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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

Humidifier Water

Talk about all aspects of sleep apnoea. Request help from others with the same problem, tell your story, exchange tips & techniques ..
Private Snorer
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:02 am
Location: NW UK & Dublin

Humidifier Water

Post by Gnash » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:25 am

Hi Everyone,

I've been using a CPAP machine for 3.5 years since diagnosis and have just switched to a APAP machine with humidifier. I'm on my 2nd night and getting used to it, so far so good.

My question is, do I definitely have to use distilled water in the humidifier? Would regular tap water that has been passed through a filter be OK, with regular cleaning in a mild white vinegar solution once a week?

Obviously I want to care for my machine, but I also need to reduce costs where I can as I have just recently retired.

TIA for your thoughts,


Lieutenant Snorer
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:30 pm

Re: Humidifier Water

Post by Swindonian » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:31 pm

Hi Gnash, I have used an APAP with heated humidifier for the last 13 years and experienced numerous teething problems with the water tank. used distilled water, puriified water and tap water but they all produced both black mould and calcium deposits even though I cleaned and sterilised twice a week with Milton tablets. Eventually I became aware that Scottish mineral water is not only good to drink but does not have these side effects, this will be confirmed by sllep2snore. Give it a try, I buy mine from my local Sainsburys and it is thier own brand of Still Scottish Mineral Water either in a 5 litre jar or a four 2 litre pack which is much more manageable and affordable at £1.50. Regular cleaning in a mild white vinegar solution is perfect and I use a set of baby's bottle brushes plus cocktail sticks, I use Milton still to sterilise but don't leave it in toolong or else you will smell it all night in your mask, it is a bleach smell but it is approved for babies.

Private Snorer
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:02 am
Location: NW UK & Dublin

Re: Humidifier Water

Post by Gnash » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:48 am

Hi Swindonian,

Thanks for your reply.

I was sure I had heard somewhere about Scottish mineral water being ok - something to do with a lower mineral content due to going through granite? Good to hear that you have found it acceptable - I will definitely investigate.

Thanks again,


Private Snorer
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:18 am

Re: Humidifier Water

Post by Alessandro01 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:29 pm

RE humidifier wire unit to go on and off with compressor. In that way it will dry out at end of cycle- then if you use hot water (tap downstream of water heater) you should improve out put.We only install steam humidifiers on new geos for this very reason.

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General Snorer
Posts: 2914
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:20 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Humidifier Water

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:11 pm

It does not matter what you use with it for mould, it will grow anyway.
However, it depends where you are, if you are in the borders or in England you should use de-mineralised or distilled, however, if you are lucky and be up in Aberdeenshire you can use Tap Water. Look at your kettle, if it furs up you should use distilled water, if you never get anything I wouldn't bother. As for cleaning the tank with vinegar, I wouldn't bother, just use soapy water you use for washing dishes.
If you get some deposits, try a Milton tablet or strangely Coke will clean it. But wash well before use.
I have used my one in England for a few weeks, although there was a very light film on the bottom of the humidifier chamber, it was easily cleaned out by washing. If you got it form an NHS sleep clinic you will get another if it gets bad, I found special water use up here to be pointless.
If you do use Milton, or Coke to clean it, take out any seals as they will go hard and start to break down.
Washing the rest of your equipment should be just soapy water from the bottle you wash the dishes with.
Keep the filter clean, blow through it every week, when it gets dirty get another one. It will go very discoloured.
If you are dealing with the NHS, do not be afraid to call and ask to speak the the Sleep Nurse, most (though not all) are very helpful.
You can get spares as and when needed if NHS, if private it will cost you.
If you need a chin strap, I found good ones from China for a few quid that work and not the useless ones you get from the Sleep Clinic.
The best Chin Straps go round the back of the head and over the top of the head, these are put on by tightening round the back of the head quite low, then by pulling upwards keeping the strap just below the front of the chin and pulling upwards to be tight enough to keep your mouth from opening if using a Nasal Mask or Nasal Pillows. Pull straight up and not backwards, if you look at the adverts, they all show then sitting on the chin half and half, but keep it just under the front of the chin and pull straight up.
Ok, I have drifted off topic as usual, but this is for others as well if they read, but I hope there is something that helps in here.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

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