Why Is My Humidifier Making a Dripping Noise? (4 Possible Causes)

Most humidifiers make some type of sound while working. In the majority of cases, these sounds are barely perceptible, and they originate from the water vaporization process within the device.

But if your humidifier is making dripping or gurgling noises as it works, chances are that something is wrong with it. This noise could be caused by several factors, most of which we’ll discuss below. In addition, we’ll suggest some easy fixes you can try. Read on!

Uneven Surface

For a humidifier to work seamlessly and soundlessly, it has to be placed on a completely flat surface. In case your device sits atop something uneven — like a tablecloth or kitchen towel — the surface might be causing the dripping noise.

So, try removing anything that’s directly under the humidifier and laying it flat on a table or shelf. If the dripping sound stops, you’ve found your solution. And if not, keep reading because there are more possible causes and fixes for your problem.

Accumulated Dust and Debris

With time, dust and debris can accumulate inside your humidifier, especially in the filter. When that happens, the device can no longer function properly, so the water isn’t vaporized in time. As a result, you hear the annoying drip-drop sounds that keep you up at night.

Luckily, this problem has an easy fix — you simply need to clean your filter. Most humidifiers on the market come with a cleaning instruction manual, so it’s best to follow the suggestions you find there.

Generally speaking, you can clean a humidifier filter thoroughly with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Make a mixture of 1 l of water and about 85 ml of vinegar, and then submerge your filter in the liquid completely.

Leave it to soak for about half an hour, and then rinse well under cold water. Before you put the filter into the humidifier again, make sure you leave it to dry completely (for at least a few hours).


Since humidifiers are constantly full of water, they are the perfect breeding grounds for all types of domestic mold. That is especially the case if you don’t clean your humidifier at least once every two weeks.

When mold accumulates in your humidifier tank, it can cause dripping, bubbling, gurgling, and even clicking noises in the device.

The good side of this problem is that mold is quite easy to spot. If you take a peek inside your humidifier tank and see green, brown, or black growth along the walls or on the bottom, you can be sure that it’s mold.

The bad side is, well — the mold. Since the humidifier is supposed to keep your air moist, mold growing inside means that spores are definitely present inside your home as well. So, it might be time to ventilate and clean it.

As for the humidifier, you’ll most likely be able to clean it and get rid of the mold. The best solution is to pour a cup of white vinegar into the tank and top it off with water. Leave it to sit for about half an hour, and make sure to swish the liquid around from time to time.

Then, pour out the solution, scrub the tank thoroughly, and keep rinsing until the vinegar aroma is gone. Finally, towel the tank dry, and inspect it for any lingering mold.

What if It Doesn’t Work?

In case the mold is persistent and the vinegar doesn’t help, it might be best to get a new humidifier. That way, you and your family will be safe and your home will no longer be at risk of contamination.

If you do buy a new humidifier, make sure you get a quiet model and clean it regularly in the future. You can repeat the vinegar hack every two weeks, and it will help keep your humidifier in pristine condition.

A Faulty Motor

Finally, if your humidifier is making dripping and clicking noises, its motor might be faulty. In these cases, there isn’t much you can do except replace the motor or the humidifier itself.

Your decision should depend on your budget, as getting a new motor usually costs less than replacing the whole appliance. But if you can splurge and get a new humidifier, you’ll make sure you avoid any similar problems in the next few years.

Final Thoughts on Noisy Humidifiers

Noisy humidifiers can be the result of several factors. If your device is making dripping sounds, it might be clogged with dust and debris or infested with mold. Alternatively, the sounds could be coming from a faulty motor.

Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you inspect your humidifier and find the source of the dripping. If not, it is always a good idea to contact a professional or shoot a message to the humidifier manufacturer’s customer service. Good luck!


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