Himalayan salt lamps have gathered in popularity over the last few years.
And the truth is they are a pretty sharp-looking novelty item that can add to the ambience of a shaded room nicely.
But having a pinkish, orange and red lamp it’s not really enough to cause the kind of stir they have.
It’s unlikely so many people would be purchasing and hunting these things down if it were just for the look of them.
So why are Himalayan salt lamps so popular?
It’s the health benefits that are associated with using a salt lamp.
There are a number of claims being made about how Himalayan salt lamp can improve your health.
The claims include reducing allergies, lowering asthma triggers, and filtering germs and bacteria out of the air.
The two main health functions that Himalayan salt lamps supposedly perform are:
1.Produce Negative Ions
2.They are Hygroscopic
Himalayan salt lamp hoax?
“Himalayan salt lamps do not create any measurable amount of negative ions but they are conclusively hygroscopic because salt is known to pull moisture out of the air.
Are they a Hoax? 50/50.”
Now I am a skeptic. and certain things like salt lamps just lend themselves to skepticism.
But if you were to show me a study that proves Himalayan salt lamps could actually improve air quality, we can leave it at that.
But unfortunately there is not a single study that can be produced.
But like everything else to do with Himalayan salt lamps, I’ll try to make an educated guess.
My first question here is: “Have you ever seen the dust left behind by a negative ion generator?”
Negative ion generators are famous we’re leaving a blanket of dust on the walls and surfaces around around the machine.
It’s so popular they have a phrase that describes it. “Great Wall syndrome” is the effect of negatively charged ions combining with positively charged ions, and either falling to the surface or clinging to the walls.
This is not a effect you get with a Himalayan salt lamp.
Secondly, it’s not just negative ions that affect the mood or atmosphere in an area, it’s the sheer volume of them that makes the difference.
The fresh outdoor feeling you get from a thunderstorm rolling through is caused by an explosion of negative ions created by lightning ,and rain washing contaminants out of the air.
There is also a distinctive smell left behind by a thunderstorm. The smell is ozone.
Negative ionizers also create ozone and it is one of the reasons they come under fire as an air cleaning method.
“But Himalayan salt lamps, if they create negative ions at all, do not manufacture enough ions to leave behind any dust, much less create enough that would be considered the volume to change the atmosphere in a room, and they leave no noticeable smell of ozone behind whatsoever.”
Verdict: Every action has a counter reaction and Himalayan salt lamps don’t have any of the side effects of a negative ionizer simply because they do not ionize air.
( Butt least they don’t generate high levels of ozone as a by-product. That’s healthy!)
They Are Hygroscopic
On this point, I’m not quite as skeptical.
It is known that humidity droplets can actually be microscopic containers that carry air pollutants like bacteria and viruses and help them travel further through a room.
Humidity is also a natural food source for mold spores and dust mites which are known household allergens.
And we all know how miserable humidity can be in certain climates and times of the year.
Himalayan salt lamps are known to attract moisture.
And most concerns about pink Himalayan salt lamps are about the device leaking or melting.
In truth Himalayan salt lamps neither leak or melt.
The water the gatherers on and around a salt lamp is humidity pulled out of the air by the salt.
Seeing is believing.
Unlike the ionic air purifier claims that people make about Himalayan salt lamps which offer no proof either by leaving behind dust or the residual smell of ozone that negative ions create,
A Himalayan salt lamp leaving behind a puddle of water is a very noticeable side effect that can be construed as the salt pulling moisture from the air.
And it is also a fact that sodium chloride(salt) can be used as a dehumidifier and is often stored in the basement to help reduce the natural humidity typically found in the basement.
So on this point, I would have to concede,
“It is possible that a pink Himalayan salt lamp can help purify the air by absorbing potentially harmful humidity droplets from the air.”
Though it is possible, keeping a Himalayan salt lamp will not reduce the humidity in your home nearly as well as turning the air conditioner on or running a dehumidifier.
And as a ionizer, forget it.
The allure that salt lamps have for cats to lick them, potentially makes them a health hazard for felines and dogs if the lamp is placed where they can get to them.
The potential problem with keeping salt lamps around your animals is that salt can be very addicting for an animal to lick. And they will probably lick the salt till they’re sick or even worst case scenario, to the point of death.
That fact alone is enough to go with the fake version of Himalayan salt lamp in my house.
Why is my salt lamp leaking water?
Another issue that I rarely see people bringing up when it comes to Himalayan salt lamps is the maintenance involved to keep them.
I for one did not realize that you had to keep wiping them off or they would create a puddle underneath them.
It is actually suggested that you place a plastic bag over the salt lamp when it’s not in use so that it will not continue to pull moisture from the air and become sad.
(Yes, the moisture that gathers on the outside of the salt lamp is called crying. And they can get very sad if not attended to. Don’t be so insensitive.)
And the fact that they are so heavy and brittle is not something I anticipated.
Though they are very pretty and obviously add a nice ambience to the room.
I’m still glad I never bought a Himalayan salt lamp as a Christmas gift for someone without knowing how much attention they would need to give it.
On a positive note, if you happen to own a cow, Himalayan salt lamps make an excellent salt lick, chuck full of iron and minerals.
You may be sitting on a delicious glass of milk and didn’t even know it.
Also: Does a Humidifier Help With Dust?