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humidifier antibacterial solution

5 Best Air Bacteriostatic Treatments for Humidifiers 2023: Reviews & Guide

A humidifier is an ideal solution to resolve the issue of dry air in your home. It helps moisturize the air and can remedy the symptoms of diseases that are most frequently present in the winter.

However, depending on how often you clean your humidifier, there's a chance you could be breathing in dangerous organisms bred by the humidity you are injecting into your home’s air.

So, how do you remedy this?

The answer is to purchase a bacteriostatic treatment for your humidifier.

The Hidden Risks Inside Your Humidifier

best air bacteriostatic

Humid environments are the favorite of bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms that are dangerous to our health.

Cleaning your humidifier regularly (including air filters) will remove these issues.

There's such a thing as "humidifier fever" which can cause infections in the lungs when bacteria are inhaled.

If you have asthma, inhaling bacteria will only make it worse.

Though you may believe that cleaning your humidifier once a week is sufficient, specialists say that it is better to clean it daily or every three days.

Proper scrubbing is essential, too; you need to make sure that there is no residue remaining on the water tank's surfaces.

Additionally, it is suggested that you use dish soap and warm water when cleaning and avoid using harsh chemicals as much as possible.

It's no secret that distilled water is the best choice for refilling your water tank. But, distilled water costs about $1 per gallon, so the total cost of using your humidifier increases significantly.

Due to this, many people prefer to use regular tap water that, sadly, often contain microorganisms that are later discharged into the air you breathe.

What's in This Buying Guide

Top 5 Air Humidifiers with Bacteriostatic Treatment

  • H1709PDQ-U Cleaning Agent
  • Essick 1970
  • BestAir 3BT
  • Sunbeam 1-Quart Jar
  • BestAir 128oz BT Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment (3BT-6 Original).

1. H1709PDQ-U Cleaning Agent

best air bacteriostatic

H1709PDQ-U cleaning agent isn't only for Holmes humidifier, it works with any humidifier that blows air through a wet filter.

This solution does leave a slight odor the first time you put in the water, but it goes away about half an hour of use.

Just put in a cap of this solution every time you refill the water vessel, and you are ready to go.

Apart from its antibacterial features, the H1709PDQ-U also keeps the water tank clean for a more extended period. As soon as you start using it, you will see that cleaning frequency drops.

This product reduces the number of algae and bacteria grown in cool mist humidifiers.

As you may know, a cool-mist humidifier provides a far better atmosphere for bacteria to flourish - in contrast to warm mist humidifiers that remove bacteria by heating the water.

Cool mist humidifiers frequently use wicks as part of the water filtering systems. These wicks are always stored in cool water, favoring the formation of all kinds of bacteria mildew, and because of that, changing the filter regularly is necessary.

Long story short, this antibacterial solution provides three significant advantages for any cool-mist humidifier. It prolongs the life span of your wick/filter, it reduces the need for regular tank cleaning, and it makes sure the water in the tank is clean before it is misted.


  • Prolong the life of your humidifier.
  • Keeps the filter clean, longer.
  • Reduces frequency of water tank cleaning
  • Inhibits the growth of bacteria in the humidifier
  • Guarantees a cleaner mist output and fresher air in the room


  • Only suited for cool mist humidifiers that incorporate a wick.
  • May initially emit an unpleasant odor.

2. Essick 1970

sunbeam humidifier water treatment

Essick 1970 is a customer favorite as far as bacteriostatic remedies for humidifiers are involved.

If you have an evaporative humidifier, this will become your new best friend.

This Essick treatment helps remove unpleasant odors that are generally brought on by bacteria and algae forming in the water tank.

You can buy this product in many handy packs (packs with 2, 4, or 12 bottles are available on Amazon), or you could go for one bottle purchase.

The 9170 treatment is advised for frequent use each time you refill your humidifier tank. Pour about 1/6 liquid ounces into every gallon of water.

Since you only need a small amount of solution, a 12-bottle pack should last you an entire year.

If you pour the solution into the tank before filling with water, you’ll see some foam; however, it is recommended you add the solution before filling the tank to provide the liquids an opportunity to mix thoroughly

The Essick 1970 will significantly reduce the frequency of tank cleaning.

Please bear in mind that this is a dangerous chemical, so you'll have to take the necessary precautions as the label tells you. It is highly corrosive and will cause damage if it comes in contact with your eyes or skin.

It's advised to use rubber gloves and a face mask to prevent the product from contacting your skin and avoid inhaling any damaging vapors.

In addition to careful handling, careful storage is required. Ensure that you keep your 1970 away from the reach of children and pets.

Some customers report problems in measuring the ideal amount of liquid with the included bottle cap. So we advise using a teaspoon to measure how much treatment you add to the water.

In general, the bottle has a poor design that does not allow pouring in small doses. Some customer recommend puncturing a hole in the cap to prevent pouring too large an amount.


  • Super-concentrated solution will last longer than others.
  • Controls bacteria growth in an evaporative or cool mist humidifier
  • Reduces bad odors caused by bacteria and algae
  • Ensures clean mist output
  • Prolongs the life of your humidifier


  • The cap doesn't give precise measurement (best to use a spoon).
  • Toxic if it comes in contact with skin or eyes.
  • The bottle's design does not make it suitable for pouring small

3. BestAir 3BT

humidifier antibacterial solution

The BestAir 3BT is currently the bestselling bacteriostatic treatment on Amazon.

First, this product was created for use in evaporative / cool mist humidifiers, which makes it similar to the ones we discussed above.

The average bottle quantity is 32 oz. It's excellent for people who use humidifiers that require frequent cleaning due to the germs and algae formation within the tank.

