You might love essential oils, but there are good reasons to avoid putting them inside of your humidifier.
Essential oils can corrode plastic
A humidifier isn’t made to have essential oils in its water storage tank. The type of plastic they’re made from, usually ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), isn’t designed to hold oils long-term. They can corrode, causing the water tank to crack. The oil can actually degrade the plastic so that the plastic itself ends up in the water, causing odors and clogging your humidifier’s parts.
Essential oils can damage the filter
Anything besides distilled water in your humidifier can cause problems. Since the filter mechanism in a humidifier is only designed for environmental elements like dust, minerals, or pollen, oils can get sucked into the filter and cause it to break down. This’ll obviously make the filter less effective, reducing your air quality and preventing the humidifier from doing its job. It can also wear a hole through the filter, removing it from the system all together and allowing minerals, dust particles, or pollen to be sucked into the misting mechanism, damaging it or misting these particles into the air.
Essential oils can clog the misting mechanism
Since a humidifier is made to produce mist from water, a thicker substance with a different consistency will interfere with its ability to make that mist. Essential oils will eventually clog the misting mechanism and the humidifier will stop making droplets, not only stopping your scent from being dissipated into the room, but also stopping your humidifier from moisturizing the air to begin with.
Humidifiers aren’t made to be diffusers
If you’re interested in keeping the scent from your essential oils in the air for a while, a humidifier won’t do what you want. Humidifiers are designed to moisturize the air, so the water mist that they produce doesn’t stay airborne for very long. The scent will dissipate as the droplets fall, so they’re not the right tool for a lasting result. Also, if you have a humidifier that uses heat to produce mist, the essential oils will also be heated up, often changing the properties of the scent and ruining the smell.
Get a humidifier-diffuser combo
The good news is that there are humidifiers that have compartments for essential oils that won’t corrode or damage your humidifier. If you want to use essential oils with your humidifier, these are a good option because they’re designed to be used with the oils, and they don’t suck the oils through the filter. Since they have a misting mechanism that’s made to accommodate the consistency of oil, they won’t get clogged and stop working.
Or just use a diffuser
The other option for disseminating the scent of an essential oil is a traditional diffuser. These won’t add moisture to your air, but they will make tinier droplets than a humidifier, keeping the scent in the air for longer. Since they’re made specifically for essential oils, diffusers work best for adding scent to a room. It’s important to remember that there can be too much of a good thing, though. Essential oils aren’t necessarily something you want to be breathing all the time.
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