Question about Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer 1.5 Gallon Humidifier

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Humidifier leaves a crusty dark substance in water

Looks almost like metallic, but very flaky, and crumbles between fingers with a little pressure

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  • Rezgirl505 Dec 23, 2008

    I'm getting a dark film on the bottom. It will not wash off with water, but I can rub it off easily with my hand. It smells slighty smokey.

  • TheDust Jan 14, 2009

    I have the same problem. It is not minerals. It looks like the carbon electrodes are falling appart.

  • Anonymous Jan 14, 2009

    i think it might be the salt with the inhalant solution

  • mikeoramy Jan 16, 2009

    I've had this problem with or without using the inhalant solution.  It appears the black flecks that look like pieces of shale are coming out of the bottom part of the heating apparatus. I don't know what it is.

  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2009

    can't the vicks company make one that does not rop black flakes in the water?


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"A Vaporizer produces moisture by heating small amounts of the minerals in the water using tiny electrodes in the shaft of the unit. The minerals then heat the water to a boil and release steam into the air. The minerals will then settle to the bottom of the tank, possibly becoming small black flakes. These flakes are normal and should be rinsed out when you refill the tank. Any bacteria or mold in the water will be killed by the temperature of the water."

How-to clean out the black flakes:

More info on the black particles and cleaning from the user manual (pdf):

Manual QuickView in your browser:

Posted on Jan 07, 2010

  • robertswww Jan 15, 2010

    I have done a little more investigating of the black particles created by the Vick's Warm Steam Vaporizer by Kaz...

    The amount of black particles present is related to the mineral content of your water, so if you have hard water, which is naturally high in mineral content, then you will see more black particles as opposed to soft water.

    I have also tried varying the amount of salt used as a catalyst for soft water that is low in mineral content. By using less salt, the black particles produced by my unit is minimal.


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Discoloration/Black Particles
After use, the water residue in the bottom of the container may contain black particles, and, in
some areas the water and the bottom of container may discolor. These conditions are normal and
do not effect the purity of the steam or medicine. The container is easily cleaned with soap and
water. Rinse and dry the container after cleaning.

This was taken from the manual that comes with the humidifier...

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

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No its chemistry people...the minerals in your tap are dissolved when it comes through your faucet. when the humidifier boils the water for vapor. the minerals become a precipitate and settle at the bottom of the container. it is not vicks fault, just the way it goes!

Posted on Nov 02, 2010

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Clean it, it's minerals.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009

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1 Answer

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Makes a dripping water sound continously

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