Can I Put Vanilla Extract in My Humidifier?

We may get a small commission for purchases made from product links in this post at no additional cost to you.

Everybody loves living in a home that smells nice and essential oils that contain vanilla extracts, lavender, sandalwood and other fragrances usually seem like the right products to ensure that you improve the overall aesthetics of your home and ensure that it smells nice.

Vanilla extracts obtained from vanilla pods usually have a different composition when compared to vanilla essence or essential oils made using vanilla flavoring.

Like you, I also like living in a home that smells nice and I am always looking out for ways that I can improve the air quality in my home. But can I put vanilla extract in my humidifier? Well, I can but the real question is whether my humidifier or most humidifiers can handle it.

You should not put vanilla extract in your humidifier. Most humidifiers are not designed to handle the components of vanilla extracts or other plant-based extracts and adding these elements to your humidifier could damage them.

Vanilla extract contains vanillin, which is an organic compound that has antioxidant and antidepressant properties. Vanilla is popular because of the health benefits that it offers its users. Inhaling the aroma of vanilla extract offers people a soothing sensation that helps them relax.

You should not put vanilla extract in your humidifier because the extraction process relies on the use of alcohol. The alcohol used in the extraction process can damage your humidifier.

If you are using a warm mist humidifier, the heating process can also break down the alcohol and the vanilla extract and lead to the release of an unpleasant smell in your home. The nasty smell coming from the humidifier would defeat the purpose of using the vanilla extracts in the humidifier.

While vanilla extract can be used in different ways to improve the air quality in your home. Adding it to your humidifier may not be the best way of achieving your desired results.

In this post we will cover:

What is Vanilla Extract and How is it Made?

Vanilla extract is derived from the vanilla orchid plant. Most of the vanilla orchid plants grow in Mexico, Central America, and some parts of Africa. Most of the vanilla in the world market comes from Madagascar.

The vanilla beans that contain the vanilla pods are usually grounded into smaller pieces to expose the pods inside. The vanilla pods contain the essential oil that produces the characteristic smell and flavor of pure vanilla.

Vanilla extract is extracted from vanilla pods using water and alcohol. The vanilla pods are washed and then soaked in a combination of water and ethyl alcohol. The flavor and smell of pure vanilla extract are more intense than imitation vanilla essence.

Can I Put Vanilla Extract in My Humidifier? (Explained)

Yes, you can but you shouldn’t. You can put anything in your humidifier but the question is usually whether you should. It is important to consider the implications that adding things like vanilla extract can have on your humidifier.

When considering the safety of using vanilla extract in humidifiers, there are two main issues of concern.

Alcohol in the Vanilla Extract

The extraction process of vanilla extract entails the use of alcohol and water. The water in the vanilla extract can easily damage the heating element in your humidifier.

Aside from that, if you use vanilla extract in your humidifier, the heat produced by the humidifier can denature the natural components of the vanilla extract and alter its scent.

The alcohol in the vanilla extract has also been associated with damaging humidifier filters over time. As such, if you use a cool-mist humidifier, your humidifier will still be at risk of being damaged by the vanilla extract.

Vanilla Extract Residue

Vanilla extract has some particles that might be tiny pieces of the crushed vanilla pods used to make the vanilla extract. People who have tried using vanilla extract in their humidifiers have reported that they noticed some residues in their humidifiers over time.

If you have a warm mist humidifier, the residue from the vanilla extract can damage the heating element of the humidifier over time. As such, it is not recommended to use vanilla extract in your humidifier.

Some humidifiers have been designed to accommodate the needs of anyone who might want to add essential oil to their humidifier. While these humidifiers can be used with essential oils, it is advisable to avoid using organic extracts like vanilla extract in the humidifier.

Humidifiers for Aromatherapy

Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

This humidifier has an essential diffuser tray that you can use to add essential oils like vanilla essential oil if you wish to add a scent to your humidifier.

It is important to note that this humidifier offers the combined roles of a humidifier and a diffuser. Since it is a cool-mist humidifier, the risks of any alcohol in the vanilla essential oil being affected by heat are eliminated.

The everlasting comfort ultrasonic humidifier is a large humidifier that can be used anywhere around the house. It is a great option for bedrooms because it does not produce a lot of noise. Some of the features and advantages associated with this product include:


  • 6 liter water tank (1.6 gallon)
  • Large area coverage: 500 square feet
  • Lasts up to 50 hours without needing a refill
  • Essential oil diffuser tray
  • Quiet (less than 30 decibels of noise)
  • Filterless (No need for filter replacement)
  • Has a directional guide to help you direct the mist based on your preference
  • It has an LED-lit window for checking water levels
  • It has an emergency shut-off feature
  • Child and pet friendly
  • Comes with a 2-year replacement policy


  • Fingerprints: The gloss finish on the humidifier makes it easy to leave fingerprint marks on the humidifier especially if you choose the black model.
  • No handle: The humidifier does not have a handle, which makes it difficult to carry around, especially when you have just refilled the water tank.

