can you put essential oils in a humidifier

Can You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier? (Hint-Yes You Can)

Aromatherapy and Essential oils have for quite some time been the buzzword in the alternative healing world. The rediscovery of the benefits and the medicinal properties of essential oils has led to great popularity and widespread search for the perfect way to get the best use out of the oils.

A humidifier would seem to be the easiest way to distribute the oils given that it already has all the components that make up a essential oil diffuser.

But that has led to some surprising information when it comes to humidifiers.

Can you put essential oils in a humidifier?

You can absolutely put essential oils in a humidifier provided it’s the right type of humidifier. Many humidifiers come equipped with an essential oil tray. Choosing a humidifier that is essential oil ready is a easy choice when you are in the market for a humidifier and a diffuser.

But what if you already have a humidifier?

When can you not use essential oils in a humidifier?

Not all humidifiers are made to be used with essential oils.
Though most and more the popular brands like Levoit and TaoTronics have begun to include the aromatherapy tray as a basic accessory, most of the humidifiers you see in the vitamin department of Walmart or Dollar store are basic low cost water misters that use cheap plastic.

1.  Cheap Plastics

Humidifiers seem to be the perfect solution for not only humidifying your room but being able to get the benefits of the essential oils at the same time. But unfortunately with some types of humidifiers, that is just not the case.

The plastic that the basic humidifier without a essential oil tray is not made to withstand the corrosive oils that are put in essential oil scents.

You will find if you put essential oils in the basic big box store humidifier, that the plastic inside of the humidifier will begin to crack and eventually crack open.

Granted, even though these humidifiers maybe made cheaply, they or also not very expensive.

2.  Clogging

Putting oil into a humidifier is asking for your humidifier to eventually clog up. Even though  most essential oil may seem to have a watery texture, they are still mixed with a carrier oil even if lightly so.

Eventually, if the plastic doesn’t crack open, you will have to deal with your nozzle getting clogged.

Oil and water do not mix.

3.  Warm mist humidifiers

Essential oils are not meant to be boiled and heating them will diminish their healing effects.
Warm mist vaporizers heat the water to a boiling point.
You might think because the water gets so hot that the likelihood of clogging would not be an issue when adding oil to the water. That’s a Good point.
But it doesn’t negate the fact that heating the essential oils can reduce the benefits of using them in the first place.
Warm mist vaporizers like the Vicks vaporizer actually have a tray to put the Vicks ointment.

4.  Timer limitations

Essential oils are not meant to be breathed in continuously. In fact, 15 minutes is about to limit that you want to diffuse an essential oil.

Most humidifiers do not come with built-in timers, and if they do, then there is a good chance that they already have a proper aromatherapy tray included with them.

The basic cool mist humidifier is a “just add water” and turn it on till the water runs out type of humidifier.

And that is what it is made for, to humidify the room.

Once you add essential oils to the mix, then you have to set a limit on how long you’re going to use the humidifier or else risk overdoing it with the essential oils.

Which reduces the amount of time that you’re using the humidifier to do the job it was made for, which is add humidity to the air.

A vicious circle.

5.  Climate

The need for aromatherapy without the need of a humidifier.

Humidifiers are seasonal. And for most people, they’re only useful for about half of the year. Why is that? The climate.

There are certain times of the year when adding more humidity to your air is not only not needed, will make you feel uncomfortable to say the least.

Even If you could use a humidifier to disperse essential oils without it having any negative effect so ever on the humidifier,

You would still be limited by the fact that humidifiers are not needed all year and you cannot use the humidifier without it humidifying.


The Best policy is just to get the right humidifier that is made to be combined with the diffuser or to buy a humidifier and a diffuser separately.

I lean towards the latter.


Diffusers are very small and they are made to disperse essential oils correctly.

They’re much more mobile than a humidifier because of their size, and there are different types of diffusers that do not require adding water at all.

Not only that, the price of a diffuser without all the bells and whistles is about 10 bucks and it will properly diffuse my essential oils, which do cost a lot, without over doing it or wasting them.

Lagunamoon Premium Essential Oils Set 20 Pcs

Determined to go ahead?

This would be the part of the article where I tell you that the only way to get a humidifier to work with essential oils is to buy the property humidifier that has the essential oil trade built in.

And these are your three choices…$$$ ChaChing

But the truth is, there are many ways to get humidifiers to work for you more than just to add moisture to the air.

There are also more ways to use essential oils with humidifiers other than to drop them right into the water.

1.  Cotton Ball

Put the essential oil on a cotton ball and place it over the misting nozzle at the top of the humidifier.
Put the cotton ball directly on the nozzle, then add a couple of drops of essential oil to the cotton. Turn the humidifier on, and reap the benefits.

The reason you should put the cotton on the nozzle first is that the smell of essential oils is very potent if you get it on your hands, it tends to stay with you for a long while.

Also, it’s way better to start small with the amount essential oil you use, cuz a little goes a long way with essential oils. And you can always add an extra drop or two if you need.

2.  Who needs a store-bought humidifier?

In my house growing up, grandma just put a pot of water on the furnace or on the stove and added eucalyptus to it. Easy peasy. Let the water simmer to it needs to be refilled, then start over.

3.  Lemon peels

Adding lemon peels to your humidifier water
will create a fresh fragrance to your home and also have an effect on your demeanor. Lemon is also a great all natural residue remover.


Can you use essential oils in a humidifier? The answer is yes. There are many humidifiers that are essential oil ready and contain everything needed to operate as both a humidifier and a diffuser.

But there are also a ton of cheaply made humidifiers that will crack because of the corrosive nature of essential oils. 

So if you want the convenience of using a humidifier with essential oils then be sure that the humidifier you purchase is built for it.

And remember just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Humidifiers are typically appliances that only get a lot of use in the winter months. Essential oils are presumably something that you want to be able to use all year long.

In the long run, it is probably, in my opinion is that it is better just to purchase a separate diffuser. Not only is it made for the job, it isn’t climate dependent.

And the bottom line is, diffusers are one of the cheapest appliances you can purchase.
It’s the essential oils themselves, that get you in the wallet.

Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @