It's the calcium and iron buildup that smell. Try making a diluted mix of CLR and water and then let it soak for a day, then drain the stuff the next day and make a new mix an then run that through the unit (i.e. turn it on) it'll wash off the calcium and iron deposits and leave it like new. But do this somewhere where you won't have to breather the fumes as the stuff is caustic.
yeah what goose said. but you did that so I guess your stuck with stanky water.
I soaked mine element thingy in "the works" toilet bowl cleaner before its got hydrocloric acid in it. finally went and bought one and read they have to be swapped out every year.
Is it supplied by your water heater? if so I believe they have an anode or cathode rod in them that breaks down eventually and needs to be replaced, not sure maybe that what it is.
ahh screw it all just get a water softener. I need to get one in Milford cause of the high calcium/lime/whatever content all over my dishes and I pay for city water! mmm nothing like payin for it twice.
What they said. Hot or cold water will not make it smell any different. Hot water will add humidity faster than cold. Replace the filter and if the one you have holds water for the filter to pass threw clean the hell out of the water tray. If you have a pass threw humidifier than there will be no place for the water to pool and all you have to do is replace the filter.
I assume you have already removed the resevoir and cleaned it with muratic acid (do this out side only!)and replaced the filter. Also assuming it has a resevoir (some new ones don't) you can put a small amount of lysol cleaner. It kills germs but the only problem is your whole house will have that lysol smell. It goes away soon.