by maipham

May 23, 2020

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Normal people think of essential oils as a way to create a mini spa from your own house, doing some meditation and all other super zen and cool shits. 

Well, not me. 

I bought essential oil before because I’m living in Vietnam. And God knows, we do have mosquitos. A lot. 

I used to use a mosquito net and it worked well. But honestly, having a mosquito net hanging on the bed makes the house look, errr, untidy (translation: messy AF).

And then with a newborn baby who sleeps more than 10 hours in the daytime, I didn’t have to make my bed and fold the mosquito net all day. I mean, what the heck for if after 10 minutes I will be back in bed again.

Without having to buy a fancy anti-mosquito net and wrap around my bedroom like a cage, I went for an easier alternative: essential oils.

Know that, many essential oils can keep mosquitos and other insects at bay. And I get to create my own mini spa from the bedroom (err, should I say yay?)

I own a regular humidifier. I didn’t even know about their existence until my mom told me that babies who sleep in an air-conditioning room can be exposed to dry skin, dry nose and more boogers. 

Damn. She was right. My son’s nose got dry and had a big booger every morning before we put our humidifier to use.

Anyway, long story short. I use essential oils. So the next golden question is: can you put essential oils in a regular humidifier? Or do you have to zen it up and buy a fancy diffuser?

Can you put essential oils in a regular humidifier?

I don’t know about you. But I wasn’t smart enough to even think of this question. So, shout out to you, whoever types this search into Google, you are smart!

So I did put my essential oils in my super regular humidifier. And this is what happened.

The first couple of nights I smelled the essential oils very strong. I felt like I was sleeping in an essential oil store. And I only put a few drops of essential oils in it. So it worked well.

After a few weeks, I noticed that I had to put more essential oils into the humidifier to even smell something. Then with even more essential oils, still no scent. Where in the hell does the essential oil go?

Then I saw a thick layer of white stain inside the humidifier. And every time I pour water into it, I smell the essential oil very strong.

Ahhh, there you are, sucker.

Exactly, seriously, what the heck happened?

Apparently, my essential oil got stuck into the humidifier without being sprayed into the air.

That’s why I did my Google search and found out some “hey I didn’t know this” things.

How does a humidifier help you? 

Can you put essential oils in a regular humidifier

There are some differences between a humidifier and a diffuser.

A humidifier can be either a cool mist or a warm mist. The former uses a fan to move air through a wick and spray water into the air while the latter uses the heat to boil water and release moisture into the air.

There are 3 types of diffusers with different methods of transmitting essential oil into the air, using a cold air pump along with a spritzer or vibrating a disc to spread oil or spaying essential oil as a mist. The last type is the most popular and similar to a humidifier.

Can you put essential oils in a regular humidifier?

Yes you can. But there are a few things you need to think about before doing it.

A humidifier runs continuously. 

You can’t set a timer for it to run. When I just let it run and go to sleep, after a while the smell becomes too strong in the room and irritates my nose. So I had to turn it off. But when the room gets dry again. So it really sucks.

Some oil can mess up the plastic.

My humidifier gets stained and there is a thick white layer stuck to it. That thick layer smells like essential oil, but God knows what else is in it.

If you have a heat humidifier

It can destroy the essential oils’ properties. Those oils are not meant to be boiled.

What if you don’t want to have a diffuser

If you don’t have any other option but to use a humidifier, there are some things you should do to protect your family, and also get the best out of the essential oil.

  • Only use oils in a cool mist humidifier so the oils are not damaged in the process.
  • Clean the humidifier frequently to avoid oil buildup or to keep the oils from damaging the plastic parts.
  • Don’t use too much oil. The tank on most humidifiers are much larger than a diffuser, so if you use too much oil, and let it run all night, there will be too much oil in the room.
  • If necessary, turn off the humidifier after it has run for a while.

Best humidifiers for babies to use with essential oil

As a person who can afford to buy a diffuser, but refuse to buy more stuff for the house, here are some of the best humidifiers that you can use with essential oils. Of course, remember the notes above.

LEVOIT Humidifiers

This humidifier looks really fancy and you can use it to decorate your house. It will bring a modern yet simple touch to your room.

It has an ultrasonic cool mist technology, which safely moisturizes the air up to 16 hours of continuous run with a 1.5-liter water tank. It also has an auto shut-off mode.

The highlight of this humidifier is that it has an optional night light with a soothing glow. While it is very affordable, its design and appearance do create some relaxation when you look at it. 

Keep in mind though

  • Some people complain that it leaks
  • A little hard to clean
  • The tank is small

Crane Adorables Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

For a simple, no fancy but effective and cute cool mist humidifier, you can go with a Crane. This Crane humidifier runs quietly and perfect for your baby. The material is anti-microbial which reduces mold and bacteria growth.

This Crane cool mist humidifier has a 1-gallon tank, allowing a full night running on medium level. However, I also notice that if I leave it running at maximum, it can run out through the night. It is equipped with an auto shut-off when the water does run out.

There are a few things you need to consider before buying it though. If your water is hard, or you don’t have distilled water, the white stuff will build up inside the tank. You need to clean it frequently, ideal weekly, to prevent this from happening.  

What’s more, the product manual says it can’t be placed on top of wood furniture. But I still do it and have no problem with it. I guess they want to avoid leaking water that ruins your furniture.

If you put essential oil into this humidifier, the essential oil can stick into the tank. So you have to rinse it off and wash it well with vinegar, to avoid the white stuff built up.

Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Visible Cool Mist Humidifier

This is one of my favorite humidifiers. It has a very big tank so that you can have it running on full speed all night. This Vicks cool mist humidifier is very quiet and perfect for your baby.

This humidifier has a wide tank opening that allows for easy filling and cleaning. If your essential oils build up and stick to the tank, you can put your whole hand in it and wash it off. 

What’s more, as it is one of Vicks brands, this humidifier has a scent pad door that fits Vicks VapoPads. When your baby is under the weather and has a little cough or running nose, this feature can help a great deal. Each pad provides up to 8 hours of soothing vapors. This way you can enjoy the scent while not destroying the humidifier.

It also has an auto shut-off feature when you forget to fill up the tank and the water runs out.

The best thing is that you don’t have to buy a VapoPad or say goodbye to your favorite essential oils. What I did was, I put a few drops of my essential oil onto a piece of tissue instead of VapoPad. And it still works well. Yay!


If you still hesitate to use essential oil with your humidifier, just double-check the type of your humidifier and clean it more often. Just FYI, I’ve been using rosemary essential oil with my regular humidifier for over a year now (my son is almost 17 months old) and have no problem with it.

What’s more, I’ve stopped using mosquito nets for the same amount of time, and we don’t see mosquito bites at all. So it’s a win-win for me. I still look through the room carefully to make sure there is no mosquito hiding anywhere though.

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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