Skip to content
Why Does My Humidifier Smell? 3 Possible Causes

Why Does My Humidifier Smell? 3 Possible Causes

Do you have a humidifier in your home? If so, have you ever noticed an unpleasant smell coming from it? This can be a common issue, but it's not one that you have to live with. This blog post will discuss three possible causes of this problem. We will also provide some tips on how to fix it.

  1. Bacteria
  2. Mold
  3. Water Deposits


One of the most common causes of a smelly humidifier is bacterial growth. This can happen if the humidifier isn't cleaned regularly. Bacteria can grow in the water tank, on the wick, or in the base. When these bacteria multiply, they release a rather unpleasant smell.

The good news is that this problem is easy to fix. Simply clean your humidifier according to the manufacturer's instructions. This will usually involve disinfecting the water tank and washing the wick.

If you notice that the problem persists, you may need to replace the filter. A new filter will help to remove bacteria from the water before it is released into the air.


Mold loves damp, humid environments. So, it's not surprising that it can sometimes grow in a humidifier. This can be a considerable problem as mold spores can get into the air and be breathed in, causing all sorts of respiratory problems, including asthma attacks, bronchitis, and even lung infections. If you think mold might be the cause of the bad smell, it's important to take action immediately. The first step is to unplug the humidifier and empty the water tank. Then, detach all of the parts and wash them with soap and water. Dry them thoroughly before putting the humidifier back together.

Water Deposits

If you live in an area with hard water, the minerals in the water can build up in your humidifier. Over time, these deposits can cause a musty smell.
To remove these deposits, you'll need to descale your humidifier. This involves soaking the parts in a vinegar solution and then rinsing them thoroughly.
You should also consider using distilled or filtered water instead of tap water. This will help to prevent the build-up of water deposits.

Is A Moldy Humidifier Dangerous?

Indeed, a humidifier with untreated surfaces that have developed mold can be hazardous to health. When these surfaces are left damp and not cleaned routinely, they may cultivate an environment conducive for the proliferation of mold and bacteria. During the operation of the humidifier, these harmful pathogens could be released into the air and subsequently inhaled, potentially leading to a variety of health complications. These complications could be as minor as allergies or irritations affecting the eyes, nose, and throat, or as severe as lung infections, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems. As such, it is paramount to regularly clean and maintain humidifiers, with particular attention to untreated surfaces, in order to ensure a safe and healthy environment.


How to Choose the Best Humidifier

There are at least four things you should consider when buying a humidifier.

  1. Capacity
  2. Coverage Area
  3. Noise Level
  4. Ease of Maintenance


The capacity of a humidifier is important to consider because it will determine how often you'll need to refill the water tank. A smaller capacity unit may need to be refilled more often, but it will also be less expensive and easier to move around.

Coverage Area

This will determine how many rooms the humidifier can be used in.
For example, if you have a large living room, you'll need a humidifier with a larger coverage area. On the other hand, if you only want to use the humidifier in one room, you can choose a smaller, more compact unit.

Noise Level

This is particularly important if you'll be using the humidifier in your bedroom at night. Look for a unit that has a low noise level so that it won't disturb your sleep.

Ease of Maintenance

You'll need to clean and descale your humidifier on a regular basis. So, it's important to choose a unit that is easy to disassemble and clean. Otherwise, you may not be motivated to do the necessary maintenance, which can lead to problems like bacteria and mold growth.

We recommend opting for an easy to clean unit like the Miro NR07S. It's designed with a removable tank with no small parts, so it's quick and easy to clean.

Each part that touches the water can be easily removed and cleaned using soapy water. Plus, it has a large capacity and can cover up to 500 square feet, making it ideal for use in larger rooms.

Last Words

A smelly humidifier can be a real nuisance. But, by identifying the cause of the problem, you can take steps to fix it. All you need to do is clean your tank and filters regularly. And, if you live in an area with hard water, consider using distilled or filtered water.

If you liked reading this article, you may be interested in an in-depth article about warm mist and cool mist humidifiers: Warm or Cool Mist Humidifiers

Previous article Your Baby and Wake Windows