Can You Put Perfume in Your Humidifier?

A perfume is way more than just a fragrance, it represents unseen elegance and memories that will never be forgotten. We associate people and places with scents and constantly look for ways to improve our homes with unique scents.

If you are wondering whether you can add perfume in your humidifier, the simple answer is no. It is not advisable to add perfume to the water in your humidifier because the alcohol component in perfume can damage your humidifier over time. If you want to add fragrance to your home, consider using essential oils in a diffuser or spraying the perfume on your furniture for a long-lasting impression.

There are many different ways that you can improve the fragrance in your home without necessarily putting perfume in your humidifier.

This article will offer you insights into the components of most perfumes, why you should not be putting perfume in your humidifier and alternative ways of using perfume in your home.

The following subtopics will be addressed in this article:

Can You Put Perfume in Your Humidifier?

You can put perfume in your humidifier, but that does not mean that you should put perfume in your humidifier.

Most manufacturers advise against using perfume in your humidifier because of the chemical composition of perfume and its potential effects on the components of your humidifier.

So why exactly should you avoid putting perfume in your humidifier? The list below summarizes the reasons why you should never put perfume in your humidifier. It also offers an explanation of the components of most perfumes that makes these fragrances unsuitable for humidifiers.


All perfumes contain an alcohol component. Ethyl and benzyl alcohols are commonly used because they help the perfume oil spread out. Alcohol act as a carrier for the fragrance because of its lightness and volatility.

Manufacturers use alcohol because alcohols are capable of distributing delicate fragrances well without altering the scent of the product. Alcohols evaporate quickly when they come into contact with a person’s warm body temperature.


Perfumes also contain water. Distilled water is used in perfumes to dilute their strength to ensure that it is appealing to users. Just because distilled water is used in perfumes, does not mean that you should use perfume in your humidifier.

Perfume Oil

Perfumes have perfume oil, as the main component in the perfume that contains the desired fragrance. Perfume oils are obtained from natural sources like flowers or created in laboratories to mimic natural scents.

Why You Should Not Put Perfume in Your Humidifier

Risk of a Fire

As earlier mentioned, one of the main components of most perfumes is alcohol. While alcohols are great for stabilizing the fragrance and helping it spread, you should not put anything that is alcohol-based in your humidifier.

The alcohol in the perfume can discolor the inner parts of your humidifier over time.  Additionally, if you are using a warm-mist humidifier, exposing the alcohol in perfumes to the heating element in the humidifier can be dangerous because that would equate to spraying perfume on an open flame.

Presence of Perfume Oils

Perfume oils can be obtained from natural sources like flowers and plants or created in a laboratory to make synthetic perfume oils.

Since perfumes have perfume oil, adding perfume to the water in your humidifier can lead to the release of these perfume oils into your immediate environment.

Continuous inhalation of perfume oils can be dangerous to your health, especially if you or anyone else in your home has any other underlying respiratory health conditions like asthma.

Exposure of perfume oils to heat can deteriorate the chemical composition of the perfume oil and alter the smell of the perfume. As such, adding any type of perfume to a warm mist humidifier can alter the scent of the perfume released from the humidifier.

Risk of Clogging

Adding perfume to your humidifier can increase the risk of clogging. The different additives in a perfume can clog the nozzle of your humidifier leading to reduced mist production.

Residue and Discoloration

The presence of perfume in the water in your humidifier can be equated to the presence of impurities in water. Any impurities in the water in your humidifier can end up discoloring the inner parts of your humidifier.

Additionally, the impurities in the humidifier can accumulate in the lower parts of the humidifier and clog your humidifier.

If your humidifier has a heating element, exposing the perfume to the heating element can also lead to the accumulation of residue on the heating element. Over time, the residue might affect the performance of the humidifier.

Here are a few humidifiers, which have diffusers that you can consider if you want to keep your home smelling fresh and lovely, while at the same time avoiding the negative effects of using your perfume in your humidifier.

What Should You Not Put in A Humidifier?

