Can you put essential oils in a Humidifier?

Today, people prefer including essential oils in humidifiers to get double benefits. Many ask the question, can you put essential oils in a humidifier? The answer is YES but not for all types of humidifiers.

The use of essential oils has been there for years. They help relieve the issues that are caused by dry air and, at the same time, help enhance memory and cognitive functions.

However, not all humidifiers are fit to use with essential oils. Therefore, before you get into using the oil, ensure to do deep research and find one that will work best with essential oil.

To get you started, this blog will highlight the basics that you should consider before making the decision.

Video on how to put essential oils in a humidifier

Types of humidifiers

Evaporative Humidifiers

Evaporative humidifiers use the natural process of evaporation. The water in the tank evaporates, and in turn, it turns from liquid to gas. These humidifiers have wicking filters that absorb the water in the humidifiers.

The humidifier fan then blows it, and the blowing triggers the evaporation process, and the evaporated vapor is then pushed to the air in the room hence moisturizing your air.

However, when it comes to the use of essential oil, evaporative humidifiers don’t work quite well. The process of evaporation involves the absorption of water by the wicking filters.

Therefore, when you add a foreign substance to the water, it will be trapped in the filters, which will lead to the replacement of the filters faster than the usual rate.

The wicking filters are designed to absorb water in the humidifier basin. However, when there are foreign bodies in the water, the filters will absorb them too.

The difference is that when the filters are blown to release the water, essential oil trapped as a foreign body doesn’t evaporate. Therefore, when the buildup increases, the filters break down and the failure to function hence the need to replace them.

On the other hand, when you add essential oil in evaporative humidifiers, the oil gets direct contact with the basin. The exposure damages the plastic and bottle cap assembly as they are not designed to store essential oil.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers are quite common types, and most people prefer using them over others. Ultrasonic humidifiers don’t use filters but rather use the principle of high-frequency oscillation.

The principle involves breaking water droplets into smaller articles that creates a fine mist of water. With the assistance of a small fan placed at the bottom of the unit, the fine water mist is released into the room to moisturize the air.

This type of humidifier uses water tanks, which are quite sensitive. The water tank is specifically designed to hold distilled water for the humidifier to function.

When you put anything other than the recommended liquid voids the warranty of the unit. Therefore, in case of any issues developing on the humidifier, the manufacturers cannot be held accountable.

As indicated with evaporative humidifiers, putting essential oils in an ultrasonic humidifier water tank is quite risky. Essential oils are corrosive, and if they are not stored appropriately, they can lead to damage of the water tanks in humidifiers.

Therefore, unless indicated, you shouldn’t put essential oils in ultrasonic humidifiers.

On the other hand, you can comfortably use essential oils in aircare ultrasonic humidifiers. This is because the humidifiers come with essential oil pads and diffuser trays. This guarantees there is minimal contact between the oil and the water tank.

You place the pad on the diffuser tray, add a few drops of your favorite oil and allow it to blend evenly. Once the oil is perfectly blended on the pad, return the tray to the humidifier and switch it on.

As the humidifier releases mist in the air, it will also release the fragrance of the essential oil hence accelerate the humidity levels in the house. The essential oils can be put in the best humidifier for snoring as well.

Can You Put Essential Oils In A Cool-Mist Humidifier?

The answer to this is both “yes and no,” this is determined by how you expect to put the essential oil. Although aromatherapy is become the current trend, using essential oils in cool mist humidifiers risks damaging the unit.

Cool mist humidifiers use filters to dispense moisture in the room. Mixing a few drops in the water for humidification, however, may alter the functionality of the humidifier.

Direct contact between essential oil and the humidifier water tank often leads to corrosion of the tank. Also, when the oil particles get in the filters, they don’t get released into the air completely as water.

Therefore, in return, you will require to keep changing the filters as often as possible for the humidifier to maintain a good working condition.

However, if your cool mist humidifier comes with an essential oil tray, you are fit to use the oil. The diffuser tray makes it possible to add a few drops of your favorite fragrance and diffuse them to the air as you humidifier the room.

By adding your favorite fragrance in the air, it gives the air you breathe a unique scent.

Can You Put Essential Oils In A Vicks Humidifier?

The answer is, it depends on what you are using the oil for. Vicks humidifiers have a reputation in dispensing cool and warm mist to improve the humidity level in a home.

The humidifier uses hard water and can filter water minerals from getting to your air. This, therefore, guarantees that by using humidifiers, you can also improve the quality of air and your general wellbeing.

However, if you consider using Vicks humidifiers for aromatherapy, there are higher risks that you have to be prepared to deal with in the process. Putting essential oils direct to Vicks humidifier without using oil diffuser trays is both dangerous to the humidifier and your health.

It has numerous side effects that you may never be fully prepared to deal with at all costs. The essential oil damages the water tank hence limits the performance of your humidifier.

The water tanks in Vicks humidifiers are designed to handle water only. Therefore, when you add something extra to the water, the plastic starts to wear off.

Additionally, since the humidifier is designed to only work with water, when you add oil to the unit, it may likely damage the inner parts of the humidifier.

Therefore, before deciding whether to add essential oils to the water or not, you must take into consideration damages that could come with that.

On the other hand, manufacturers can only be held accountable for damages in the unit if you only use what they recommend. Adding essential oils in the unit voids your warranty meaning your device is not covered in case of any defaults.

When you add essential oil in the humidifier, in case the unit breaks down and you require to return it that may not be possible. Additionally, since the oil has a heavy scent, getting rid of it may not be that easy.

Another risk of using essential oil in Vicks humidifier direct without using a diffuser tray is that it limits the effectiveness of the oil.

The process of turning water from liquid to gas is through heat, which doesn’t work best with essential oil. Heat limits the effectiveness of your favorite oil while turning it into vapor, which results in a loss in your end.


Using humidifiers for aromatherapy is quite practical. It assures you that you will enjoy quality air. However, not all humidifiers are designed to support the use of essential oils. Therefore, before you decide to use your favorite fragrance, it is recommended that you check on the effectiveness of the unit with oil.

If you are unsure that your unit is designed to support the use of fragrance, then you shouldn’t consider using it. However, if you consider using essential oil in your humidifier, you can always upgrade your unit by investing in an oil diffuser tray to avoid using the oil directly in the unit.

Remember, no matter how hard you wish to use essential oil in your humidifier, the safety of your family should always come first.

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