With having two young children, we find we are often in need of a vaporizer. This winter, we are experimenting with running a vaporizer year round, whether they are sick or not.

The problem, is finding a good vaporizer. Does anyone have any suggestions. Here’s the criteria I’m looking for:
– Cool mist
– Ultra-sonic – these run quieter and have great control on mist output. When the girls aren’t sick, we run it on a very low setting over night.
– Easy cleaning – the ultra-sonic one we just discarded (due to mineral deposits I couldn’t get off the base, hence it wasn’t putting out mist) made it virtually impossible to clean the tube that the mist travels up. I found a thick, gross looking layer of pink slime coating the inside of this tube. I need to be able to get a cleaning brush/rag on every internal surface. I handle vaporizer cleaning, while I’m happy to use power tools to get things dis-assembled and clean, I don’t know that the vaporizer will work once I’m done with it. πŸ™‚
– Easy filling — This is not a necessity, but would be very nice. Does that tank stay upright when upside down?

There’s the challenge. What have you found to work well? When responding, if you have both the model number and the name of the manufacturer I would be grateful.

Thank you.

“But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”    Genesis 2:6

Vaporizor Follow-up

31 thoughts on “Vaporizers”

  1. I understand your frustration. I’ve tried for years to get a good ultrasonic humidifier and have not found one I can say I really like. The companies seem to be continually changing the designs, and not building them to last. (at least from what I’ve seen at the Wally World)

    I’ve had to clean pink slime as well as black mold (destroying fungus – eek!) with a bottle brush before, and carefully clean the reservoir with a washrag and small brush. I’ve looked online before for an expensive, well made one that is designed for whole house use, but haven’t found anything.

    So, having said all that, I guess my whole post is rather a downer. πŸ™‚ Let us know what you decide upon.

  2. I know that a friend of mine has a Crane humidifier and it works well. They have fun designs for children (shaped like animals) and they are also Ultrasonic. I have never personally tried this brand, but it was my first thought when you said you were looking for a new Vaporizer. I know you can find them at major retailers as well. Hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  3. I’d like to chime in here, too, with your same frustration! I have one I like for short-term use (but it’s about 20 years old so the model number isn’t going to help you). What I’ve found is that if you need regular humidity in your home, you have to be dedicated to changing out the filter (mine are $10 apiece and should be changed at least every 2-4 weeks) to reduce the buildup of mold and that the white powdery residue covers everything (and I believe that comes from the minerals in tap water, so could be avoided if you bought distilled water, but that’s another expense).

    I will be interested in watching the responses to this thread since I have two children as well and would love to find the perfect humidifier! I lived in the Nevada desert for a few years and ran my humidifier constantly because the arid air was super hard on my nasal passages even when I wasn’t sick (and dry passages tend to me more susceptible to infection)! So I understand your need!

  4. Make sure you only use purified water in it. Tap water is your enemy. We used to buy gallons of the stuff at cold time. We swore by Vicks and their machine. But none of them lasted more than 2 years due to buildup. I think it’s the nature of the machine.

    During the summer we used a dehumidifier as opposed to the vaporizer, getting the moisture out of the air worked better for us here in So Cal.

  5. Okay, coming back for two more additional comments I thought of:

    1) The pink slime is super gross, so I needed to tell you I can totally sympathize with cleaning it. I live in Seattle and we get pink mold rings in our toilets if we don’t clean them at least once a week. I’ll bet your mom could testify to the olden days when your family lived in our climate. πŸ™‚ SO gross.

    2) And what is with the humidifier manufacturers that they can’t make a top-filling machine? I have found the same frustration with having to remove the tank, fill from the bottom, and then if I don’t get the cap back on just perfectly right, the 2 gallons of water end up all over the floor!

    3) Again, I am definitely watching this thread to see what you end up with and how you like it. The little things in life that make so much difference, right? πŸ™‚

    Karen in WA

    P.S. BTW, I hope Melanie is doing and feeling well. Can’t wait for more baby news!

  6. We have 2 of the humidifiers from Crane, as recommended to you by a previous commenter, one for each of our little boys. They are excellent! If you go to and search for “Crane humidifier”, you’ll be able to see them all. They have many different style of animals that the humidifiers look like. Very cute for kids! To answer your questions:

    – Cool mist: Yes, they do have cool mist!

    – Ultra-sonic: Yes, they are ultra-sonic! You can turn the knob from low to high as needed, and they run very quiet.

