Can You Put Essential Oils In A Humidifier? Find Out Here!

is it safe to put essential oils into a humidifier?

Do you need to humidify your home using a humidifier?

If so, you might be wondering if it is safe to put essential oils in a humidifier.

Well, the answer is it depends! It depends on what type of humidifier you have and how it operates.

The answer is also a little more complicated than that. It’s not as simple as a “yes” or “no.”

If you are curious about whether or not it is safe to use essential oils in your humidifier, read on.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural aromatic substances extracted from plants.

Most of the time, they are used in aromatherapy and for fragrancing or flavoring purposes.

The methods of extracting essential oils included distillation, expression, solvent extraction, and cold pressing.

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing practice that uses the aromatic essences from plants to improve physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

It can provide relief from stress, promote relaxation and ease general aches and pains.

Can I Put Essential Oils in My Humidifier?

You can put essential oils in a humidifier, but this is not advisable.

The ingredients of the water in the humidifiers, together with the oils, don’t mix well. 

They may destroy or shorten the life of your humidifier.

Some essential oils will dissolve into the water and create a disgusting oily layer at the bottom of your humidifier.

This will surely ruin the humidifier.

Furthermore, essential oils can damage or corrode the inner workings of your humidifier. 

This will make your humidifier unable to operate properly and even shortening its life.

In addition to that, essential oils will clog the filter over time, making it impossible to release water into the air.

In fact, some humidifiers users reported they started to see white dust coming out of their machine.

The same will not happen in a diffuser as they have no filter and porous materials to harbor oil residue.

Ideally, it would be best if you use your humidifier for pure water vapor releases only.

However, if you still insist on adding essential oils to a humidifier, then be sure to buy a humidifier that also doubles as a diffuser.

A 2-in-1 humidifier and diffuser will ensure that essential oils go into the air and not just into your water tank!

This type of humidifier often has a separate water tank and a separate essential oil tray to add your favorite oils.

This way, you can still use the humidifier and also enjoy the benefits of your favorite essential oils.

Can Essential Oils Damage a Humidifier?

Yes, your essential oils can damage your humidifier.

The chemicals present in the essential oils may interact with both the plastic and metal parts of your humidifier, damaging its functionality.

There are two possible problems from mixing these two products together:

  • Rusting, where essential oils will damage the metal parts of your humidifier.
  • Clogging, where essential oils clog the tiny passages inside your humidifier and prevent proper functionality.

Also read: Can Air Purifier Be Used with Humidifier?

Can I Put Scented Oil in My Humidifier?

You should not put scented oils in your humidifier.

While it may give off a pleasant smell, it will permanently damage the functionality of your humidifier.

The oils can make their way into the water tank and clog up its parts, preventing proper function.

You should use only plain water in your humidifier.

Where do You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier?

Like we have discussed earlier, you should NOT put essential oils in your humidifier.

It is not recommended to put oils in the humidifier’s water tank unless it is a specific type of humidifier that also functions as a diffuser.

If you have a 2-in-1 humidifier and diffuser, only put the essential oils on the dedicated tray.

Please do not put the oils directly in the water tank as it can lead to clogging.

The oils may also have a damaging effect on the motor of your humidifier if not properly cleaned and maintained.

Humidifiers vs. Diffusers

How Does A Humidifier Differ From A Diffuser?

If you are serious about getting the most out of your essential oils, then you should learn about the difference between a humidifier and a diffuser.

The main difference between the two is that a humidifier adds moisture to your indoor environment. 

At the same time, a diffuser releases essential oils into the air.

Thus, it is best to use these two products separately to maximize their effectiveness and prevent mixing water and oil.

How Does A Humidifier Differ From A Diffuser?

A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to your air, often by forcing fine water droplets through a filter system.

The moist air produced then spreads evenly throughout the room from the directional nozzle on its top.

The goal of a humidifier is to add moisture to the indoor air to help adjust the humidity level.

A humidifier can be used whether you are sick or healthy. 

