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Humidifiers and Essential Oils

I have cool mist humidifier for my daughters room. One of the problems with it is of course the filter and keeping it bacteria free. I was looking around today and saw that they have things that you can add to the water to keep it bacteria free-however, its got all sorts of labels and warnings including-DO NOT INHALE. Now, for something you put into the water, to turn into a breathable mist, that doesn't sound very good to me. However, I have a ton of essential oils, and I have read different opinions on their use in cool mist humidifiers, but my thinking is that it has to be better than the chemical stuff, at least for you. And since e.o.'s are naturally anti-bacterial, then using an e.o. would serve a double purpose-infusing the air with the e.o. and keeping the filter (mostly) bacteria free. 

But before I go and use my e.o.'s, I wanted to ask if anyone here has personally used them in a cool mist humidifier and how that worked out for you. Would anyone recommend or not recommend doing this due to prior experience? I would use a warm mist one, but with an almost three year old who has suddenly decided that defying mom and dad is fun, I am afraid it wouldn't be safe at all. 



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
I've bought a bottle of cleaner as well, and when it said things like "do not touch, and do not breathe..." well, lets say it's still sitting in my cupboard. :/ I haven't actually cleaned the water container in a year. I didn't actually know I should do anything with the filter.
Anyways, this may not actually be answering your question, but I have a warm mist humidifier, and there is a spot where you can put oils and some (liquid?) I bought to help with congestion. I've put tea tree oil in that spot, because it's anti-bacterial.
I don't know if it would work if you put it *into* the water, because it may clog the filter unit. Hopefully someone else will be much more helpful.
Jan. 9th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
I have an evaporative humidifier. It's pretty good :) & doesn't seem to run up too much electricity charges. I've never put EOs in it.
Jan. 9th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
I don't have a cool mist humidifier but if I was wanting to use EO's in them to prevent bacterial build up I would probably pick Tea Tree, Manuka (which is simply New Zealand Tea Tree instead of the Australian variety), or Lavender.
Jan. 10th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
I agree with the lavender, plus it smells nice and when use in aromatherapy is supposed to calm you and help you sleep better and more deeply (though some people, like myself, experience HORRENDOUS nightmares when using lavender). I would go with the lavender, but use only the tiniest bit.
Jan. 10th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
no, i wouldn't use eos that way for 2 reasons:

the first is that eos are notorious for gumming up and dissolving plastic and rubber parts -- the old steam humidifiers had a little spot on the outside that the steam went past and you could put eos, etc, there, where it would not ruin any of the working parts.

the other reason is eos need heat to disperse well.

i'd just clean the filter daily (you had to even on the old hot ones) and only use clean water to refill it. you could even boil a pot of water and let it cool and use that, incase your worried about bacteria from your water.

what you could also try is making a tea of antibacterial herbs, filtering it thru several layers of muslin, and using that in the humidifer.

but again, cleaning every day with the cool mist humidifiers is really, really important. they are a huge vector for bacteria.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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