Ultrasonic cool mist humidifier

A humidifier can be a terrific addition to your space, especially if you want to increase the humidity level in the air in your home. It’s a great appliance for those who wish to mitigate some unpleasant symptoms of dry air, such as cracked lips, and dry skin, or even address more serious ailments, like a respiratory condition.

Many also purchase humidifiers to create a better ambiance in their homes or offices. All humidifiers have water tanks that hold water turned into water vapor. By adding various substances to this water, you can enjoy the smell of fresh flowers, fruit, or herbs while cleaning the air from harmful pollutants.

However, experts don’t recommend putting any add-ons in your humidifier since this can lead to damage, and in some cases, even increase certain health risks. 

This article will teach you what can be added to water in your humidifier and what precautions you should take to avoid damaging your appliance.   

What Water Should I Use for My Humidifier?

First and foremost, it’s best to start by answering the question: what type of water can be used in a humidifier? 

Generally speaking, it is recommended to use filtered or distilled water for your humidifier. In most cases, plain tap water contains many minerals, which can leave specific white sediment on various parts of your humidifier. With time, this sediment will build up, which can cause some issues and even, when ignored for a long time, can make an appliance completely unusable. 

Using tap water will not destroy your humidifier immediately, and it is safe to use. But you have to accept that the lifespan of a humidifier might be shorter, and you might invest in a new one quicker than you anticipated. You should be especially wary of pouring tap water into your humidifier if you live in an area known for the high calcium content in the water. 

Why Add Things to a Humidifier?

Before discussing the different products you can put in your humidifier, let’s dive deeper into the why. What benefits can you receive from adding anything to the humidifier? 

One of the biggest advantages of this practice is that you can improve the air quality and clear it of various types of pollutants, like mold and bacteria. Reducing mold particles has great health benefits as well. In large amounts, mold can cause serious allergic reactions and increase the person’s overall sensitivity, causing more adverse symptoms. 

Another significant benefit of adding something to your humidifier has everything to do with creating a pleasant atmosphere. Using a humidifier in your home will help you address the problem of dry air, but plain water will not offer you much more. 

Adding various aromatics allows you to enjoy the fresh smell of the mint, coniferous tree, or citruses, which can help you focus, stay present and relax in your space. Many people believe in the great benefits of aromatherapy, and utilizing a humidifier to carry it out is both easy and effective. 

What Is Safe to Add to My Humidifier? 

The shortest answer would be not many things. As mentioned earlier, adding anything to the humidifier’s water can cause damage and shorten its lifespan. There are products you can add to maintain your appliance in good condition and improve the quality of air in your house. Here are the most popular add-ons you can include or should avoid adding to your humidifier. 

Essential Oils

Essential oils have many precious benefits, helping people achieve relaxation and even improving their health. Some essential oils present antibacterial properties, can help reduce inflammation in the body or relieve headaches.

They also work as air fresheners, hence why many people add them to the humidifier’s water. Only a few drops can turn your home into a green forest or fragrant orchard.  

But, adding any type of essential oil to your appliance is not a good idea if you want to keep using it for a long time. Oils can damage the humidifier’s wicking filter, which is a situation you want to avoid at all costs. If you want to enjoy all the benefits of breathing in essential oils, invest in an essential oils diffuser, which is entirely safe to use with these products.

Humidifier Tablets

If you want to use tap water with your humidifier, add a tablet to the water. Tablets will demineralize the water, minimizing the problem of mineral sediment. Additionally, if you want your space to smell nice, this is a great way to achieve that without the risk of damaging your appliance.  


If you’re looking for a reliable solution to a mold problem, adding a cap of white vinegar to a humidifier’s water is a good idea. This way, you can remove mold particles from the air and keep your humidifier clean. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Another product that will address the mold problem is hydrogen peroxide. All you need to do is add a teaspoon of the product and let it work its magic. 


Finally, it may seem like a good idea to add some cut fruit, like sliced lemon or lemon juice, to a humidifier. Who doesn’t like a fresh lemon breeze? Although the intention is good, you’re better off refraining from adding lemon or fruit to your humidifier tank. 

Acids in lemon can reduce the amount of some bacteria in the air, but they can also promote the growth of others. Another problem is the sugars that are in the fruit. They can make your humidifier dirty and sticky. If you’re adding lemon to the water, you can be sure you’ll have to thoroughly clean the tank after each use. 

Final Thoughts

The most effective way to use your humidifier is with clean, distilled water. You can add a short list of ingredients to this water, such as vinegar or humidifier tablets, to keep the appliance and your air clean and free from pollutants. But in most cases, it is better to stay away from various add-ons. This way, you’ll be able to benefit from your humidifier for much longer.