Can I Use Essential Oil In An Air Purifier?

Can I Use Essential Oil In An Air Purifier? 2021 Update

Essential oils are a great way of adding atmosphere and healing qualities to surrounding air in a room. And also there are many essential oils that have air purifying qualities.

Essential Oil Diffuser and Air Purifier


Though not an air purifier in the traditional sense in that it uses a filter to capture particulates ,
An Essential Oil Diffuser is Already an Air Purifier. By using the right essential oils can hinder the production of the germs and bacteria that trigger household allergies and allergy symptoms.

Essential oils like eucalyptus and lavender have anti bacterial properties that can help purify your air as well as add a fresh and calming atmosphere to the room.

Can I use essential oil in air purifier?

You can use essential oils in an air purifier in a specific air cleaner called an Air washer or Air revitalizer. This type of  air cleaner uses water to clean the air and provide their own essential oils to be used in the system. Unfortunately, with other types of air purifiers, there is no place to add essential oils.


Air Purifiers With Essential Oils

Air washers and revitalizers are both hybrid multi-tech machines that combine the air purifier with a humidifier and a essential oil diffuser. Sharp also has a bowl air purifier and air freshener product along the lines of the revitalizer.

The revitalizer is actually marketed as a air purifier, humidifier,  and a essential oil diffuser.

It has a unique bowl design that draws air into a chamber where the water is basically thrown around and against the inside of the bowl to clean the air. Check it out here.

The provided essential oil is added right into the water. The key word here is “provided”. Most essential oils wont work well as an additive to water.

When the air purification process is done, humid,  aromatic water exits the machine.

These machines are meant to be a jack of all trades type of appliance and as hybrid are probably not as good at doing any of its functions individually as they could be done by purchasing the right appliance for the purpose.

Essential Oils On Air Filter

Putting essential oils directly on the air filter of your home heating and air system can turn your ductwork into a whole house diffuser.

The HVAC (central heat and air conditioning unit) in your home is actually performing the function of an air purifier by filtering debris and germs(depending on the quality of the air filter) and dehumidifying when the AC is running.

The inside of the duct work running through your home is also notorious for being full of contaminants like mold spores and dust.

A great way to introduce aromatherapy to the filtration process of your HVAC is to add essential oils directly onto the surface of the filter when you replace it. 

How do you add essential oils to an air filter?

  1. Purchase a brand new replacement filter.
  2. And 15 to 20 drops of essential oil directly to the face of the filter.
  3. Install the filter like normal.

Recommended essential oils for your air filter:

Cinnamon oil.
Cinnamon will add a delicious fragrance to your home and has antibacterial properties that make it great as an additive to your air quality

Lemon oil.
Lemon smells great and it has germ and bacteria killing properties that make it a great whole house essential oil.

Eucalyptus and tea tree oil.
Eucalyptus and tea tree oils both aid with breathing better especially when there are other things in the air trying to make you congested

Diffuser vs. Air Purifier vs. Humidifier

The difference between a diffuser and an air purifier and a humidifier is how they affect air.
The diffuser disperses aromatherapy oils into the air
A humidifier disperses moisture into the air
And an air purifier filters contaminants from the air.

Take the Revitalizer for instance, as an air purifier, they’re much more limited at reducing household contaminants and odors then say an air purifier that uses a HEPA and carbon filter design.

As a humidifier, they are also limited and only really claim to lightly humidify the room as the air is being released from the machine.

As a diffuser, they do a good job of spreading out an aromatic scent throughout the room. They get a B+ for odors. But the essential oils that go in the unit are specially designed it may not have the same anti germ properties.

Air washers on the other hand do a much better job at cleaning the air than an air revitalizer. And even better than there air purifying capacity, they are one of the best humidifiers that money can buy. See it here.
But as for a diffuser, they are pretty much an afterthought. You can add scents to the water just like a revitalizer but they have to be the scents that they provide.

Can I use essential oil in air purifier
Diffuser and Humidifier Difference

The difference between a diffuser and a humidifier is that the purpose of diffuser is to disperse aromatic essential oils scents into the air.

Whereas a humidifier disperses water mist to add moisture or humidity to the air.


Also there are many humidifiers that have a essential oil tray to add a few drops.

So essentially, the right humidifier is already a hybrid humidifier and diffuser.

If it weren’t for the climate, buying a humidifier with a essential oil tray would be a simple solution for everything.
Diffusers can be used anytime of the year where humidifiers are mostly only useful during the dry months of winter.

There are also some similarities between diffusers and humidifiers though,
both must be cleaned often in order to avoid the appearance of mold in the machine.
And both provided it’s the right kind of humidifier can disperse essential oils into the atmosphere.

But humidity can also facilitate dust mites and mold spores which is contrary to the reason you would want a essential oil diffuser.

Air revitalizer vs. Diffuser

A air revitalizer is a hybrid machine that combines and air purifier, a humidifier and diffuser in one.
A diffuser is specifically made to disperse essential oil scents into the air.

This may be a good solution if you need a humidifier running while you are diffusing essential oils,

But if your air is already humid enough,  you may not want to add a humidifier to the mix especially in the warmer months when the humidity is already high.

Diffuser and air purifier? Same time?

No. The reason is most air purifiers come with a carbon filter that is designed to adsorb odors.
Running an air purifier with a carbon filter and an essential oil diffuser at the same time will reduce the 
effectiveness of the diffuser.

Also, air purifiers most always have a HEPA filter installed. HEPA filters are very dense filters better woven together so as to not allow anything above .03 microns to filter through.

Though a HEPA filter it’s not likely to interfere with an aromatherapy diffuser,  being that the essential oils that go in the diffuser are oily, you may find that the HEPA filter in your air purifier will get extra grimy from filtering out oil from the air. And reduce the life of the filter.

Do diffusers clean the air?Do diffusers clean the air?

Yes they can. There are many essential oils that have air cleaning properties.
Eucalyptus oil for one is great for making breathing easier.

Essential oils are often placed in humidifiers to help the recipient be able to breathe better and get a good night sleep when they are feeling stuffy or have a cold.

Tea tree oil is another essential oil they can be used for many anti bacterial purposes including everything from taking the sting out of a mosquito bite to fighting airborne mold spores.

The reason it is possible for essential oils to help with air purification is because essential oils are plant based, and plants are one of the best way to naturally keep your air oxygenated and clean.

Plants are also a great way to add a little humidity to a dry room without going the distance of purchasing a humidifier. Believe it or not, just keeping your plants watered will actually humidify your air.


Adding essential oils to an air purifier is possible if you have the right type of air purifier. Either a Air Washer or an Air Revitalizer.

Because both of these air purifiers combine air purification with a humidifier, They also come with their own essential oil scents that you can add to the water.

But most air purifiers are not made to disperse essential oils and do not have any place to add them.

There are also many humidifiers though, that actually come with a tray to add essential oil drops and will act as a diffuser.

This is a good idea when you need a humidifier running, but a humidifier is not something you typically need to run all year long.

And though there are some air purification qualities that come with many essential oils, running an air purifier and a essential oil diffuser is not a good idea because most air purifiers reduce odors with activated carbon, which will also reduce the scent of the essential oils.

Kind of defeats the purpose.

Also anything that is oily in the air while the air purifier is running is going to absorb into the HEPA filter and potentially reducing the life of the filter.

The best of all worlds in one machine is probably the revitalizer.

But a diffuser or a humidifier or a air purifier is a much better machine individually then trying to combine them all into one unit.


Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @