When and How to Put Salt in a Humidifier

This is our guide on how and when to put salt in a humidifier. 

You might have heard some tall tales about the benefits of putting salt in a humidifier, from increased mist production to less cleaning necessary and so much more. 

So how much of it is accurate, and how much is false? 

There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet, some of which might even end up causing problems for your humidifier.  

We research and discuss all things’ humidifier’ so you don’t have to. Here, we will tell you if putting salt in a humidifier is safe, what the benefits and risks are, and how you should do it. 

Keep reading for more information about when and how to put salt in a humidifier. 

Can You Put Salt In A Humidifier?

The answer to that question will depend on several factors, including the type of humidifier you have, the kind of water you use, and what you’re trying to achieve. 

Generally, you can add salt to most humidifiers. The best way to ascertain whether or not it is safe to put salt in your humidifier is to consult the manual or simply ask the manufacturer. 

Adding salt to most ultrasonic and boiling humidifiers is generally safe. 

In fact, if you have a warm mist humidifier, adding salt can improve this mode’s performance. However, the opposite is true for cool mist humidifiers!

Another thing to consider is the type of water you use in the humidifier.

 For example, if you are using distilled water, it might make sense to put salt in the humidifier to increase the performance. However, if you use ‘hard water,’ i.e., mineral-rich water, you might not have to put salt in your humidifier. 

All said and done, you should always consult with your particular humidifier’s manufacturer to see if they recommend putting salt in the humidifier. 

Furthermore, if you put salt in your humidifier and are experiencing some unexpected symptoms such as allergies, coughing, or anything else, consult with a medical professional immediately. 

How to Put Salt In A Humidifier

If you have made sure it’s safe to put salt in your humidifier, here is our step-by-step guide on how to do that. 

Step 1

Unplug the humidifier, and remove the water tank. If your unit doesn’t have a removable tank, simply remove the lid as you would when refilling the tank normally. 

Empty out any old water before proceeding further. 

Step 2

Fill the tank with cool water up to the mark or however high you usually fill the tank. Here, it is important to remember that you can’t use warm or boiling water. 

Step 3 

Now, it is time to add the salt. Here, your manufacturer should have recommended a specific amount of salt that you can add to the humidifier. 

Most manufacturers recommend that you add no more than ⅛ of a teaspoon to your humidifier. In fact, you should start with a pinch or two and see how you like the effect before putting more salt in the humidifier. 

Step 4

Finally, mix the water and the salt thoroughly and replace the lid. Plug in your humidifier and turn it on as you normally would. 

Spa composition with humidifier and sea salt, health concept.

How Often Should You Put Salt In A Humidifier?

Here again, we recommend consulting the manufacturer or the manual that came with your humidifier to find out exactly how often you should put salt in a humidifier. 

In our opinion, you shouldn’t need to put salt in a humidifier more than once every 2 weeks or so. Still, your humidifier’s manufacturer is the best authority on this. 

If you put salt in your humidifier too often, it could actually cause a variety of problems for the humidifier unit. 

Benefits Of Putting Salt In A Humidifier

There are a couple different benefits to putting salt in a humidifier. Some are actual benefits, while others are just old wives’ tales. Here, we’ll focus on the actually helpful stuff that we found to be true. 

Kills Germs

Salt has been used as a disinfectant and to treat wounds for centuries. This is because salt has numerous anti-microbial properties that kill germs, microbes, bacteria, and harmful fungi.  

Adding salt kills any of these germs that could have found their way into your humidifier. This ensures that the mist released into your home does not contain pathogens, bacteria, or other disease-causing microbes.

Prevents Buildup Of Mildew And Mold

Putting salt in a humidifier also helps prevent the development of mildew and even mold. This is thanks to salt’s disinfectant properties, which kill all of the fungi and microorganisms that could have led to mold. 

Mold in a humidifier is a huge problem. It causes various issues with the humidifier’s performance, but even more concerning is the fact that it can be released into the air. 

If released into the air, mold can cause many health problems. It can also wreak havoc on your home, from furniture and walls to even your pets!

Keeps Water Tank Clean 

Salt is an anti-clumping agent. This means that putting salt in a humidifier prevents contaminants and sediments from building up in the water tank. 

Significant sediment buildup in the water tank can reduce the performance of the humidifier unit and even cause permanent damage if left unchecked. 

Health Benefits

There are limited health benefits to putting salt in a humidifier. Before we get into the benefits, we recommend you consult with a physician. This will ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction if you put salt in your humidifier. 

Salt in humidifier mist can help relieve some allergies, as salt breaks up mucus and reduces inflammation. 

If you snore a lot, salt can help moisten the soft tissue in your airway. This prevents the tissues from vibrating and creating sound, i.e., snores. 

Improved Performance For Warm Mist Humidifiers

One of the biggest benefits of putting salt in a humidifier is that it improves the performance of the warm mist function. 

When you put salt, or some other impurities, into a humidifier’s water tank, it allows the water molecules to move more freely. 

This improves the conductivity of the water compared to if you didn’t add salt. That means the heating element needs to work less to boil and diffuse the water. 

The result is higher mist volume, faster humidification, and easier coverage for larger spaces. 

Here though, we recommend against putting salt in a cool mist humidifier. This is because cool mist humidifiers don’t use a heating element, so there is no point in adding salt to the water tank. 

Purifies The Air

Another benefit of putting salt in a humidifier is that it helps purify the air. Salt makes the air in your surroundings a lot cleaner and thus healthier to breathe. 

What Type Of Salt To Put In A Humidifier?

This might surprise you, but you can’t just go and put any old table salt in your humidifier. 

This is because table salt, kosher salt, and other cooking salts have additives such as iodine and anti-caking agents. These could cause problems with your humidifier’s internal components.

Instead, we recommend using Himalayan Salt, also known as pink salt. This has trace amounts of certain minerals that are beneficial for your health and help improve air quality. 

Another type of salt that you can put in the humidifier is Epsom salt. This salt is beneficial for your skin health and muscles and works as a natural relaxant. 

Best of all, both types of salt are readily available at your local grocery store, or you can find them online. 


In summation, it is perfectly safe to put salt in most humidifiers. In fact, putting salt in a humidifier can be quite beneficial for your health while also improving the performance of your humidifier unit. 

Putting salt in a warm mist humidifier is especially helpful as it allows the humidifier to work more effectively. At the same time, adding salt to a cool mist humidifier could actually result in some problems with the unit, which is why we don’t recommend putting salt in a cool mist humidifier. 

Still, it is always a good idea to consult with your humidifier’s manufacturer to ensure it is safe to put salt in your humidifier. 

As for when you should add salt to the humidifier, we recommend doing it once every two weeks. And even then, it is not recommended to put more than ⅛ of a teaspoon in the humidifier. 

Finally, you can’t just put any old type of salt in the humidifier. Regular cooking salts have many additives that can cause problems in your humidifier. We recommend putting Himalayan or Epsom salt in your humidifier for optimal results. 


Shawn Willis is all about humidifiers. After working for some of the biggest names in the industry, he started HumidifierGuys with Scott Dawson. Now, the dynamic duo helps others figure out what they need in their next humidifier.

Shawn is an avid sports fan, motorcycle enthusiast, and has two dogs named Whiskey and Boba.