vapor from humidifier in front of window

Vicks humidifiers are one of the most popular humidifiers on the market. Vicks is a trusted company many people turn to when they have a cold or aren’t feeling well. Humidifiers can help reduce allergens and other uncomfortable environmental factors, but if your humidifier isn’t working properly, you can’t reap these benefits. Sometimes humidifiers, like any other appliance, malfunction. It can be exceptionally frustrating to find yourself wondering why is my Vicks humidifier not working.

Luckily, you’re not alone. We’ve compiled the most common reason Vicks humidifiers aren’t working and some easy solutions to make them work again. Save this guide in case your Vicks humidifier ever goes on the fritz, so you know exactly what to do.

Humidifier Not Misting

If your humidifier is not producing mist, there may be something wrong with it. However, only filter-free Vicks humidifiers will produce a visible spray of mist. If you have a Vicks humidifier that uses a filter, there should never be visible mist.

Causes of Malfunction

Lack of Water

This may seem too obvious, but sometimes people forget to refill their water tanks, and if there is no water, there is nothing for the humidifier to spray into the air. Humidifier water basins should be filled once a day to ensure there is enough water for the humidifier to maintain the relative humidity in the space.

Mineral Deposits

When you use impure water, such as plain tap water, inside your Vicks humidifier, you are also adding minerals. Tap water is full of minerals that can build up in your humidifier.

When the humidifier sprays out the impure water, the small minerals are left behind in the humidifier, or they are sprayed out with the water. Either way, the result is white dust that either builds up inside your water tank or coats items in the room around the humidifier.

Clogged Sprayer

Dust, dirt, and debris float around all of our homes no matter how much we clean. These tiny particles can wind up inside your Vicks humidifier and eventually clog the spraying mechanism. If the sprayer is clogged, your humidifier won’t moisten the air.

Uneven Spraying

Sometimes there is water in your humidifier, and you feel the mister push out air, but there is no mist where there should be. The mechanism that sucks up water to spray out may be having difficulty reaching the water.

How to Fix Vicks Humidifier

Check the Plug

Plugs are one of the most common reasons for appliance malfunctions. Before doing anything else, check that the plug is secure in the outlet and there is no fraying or loose prongs. If your plug has damage in any way, you can likely contact Vicks for a replacement, and they’ll send one.

Level the Humidifier

Make sure your humidifier is on a flat, level surface. If the humidifier is tilted even slightly, the sprayer may struggle to keep bringing up water and spraying it out. This is a common mistake humidifier owners make, so check the level of the tank before resorting to more effortful solutions.

Clean With Vinegar

A likely reason for mineral deposits and dust and dirt is a neglected humidifier. If you aren’t cleaning your humidifier every week, you should be. To eliminate mineral deposits and get your humidifier working again, clean the entire humidifier using a mixture of white distilled vinegar and lukewarm water. Try to scrub all the nooks and crannies to eliminate any build-up interfering with the humidifier functioning.

Fill the Tank

Make sure your water tank is filled all the way with pure water. If the water level is too low, the spraying mechanism can’t suck up the water and disperse it into the air.

Soak in Bleach

If the vinegar didn’t do the trick, but you think the issue is a build-up of debris or minerals, you can try cleaning it with something stronger. Bleach will kill bacteria, and the chemicals can dislodge whatever clogged the sprayer.

Why is my Vicks humidifier not working
Vicks Humidifier

Bottom Line

Vicks humidifiers are a wonderful solution to a dry and stuffy home. Being uncomfortable in your home is one of the worst things, and humidifiers can help families. But, if your Vicks humidifier is malfunctioning, it will result in a dry environment.

Keeping you and your family comfortable and healthy is always your top priority, and you need your humidifier to work for you at all times. So this guide will help you troubleshoot any Vicks humidifier problems so you can exhaust your options before replacing the unit or calling an expert.

So before you run out to get a new humidifier, try our tricks for fixing your Vicks humidifier so you can get back to breathing well.


What if none of this works?

If you try all the advice in this article and you still think your Vicks humidifier isn’t working, you may want to contact the manufacturer or call an air quality expert to help you fix it. Or, if it’s easier, it may be time to replace the unit entirely.

How often should I run my Vicks humidifier?

You can run your humidifier as often or as little as you want to, it depends on the moisture levels in your home. Humidifiers can run for 24-hours-a-day without issue, but the average recommended use is 7-8 hours a day.

How much water should I put in my humidifier?

You should always fill your humidifier’s water tank to the fill line on the side of the water tank. If you use less there are no benefits, and your humidifier may run out of water sooner than you want it to. Overfilling it above the fill line may cause it to leak and soak the humidifier and space around it.