Benefits of humidifiers include preventing dry skin, nosebleeds, irritation (dry eyes and other ailments).

On the other hand, a diffuser releases essential oil into the air for therapeutic benefits.

A diffuser breaks up the concentrated oils from its oil reservoir and disperses them directly into the air.

The scent will allow your nose to absorb some of those chemical properties, which will help you feel better or give off an aroma that soothes you.

Although the way these two products work seems similar, they have different goals and thus should be used differently.

While a diffuser also disperses water vapor into the air, its primary job is distributing essential oils.

A diffuser cannot change the humidity level in a room; it can only add essential oils to the air.

It does not have a large enough water tank to add moisture to a room for long periods.

So if you are looking for something that will humidify your room, then a diffuser may not be the best choice.

But if you want to get the best therapeutic benefits out of your essential oils, then you need to use a diffuser.

With a diffuser, you will be able to break essential oils into particles that you can easily absorb through your skin (if diffused on your body) or directly through your nose.

It also breaks the oil into smaller bits that are easier to breathe in. 

So here’s the bottom line:

Humidifiers add moisture to the air, while diffusers break down essential oils into fine particles that you can breathe in.

A humidifier is not a replacement for a diffuser, nor should it be used interchangeably.

While a humidifier adds moisture to the air, it does not break down essential oils into particles that you can absorb.

FAQs about Humidifiers and Essential Oils

With that information out of the way, let us look into some of the questions people frequently ask about humidifiers and essential oils.

What Happens if You Put Essential Oils in Humidifier?

If you put essential oils directly into the water tank of a humidifier, then there are high chances that you will damage the motor.

Most humidifiers have an irreversible impeller blade or filter system that can withstand only so much wear and tear.

If it gets clogged by too many additives such as salt, minerals, and oil residues, then your humidifier can easily break down.

This will lead to eventual damage or burning of the motor as well, which can cause your humidifier to cost you more money.

Besides damaging the motor, essential oils in water can also affect other parts of your unit by breaking them or corroding them with high corrosive properties.

Can You Put Essential Oils in Humidifier for Baby?

If your humidifier for baby has a dedicated essential oil tray, then you can go ahead and use it.

Otherwise, you should avoid putting essential oil in your humidifier for the baby.

This way, your humidifier for baby will be able to last a lot longer without needing replacement.

Also read: Where to Place Humidifier? Learn the Best Place to Put Your Humidifier!

Can You Use Essential Oil Diffuser as A Humidifier?

No, you cannot use an essential oil diffuser as a humidifier.

As we previously mentioned, a humidifier disperses water vapor into the air to add moisture.

But an essential oil diffuser will not be able to do that because it does not have an adequate water tank capacity.

It can only disperse essential oils into the air. 

So if you are looking to humidify your room or a space smaller than 500 square feet, then it would be better for you to use a small-sized ultrasonic cool mist humidifier.

What Can I Put in My Humidifier to Make It Smell Good?

You should not put anything in your humidifier except water.

We are telling you this because adding any other liquid or substance will damage the inside components of your unit.

If you want to make your humidifier smell good, buy a model that has an essential oil tray where you can put a few drops of your favorite essential oils.

Or you can use your humidifier and diffuser together to help disperse the smells of your essential oils through the air.

Does Humidifier Have Scent?

No, a humidifier does not have a scent.

When you turn on your humidifier, it will produce only water vapor which is odorless and colorless.

If you start to smell something, then there’s a chance that your humidifier may be contaminated with mildew or mold.

If this happens, you need to clean the device with water and vinegar or bleach to clean it thoroughly.


So, can essential oils be put in a humidifier? Well, It depends on the humidifier you have.

If your model is safe for essential oil use, then it would be okay to put a few drops of essential oils in the tray provided by the manufacturer.

If it is not safe to use essential oils, you should steer clear from using any oil in your humidifier.

Otherwise, you could damage the internal parts of your unit or decrease its lifespan significantly.

Do you have any other questions about essential oils and humidifiers?

If so, please let us know by dropping a comment below.

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