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Can You Put Essential Oils In A Humidifier? Everything You Need To Know, Including Benefits And Risks

Disclaimer - The information provided in this blog, including any linked materials herein, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. For accurate and personalized recommendations, please consult with your specialists.


Humidifiers are a popular household appliance known for adding moisture to the air and providing numerous benefits for your health and comfort. As humidity levels decrease, the air tends to become drier, resulting in unpleasant irritations such as dry sinuses and other dry skin issues. However, by incorporating a humidifier, you can effectively alleviate these issues.

You can transform your indoor environment into a much more comfortable place where everyday living is a more soothing experience. Essential oils, on the other hand, have gained widespread recognition for their properties and benefits. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts known for their aromatic and potential health and skin benefits. They are often used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation, alleviate stress, and address various health concerns. 

But can you put essential oils in your humidifier? With the rising interest in essential oils, many individuals wonder if combining these oils with a humidifier can enhance their benefits. 

A general answer to this question is NO; you should not use essential oils with humidifiers, but if you still want to use them, then you need to choose the right humidifier. This article will provide you with valuable information and practical tips to ensure you're using essential oils safely and effectively in conjunction with your humidifier. Also, it will guide you to choose the right humidifier that can be used with essential oils. 

 In this article, we'll delve into the benefits and risks of using essential oils in a humidifier, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision. The article has tried to cover everything you need to know about using essential oils in a humidifier. 

What Are Humidifiers And Their Function?

Humidifiers are devices designed to add moisture to the air, which can be especially beneficial in dry climates or during the winter months when indoor air tends to become excessively dry. These devices come in various types, including cool mist, warm mist, ultrasonic, and evaporative humidifiers. The primary purpose of a humidifier is to prevent issues associated with dry air, such as dry skin, irritated nasal passages, etc.

Types Of Humidifier

1. Cool Mist Humidifiers

These humidifiers release cool mist into the air, making them ideal for adding moisture without raising the room temperature. They're often recommended for households with children or pets.

2. Warm Mist Humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers heat water to create steam, which is then cooled slightly before being released into the air. They can be particularly soothing for individuals with respiratory congestion.

3. Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers use ultrasonic vibrations to turn water into a fine mist that disperses essential oils into the air. They operate quietly and are available in cool and warm mist options.

4. Evaporative Humidifiers

These humidifiers use a fan to blow air through a wet wick or filter, causing water to evaporate and humidify the air. They are energy-efficient and work well for larger areas.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Essential Oils With A Humidifier?

Aromatherapy: When you put essential oils in a humidifier, the device disperses the oil particles along with the water vapor, filling the room with a pleasant aroma. This practice can create a calming and soothing environment, making it an excellent choice for relaxation and stress relief.

Respiratory Support: Certain essential oils, such as eucalyptus and peppermint, have properties that may provide respiratory benefits. Using these oils in a humidifier can help open up airways and ease breathing, especially during seasonal discomforts.

Sleep Improvement: Lavender and chamomile essential oils are renowned for their sleep-inducing properties. When diffused through a humidifier before bedtime, these oils may promote better sleep quality and help with insomnia.

What Are The Risks Of Using Essential Oils In A Humidifier?

There are certain harmful effects associated with using essential oils with your humidifier. 

Damage to the Humidifier: Not all humidifiers are designed to handle essential oils. Some oils can corrode the plastic components of the humidifier, leading to malfunction or even permanent damage.

Air Quality Concerns: Using essential oils in a humidifier may release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Inhaling these compounds excessively can potentially lead to respiratory issues, especially in individuals with allergies or sensitivities.

Cleaning Challenges: Essential oils can leave residue in the humidifier, which, if not cleaned properly, might promote mold or bacterial growth. You need to clean your humidifier regularly and thoroughly if you decide to add essential oils to your humidifier.

Should I Use A Humidifier With Essential Oils?

So, coming back to the main question, whether you should use a humidifier with essential oils or not. 

In my opinion, I would suggest not to pour essential oils into a regular humidifier because it might damage it. Regular humidifiers make a cool mist by pushing water through a filter. Essential oils are really strong, and if you put them in a traditional humidifier, they could damage the plastic tank. Not all humidifiers are compatible with essential oils. 

But, as another option, you can use an ultrasonic humidifier with essential oils. This won't hurt the machine. This way, you can enjoy the good things for your health at home without any problems. These humidifiers disperse a fine mist that includes the oil particles, allowing you to enjoy the combined benefits of humidification and aromatherapy. 

How Does An Ultrasonic Humidifier Work?

If you want to use essential oils with humidifiers, then ultrasonic humidifiers are a popular choice for many due to their efficient and quiet operation. These humidifiers work by utilizing high-frequency vibrations to break down water molecules into a fine mist. Here's a brief overview of how they work:

  1. Vibrations: Inside an ultrasonic humidifier, there is a small metal diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency. This diaphragm is typically connected to a transducer.
  2. Water Reservoir: The humidifier has a water reservoir that holds the water to be humidified. The transducer is submerged in this water.
  3. Ultrasonic Vibration: When the transducer receives an electrical signal, it causes the diaphragm to vibrate rapidly at ultrasonic frequencies.
  4. Breaking Water Molecules: These vibrations create high-frequency waves that travel through the water. The waves cause the water molecules to break apart, forming a fine mist of water droplets.
  5. Mist Dispersal: The mist is then released into the air by a fan or by the pressure created by the vibrations themselves. This mist effectively humidifies the surrounding air.

