Can You Use Essential Oils in a Humidifier? | Unveiling Everything to Know


If you are one of those people who live in a dry and deserted area with harsh climate conditions, chances are that you rely on humidifiers a lot more than you should. But switching on the same old and boring humidifier can be frustrating, especially if you enjoy essential oils and the aroma that infiltrates the surroundings.

However, one of the most common questions people have regarding the use of humidifiers is whether or not it is safe to pour essential oils into the diffuser. Generally, the mist emitted from a humidifier is unscented, meaning you don’t have a natural fragrance.

This article will explore whether can you use essential oils in a humidifier and the associated questions that come with it.

Understanding How Humidifiers Work

Before we explore more about the use of essential oils in a humidifier, it is essential that we understand the importance of a humidifier and how it works.

The humidifiers emit a cool mist by passing water into a wet-wicking filter. With this humidifier, you can’t use any essential oils because they will eventually alter the functions and end up clogging the filter, too.

On the flip side, we have steam vaporizers, another type of humidifier that boils the water rigorously before emitting the mist. While it is true that using essential oil in a steam vaporizer is permissible, you also need to realize that there are restrictions.

For example, if the steam is too potent, it will end up breaking down the essential oil, thereby changing its entire chemistry. While the scent might remain pleasant, the chemical composition of the essential oil won’t.

Also read: 7 Home Remedies to Treat Paw Injuries in Dogs

Why should one not use essential oils in Humidifiers?

If you are using a cool mist humidifier, we explained why it’s not ideal to pour essential oils into the humidifier. In hindsight, adding a few drops of essential oil to the humidifier sounds like a genius idea. You have the steam or the mist from the humidifier, and then you have the scent from the essential oils.

Hilife Humidifier

Well, wrong!

Essential oils, when used in concentrated form, can burn through the plastic parts and the machinery fitted inside the humidifiers. Now, if you think it will happen within a day or after a day, you are mistaken. It takes time, but eventually, adding essential oils will destroy the humidifier.

In the cool-mist humidifier, pouring essential oils will eventually clog the wet-wicking filter, while in the warm-mist humidifier, the chemical composition of the essential oil changes entirely due to the heat from the humidifier.

However, before you think it’s the end of the world, we have some positive news for you as well.

Firstly, technology has evolved, and we now have access to items we didn’t have a few decades back. So, it isn’t surprising that there are a few highly-priced and well-acclaimed humidifiers that come with an essential oil diffuser on the side. You’d have to conduct your research to find which one fits your budget the best.

So, to answer your question on whether you can use essential oil in a humidifier, we’d incline towards a solid no still now.

Is it Better to Buy Humidifier and Diffuser Combos?

If you are desperate to have the dual function and benefit of a humidifier and a diffuser, we recommend that you opt for the humidifier-diffuser combos available in the market.

These combos are more of a practice design, where you cannot just enhance the humidity levels in the room, but you can also improve the scent in the surrounding areas.

Levoit Humidifier With Essential Oil Diffuser

Some of the benefits of using the humidifier-diffuser combo include:

  • Most of these products are available in small and compact designs, so you won’t have to worry about portability. They are easy to carry around.
  • Furthermore, using this combo, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds, especially when it comes to the freshness from the essential oils and improve the moisture levels in your environment.
  • Using these combos is also convenient if you want to improve your well-being with one product instead of spending money on multiple items.

However, since the concept of the humidifier-diffuser combo is quite expensive and relatively new, we can’t brush aside the fact that getting your hands on one can be a challenge.

Which Essential Oils Are Ideal for Your Home?

There are abundant essential oils available in the market. You have the high-quality and more conventional options like lavender and eucalyptus and then you have a few underrated ones like wild orange and peppermint.

When it comes to choosing the best essential oils for your home, the following are the best picks we’d personally recommend:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Wild orange
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon bark
  • Bergamot
  • Lime
  • Roman chamomile, etc.

It doesn’t matter which essential oil you are using; it is mandatory that you focus on the best quality oils and only use a few drops of them.

If you were wondering whether you can use essential oils in a humidifier, we hope this article answers all your queries in detail. In the most standard ground rule, you shouldn’t add essential oils, but technology is evolving, and so are the products. Conduct thorough research about the product to find what works and what doesn’t.

Also read: Home Remedies for Hypoglycemia (Low Calcium) in Dogs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it OK to put essential oils in a humidifier?

It is generally not ideal to put essential oils in a humidifier. We’d recommend you buy the humidifier-diffuser combo if you want to diffuse essential oils.

What oils are safe to use in a humidifier?

Almost all essential oils are safe to use, but ensure that the humidifier is compatible to use essential oils in them.

How many drops of essential oil can you put in a humidifier?

If you are using a humidifier-diffuser combo, only put 4-5 drops of essential oils in them, and that’s more than enough.

Can you put Vicks in an essential oil humidifier?

This will depend on the humidifier that you have. If it has a separate medicine cup in the machine, you can either add Vicks or Essential for maximum benefits.

Which is better, a humidifier or a diffuser?

Both of these products have different uses. If you want to restore moisture in your surroundings, you need a humidifier; if you want to enhance the fragrance in your home, you need a diffuser. It comes down to personal preferences.

Can I put lemon juice in my humidifier?

Sometimes, it is necessary to deodorize the humidifier, in which case you can add a few drops of lemon juice and then run the machine to clean it.

How can I make my humidifier smell good?

The best way to clean and disinfect your humidifier is by pouring some water and lemon juice into it and then running it. That should clean the device immediately.

Can I put perfume in a humidifier?

It isn’t dangerous to put perfume in your humidifier. However, we don’t fully understand the contents of the perfume, so you should avoid it.

What happens if I put too much essential oil in my humidifier?

Diffusing too much essential oil in the humidifier will end up having opposite benefits than what you expected. Some side effects include headaches, chest tightness, discomfort, etc.

What can I put in my humidifier for a stuffy nose?

If you have a stuffy nose and the dry air around you is making things worse, adding some distilled water is enough to fix the issue. Avoid using essential oils unless prescribed by your physician.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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