Can I Put Fabric Softener in My Humidifier?

Many people wonder whether they can put a fabric softener in the humidifier. Before we answer this question, it is important to understand how humidifiers work. It is also necessary to understand the use of fabric softeners.

Humidifiers are devices that dispense water vapor in a room. During the times of dry air, humidifier water increases humidity levels in the house. According to the environmental protection agency, you should maintain humidity levels at 60% in summer and 40% in winter.

Can I put fabric softener in the humidifier?

Humidifiers need distilled or demineralized water to function. There are different kinds of humidifiers, the most common ones are the cool mist humidifiers and the warm mist humidifiers. Warm mist humidifiers give off warm mist. They have a heater that produces boiled water. The humidifiers then vaporize the warm water to produce more moisture and improve air quality. Ultrasonic humidifiers do not have a heating element to produce hot water vapor.

All humidifiers have a water tank. You can put either distilled water or tap water inside the humidifier’s water tank. The humidifier uses electricity to vaporize the water before spreading the vapor around the room.

When the humidifier water tank is empty, the humidifier may develop serious problems. In extreme cases, when there is no water inside the water tank, the humidifier may explode. Yet, modern humidifiers, including Vicks humidifiers, have safety features to prevent this.

You should not put fabric softener in your humidifier. There are many reasons for not trying to use fabric softener in a humidifier. Fabric softeners can damage the internal components of your device. Your device may not vaporize a fabric softener as it would do water. Moreso, imagine what will happen if you put fabric softeners in a warm mist humidifier. The humidifier will have to heat the fabric softener before trying to discharge it into the air.

If you mix fabric softener with humidifier water, you may end up with contaminated mist. Contaminated mist will not increase the humidity levels. Instead, the contaminated steam from your humidifier may end up interfering with the environment. 

The compounds in softeners are not breathing or safe for the environment. Fabric softeners have various chemical compounds that may be harmful to the environment. This occurs because the small compounds of the fabric softener end up in the air. Thus, adding fabric softener to your humidifier may contribute to the destruction of the environment.

Humidifiers work well as decongestant remedies. But adding fabric softeners may have the opposite effect. Softeners contain different chemical compounds. When the humidifier releases mist or steam with such compounds into the air, people will inhale them.

The chemical compounds in softeners can cause flu-like symptoms in some people. In others, the chemicals can cause serious complications, even lung infections. Also, it is common for people to experience infections of the sinus cavities when they breathe such air. The compounds in softeners contaminate the air in your home.

So, you should not put fabric softener in your humidifier water. The fabric softener is soluble in water. But, putting it inside your humidifier water tank is not good. The fabric softener is by default not designed for you to add to the water tank of your humidifier.

Besides, adding it to the humidifier will not increase the humidity in your home. Also, adding softeners to the humidifier water tank will not make the humidifier good.

Can using a fabric softener inside a humidifier damage the body?

Using a fabric softener inside a humidifier can damage your body in many ways. The main cause of the damage is the chemical present in fabric softeners. There are many chemicals and compounds in fabric softeners. These chemicals are very poisonous to the human body. Here are some of the ways in which the chemicals in softeners can be harmful to your body.

A humidifier should add moisture to the air. If you put fabric softener inside, the humidifier will add the chemicals of the softener to the air. The small chemical compounds that are in the fabric softener can harm people who have asthma. When asthmatics breathe air that contains small particles, they may immediately become ill. This is a result of an asthma attack.

Putting softener into your humidifier can cause common cold attacks in people who are healthy. Your humidifier should give off only water vapor. If you put in a softener, it will give off a vapor that contains the chemical. The vapor may cause people to experience all the symptoms of common cold. These include running nose, sneezing, and headache.

The chemical compounds in softeners can also cause breathing issues if put in a humidifier. Imagine what will happen if you breathe air that contains impurities. Inhaling air that contains chemical compounds can interfere with the way you breathe. Such respiratory problems may cause serious health risks. You may end up in a hospital because of such complications.

Apart from causing respiratory issues, a softener in a humidifier can cause skin problems. While using a humidifier, the water vapor ends up on surfaces. Some of the mist also settles on the bodies of people who are indoors. If the vapor contains the chemicals, it may irritate the skin. This may cause you to feel itchy and uncomfortable.

If you are using aerosolized fabric softeners, it may cause serious lung infections when you breathe. The chemical compounds in the softener may find their way to your lungs. The lungs are very sensitive to any foreign material. Thus, if you breathe in the toxins, the lungs may develop serious complications.

What else can go wrong if I used a fabric softener inside my humidifier?

Many other things can go wrong if you used fabric softener in your humidifier. For example, many people believe that adding a fabric softener will reduce surface tension. Low surface tension helps the spread of moisture. But this is not true. It is one of the most common mistakes that people make.

But, this is not the case. Fabric conditioners do not help your humidifier to work well. Softeners have high levels of conductivity. The chemical components in softeners reduce the performance of humidifiers. So, using them in the device may be a way of letting humidity levels rise.

There is no need of using fabric softeners to clean your humidifier. It is true that molds may grow inside your humidifier over time. The growth of mold may cause serious problems when the small particles spread with the vapor.

Also, mineral deposits from tap water may end up creating many problems. The deposits come from dissolved minerals in the water. When they spread the air in the home, they lower the air quality. Using filtered water is not a solution to this problem. Such water may still contain dissolved mineral deposits.

But there are many effective methods of cleaning dirty humidifiers. One common method is to use a mixture of chlorine bleach and vinegar. Or, you can use hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar to clean the mold and mineral deposits that may accumulate in your humidifier.

Using fabric softeners to clean your humidifier is not a good idea. The fabric softener ends up spreading in the air. Besides, the fabric softener is not effective in removing the residue from the humidifier. The residue usually comes from tap water and accumulates over time. 

Some people use softeners in their humidifiers as a form of air fresheners. The truth is that this is not one of the cool life hacks that many people think. There are many substances that you can use as air purifiers. You can use vanilla extract and essential oils in your humidifier. Any good essential oil can purify the air in your home while improving the air quality. If you have a Vicks humidifier, you can use the Vicks vapostream to improve the general scent in the house.

Mold or bacteria growth is another big problem if you are using tap water in your humidifier. Mold growth may result in breathing problems. Thus, it is necessary to prevent mold growth in your humidifier. Yet, fabric softener cannot prevent the growth of mold inside your humidifier.

Some people used distilled water to prevent the growth of mold. Letting water sit in your humidifier for a long time encourages the growth of mold and even bacteria. It is important to empty the humidifier and clean it using the right cleaning agents.


You should not put fabric softener in your humidifier. The chemicals in your softener can trigger flu-like symptoms. Also, breathing air that contains chemicals can cause serious dangers.

One of the dangers is infections of the sinus cavities. The cavities are very sensitive to contaminants that may be in the air. Also, fabric softener may end up damaging a good humidifier.

The softener may interfere with the way the humidifier function.  One of the common mistakes that people make is to use a softener to clean mold from the humidifier. It is wise to use hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, and water to clean debris from your humidifier.