One of the key advantages of ultrasonic humidifiers is that they do not require a heating element to produce steam, making them energy-efficient and safe to use. Additionally, since the mist is released directly from the water without heating, the temperature in the room remains relatively unchanged.

Take note that essential oils should never be put directly into the water tank on the ultrasonic humidifiers unless its tank is made for this purpose. 

Types Of Essential Oils You Can Use In A Humidifier

Some of the popular essential oils that can be used in humidifiers as well as diffusers are as follows: 

1. Using Lavender Oil for Relaxation

Lavender essential oil is renowned for its calming properties. Adding a few drops to your humidifier before bedtime can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

2. Eucalyptus Essential Oil for Respiratory Relief

Eucalyptus oil is a popular choice during the cold and flu season. Inhaling the vapors of eucalyptus oil through your humidifier can help clear congestion and ease breathing.

3. Tea Tree Oil for Purification

Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic properties. Running your humidifier with a few drops of tea tree oil can help purify the air, making it a great choice for allergy-prone individuals.

4. Using Peppermint Oil for Mental Clarity

Peppermint essential oil is known for its invigorating and refreshing aroma. When added to a humidifier, it can help boost mental clarity and focus. The crisp scent of peppermint oil is particularly beneficial during long study sessions or when you need to stay alert.

5. Chamomile Oil for Relaxation

Chamomile essential oil is another excellent choice for relaxation and stress relief. Its gentle and soothing aroma can help calm nerves and promote a sense of tranquility. Adding chamomile oil to your humidifier can create a serene environment, perfect for winding down after a hectic day.

6. Lemon Oil for Mood Enhancement

Lemon essential oil is celebrated for its uplifting and cheerful scent. It can help improve mood and create a positive atmosphere in your home. By diffusing lemon oil in your humidifier, you can enjoy its fresh aroma while benefiting from its mood-enhancing properties.

7. Frankincense Oil for Meditation

Frankincense essential oil has been used for centuries in meditation practices. Its woody and earthy fragrance is believed to promote a sense of spiritual connection and introspection. Diffusing frankincense oil in your humidifier during meditation or yoga sessions can enhance your overall experience.

8. Geranium Oil for Emotional Balance

Geranium essential oil offers a floral and balancing aroma that can help regulate emotions. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed or simply seeking emotional equilibrium, adding geranium oil to your humidifier can create a harmonious environment that supports emotional well-being.

9. Ylang Ylang Oil for Romance

Ylang ylang essential oil is renowned for its aphrodisiac qualities and romantic fragrance. This sweet and floral oil can set the mood for a romantic evening. Consider using ylang ylang oil in your humidifier when planning a special date night or intimate gathering.

10. Sandalwood Oil for Grounding

Sandalwood essential oil has a rich, woody aroma that promotes grounding and relaxation. It's often used to enhance mindfulness and create a sense of inner peace. Diffusing sandalwood oil in your humidifier can help you feel more centered and connected to the present moment.

11. Cedarwood Oil for Sleep Support

Cedarwood essential oil is a popular choice for promoting restful sleep. Its warm and woodsy scent can create a calming atmosphere conducive to relaxation. Adding cedarwood oil to your humidifier before bedtime can help you unwind and prepare for a good night's sleep.

12. Rosemary Oil for Mental Alertness

Rosemary essential oil is known for its invigorating scent that stimulates mental clarity and focus. When used in a humidifier, rosemary oil can help combat mental fatigue and enhance cognitive performance. It's a great choice for home offices or study spaces.

13. Patchouli Oil for Stress Relief

Patchouli essential oil has a unique and earthy aroma that's often associated with stress relief and relaxation. Diffusing patchouli oil in your humidifier can help create a tranquil environment that supports emotional balance and reduces feelings of tension.

These are some of the best essential oils that are popular and very commonly used. These oils are suitable for use in humidifiers or diffusers. Using a diffuser for diffusing essential oils is a common practice, and if possible, try choosing diffusers over humidifiers when you wish to use essential oils. 

You can also use your favorite essential oils, but if you experience any negative effects like respiratory issues, headaches, or skin irritation, it is important to discontinue use immediately. You can also make essential oil blends by combining a few drops of different essential oils.

Points To Remember While Using Humidifiers And Essential Oils

If you choose to use essential oils in your ultrasonic humidifier, follow these guidelines to ensure a safe and effective experience. Essential oils can cause damage to your humidifiers if not used properly. So, before adding essential oils to a humidifier, keep the following points in mind.

Choose the Right Humidifier: Opt for an ultrasonic or nebulizing diffuser, as these types of humidifiers are better suited for essential oils.

Use High-Quality Oils: Invest in pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils from reputable brands to minimize the risk of adverse reactions or damage to the humidifier.

Dilute the Oils: Mix a few drops of essential oil with water before adding them to the humidifier. This helps prevent the oil from directly contacting the humidifier's components. Then, add a few drops of your chosen essential oil or oils to the water in the humidifier. 

Regular Cleaning: Clean your ultrasonic humidifier thoroughly after each use, following the manufacturer's instructions. This practice prevents residue buildup and ensures optimal air quality.

Adopt these measures to prevent damage to your humidifier when using a humidifier with an essential oil. 


The use of essential oils is gaining wide popularity these days. Essential oils can be used in many different ways to utilize their benefits. A humidifier is a great way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. If you want to humidify your air and disperse essential oils at the same time, then go for an ultrasonic humidifier, as it is considered to be essential oil-friendly.

Essential oils may damage the humidifier, so it is important to know the dos and don'ts of essential oil humidifiers. If you are using a humidifier with an essential oil diffuser tray, then it is considered most safe for use as it helps to use essential oils without damaging the humidifier.

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