Why is my Vicks humidifier not working?

As an Amazon affiliate, we earn a commision from qualifying purchases.

If you are anything like me, I’m sure you buy your home appliances hoping that they stay in good condition for eternity. But this is never always the case. Over time, they will start failing and oftentimes, fixing them is cheaper than getting a new appliance.

That being so, today we will be pointing our guns at Vicks humidifiers… I will tell you how you can fix your Vicks humidifier when it stops working.

In addition, I will help you troubleshoot and fix other possible problems the humidifier might run into.  

Why is my Vicks humidifier not working?

I’ve seen humidifiers stop in various forms such as not turning on, not producing mist, not working after cleaning, and so on.

In light of this, we shall diagnose and fix these problems individually…

Why is my Vicks humidifier not turning on?

This is normally due to one of three things:

  • A loose power cord
  • A faulty power outlet
  • The setting knob is in the off position

Among these three, the most likely suspect is the power cord – it might be loose.

This can occur while you are repositioning your humidifier (or a pet or child) slightly tugged at the cord.

Now, to fix the problem, start by making sure that the cord is properly inserted into the outlet.

The next thing you should do is confirm that you have turned the power setting knob to the on position.

Finally, it could be that the power outlet is faulty… For the humidifier to work, you will need to connect it into a working 120v AC outlet.

So, be sure to test the voltage from your outlet.

Of course, if it’s not within this range, you should plug your humidifier to a working 120v AC outlet.

And don’t forget to have an electrician come and fix the current outlet.

Vicks humidifier not blowing mist

When your humidifier stops producing mist, there are several possible suspects to blame.

But the good news is that troubleshooting and fixing these possible culprits is quite simple.

All you need to do is read our detailed guide on fixing a Vicks humidifier that is not producing mist.

Why is my Vicks humidifier spitting out water? (How do I stop my Vicks vaporizer from spitting?)

As you might know, Vicks vaporizers do not steam if using distilled water. That’s why, it’s recommended you use tap water or add a pinch of salt (1/8 tsp) to the distilled water.

Now, if you accidentally add too much salt, it will likely result in overboiling hence the humidifier spitting out water.

Another common cause for the humidifier spitting out water is using water that has too many minerals.

Also keep in mind that if you’re not washing your humidifier frequently, minerals and salt might accrue at the bottom.

And, this might also result in the unit spitting out water when steaming.

How you can fix the problem

First things first: Unplug the unit from the power outlet and let it cool.

Once it cools, empty the water tank and clean it using vinegar.

Once it’s clean, refill it with fresh water, plug it back, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

If it starts spitting out water, it means the water in your region has too many minerals. In this case, we recommend using a mixture of distilled water plus hard water.

On the other hand, if the vaporizer does not start steaming, add a pinch (or two) of salt (1/8 tsp) and give it 10 more minutes.

If it does not start producing steam, add another pinch of salt and give it around 10 minutes for steaming to start.

Quick tip: Do not add more than ½ tsp of salt to avoid the problem from recurring.

Vicks humidifier not working red light – What to do

Most Vicks humidifier models will stop working and the red light will blink or come on when they run out of water.

In other words, this is the humidifier’s way of signaling you to refill the water tank.

So, start there.

And remember to reset your unit after you have added water – the red reset light will remain illuminated till you reset the humidifier.

To reset a Vicks humidifier, do the following:

  1. Turn off the power switch and unplug the humidifier from the power outlet.
  2. Leave the unit to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Refill the water tank.
  4. Plug the humidifier into a working outlet and turn the power switch back on. The reset light will go off indicating the reset was successful.

However, you don’t have to do this in all models since some Vick humidifiers have a reset button. If pressed, this button resets the entire unit.

Nonetheless, a few models such as the Vicks VWC775 humidifier will blink red when there is mineral buildup on the heating element.

Consequently, to reset the red light in these models, you will need to clean your humidifier.

Why is my Vicks humidifier making noise?

If you have a brand-new Vicks humidifier that is making gurgling or bubbling sounds, don’t worry as that is completely normal.

The good news is that the sounds will eventually start to decrease once the humidifier has been running for a few hours.

If the humidifier continues making gurgling or boiling noises, chances are that the water is overheating.

Since we have just talked about how you can solve this issue, I recommend you refer to this section (above): why is my Vicks humidifier spitting out water – it will give you an idea of how you can get rid of the boiling noise.

Finally, if your humidifier is making buzzing or grinding noises, chances are that there are mineral deposits on the nebulizer… Once these mineral deposits harden, they will slow down the nebulizer and, in the process, it might produce buzzing/grinding sounds.

That being so, your solution will be to clean your humidifier.

Psst! Remember to use some vinegar.

Why is my Vicks humidifier leaking?

Here, there are several possible culprits depending on where the leakage is occurring.

Vicks humidifier troubleshooting

If the leakage seems to emanate from the bottom of the tank, high chances are that the tank is damaged.

To be sure, remove the tank and carefully inspect it for cracks or other signs of damage.

Of course, if the tank is damaged, your best course of action will be to replace it.

Moving on…

If the leak is coming from the cap area, start by making sure that you have screwed the cap securely.

Other than the cap, it might also be that the cap seal is cracked or it has lost its elasticity.

Unfortunately, this will call for a new cap seal altogether.

Why is my Vicks humidifier water black?

Normally, you will find these black particles in warm and dual-mode humidifiers that use heating elements.

These black particles are the leftover minerals from your water.

The reason they turn black is because they have been charred by the electrodes of the heating element as it heats the water.

Something else: The black particles will be more distinct if you are using extremely hard water.

That being so, to get rid of the black particles, we recommend that you clean your humidifier.

Something else: To prevent the re-occurrence of the particles, rinse and change the water in your humidifier daily.

And of course, remember to clean it every week using vinegar.

Why is my Vicks humidifier not working after cleaning?

Normally, your Vicks humidifier will stop working/misting after cleaning if you have cleaned it using detergent.

And, there’s a likelihood that there are some detergent particles remaining inside the unit.

But don’t panic if you have washed yours using detergent.

You can quickly fix this by thoroughly rinsing your humidifier with clean water to remove all detergent residue.

And by the way, in case you are wondering, humidifiers are designed to be cleaned using vinegar or bleach.

Why is my Vicks humidifier not working – parting words

With most Vicks humidifiers costing between 35 and 50 bucks, it’s usually cheaper to replace the entire unit than buying replacement parts.

This is because the total repair cost might exceed the price of a brand-new humidifier.

That’s why we recommend that if your humidifier still won’t work, you go shopping for a quality replacement humidifier.


Vicks humidifier not producing mist? Here’s how to fix it

Here are 7 amazing benefits of Vicks humidifiers

Is warm or cool mist humidifier better for sinuses? Comprehensive answer

Ultrasonic humidifier dangers (and what to know)

Leave a Comment