    – Easy cleaning: Yes, they are very easy to clean, in my experience. I haven’t had any trouble cleaning them at all. They are shaped like different animals, we have a frog and an elephant. There’s a lid on top that comes off, and that’s how you get to the water tank. I don’t think there’s a place for anything to collect, they have stayed clean, even during heavy use. There aren’t many small parts to it, like perhaps there are with some others.

    – Easy filling: Yes, very easy to fill. The water tank consists of most of the head of each animal, and it comes right out of the base. It’s a pretty large tank at 2 gallons. We usually set them at the very highest settings, and the water lasts for at least two nights even so. It also has a safety setting, it will turn itself off once the tank is dry.

    I was unable to find a model number for it, but the manufacturer is Crane.

    Good luck with your decision! πŸ™‚

  7. I just purchase a Humio Ultrasonic, cool night, Humidifier made by Tribest, recently that I love. It’s ultrasonic…absolutely soundless and it works great.
    I purchased it at a local heath food store, but when I googled it, I also saw it at Amazon. It has a built in light that changes colour, but you can turn the light off and still have the humidifier running. It’s very simple to clean and fill…and turns off automatically when it runs out of water.

  8. Hi Nathan,
    After several attempts of buying various inexpensive/midrange humidifiers Phil began the process of researching them and made the decision to go with the “proHeaven Fresh HF 707 Digital Ultrasonic Cool & Warm Mist”. We haven’t had to replace it and it works beautifully. You can look it up online and read all about it to see if it meets all your needs–the company is “ProHeaven”. We were spending more on continually needing to purchase humidifiers, than we would have if we’d invested in this one the first time. I believe the cost was $180ish+/-.

    Blessings, Mrs. Mari

  9. I have used pipe cleaners from the craft store to get the yucky gunk out of straws and small tubes before flushing them with hot water.

  10. I would like to know a good cool mist vaporiser, though I would be looking for help with dust allergies, rather than to prevent other sicknesses. I hope your blessed family are not sick right now.

    “Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

  11. It’s nice to know others have this same frustration! πŸ™‚ We’ve tried so many different kinds that we just finally decided to purchase cheaper ones new each year. They stay clean with minimal care for the entire winter and then we get rid of them and start over the next year. It just has seemed to work better than trying to find ones that we can keep clean for more than one winter. I feel better knowing we’re not just putting a lot of bacteria into the air. Also, I do want to say that we have found things are MUCH worse when we use tap water. We only use bottled water for the humidifier now. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps….please let us know if you find something you guys just love.

  12. We have 2 Vicks filter free mist humidifers which are good @ $40 each at Wal-Mart. They are super easy to fill and clean. You lift off the base and turn it upside down to add the water and pop it right back on….takes less than a minute. One good thing for us is they are loud (a lot of white noise) but we like that. We have always kept the house with noise while the children grew up sleeping….that way I was able to run the vacuum, dishwasher etc. and they never was bothered by it. That however might the problem for some people b/c they aren’t that very quiet.

    All that being said, I need a couple more for our home and will probably purchase the Crane. I have been researching them more lately and that does seem to be the best brand. They have cute animals which another poster mentioned and they get very good reviews.

    We pray that you all are doing well and the little one is staying healthy too. If you get a moment, please catch us up to date.

    Blessings to you all,

  13. I found one in the ONE STEP AHead catolog that you may want to is a vaporizer that is waterless! It uses pads instead. I don’t know how effective it is but I usually like the quality of then products that this companynputs out.

  14. We too are searching for one. We had the exact same slime in ours. And to think that those germs were blowing in our air. Ill definitely be watching this and see what you choose.

    God Bless,
    Maudie S

  15. Hi,

    I use the vicks vaporiser, I’ve had it for about 6 years and it’s still working fine. I always boil the water in my kitchen kettle before putting it into the tank though. I find this a simple way to help stop any buildup caused by hardness in the water. I live in a hard water area and boiling water before adding it to appliances such as steam irons etc slows down the buildup of that white scaly stuff and is much cheaper than buying distilled water.
    Every now and then I fill the kettle with vinegar and boil that to get rid of any mineral deposits in there!

  16. I have no experience with cool mist vaporizers, but I ditto the suggestions that you use distilled water. I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine nightly which is equipped with a built-in humidifier that requires distilled water. I have never had a problem with mold, deposits, or any of the pink slimy build-up, even if I forget to clean it as often as I’m supposed to. I also never get sick. The EPA’s website has info on the use and care of home humidifiers, saying that “Minerals in tap water may increase the development of crusty deposits, or scale, in humidifiers. Scale can be a breeding ground for microorganisms.” Yikes! They also recommend the use of distilled water, since distilling is the most effective method for removing said minerals from water. Of course, if you are going to be running it year-round, it might get kind of expensive, depending on how much water your vaporizer/humidifier takes.