There are so many things that you should not put in your humidifier because of the potential risk of damaging the humidifier. Below is a list of examples:

Perfume: As discussed extensively in this post, you should not put perfume in your humidifier because the alcohol content in the perfume could damage the heating element of your humidifier. Other effects of using perfume in your humidifier have been explained above.

Essential oils: You should not attempt to use essential oils in your humidifier unless the humidifier has been designed with an additional diffuser component.

Tap water: Tap water from different sources contains varying amounts of minerals responsible for water hardness. Adding tap water to your humidifier can lead to the accumulation of residues from the minerals in the water.

Cough medicine: Some humidifiers, like the Vicks humidifier, have been designed with a section where you can add Vicks Vapopads to relieve cold symptoms, most humidifiers do not have these features. If you do not have similar features in your humidifier, you should avoid putting cough medicine in the humidifier.

Air fresheners: Air fresheners should not be used in the humidifier because the heat produced by the humidifier can alter the chemical composition of the air freshener and increase your risk of respiratory illnesses.

Fabric conditioners: Fabric conditioners are designed for fabrics and are not supposed to be used in a humidifier. If you wish to use a fabric conditioner to improve the air in your home, use the fabric conditioner to clean your carpet and curtains. The scent of the fabric conditioner will linger in your room afterwards.

If you do not have a diffuser or a humidifier designed with a diffuser, you should only be using distilled water in your humidifier.

HuPro Cool and Warm Mist Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser

The HuPro cool and warm mist humidifier is a 4L humidifier that comes with an essential oil diffuser. It is a great option because of its dual functionality that allows you to enjoy warm or cool mist depending on your preference.


  • 2-in-1 humidifier diffuser
  • 2-in-1 warm and cool mist
  • Top fill water tank
  • Operation: 5-speed levels
  • Humidistat present
  • Color: Black
  • Less than 30dB noise levels
  • Capacity: 4L
  • Control: Touch and remote control
  • Safety feature: Auto shut-off
  • Maximum runtime: 30 hours


  • Dual functionality: Warm and cool mist
  • Can operate for long hours (30 hours)
  • Has an auto shut-off feature that turns off the humidifier when the water runs out
  • Ultra quiet
  • User friendly
  • Top fill (reduces risks of spills)
  • Has active carbon and mineral pellets to keep the water fresh
  • Has a sleep mode


  • The electricity plug might require an adapter or converter if used outside the US

MILin Cool Mist Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser

The MILin cool mist humidifier is a great option for small to medium-sized rooms and can be used in any room.


  • 3-in-1 humidifier, diffuser, sterilizer
  • Auto shut-off protection
  • Control: Touch
  • Capacity: 2L
  • Operation: High/Medium/Low
  • Maximum working time: 20 hours
  • Mist output: 300mL/hr
  • Has a diffuser for fragrances
  • Colors available: White and Black


  • Large capacity (2L)
  • EPA approved
  • Air sterilization
  • Easy to operate
  • Uses ultrasonic technology which limits noise production
  • Large water tank (offers about 20 hours of working time)
  • Low water reminder
  • Safety features: Stops working when the water tank is empty


  • A bit noisy when compared to other ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers

What Can I Use to Make My Humidifier Smell Better?

To make your humidifier smell better consider the following recommendations :

  • Cleaning your humidifier frequently: A clean humidifier will always smell better. Leaving a humidifier for a long time without cleaning increases the microbial population in the water. Accumulation of dirt and high microbial activity can make a humidifier stinky.
  • Avoid using soap to clean your humidifier: Using soap to clean your humidifier can leave residues of the chemicals used to make the soap in the humidifier. Over time, the residues will make the water in the humidifier smell bad.
  • Use distilled water: Other types of water can have unpleasant smells because of their source and the presence of minerals in the water. Distilled water is pure and will not leave your humidifier will unpleasant smells.

Alternative Ways to Use Your Perfume in Your Home

If you want your home to smell like your perfume or you simply want to use your perfume to improve the scent in your home, here are a few suggestions that you should consider.

