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5 min read / 13 January 2023 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Can You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier?

Unlock the benefits of aromatherapy by adding essential oils to your humidifier for a soothing and rejuvenating experience in the comfort of your own home.

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When late-autumn and winter arrive it’s a good time to reach for the trusty humidifier to improve the air quality in your home.

Humidity levels are lower which means the air becomes drier leading to dry sinuses, skin and other annoying irritations.

Turning on a humidifier can change all of that and make the indoor air much more comfortable to live in every day.

A common question we are asked is ‘Can you put essential oils in a humidifier?” so we thought we’d explain more about essential oils, humidifiers and if they are compatible.

Should I use essential oils in a humidifier?

You should not put essential oils in a traditional humidifier as it could break the machine.

This is because humidifiers emit a cool mist by blowing water through a wicking filter.

Essential oils are very potent and if placed inside a humidifier could lead to the erosion of the plastic tank.

However, as an alternative, instead of using a traditional humidifier you could use an ultrasonic humidifier with essential oils as this will not harm the machine.

It means you can enjoy all the health benefits in your home without any worries.

An ultrasonic humidifier also works as an essential oil humidifier, which opens up a new world of health and scent possibilities.

Learn about whether you can use fragrance oils in a diffuser or humidifier.


How does an ultrasonic humidifier work?

An ultrasonic humidifier produces a warm or cool mist via a metal diaphragm that vibrates at a high frequency.

This produces sound vibrations that are then able to emit the moisture or oil into the surrounding air.

You won’t see any residue on nearby items as the molecules are no more than one micron in diameter and are absorbed almost immediately.

Ultrasonic humidifiers are quieter than traditional humidifiers because there is no fan built into the technology and there is also no filter included in most models.

Humidifier next to a plant


What essential oils can you use in an ultrasonic humidifier?

If you want to enjoy the scent of essential oils in humidifier types, you should try some of the below for starters.

Or you could check out our blog on what we think are the 10 best essential oils for humidifier use.

Ease your mind and body with Lavender Essential Oil

  • Lavender essential oil is always a popular choice when it comes to essential oils for a humidifier due its ability to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Its distinct aroma helps many people to manage their anxiety and mood changes, while it is also well renowned for improving sleep patterns.
  • Lavender isn't the only oil that can improve sleeping patterns. Other oils like Melissa have also been shown to help with insomnia. So don't feel stuck for choice if you don't like floral scents!
  • Lavender’s cleansing properties can help with blemish-prone skin, working to kill bacteria that is responsible for causing pimples. Others have found lavender oil to be useful for treating fungal eczema, with its natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties improving the overall condition of the skin.

Lemon Essential Oil brings a positive air to your home

  • Ayurvedic medicine has used lemons and lemon essential oil for thousands of years to treat a wide range of health issues. When diffused or used in an ultrasonic humidifier you can enjoy the wonderfully fresh fruity fragrance that can have a positive effect on your mood and thoughts.
  • If you want a quick natural pick-me-up, then lemon essential oil should be a go-to option and it can also do wonders for the body if you are feeling nauseous.
  • Aside from using it in a humidifier, lemon oil is good for cleaning hard wearing surfaces around the home, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. When mixed with water, the citric acid gets to work while leaving behind a pleasant smell that is much more palatable than most chemical-based cleaners.

Woman sat on a bed with a diffuser on the floor

Try Peppermint Essential Oil to improve the digestive system

  • Another hugely popular oil for home humidifiers is peppermint essential oil. Its refreshing aroma is light and positive, and it also has several practical benefits. For example, the NHS suggest that it could help to ease the symptoms of stomach cramps and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), while also reliving the effects of a common cold.
  • Others use peppermint oil to improve the condition of their skin and promote hair growth, giving them an all-round better look and feel.
  • If you are thinking of using peppermint oil for IBS symptoms, we would recommend that you first consult with a medical professional to ensure its suitability.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil is great as a decongestant

  • If you are struggling with a cold or are dealing with breathing issues caused by blocked airwaves, then using eucalyptus essential oil in a humidifier could make you feel better. It’s known as a strong, purifying scent that can improve respiration and shift mucus with its expectorant properties.
  • This can prove particularly helpful during the colder months of the year when colds and flus are around, especially if it is affecting multiple members of your family. Eucalyptus oil also has anti-inflammatory properties which can relieve tension headaches and soothe sore muscles, offering a great way to rest and recuperate without having to depend solely on pharmaceutical products.

Bring the smell of summer to your home with Orange Essential Oil

  • Oranges themselves are delicious fruits that offer nutritional health benefits for the body and their oils can also do wonders in a humidifier.
  • Both physically and mentally, orange essential oil can prove to be beneficial after it has vaporised into a room, helping to uplift your mood and make it easier to deal with stress and anxiety levels.
  • The scent of oranges adds a sense of warmth and wellbeing and if you are having difficulty sleeping, it may be just the thing that calms you before bed so you can get a better night’s rest.

How to use a humidifier with essential oils

Once you've chosen your favourite oils, you're ready to add them to your humidifier.

Here's how:

  1. Always check with the manufacturer's instructions first to ensure your model is safe for using with essential oils.
  2. Add a few drops of your chosen oils to the humidifier's water tank. We recommend 5 to 8 drops for a 100ml tank.
  3. Turn on your humidifier as normal. the scents should start to vaporise around the room.
  4. For best results, use a cool mist and make sure you're cleaning your humidifier regularly.
  5. Some humidifiers will come with a specialised essential oil tray - in this case, add your essential oils here instead.

botanical illustration

While you must be careful about using essential oils in a traditional humidifier, it’s good to know that there is a safe alternative available. Learn what the difference is between a diffuser vs humidifier.

Our selection of essential oils for a humidifier should give you a clearer idea of the many health benefits you could enjoy without needing to make any changes to your daily routine.

Start out with one or two oils in a humidifier, and then venture into exploring more of the wonderful world of essential oil aromatherapy.


[1] NHS Peppermint Oil

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Medical Disclaimer

The content in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult your personal physician for any advice or treatment regarding specific health questions. Neither the article editor, writer, nor the organisation of Nikura takes any responsibility for possible health consequences following the information given in any article. All readers should consult their physician before taking any advice given within these articles.

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