Question about Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer 1.5 Gallon Humidifier

4 Answers

Humidifier leaves a crusty dark substance in water

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

Posted by caderock on

  • 3 more comments 
  • 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

  • Anonymous 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?



4 Answers


  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    Visited the website for 3 consecutive days.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 20 times.

  • Expert
  • 63 Answers

"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

  • Robert 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.




  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 2 times.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

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



  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

    New Friend:

    An expert that has 1 follower.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 2 times.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

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


  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

Clean it, it's minerals.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

My humidifier works but wont blow mist?

If it is an ultrasonic humidifier, it has a little disk about the size of a dime at the bottom of the well where the mist comes out. That metal disk gathers white scale on it, Clean that off. The best way I have found is with a Waterpik turned all the way up.

Feb 07, 2017 | Humidifiers

1 Answer

Have ultrasonic cool mist is blowing cool air ...but no mist...what could the problem be?

It has a little disk about the size of a dime at the bottom of the well where the mist comes out. That metal disk gathers white scale on it, Clean that off. The best way I have found is with a Waterpik turned all the way up.

Feb 06, 2017 | Humidifiers

1 Answer

My vicks 1.5 vaporizer doesnt put out steam after using 5 times, flaky brown/grey things are in water , why? cant it be fixed

Is it limed up?-- in other words, the Hardness (Lime and Calcium) in your tap water has clogged up the heating coil..) Possibly the little grey things floating in the water, could be the residue from the water, left behind in the process of evaporation.
If this is the case-- gently heating and flushing Vinegar water thru the heating section of the Vaporizer, might be necessary every few times,- if your water is that 'hard'!

Feb 24, 2015 | Vicks Humidifiers

1 Answer

Black chunks and water after use of V150SG Vicks Steam Guard Vaporizer.

The black specks could be caused by interaction between the heating element and mineral content in the water.

Mar 25, 2014 | Vicks V150SG 1.5 Gallon Warm Steam...

1 Answer

Is not producing the mist

Most misting humidifiers use an atomizer to generate the mist. It is a small metal disk that vibrates very fast. I have yet to see one of these that ever lasts more than a year or two. If you remove the water container you should be able to see the atomizer. If you can put you finger on it and it isn't vibrating then thats the problem. On most small humidifiers it is cheaper to buy a new one that to try and get it fixed.

Dec 16, 2012 | Honeywell Warm Mist HWM-2030 Humidifier

1 Answer

Hi, I flushed out the round mister after it sat

If you have hard water and theres scale present you will need to clean the heater in the bottom.when you remove the heater the scale will sometimes crumble by just squeezing it although a few times Ive had to use a descaler like CLR and a pick to get it off.

Dec 13, 2010 | Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer 1.5 Gallon...

1 Answer

I used to see mist coming out of the humidifer. Just set up for this year, changed the filter, etc. and there's no mist coming out. Is this ok?

No you probably have scale around the heater thus not heating the water warm eneough. The water trough is located in the bottom of the unit and it gets covered with scale you can sometimes crumble it off with your fingers. Sometimes you have to use a cleaner on them too. Me personally on mine I clean it with a flat blade. I have cleaned mine twice this year as I have hard water

Dec 13, 2010 | Vicks Cool Mist V3500 Humidifier

1 Answer

When operational, there is a clicking sound every few seconds and the housing lifts up??

Mine started doing this too. There is a thin, flat metal piece on the right side of the tall part of the base (not the little pole) that goes down to the water. Mine is slightly bent out, and it catches on the discs. Did you find a solution?

Jan 18, 2010 | Air-O-Swiss 2055D Humidifier

1 Answer

How can I clean the metal grid in the humidifier?

the most practical solution is install a new evaporative pad every year. But if you would like to squeeze "a little" extra life out of the pad . Try soaking it in a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water.

Mar 28, 2009 | Honeywell Humidifiers

Not finding what you are looking for?
Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer 1.5 Gallon Humidifier Logo

13,410 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Vicks Humidifiers Experts

Brad Brown

Level 3 Expert

18342 Answers

Brad Scarpetta

Level 2 Expert

104 Answers

Paul Carew

Level 3 Expert

3510 Answers

Are you a Vicks Humidifier Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides