line.
With all the moisture, the moisture can cause mold and you will have to continuously keep it clean. Also, check your vents in your house to make sure they are clean and the house is dust free. You may need to change your filter in your air condition every 2 - 3 months.
This may help with the amount of white dust & mold you are seeing on the humidifier. Just keep it clean, they are a hassle.

Good Luck,



answers from Austin on

T., I have used several different kinds of humidifiers and my favorite are those little animal shaped ones. I don't remember the brand name but they have a frog, pig, penguin and cow. They are easy to keep clean and they do not use any filter. You can get them at Target for $35. I will say, however, that I can't imagine the humidifier is causing the dust. Could it be that the humidity in the room is weighing the dust down and making it deposit quicker and a larger grain that is more obvious (because it's clumping together from the moisture). I'm just throwing ideas out there, of course. When we moved into our house, the previous owner had loaded the carpet up with carpet fresh or baking powder. The white stuff was EVERYWHERE! Does she have carpet in her bedroom (I'd rip it out and put something hard in there). That's always the best thing for a person with asthma or allergies. If you don't want to spend the $ on wood or Pergo, you could even just paint the concrete after you rip it out. Do you change your air filters at least once a month. You might even consider having your air ducts cleaned out. All of this will cost you some money but all of these things are actually inexpensive solutions. Good luck to you! I hope your child outgrows it!!!

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