There are many ways of using essential oils. You can add a few drops into a warm, soothing bath, or you can apply them diluted on pulse point throughout your body. However, the best way to use essential oils is via a diffuser. This, unlike most methods, gives you and your loved ones multiple benefits of essential oils.
Humidifiers, unlike diffusers, work to increase and maintain the humidity levels in your home. The working principle of these two home appliances is different.
With that said, can you use essential oils in a humidifier?
Quick answer, NO.
For clarification, I will delve into this and explain to you why you should not put essential oils in your humidifier.
- Humidifiers and Diffusers
- Why it is not good to use essential oils in a humidifier
- Using Essential oils in a Diffuser compared to a Humidifier
- Still, Want to Use Essential Oils in Humidifier? Consider These Things
Humidifiers and Diffusers
There are several types of humidifiers you choose – Evaporative, Impeller, steam, and ultrasonic humidifiers. What all these humidifiers have in common is they work to humidify the air in your home.
On the other hand, diffusers at the most basic level work to disperse essential oils into the air for easy absorption by our bodies. There are four basic types of oil diffusers, and they are ultrasonic, heat, evaporative, and nebulizer diffusers.
For an in-depth guide on diffusers and humidifiers, read our Diffusers vs. Humidifiers article.
Why it is not good to use essential oils in a humidifier
- Humidifiers, unlike diffusers, are not designed to handle essential oils. Below are several reasons why you should not put essential oils in a humidifier.
- Essential oils are corrosive. By adding them to a humidifier, you not only risk possibly damaging it, but you also risk voiding the warranty of the humidifier.
- In humidifiers that work by using heat, the quality and characteristics of essential oils are reduced, making them less useful. However, this can also be observed when using heat diffusers.
- Apart from the corrosive properties of essential oils, adding them to a humidifier can clog it, which will slow it down and become ineffective with time. Because of clogging, a humidifier’s water tank might crack or break. Essential oils are also known to clog the rotating disk in ultrasonic humidifiers.
Using Essential oils in a Diffuser compared to a Humidifier
Diffusers are the best best for diffusing essential oils. Compared to humidifiers, here are some reasons why diffusers will triumph.
- Because essential oils are corrosive, diffusers are made out of Polypropylene (PP) material. This means they are oil-proof, waterproof, and do not corrode when exposed to essential oils. Humidifier use ABS or AS plastic in water tanks. However, the material can’t stand the corrosion of essential oils, which will cause damage over time.
- Diffusers use advance atomization modules and international patent air duct designs to make sure they produce concentrated mist with thin and even particles that last longer in the air. Humidifiers use bigger atomization plates; thus, particles produced are bigger and heavy. This reduces the duration of lingering and overall benefits of essential oils.
- Both diffusers and humidifiers use ultrasonic technology. With diffusers, the technology can atomize water molecules effectively and on a nano-scale, which increases the benefits of the oils. The ultrasonic vibrations in a humidifier are too low to diffuse essential oils effectively. This leaves oils stuck in the humidifier, which end up clogging or degrading humidifier parts.
Still Want to Use Essential Oils in Humidifier? Consider These Things
- Before diffusing essential oils in a humidifier, you should check with your manufacturer to make sure it can handle them. This will keep your humidifier safe and also help keep your warranty valid.
- Some appliances can humidify and diffuse. If you have not yet bought a humidifier or diffuser, consider getting a humidifier diffuser combo. This way, you will experience both without risking either of them.
Both of these devices have different uses and benefits. Pick a humidifier if you want to increase and maintain the humidity in your home. Diffusers are suitable for aromatherapy. A diffuser is best for breaking down essential oils into small particles for easy absorption by our bodies.
Tap water contains minerals, or bacteria, and other pathogens that might enter your home air through a humidifier and end up causing damage. To use tap water in a humidifier, filter the water to remove any hazardous materials. You can also get a humidifier that comes with a filtration mechanism to help when using tap water.
Yes. Vinegar acts as a natural cleanser that will loosen particles buildup at the bottom of a humidifier tank. When you are done washing the water tank, rinse it thoroughly.
No. Unless approved by the manufacturer; salt should not be added to a humidifier. Salt will reduce your humidifier’s lifespan, clog the filter, hinder proper operation, and ultimately destroy the humidifier.
No. Boiled tap water might kill pathogens and other microbes in the water. However, the water will remain ‘hard.’ This means it still contains minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and more. These minerals might buildup and destroy the water tank or might cause a physical breakdown of other humidifier parts.
Using essential oils in a humidifier is not advisable. Diffusers are the best for essential oils and will ensure you reap the benefits of the oils. To diffuse and humidify at the same time, you can either get a diffuser and a humidifier or a diffuser-humidifier combo.
What are your thoughts on using essential oils in a humidifier? Let’s continue this conversation in the comments below.