Note: You should not put the essential oil directly into the water tank as that could easily damage your humidifier. Ensure that you put the essential oil in the essential oil tray.

GENIANI Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifiers for Bedroom & Essential Oil Diffuser

The Geniani top-fill humidifier is a great humidifier that has an essential oil diffuser.

This product offers you the benefits of adding moisture to the air in your home, while also giving you the option of using essential oils in your product.

The GENIANI top-fill cool mist humidifier is a top-fill humidifier, which means that you will not have to worry about water spills when you are refilling the water tank and reassembling the humidifier.

The top fill feature makes it easy to use and reduces the risks of spills significantly.


  • 2-in-1 humidifier and diffuser product
  • It is a top-fill humidifier, which makes refilling easy
  • No spills or messes
  • 4 mist settings
  • Filter-free
  • Auto shut-off
  • User-friendly
  • Large space coverage of 220 square feet
  • Low noise production: 38 decibels noise level
  • Smart mode: It has a built-in intelligent sensor that monitors the humidity levels in the air
  • 2-Year warranty
  • Ideal for baby’s room
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to move around


  • It does not have a directional guide: You can only control the direction of the mist by turning the whole humidifier.

Note: Just because this humidifier has a diffuser that allows you to use essential oils, it does not mean that you should use organic extracts like vanilla extract in the humidifier. You should also ensure that you add the essential oil in the essential oil tray and not in the humidifier’s water tank as that could damage your humidifier.

Difference between Diffusers and Humidifiers

Diffusers have been designed specifically for aromatherapy purposes, which makes it easy to use essential oils like those made using vanilla, lavender, sandalwood, and other organic fragrances.

On the other hand, humidifiers are designed specifically for moisturizing purposes and they function by adding moisture to the air.

When you are considering buying these devices, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the intended purpose of the device.

If you are looking for something to add moisture to your air or humidify your home, then the best option for you would be a humidifier. A humidifier would be a great option if the air around your home is excessively dry.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an aromatherapy device, then a diffuser would be a better option for you. Aside from being used during massages, diffusers can also be used on a daily to keep your house smelling nice.

It is important to note that if you have allergies, a humidifier would be a better option for you because the essential oil released into the air by a diffuser could trigger allergies and asthma attacks.

If you have allergies or asthma and still wish to use a diffuser, you should ensure that you check the compounds in your essential oil carefully for chemical compounds that could aggravate the allergic reactions.

Alternative Ways of Improving the Air Quality in Your Home?

While it is not advisable to use vanilla extract in your humidifier, there are other ways that you can use vanilla extract to improve the air quality and overall ambience of your home.

Cooking with Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract can be used to cook different dishes. If you plan to use vanilla extract to cook, ensure that the vanilla extract you are buying is meant for cooking.

The simplest way of improving the air quality in your home is by adding vanilla extract to your dishes. There are so many dishes that can be cooked with either vanilla extract or vanilla essence. For instance, most pastries or sweet dishes can be cooked with vanilla extract.

You are going to need to eat a meal or two in your home. You might as well make the cooking process interesting by adding vanilla extract to your meals and hitting two birds with the same stone.

You can make vanilla bread, cake or any other pastries with vanilla extract. When you place the food in the oven to cook, the high temperature will promote the release of the vanilla extract smell that you desire.

You should note that the scent will last one to two days after cooking. The scent will last longer if you do not cook anything else for a few hours.

Use a Diffuser

If you want to improve the air quality in your home without damaging your humidifier, you should consider using a diffuser.

Diffusers are used to dispense mists of essential oil into the air and fill the space around the diffuser with a lovely natural fragrance. You can use any essential oil in your diffuser depending on your preference or your favorite fragrance.

You should note that it is not advisable to use vanilla extract in your diffuser. As such, you should stick to using essential oils only because diffusers have been designed to use essential oils.

Keep Your Humidifier Clean

If your humidifier is not clean, then the mist released into your environment might have a distinctly unpleasant smell, especially if you use a cool-mist humidifier.

Cool-mist humidifiers do not heat the water in the water tank and vaporize it before releasing the mist into the air. Cool-mist humidifiers work like spray bottles, which means that the water is released into the air in its natural state.

As such, if you do not clean your humidifier well, any mold, bacteria, dust mites, or other microbes that have accumulated in the humidifier over time will be released into the air around your home. This could also increase your risk of air-borne illnesses.

The easiest way of avoiding these illnesses and ensuring that the air in your home is clean and smells fresh is by cleaning your humidifier properly and regularly. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning your specific humidifier.

You should ensure that you rinse the water tank well and occasionally disinfect the water tank using white vinegar. This will significantly reduce the likelihood of mold growth in the water tank.

Use Clean Water in Your Humidifier

You should also ensure that you use clean water in your humidifier. In some cases, tap water can have high levels of chlorine and using the water in your humidifier can affect the air quality in your home by introducing a chlorine-like smell in your space.