Additionally, it promises to get rid of the unpleasant odors caused by bacteria that are said. You can buy a single bottle of the product, or purchase packs of 2, 3, or 6 bottles.

With an overall score of 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this treatment is a customer favorite.

On the other hand, some users report a terrible odor which gave their family headaches.

As a precautionary bit of advice, we suggest you don't pour this solution immediately before going to bed, but do it at least two hours prior to be sure any chemical odor dissipates before you sleep.

As far as keeping the filter clean, the 3BT appears does an excellent job, as filter life is doubled and sometimes even tripled depending on how frequent the humidifier runs.

The tricky part about this product is the total amount of solution suggested by the manufacturer for each gallon of water vs. what the users advocate, based on their experience.

While BestAir recommends a cap full of solution for every gallon of water within the tank, users indicate that you should experiment to find what best suits your requirements.

For example, one user recommends using a syringe to add about 5 ml into the water. Syringes are an excellent idea when you need to measure small quantities of liquid.


  • Reduces frequency of cleaning.
  • Works for all types of evaporative humidifiers, not just wicks
  • Controls bacteria growth.


  • Unpleasant odor - unless well-diluted

4. Sunbeam 1-Quart Jar

best air bacteriostatic

OK, time to switch gears and discuss bacteriostatic treatments for warm mist humidifiers.

Sunbeam's 1-quart jar promises to remove problems caused by bacteria, limescale, and another build-up commonly found on humidifier parts.

Back in the day, humidifier filters were made to last for one year. These days, however, a filter requires weekly to monthly cleaning or replacement.  This Sunbeam treatment can slow that down significantly.

This Sunbeam treatment contains relatively diluted active ingredients compared to others. Because of this, the maker recommends using a double dosage.

To give you a feel for this, the Holmes bacteriostatic treatment has roughly the same ingredients as the Sunbeam, but every one of them is within a dose of 2.250%. Sunbeam only has 0.085% of the same active ingredients.

That said, using the recommended dosage delivers as promised.

Using Sunbeam’s bacteriostatic treatment will ensure a fresh and odor-free environment in your home. It'll make your filters last longer, too - but it might take three full water tanks for your wick to become thoroughly treated by the mixture.


  • Control bacteria growth.
  • Prolongs the life of the wick
  • Eliminates bad odors.


  • Pricey compared to cool mist solutions.
  • Consumes more solution per dose.
  • Works only with warm mist humidifiers

5. BestAir 128oz BT Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment (3BT-6 Original).

best air bacteriostatic

BestAir does a fabulous job manufacturing high-quality products.  This treatment is a great choice for people who choose to use tap water in their humidifiers - like most people do.

The BestAir 128oz BT Humidifier Bacteriostatic Water Treatment not only keeps your humidifier water odor-free, it also removes calcium and limescale buildup.

It is available in 128 fluid oz bottles, making it ideal for those with a couple of humidifiers.

Having clean, fresh air to breathe will make your living room comfortable. That is why we highly recommend it.


  • Keeps humidifiers odor-free and clean
  • Removes hard water buildup caused by tap water
  • Great value for money.


  • None.

What Is a Bacteriostatic Treatment?

Bacteriostatic treatments are chemical solutions that aid in inhibit the growth of algae and bacteria in evaporative humidifiers.

Regular use removes bacteria/algae from your humidifier water and keeps your air smelling great.

Pros and Cons of Using Bacteriostatic Treatment

Pros and Cons


  • Prolongs the life of your humidifier.
  • Keeps the filter clean longer.
  • Reduces the need to clean the water tank continuously.
  • Controls growth of bacteria within the humidifier.
  • Guarantees a cleaner mist output and fresher air in the room
  • Eliminates bad odors caused by bacteria and algae in the water tank.
  • Suitable for all types of evaporative humidifiers.


  • Best suited for cool mist humidifiers that incorporate a wick.
  • May initially emit an unpleasant odor.
  • Toxic if it comes in contact with skin or eyes.


Of the few brands that offer bacteriostatic treatments for humidifiers, the BestAir 3BT is our favorite.

Offered in several valuable bottle packs, you can buy this product in bulk and won't need to worry about needing more supplies for a whole year.

BestAir’s solution keeps algae and germs from becoming an issue, substantially reducing the need to clean your water tank.

Additionally, it prolongs your humidifier filter's life.

The downside of the BestAir treatment is the toxicity of the chemicals in the solution. Some complaints have been published re. the chemical smell released, causing headaches and nosebleeds to individuals who utilized the 3BT.

That said, these isolated cases could be caused by a failure to follow instructions.


Is a Humidifier Bacteriostatic Treatment Safe?

Unless carefully manufactured and used as directed, introducing chemical solutions into humidifier water isn’t a great idea. This is why most experts recommend you NEVER try home remedy treatments.

Various different chemicals are marketed as liquid additives for humidifier tanks. Many can be very irritating to the lungs. An outbreak of very severe lung disease happened in Korea from particular kinds of humidifier disinfectants that aren't commonly marketed in America.

The products recommended on this page are proven and safe, however.

What's the best Bacteriostatic Treatment Option for a humidifier and why?

The absolute safest way to keep microbes from building up in your humidifier water is to discard the reservoir daily, replacing it with fresh water.

Do a thorough cleaning every two or three days with soap and water; you could use a mild disinfectant like vinegar to wash down the Humidifier parts when cleaning, but severe disinfectants like bleach are not essential. Ensure you rinse well before placing the humidifier back together.

Of course, that is a lot of work that most people will never do. 

This is why a bacteriostatic treatments are the choice of many consumers.