Spray Perfume on Cotton Swabs

Trash can: Spray a bit of your perfume on a cotton swab and keep the cotton swab in your trash can. The fragrance emitted by the cotton swab will keep unpleasant odors at bay and ensure that your kitchen smells nice.

Pillows: you can place the cotton swabs behind your pillows. This trick can be used in any room and will ensure that the scent lingers for a long time.

Drawers: You can also spray cotton swabs and place the cotton swabs inside your dresser drawers. Place the cotton swab at the farthest end of the drawers or in each corner to keep your clothes smelling nice and fresh.

Spray Perfume on Furniture

Instead of putting perfume in your humidifier, you should consider spraying the perfume on your furniture. The lingering scent in the air and on the furniture will ensure that your home smells incredibly lovely.

Toilet roll

If you want your toilet to smell amazing, simply spray your perfume on the inner part of the cardboard in your toilet roll.

Use Air Fresheners

Find an air freshener that compliments your perfume. You do not necessarily have to spray your perfume or use it in your humidifier.

You could find an air freshener that compliments your perfume and use it in your home. For instance, if you love vanilla scents, you can find an affordable vanilla-based air freshener and use it in your home.

Use Scented Candles

If you do not want to use your perfume, you could find scented candles that compliment the perfume. Scented candles can help you create a relaxing and cool ambience in your home. When using scented candles, ensure that you keep an eye on them to reduce the risks of accidental fires.

Final Words

While it can be tempting to experiment with different fragrances and additives in your humidifier, you really should not be adding perfumes, essential oils, or air fresheners to the water in your humidifiers. The inner components of your humidifier can easily be damaged by adding these things to the water.

To ensure that you do not ruin your humidifier, ensure you check the instruction manual provided by your manufacturer to determine whether you can use humidifier-specific fragrances in your humidifier.

Some humidifiers have a diffuser while other humidifiers like the Vicks humidifiers can use humidifier tablets (Vicks VapoPads).

Using these tablets in a humidifier that has not been designed to accommodate them can lead to blockage of the nozzles that release moisture.

Related Article: Can you use vanilla extract in humidifiers

FAQs for Using Perfume in Humidifiers

Can I put fabric softener in my humidifier?

No. You cannot and should not put fabric softener in your humidifier. Just like perfume, fabric softener has numerous chemicals meant to add fragrance to your laundry.

Putting fabric softener in a humidifier can clog the nozzle of the humidifier and affect the heating elements of a warm-mist humidifier. Additionally, using fabric softener in a humidifier can leave unpleasant residue in the humidifier.

What can I put in my humidifier to make it smell good?

If you are using a Vicks humidifier, you can put Vicks VapoPads in the humidifier to make it smell good. Similarly, if you are using a humidifier that has a diffuser, you can use essential oils in the diffuser to make your home smell nice.

If you are using a different type of humidifier, you can check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine whether it is acceptable to use humidifier-specific scented tablets or drops for the specific humidifier.

In some cases, not cleaning the humidifier frequently and the kind of water used in the humidifier might contribute to the release of an unpleasant smell.

If that is the case and you notice that your humidifier has an unpleasant smell, you should clean the humidifier well with a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar and then ensure that you use distilled or purified water in the humidifier.

Is it okay to put a whole bottle of cologne into my humidifier?

It is not okay to put a whole bottle of cologne in your humidifier. You should not be putting cologne in your humidifier as that might ruin the humidifier. The alcohol component of the cologne will damage the internal parts of your humidifier.

Can you use fragrance oils in a diffuser?

You can use fragrance oils in a diffuser. It is important to note that there are specific fragrance oils designed to be used in diffusers.

As such, if you want to use fragrance oil in a diffuser, you should check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that it is suitable for diffusion purposes.

If you are unsure about which fragrance oil to use in your diffuser, you should consider using essential oils. Essential oils are made from natural materials, making them a great option to use in a diffuser compared to fragrance oils.

What liquids can you put in a humidifier?

Ideally, you should only use distilled or purified water in your humidifier. You should not add anything else to the water or your humidifier unless the humidifier has been designed to accommodate other things like fragrances and essential oils.