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Why Is There Black Mold on the Humidifier? (With Solutions)

Humidifiers act as a life savior, by adding moisture to the air you are surrounded by. They have numerous benefits including keeping your skin and hair moisturized. They are also known to relieve mild coughs, dry skin, and breathing issues. 

Humidifiers are a legendary invention of modernization. However, It is a bit contradictory when the device which is supposed to keep you and your atmosphere fresh, ends up getting surrounded by black mold. 

They are supposed to provide therapy instead they stop fulfilling their purpose all because of the mold. So, here rises a question. Why is there black mold on the humidifier? 

If you are looking for the answer, then you are in the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about the presence of black mold on the humidifier and how to cure it. 

Reasons for black mold in the humidifier

The major cause for the formation of black mold in a humidifier is dirty water. The humidifier becomes dirty if not cleaned and results in the formation of black mold. The mist of the humidifier becomes contaminated and releases mold spores instead. It decreases the air quality and becomes harmful.

There are certain reasons why a humidifier becomes unable to fulfill its purpose and gets clouded with a black filter or black mold. The main reason is dirt in every case. It contaminates the humidifier and prevents it from performing its job. 

A humidifier is famous for providing therapy for people with dry skin. The added moisture soothes their dry skin and provides calming effect overall. However, the presence of black mold acts as a barrier to that and ruins the purpose. 

Below given is a list of reasons in detail to help you understand why black mold is formed in a humidifier. 

Humidifier filter: 

Humidifier filters absorb various minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium from the water they are filled with when they are used often.

Hard deposits made of these minerals accumulate within the humidifier. 

The water being released from the humidifier is subsequently absorbed by these minerals, turning it black.

Hence the humidifier filter gets clouded with a black surface which can also seem like black mold and contaminate the humidifier. 

Dirty water: 

The main reason for the humidifier to have black mold lurking in its corner is the presence of dirty water. If the water being used is dirty then the dirt particles get adhered to the surface of the water tank. 

This then slowly contaminates the entire humidifier and forms black mold on the water tank. Later the mist being released is adulterated into mold spores ruining the whole aspect of the humidifier. 

Not cleaning properly: 

People often tend to forget like every other appliance a humidifier needs cleaning too. If the humidifier is not cleaned properly dirt and debris will form a layer on the humidifier tank and filter. 

It will then contaminate the water even if the water was cleaned beforehand, resulting in the formation of black mold on both the filter and tank of the humidifier. 

Using tap water: 

Some people end up making the huge mistake of using direct tape water for a humidifier instead of clean, filtered water. The tap water contains iron to a certain level and thus it may get adhered to the water tank in the form of dirt. 

The dirt is then converted to mold and contaminates the air you are surrounded by. It is very important to keep these factors in check while using a humidifier. 

Is black mold in the humidifier dangerous?

There are numerous harmful effects of mold. It can be dangerous for people with certain conditions. As we know, the humidifier is also used for medical purposes.

Hence, the presence of black mold will alter the purpose of the humidifier and make it more harmful than useful. There are two different types of humidifiers furnace humidifiers and portable humidifiers. 

The effects of mold in both humidifiers are explained in detail below. 

Mold in furnace humidifier:

A whole house furnace humidifier is used to alter the moisture in many houses. It increases the moisture level in the whole house. 

However, the presence of black mold contaminates the mist generated by the furnace humidifier. 

Hence, it adulterates the whole house and causes harmful effects especially, for children and older people. People will mold allergies will affect greatly if the whole house is filled with mold spores. 

It causes a lot of health issues and damages the skin. It can also cause diseases due to the spread of bacteria throughout the house. 

The worst part is, the whole house is covered by a furnace humidifier so it will be difficult to clean it before the harmful result sets in. 

Mold in a portable humidifier:

A portable humidifier is helpful in terms of keeping the air moist around you. They can be carried as well and they are very convenient. They are used for some particular reasons such as curing dry skin and moisture therapy. 

However, mold can be dangerous if someone uses the portable humidifier unknowingly and they also possess the same risks as furnace humidifiers. 

How to properly clean it?

Cleaning the humidifier properly is essential. If the black mold is not cleaned properly, the residue will cause it to grow back in no time. The humidifier will be harmful instead of useful and will fail miserably to serve its purpose. 

There are two ways of properly cleaning the black mold. One includes the use of chemicals and the second one is rather natural. It depends on which one you find more convenient to use. 

Both of the ways are explained step by step below to help you comprehend. 

Using Hydrogen peroxide or distilled vinegar: 

If you prefer the chemical method then a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water is needed to be prepared in the ratio of 1:4. The very first step would be pouring this mixture into the tank of the humidifier. 

If you prefer the natural method then a mixture of distilled vinegar and water is needed to be prepared in the ratio of 1:1. Then the mixture needs to be poured into the water tank of the humidifier completing the first step. 

Shaking the mixture: 

The second step would be shaking the mixture with good effort for a while in both methods.

Shaking the mixture will help the solution to get adhered to the surface of the water tank. 

It will then prevent the water tank from having exposure to any sort of bacteria. If hydrogen peroxide is used then it needs to be left to sit for half an hour. If the vinegar solution is used then the mixture needs to rest for an hour. 

Pouring and rinsing:

The last step is the same for both methods. The mixture is needed to be poured out and rinsed thoroughly with water. You must refrain from using dirty water or tap water as there will be no point in washing the humidifier then. 

If the water used to rinse the tank is boiled or filtered then it would be the perfect way of ending the process. 

Solutions to black mold in the humidifier

The presence of black mold contaminates the air instead of adding moisture to it. There are certain factors as to why this happens. Keeping those factors in check can be a solution to the black mold problem. 

Use clean water: 

The essential factor is the quality of the water so you need to make sure to use fresh water which is filtered or boiled and is not contaminated. A lot of people make the mistake of using tap water which results in the formation of black mold. 

The best solution to the black mold problem is to make sure it never forms in the first place. 

Clean thoroughly: 

Make sure to clean your humidifier every two days at least. As surprising as it may sound but mold can form within 2 days. Cleaning the bacteria will prevent the mold from forming in the first place. 

However, if still black mold is formed you can use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water or distilled vinegar and water to clean the humidifier properly. 

Humidifier filter: 

Make sure to clean the humidifier filter as the filter attracts minerals and forms a layer of black mold which contaminates the water eventually.

Cleaning the filter would make sure your humidifier is safe from black mold. 

Final thoughts 

To sum up, the main reason for the formation of the black mold is dirty water and not cleaning the humidifier properly. There are ways to fix that. Cleaning the humidifier thoroughly will help to get rid of the mold. The steps of cleaning a humidifier are explained in detail above.