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putting essential oil in humidifier

Can You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier?

When people are discussing a variety of medical procedures to heal their ailments, essential oils isn't one that comes up quite often.

However, the use of essential oils has been increasing in popularity because their medical benefits have become popular.

Many individuals have been incorporating essential oils to diffusers, so the scent can be enjoyed throughout the space.

But can you put essential oils in a humidifier?

The brief answer: doing that isn't a great idea, unless the humidifier is specifically equipped or designed for that.

There are really important reasons that you don’t do this, which we break down in the article below.

How Do Diffusers Work?


The first important point to understand is the way essential oils are dispersed through the air.

Diffusers combine oil and water into an integrated, fine mist. This mist is then diffused into the air, so we can smell the oils.

We rely on essential oils to alleviate breathing and sinus problems and to help combat basic illnesses such as colds.

Fundamentally, diffusers are the only devices properly designed to store essential oils in them.

Alright, now let's have a look at how humidifiers work.

How Do Humidifiers Work?

working of humidifier

Humidifiers restore and maintain the humidity in a home’s air.

Too little moisture can irritate the skin, eyes, and other issues.

Dry air can also lead to structural issues in your home, including cracks in the plaster and drywall.

Therefore, dry air is not a desirable thing to have in a home. If you have this issue, then it's a fantastic idea to use a humidifier.

However, this doesn't mean a humidifier can do everything you want.

Here are a few reasons why humidifiers should not be used to diffuse essential oils to the air.

Heat Vapor

A warm air (mist) humidifier works by collecting ambient heat in the room and discharging it into the air in the form of vapor.

It is important to understand, then, that when essential oils are spread using heat, it will lessen their effect. The oils will be diluted and will not help you as they ought to.

This means that the health benefits you were seeking using essential oils will do little to no good to you.

The exception to this is if you particularly have a cold air (mist) humidifier.

Plastic Humidifiers

Most humidifiers are built from plastic, which essential oils will ultimately break down and consequently cause difficulties with your humidifier.

Humidifiers are intended to contain clean water only.

In addition, oils can clog a variety of parts in a humidifier.

Oils can also cause the water tank to crack and break.

When the water tank and humidifier parts begin to leak, the device may not be salvageable or protected by your warranty.

The Advantages Of Using a Separate Diffuser

diffuser with essential oil

Because diffusers are actually meant for dispersing essential oils, they're more equipped to do so.

The oil mist particles are made so fine that they can mix with the air and be discharged into the home.

This is important because people can now breathe in the mixture that's been created and the oils can more easily be absorbed into your body.

On the other hand, humidifiers cannot break oils into as fine a mist. This means that less oil will reach the people they are intended to help.

Extra Mess (& Cleaning)

essential oils in humidifier

If you're interested in using a humidifier for your essential oils because you don't want to purchase a diffuser, then you might believe you're saving work and money.


In fact, when you put essential oils on your humidifier you create an odd combination of sticky and heavy oil. When this is discharged from a humidifier, it will land on furniture, clothes and your body.

This is extremely unhygienic and will leave you feeling frustrated.

This sort of oil mixture is also tough to clean, so you'll be fighting it for some time to come.


putting essential oil in humidifier

Research tells us clearly that humidifiers are not meant to be utilized for dispersing essential oils.

There are some limited exceptions, such a cool-mist humidifier designed specifically to spread oils.

Overall, you are far better off investing in a separate diffuser to enjoy your essential oils.

About the Author Tom Hanson

I’ve worked as an HVAC tech in Phoenix, AZ for the past 10 years. I created to help home owners select the right portable air conditioner, cooler or air purifier for their needs & budget in just a few minutes.

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