The right type of water to use in a humidifier is distilled or softened water. If you cannot get distilled water you can opt for softened water.

Distilled water has been purified through a distillation process, which ensures that the end product is free from bacteria, mold, and other nasty microbes.

Change the Filter in Your Humidifier

The filter in your humidifier is useful in preventing the dispersion of dirt and microbes into the air. Checking the filter occasionally and cleaning it will ensure that the humidifier performs its role properly and will improve the quality of air in your home.


Do Vanilla Extracts Have Health Benefits?

Vanilla extracts have several health benefits. Vanilla extract has antioxidant properties and antidepressant properties and also contains several minerals that are essential for good health.

Antioxidants are useful in destroying free radicals in the body. These free radicals are associated with higher risks of cancer and other illnesses.

It can also help you manage anxiety and stress. Since it has antidepressant qualities, vanilla extract can help you manage anxiety and stress.

Vanilla extract also has antibacterial properties that can help you fight off a cold. If you use vanilla essential oil when you have a cold, inhaling the mist produced by a diffuser containing the vanilla can soothe your throat and help you recover quickly.

Adding vanilla extract to warm water and drinking the water can also relieve respiratory conditions like the common cold.

Can I Put Downy In My Humidifier

No. You should not put downy concentrate in your humidifier. While downy and other fabric conditioners might have a lovely scent, they are not designed to be used in humidifiers or diffusers and can damage your device.

The chemicals present in downy and other fabric conditions can also cause respiratory health problems, especially if you have an existing respiratory issue like asthma.

What Should You Put in a Humidifier for Scent?

You should not put anything in your humidifier for scent unless your humidifier has a diffuser or an essential oil tray. Some humidifiers come with a section where you can put essential oil for aromatherapy purposes or medicinal effects.

For instance, Vicks humidifiers have a section where you can put vapopads, which are cotton-like pads infused with menthol.

While these vapopads are made specifically to be used by individuals who have sinus infections or a cold, they can also be used to improve the overall scent in the home, especially during cold seasons when people are prone to catching a cold.

If your humidifier has an essential oil tray you could sprinkle a few drops of your preferred essential oil and place it in the essential oil tray. Ensure that you understand the products that are suitable for your humidifier before attempting to use essential oils or any other scents on them.

Can I Use Vanilla Extract in my Diffuser?

Yes, you can. However, it is recommended to use vanilla essential oil in your diffuser as opposed to using vanilla extract. Vanilla extract usually contains little particles of vanilla pods that often remain in your diffuser after the vanilla extract has been released into the air.

Ideally, you should use vanilla essential oil in your diffuser because essential oils do not contain these particles.

If you decide to use vanilla extract instead of vanilla essence, you should ensure that you clean the diffuser carefully after use to remove all the residue in the diffuser. Failure to do this will affect the performance of your diffuser over time.

Can You Replace Vanilla Essential Oil with Vanilla Extract?

You cannot use vanilla extract as an alternative to vanilla-based essential oil. They are two different products of the vanilla orchid plant.

If you want to use vanilla for aromatherapy in a diffuser, it is recommended to use vanilla essential oil. On the other hand, if you wish to use vanilla for cooking purposes, then you can use vanilla extract.

It is important to note that vanilla extract is extracted using water and alcohol and that the burning of the alcohol during the cooking process could distort the original scent of the vanilla extract.

For maximum benefit, it is recommended to use pure vanilla extract in things like ice creams because they do not require high temperatures during preparation and use imitations or vanilla essence when preparing pastries that require high temperatures to cook.

Is it Okay to Put Perfume in Humidifier?

It is not okay to put perfume in a humidifier. Instead of perfume, you can consider using a drop or two of the essential oil. Most perfumes are made using alcohol.

The alcohol is used for preservation purposes and to also ensure that the scent lasts longer. If you are using a warm-mist humidifier, putting perfume in the humidifier could damage the heating elements in your humidifier.

Aside from that, some of the people in your home might be overwhelmed by the smell of the perfume. It is safer to avoid putting perfume in your humidifier. If you want to improve the smell in your home, consider buying a diffuser and using essential oils in the diffuser to create the ambience that you desire.

Recommended Read: Can I Put Vicks Vapopads in My Humidifier?

Final Thought

While vanilla extract can make your house smell good and have a calming effect when released into the air within your home, putting it in your humidifier is not safe nor is it recommended.

If you have a humidifier that doubles up as a diffuser, you might want to consider using vanilla essential oil as opposed to vanilla extract.

Using vanilla essential oil in your diffuser will give you almost the same results that you are looking for by giving your home that distinct vanilla smell, without the additional worry of unwanted accidents.

Before adding anything to your humidifier or diffuser, you should ensure that you read the manufacturer’s guidelines for the device that you are using and the vanilla essential oil that you have bought.

Some essential oils might not be suitable for some devices and reading the manufacturer’s instructions on these products will help you determine whether or not you should add them to your humidifier or diffuser.

Can I Put Vanilla Extract in My Humidifier