When and How to Put Salt in a Humidifier

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A cool mist humidifier is a great way to help ease cold and flu symptoms, soothe minor skin irritations, provide relief from asthma, allergies, and eczema. When the air in your home is too dry because of heating systems or central AC, a humidifier can help balance that by adding moisture back into the air.

How a humidifier works is simple: water is passed through the unit and into the air, then dispersed in fine droplets. This can be done using different methods like ultrasonic or vaporizer technology, but the end result is the same: moist air.

However, there are some ways to boost the effect of a humidifier and increase the moisture output. One such method is to add salt into your humidifier.

What Does Adding Salt to a Humidifier Do?

Adding salt to a humidifier provides several benefits:

  • Salt acts as an anti-microbial agent and kills bacteria, fungi, and other germs which can build up in your device.
  • Salt can also help prevent the growth of mold and mildew inside your humidifier.
  • It can help disperse water molecules more efficiently into the air.
  • As an anti-clumping agent, salt keeps humidifier filters clean and prevents sediment like hard water from building up in the device.
  • Salt can help add a therapeutic benefit to your humidifier as it helps open up the nasal passages and reduces irritation from dryness.

In short, adding salt to your humidifier can help reduce contaminants, bacteria, and pathogens that could contaminate your device and household air.

It can also improve the efficiency of a cold mist humidifier so you can get the most out of it while reducing wear and tear on the unit.

Related: What Can I Put in My Humidifier for Congestion?

What Type of Salt Can You Use in a Humidifier?

Do not use table salt, kosher salt, or other types of cooking salts. These can contain additives like iodine and anti-caking agents which you do not want in your humidifier.

To enhance the therapeutic effects of your humidifier, try using Himalayan salt instead. This special pink salt has trace minerals that can help balance water and air health in your home.

Another excellent option is Epsom salt. It is good for the skin, muscles, and works as a natural relaxant. It also works wonders for hair and skin health. Better yet, both salts are easily available and affordable, so you can easily purchase them at your local grocery store or online.

How Much Salt Should You Put in Humidifier Water?

You don’t need a lot of salt to get the benefits and that’s a good thing. If you use too much salt, it can damage your humidifier and cause issues with the water pump.

Most water chambers in humidifiers can hold between 0.5 to 6 gallons of water, depending on how big your unit is. But regardless of how much water your humidifier can hold, only start with a pinch of salt. You may add a couple of pinches more if you want stronger vapor, but most manufacturers advise against adding more than 1/8 teaspoon of salt to prevent damage to the device.

Check Out This Post: Should a Humidifier Be Placed on the Floor?

How to Add Salt to Your Humidifier?

The process for adding salt to water in your humidifier is simple:

  1. First, turn the device off and unplug it from its power source.
  2. Open the water chamber.
  3. Carefully fill up it with clean water.
  4. Then add around one to two pinches of salt for every liter of water that you put into the chamber.
  5. You don’t have to mix up the salt in a separate container – just add it directly to the water tank.
  6. Swirl the water around to distribute the salt evenly, then close the chamber back up securely.
  7. Turn it on and enjoy the fresh, clean, and moist air that your humidifier is producing.

How Often Should You Add Salt to a Humidifier?

Ideally, you should add salt to your humidifier every time you refill the water tank. You can do this as many times as needed throughout the day, but it’s best to do this once in the morning and once before you go to bed.

Also, make sure your humidifier is clean and that you are using clean, filtered water when filling up the chamber in order to reduce the presence of contaminants in the air.

Keep these all-natural cleaning tips in mind:

  • Baking soda can help remove deposits of dirt and hard water that accumulate in the water tank.
  • Distilled water will reduce the presence of impurities that can damage your humidifier or otherwise impact air quality.
  • Vinegar can help kill any bacteria or germs that have built up in the device.

Read Also: The Best Humidifier to Use with Hard Water


Adding salt to your humidifier can be a simple but impactful way to further improve air quality in your home.

Salt has the ability to kill off threats like bacteria and viruses that can be responsible for allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems. It also has natural cleansing abilities to remove dirt, hard water stains, and other contaminants that accumulate in the chamber over time.

Enjoy the added health benefits that you will enjoy by using salt in your humidifier!

Thomas is the founder and chief editor of Hvacguides101.com. Hailing from Berkeley, California, his passion for HVAC started at a young age, and he has been immersed in the industry ever since. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys hiking, trying out new BBQ recipes, and exploring the latest smart home technologies.

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