Can You Put Soap in a Humidifier?

Humidifiers have become pretty important now. With all the pollution going around, the air around us is becoming drier. Dry air can cause serious health issues including runny nose, congested sinus, allergies or even asthma. Humidifiers keep the air moisturized and help reduce the risks of these health issues.

But how do you maintain your humidifier? You may have gotten one because you needed it, but how do you make sure it isn’t collecting dust and releasing it with water? You clean it, of course.

To make sure your humidifier isn’t causing more harm than good you’ll have to clean it on a regular basis. But make no mistake, you can’t clean it like any other devices or you’re gonna risk losing the whole machine.

When you hear cleaning, the first image you probably get in your head is a mop and soap water. Except that’s not how it works for a humidifier. Soap or even soap water isn’t something you should look at to clean your humidifier. So the question is, can you use soap in a humidifier? Tricky. Let’s see what turns out to be the answer to that.

Can I Put Soap in My Humidifier?

No, you can’t put soap in your humidifier. It is recommended not to use any detergent to make the air of your humidifier smell smoother. The chemical bonds of soap or detergent are harmful to your body.

As you smell the particles, it can cause severe damage to your lungs and nostrils. More importantly, adding soap water in a humidifier does not significantly change the air’s smell. Our advice on this topic is: you can always use a spoonful of lemon extract in the humidifier water to make it smell better.

Can You Use Soap To Clean a Humidifier?

Yes, you can use soap to clean a humidifier.

Soap and brush are the “in-your-corner” tools you can use to clean your humidifier. You can also use bleach and baking soda for cleaning, but they can be a little complicated to use. Using soap to clean the humidifier you have is okay unless the soap you’re using has harsh chemicals in it and the manufacturers recommend not using them.

Your best bet for being on the safe side is checking the manual that comes with the humidifier. There should be a list of things you can use to clean your humidifier. If not, you’ll at least see a list of things you should strictly avoid using around your humidifier.

Your other options are baking soda, bleach and similar cleaning products. But you’ll have to be extra careful if you’re using those. Because the chemicals used in them can be harmful for your respiratory system if not cleaned properly. The same goes for soap too, make sure you’re cleaning the humidifier properly after using it to avoid health concerns.

Will Putting Soap in a Humidifier Improve Air Quality in the Room?

No, putting soap in a humidifier won’t improve the air quality of your house.

Soaps are just a tool for cleaning your humidifier. They can’t make the air quality in your house better because they don’t have the necessary chemicals and components for that in them. All putting soap in your humidifier will do is increase the risk of respiratory issues.

Because soaps are basic in nature (not the human basic, the chemical and “opposite-of-acid” basic), they carry strong chemicals. These chemicals getting released in the air will ruin the air quality and definitely won’t improve it.

So if you’re thinking of putting soap in your humidifier to improve the air quality, please don’t.

Can You Run Soapy Water Through A Humidifier?

No, not for the humidifying process. If it is part of your cleaning process, you can run soapy water through it as long as you aren’t turning it on.

Using soapy water through the humidifier is the same as putting soap in it. There is too much risk involved for your respiratory system and the air quality overall. Not to mention it is super harmful for children, elderly people and animals.

If you’re using soapy water for cleaning, only use it for external purposes. Don’t put it anywhere near the filter and definitely don’t turn it on for a test cycle.


Maintaining a humidifier is easy if you know how to do it. Sure, the first thought you’ll get is to use soap for the odor and other cleaning reasons but that’s really not a good option. You should only use soap to clean your humidifier and even then you should wash the device thoroughly to make sure you aren’t leaving any residues.


Also read:

Related reading: Best Humidifier Reviews 2022

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Related reading: Why Does My Humidifier Smell Musty?

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