  17. Would suggest you avoid the portable model and instead try a whole house humidifier system. This can easier be attached to your furnace and allow you to maintain a consistent humidity year round.

    I would NOT recommend you run a room humidifier year round. The relative humidity it produces is enough to long term cause mold to grow throughout the room, exacerbating allergies and cold symptoms. These type of portable humidifiers are useful for a short term basis only. Unless you are trying to raise orchids or run a greenhouse, this is not a good idea. Your room humidity would easier reach 80% or more in a short time.

  18. Search Crane Penguin Humidifier on Amazon- It is $37.99 and great for a child’s room.

    We switched to a whole house humidifier and it cut our heating bills. Might be worth checking out…Good luck and make sure you keep it clean or it is spreading mold through the house.

  19. I use one too, but I use a warm mist one as I am so prone to being cold, and the cool mist seems to make that worse. My kids are a lot older, so the threat of them burning themselves is a lot less. I do not run it all the time…only when I notice problems with allergies/sinuses.

    essickair whole house air conditioner


  20. Peroidic cleaning with vinegar not only helps cut the hard water, but prevents mold too. We only run ours though the winter since summers in Missouri are very humid. I may check into some of the other brands mentioned for when our current ones quit working. Sorry, I didn’t give any model numbers, but our machines don’t meet your criteria πŸ™

  21. Use distilled water and you won’t have a problem with mineralization. If you run a dehumidifer in the summer, you’re already making your own distilled water and you can just save it up in gallon jugs for the winter.

  22. My suggestion…not to use vaporizors/humidifiers on a continual basis. They are helpful if your children are sick but not otherwise. Maybe a humidifier on your furnace is a better option because you are able to turn it off when not needed.
    Mold LOVES moist environments and this is far more harmful for your children than dry air.
    We are foster parents and previously were placed with foster children who had a humidifier on constantly in their home. Their skin condition was horrible and it took a long time to heal.

  23. I can’t comment on a good one or not but what I can say is what a friend discovered with hers…she was running a cool mist vaporizer when her littles were sick….and they never seemed to get over a stuffy or runny nose and lots of congestion…she went through two winters of this. She finally talked to her naturopathic doctor and he asked her how long she ran it at night…she said all night….he told her to never run it more than two hours as that is enough time to put enough moisture into the air…also he had her check her windows for mold….there was tons of mold! Once she got that all cleaned up and only used the vaporizer for two hours the congestion and runny noses slowly disappeared.

  24. Early on, we used vaporizers for the same reasons as above. However, with the same problems. But for the last number of years, we have gotten into the habit of leaving a pot with water on the stove to slowly simmer over the day. We also add certain oils to the water that does wonders to open up sinuses and give the house a nice aroma. We use lemon, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils. We put 15-20 drops each every hour or so. Works great, good use of money, and leaves a pleasant smell for the household.

  25. While we currently have a Vicks brand and it is two years old, consensus prevails that in using distrilled water you can greatly enhance the life and performance of the appliance. A pinch of salt ocassionally does break up any mineral build up but can be hard on the electronics if used too frequently.

    We use ours around the clock and then clean it with soap, water and a drop of bleach. At the end of the season, we clean it thoroughly again and let it completely dry before boxing it back up.

    At our house, we often forego the distilled water and just clean it weekly. We accept that every couple years it will need replacing.

  26. My advice would be to “be careful.” My two youngest children suffered with childhood asthma. My middle child suffered with chronic sinus infections as well. I was instructed by the allergy/asthma specialist NOT to use a vaporizer/humidifier except at specific times as directed by the Dr. The reason was because of quick bacteria and mold buildup in the unit (it is the perfect environment for stuff to grow). The result is microscopic bacteria and mold spores being sprayed into the air in the mist which only made the respiratory problems worse. This was several years ago, and maybe vaporizers/humidifiers have improved so that this is no longer a problem, but, based on the comments, it doesn’t sound like it.

  27. We’ve always added hydrogen peroxide to the water as we add it. A couple of tablespoons or 1/4 cup per gallon or so… not an exact science. We also would highly recommend a Berkey filter in the kitchen for drinking water—no sales pitch here… we just have really been happy with our purchase. We fill our vaporizers with clean water from there.
    Looking forward to reading what you choose.

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