Can You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier?

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If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you know I’ve recently taken an interest in the healing powers of essential oils! So much so that I am now studying to be an aromatherapist.

It’s no secret that essential oils and natural living are growing in popularity! And for good reason. Derived directly from plants and nature, essential oils are proving to be extremely powerful substances that can help with all kinds of ailments!

They can be used in so many different ways, to include:

  • Diffusing
  • Applying topically to skin
  • Ingesting (in some cases)
  • Add to a warm bath
  • Apply to pulse points

Typically, when using essential oils for aromatherapy purposes, a diffuser is used. But there are times when you may already be running a humidifier and may be wondering, can you put essential oils in a humidifier? Kill two birds with one stone, right? Humidify the air, while diffusing essential oils?

Well, it’s not actually that simple. That’s what we’ll take a look at in today’s post. Once you understand how humidifiers and diffusers work, you’ll be able to answer whether or not you can put essential oils in a humidifier.

Read on to learn more!

What is the Purpose of a Humidifier?

A humidifier can be a lifesaver in the winter when you can’t get enough moisture from your home’s heating system. It can also help ease dry skin and congestion during allergy season.

A humidifier is a device that increases the humidity, or water vapor content, of the air. There are several types of humidifiers, but they all work by adding moisture to the air. This can be done through evaporation, ultrasonic vibrations, or steam inhalation.

If you’re considering using a humidifier in your home, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that you choose the right size for your space. Smaller rooms will need a smaller humidifier, while larger rooms will need a larger one. Second, be sure to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Finally, don’t forget to change the filter regularly to keep it working properly.

Why You Might Need a Humidifier in Your Home

There are several reasons why you might need a humidifier.

  • You live in a dry area
  • Air in your home is too dry causing dry skin
  • Low humidity can aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies

A humidifier can help to alleviate these symptoms by adding moisture to the air.

Why You Might Want to Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier

One of the most popular ways to use essential oils is by dispersing them into the air by diffusion!

Essential oils have some powerful properties when used in aromatherapy.

  • Lavender is known to relieve stress and anxiety while promoting better sleep
  • Frankincense can create an overall calming and tranquil space
  • Rosemary is also great for the nervous system and calming nerves

The reason essential oils are so powerful is because of the effect they have on the limbic system. Olfaction, or the process by which the brain perceives odor, is the fastest way to change psychological or physiological behaviors. Memories are stored in the limbic system. No wonder smelling a fresh batch of cookies instantly puts me back in my grandparents house when I was a kid!

Inhaling in essential oils also exposes you to their other properties! Depending on the essential oil, you’ll be boosting your immune system, fighting infections, and so much more.

But the question remains, can you put essential oils in a humidifier?

Let’s look at the different types of humidifiers to find out.

Types of Humidifiers

There are four main types of humidifiers.

  • evaporative
  • impeller
  • steam
  • ultrasonic

Evaporative humidifiers work by using a fan to blow air over a filter in clean water, which then evaporates into the air, making it more humid.

Can you use essential oils in an evaporative humidifier? No. It is not recommended to put essential oils in an evaporative humidifier. The essential oil will get trapped by the filter and not get diffused in the air. Overtime, anything trapped by the filter could cause the humidifier to breakdown.

Impeller humidifiers use a rotating disk to create a mist that is then released into the air.

Steam humidifiers work by heating water to create steam, which is then released into the air.

Ultrasonic humidifiers use vibrations to create a mist that is then released into the air.

Reasons You Can’t Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier

This is why you should avoid putting essential oils in a humidifier.

Humidifiers are designed to disperse water, not essential oils

The reason diffusers work so well with essential oils is that they break down the oil into smaller molecules and disperse it throughout the air. Humidifiers simply disperse evaporated water.

Essential Oils Can Damage Your Humidifier

Putting anything other than water in your humidifier will cause mold growth and damage to the water tank, especially if not taken care of. If your humidifier has a filter, the essential oils can get trapped there. They won’t be broken down the same way a diffuser does it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some more questions you may have about putting essential oils in humidifier!

Where Do I Put Essential Oils in my Humidifier?

Unless the humidifier is specifically designed to work with essential oils, you cannot put essential oils in a humidifier.

If you end up purchasing a humidifier and diffuser in one however, there will be an aroma tray specifically for essential oils or other fragrances. Do not put essential oils in any part of the humidifier or diffuser that is not listed by the manufacturer.

Can You put essential oils in a cold mist humidifier?

You can put essential oils in a cold mist humidifier only if there is a separate tray marked specifically for essential oils or “aroma tray.”

Here is my top pick if you are looking for a cold mist humidifier!

The Raydrop Cool Mist Humidifier Diffuser offers a 2 in 1 approach, allowing you to completely humidify a room while dispersing essential oils in a safe manner. You’ll get the full effects of both!

Can you put essential oils in a warm mist humidifier?

Just like a cold mist humidifier, you can put essential oils in a warm mist humidifier only if there is a separate tray marked specifically for essential oils or “aroma tray.”

Here is my top pick if you are looking for a warm mist humidifier!

The 6L Warm/Cold Mist humidifier has a separate aroma tray for you to easily drop in your essential oils. You can choose either warm or cold mist based on preference!

Can I put essential oils in my diffuser?

Yes, you can put essential oils in your diffuser! Diffusers are specifically designed for essential oil usage. This is due, in part, to how the essential oil is dispersed in the air.

What Can I Put In My Humidifier To Breathe?

There are many essential oils you can use, but only if the humidifier is designed for aromatherapy too!

  • Cedarwood Atlas is known for being a decongestant
  • Cinnamon Leaf can help you breathe if you’re experiencing flu like symptoms
  • Eucalyptus has the power to ease any breathing problem symptoms
  • Lavender can help promote sleep and relaxation
  • Peppermint naturally contains menthol, the common over the counter medicine used to help breathing

What is your favorite essential oil scent and why?

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