Can You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier? Read This First

A humidifier is a popular way of increasing the air’s moisture content, making your home more comfortable and therapeutic. Humidifiers, whether cool mist or warm mist, are designed basically to use water. Therefore, is it possible to use essential oils with a humidifier?

It is not advisable to put essential oils in your humidifier. Humidifiers only use water; if used with essential oils, it will seriously damage your humidifier. For the best experience, invest in an ultrasonic humidifier, which can use both water and essential oils.

Putting essential oils in diffusers will put you in danger of overexposure, corrode the plastic parts, clog the nebulizer, destroy the quality of essential oil, or/and crack the reservoir. Read on to understand the dangers of putting essential oils in a humidifier and how an ultrasonic humidifier is perfect for you.

Can You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier

Dangers of Putting Essential Oils in Humidifier

Whether cool-mist or steam, typical humidifiers are not created to use essential oils but only water since they get clogged easily. Most manufacturers accompany their devices with labeled warnings not to add essential oils in their water tank since they are meant and equipped to disperse water.

Putting essential oils in the humidifier is a risky affair. Just imagine what would happen if one day you decided to put diesel into your petrol tank at the filling station. That engine would have problems running and probably shut down. Putting oils in a humidifier will produce almost similar results, and you will shoulder massive maintenance costs. 

Here are some things to think about before putting essential oils in a humidifier.

  1. Excessive Oil Exposure

While this could be advantageous if you were only looking at humidity needs, it does not apply to essential oils. Your body requires just a couple of minutes to an hour of ethereal oil exposure, after which it may develop allergic reactions.

  1. Essential Oils Destroy Plastic Parts

Some oil categories, such as citrus essential oils, actively break down plastics that make up the humidifier. While diffusers need essential oils to work well, humidifiers work perfectly with water added to their tanks.

  1. Oils Clog the Nebulizer

A humidifier works differently from an ionic nebulizer. If you use essential oils in humidifiers, it will clog its nebulizer, thereby causing the humidifier not to produce the mist. A diffuser breaks down oils into tiny particles that the body can easily absorb through breathing or soak up through the skin.

  1. Heat Interferes With Essential Oil

Humidifiers use heat to disperse the contents of their tank. This may destroy the therapeutic properties of some essential oils since heat breaks down the properties of the essential oils into their original chemical form.

  1. Oils Stick on the Inside of the Tank

Ethereal oils are viscous, while water flows smoothly. Apart from sticking to the reservoir walls, they all also clog the humidifier’s narrow piping. Water vapor cannot pass properly, which renders your machine ineffective. You have to clean the device now and then.

  1. Formation of Cracks

Essential oils cause the water tank’s ceramic walls to form cracks and eventually break and will no longer be effective in increasing humidity but rather piling up on top of other problems.

Read our full review on Best Ultrasonic Diffusers.

The Best Humidifier for Essential Oils

Since essential oils are becoming a popular trend, some manufacturers have added unique features and tanks to their machines to turn them into humidifiers cum diffuser. Other diffusers have unique slots formulated to fit and use special pads that are loaded with essential oils. It is advisable not to use liquid essential oil in a humidifier since it is not a diffuser.

However, if you want to achieve both benefits of a humidifier, and still use essential oils, consider investing in an ultrasonic humidifier. The Cranes Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is an example.

Ultrasonic Humidifier

An ultrasonic humidifier is an electrical device that uses sound vibrations at high frequencies in its ceramic diaphragm to form water droplets that leave the humidifier in the form of a slight cold mist. The humidifier makes use of a tiny fan to force out the freezing fog. Some smaller models have no fan; therefore, designed for personal use.

Use distilled water instead of tap or rainwater. This way, you will reduce the number of minerals in the water meant for diffusion and possibly eliminate the white sticky mist appearance, which is formidable to get rid of and harmful to your health.

If you use impure water, the ultrasonic humidifier will disperse all the impurities to the open air. Such contaminants include hard water that forms a cloud of sticky white dust that settles on objects close to the ultrasonic humidifier and furniture. This makes it very difficult to clean these devices.

Some humidifier makers have come up with special demineralization cartridges that are disposable after use. Making it possible for you to use hard water.

The ultrasonic humidifier has become a popular choice for many who prioritize safety. Since it does not use hot water, it reduces your child or pet from getting hurt. This aspect makes them safer to use around the house.

The ultrasonic humidifier uses high sound frequencies instead of heat to produce mist. Add a few drops of essential oils into the humidifier to make your room humid and reap aromatherapy benefits.

How To Maintain Your Ultrasonic Humidifier

Cleanliness is part and parcel of a healthy life. A clean humidifier will help you leave a healthy life. A humidifier full of impurities and dirt layers in the tank will diffuse the same impurities to the air you breathe, causing asthma attacks in allergic patients.

It would be best to maintain and clean your humidifier to prevent the development of harmful bugs in its tank since it does not boil water. Make a habit of emptying the tank frequently to avoid stale water from accumulating since it forms a suitable environment for the growth of microorganisms such as fungi. 

Here are two ways you can take care of your ultrasonic humidifier.

  1. Daily Cleanup Schedule

Every time you switch off the ultrasonic humidifier is an opportunity to clean it. Always wash your humidifier before the next use.

Cleaning a humidifier is a straightforward process. Just disconnect the nozzle from the tank. Pour out water to empty the reservoir. Rinse the parts that come into contact with the water with clean water.

Dry with a disinfected towel and leave to air dry before you reassemble the machine. Take care when handling sensitive parts such as the sensor.

  1. Intensive Cleaning

For more effective cleaning, use warm water with white vinegar and bleach.

Pour warm water mixed with vinegar or bleach in the reservoir continually till it is halfway full.

Two tablespoons of vinegar or bleach are enough to disinfect and eliminate minerals that may have embedded themselves in the water tank walls over the week. Stir the water to ensure the mixture reaches all parts of the tank.

Let the water rest for thirty minutes. Use a soft brush to scrub the inside of the water reservoir as well as the basin. Rinse with warm water and leave the parts in the open air to dry.

It would be best if you always clean your humidifier before storing it or after using it.

Humidifiers Use Water

Humidifiers use water to increase humidity. Only put water in the humidifier’s tank. Distilled water is preferred because it does not contain impurities.

Essential oils have now become popular in the world of aromatherapy. The ultrasonic humidifiers use both water and oil to give the combined effect of moisturization and aromatherapy, making it possible for you to enjoy both worlds’ best.


Welcome. My name is Gege. I am a professional freelance lifestyle writer. Over 1.5 million fans take my lifestyle advice and use products from my recommendations.

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