Can You Put Saline In A Humidifier?

As the days grow colder and the air turns drier, many of us turn to trusty humidifiers to soothe our parched skin and improve the air quality in our homes. But have you ever wondered if there’s a more effective solution to combat the drying effects of indoor heating? Some people suggest saline might be the answer, claiming that saltwater-infused mist can provide extra benefits.

Let’s dive into the fascinating world of humidifiers, exploring whether or not saline is the secret ingredient we’ve all been missing or if it’s just another salty tale. Buckle up because we’re about to embark on a journey that may forever change your thoughts about humidifiers!

Table of Contents

Can I Put Saline in My Humidifier?

Using saline (salt water) in a humidifier is generally not recommended. Most humidifiers are designed to work with clean, distilled, or demineralized water. Using saline in a humidifier can cause a few problems:

  1. Mineral buildup: Salt can cause mineral buildup on the internal components of the humidifier, which can reduce its efficiency and potentially damage the device over time.
  2. Corrosion: Salt is corrosive, and using saline in your humidifier can lead to the corrosion of metal parts within the device, shortening its lifespan.
  3. Air quality: When a humidifier disperses saline into the air, it can increase the concentration of salt particles in the air. This can be irritating to your respiratory system and may exacerbate existing respiratory issues, such as asthma or allergies.
can you put saline in a humidifier

Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific humidifier model. They will provide the best guidance on what type of water to use and how to maintain the device.

But what if you still want to try saline in your humidifier?

How to Properly Add Saline to Your Humidifier

The Importance of Properly Adding Saline Solution

Adding saline solution to your humidifier can bring many health benefits, but it is essential to do it correctly. Improper use of the solution can lead to damage or even breakage of your machine. It is also crucial to remember that adding too much or too little saline can be harmful and may not provide the full benefits that the proper amount would. 

Step-by-Step Instructions for Adding Saline Solution

To add saline solution to your humidifier, follow these steps:

  1. First, ensure you have all the necessary supplies: a container of sterile saline solution and your humidifier.
  2. Next, turn off and unplug your humidifier.
  3. Remove any remaining water from the tank and wash it with warm soapy water.
  4. Rinse the tank thoroughly with clean water and let it air dry completely for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Once dry, add an appropriate amount of saline solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions or the healthcare provider’s recommendation.
  6. Finally, plug in and turn on your humidifier as usual. 

Safety Precautions and Tips for Maintaining Your Humidifier with Saline Solution

It is essential to take a few precautions when using saline in a humidifier: 

  • Do not use tap water instead of distilled/filtered/purified water, as tap water contains minerals that might disperse into the air, causing breathing problems.
  • Use only sterile saline solutions specifically formulated for this purpose; never use homemade keys which may contain harmful bacteria.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how much salt should be added based on the size of the tanks.
  • Cleanse your machine regularly – this will help maintain its performance at maximum efficiency by reducing the buildup of bacteria, mold, and mineral deposits. Clean your humidifier every three days with a cleaning solution mixture.
  • Replace your filters and wicks regularly for optimal performance. When used correctly, saline solution can effectively improve the air quality in your home and provide relief to those suffering from respiratory issues. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, take necessary precautions when adding saline solution to your humidifier, and regularly maintain it for optimal performance. 

Common Misconceptions About Using Saline in a Humidifier

The Myth of Machine Damage and User Harm

There are many misconceptions about using saline in a humidifier, and one of the most common is that it can cause damage to the machine or harm users. These fears stem from a lack of understanding of the properties of saline solution and how it interacts with humidifiers.

Firstly, let’s address the concern about damage to the machine.

Saline solution is not corrosive or acidic, which means that it will not cause any damage to the humidifier over time. Many manufacturers recommend using saline solution as a safe and effective way to clean your humidifier.

Regarding user harm, some worry that using saline in their humidifier can lead to respiratory problems or other health issues. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. Using saline in your humidifier can have numerous health benefits for those suffering from respiratory problems. 

It’s important to remember that when used correctly and in recommended concentrations, there is no reason why using saline in your humidifier should be dangerous or harmful. 

The False Notion of Sterility

Another misconception surrounding using saline in a humidifier is that it will create a sterile environment. This is not true. While adding saline solution can help reduce bacteria growth within the machine itself, it does not create a completely sterile environment nor remove all bacteria from the air the humidifier releases. Many factors contribute to bacterial growth, including room temperature and humidity levels, which cannot be controlled by adding salt water into your device. 

Furthermore, adding too much salt into your device may even promote bacterial growth due to salt’s ability as an environment for bacterial colonies if left uncleaned – making overuse of salt solutions an issue rather than ultrasonic nebulizing humidifiers.

While saline in your humidifier is generally safe and beneficial, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction regarding the potential risks and benefits. By understanding the true nature of saline solution and its relationship with humidifiers, you can make an informed decision about whether or not this is the right option.


While using saline in a humidifier may sound appealing initially, our investigation has revealed that there are better courses of action. The potential risks, such as mineral buildup, corrosion, and diminished air quality, outweigh any perceived benefits. 

Instead, it’s best to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations and use distilled or demineralized water to keep your humidifier functioning optimally and the air in your home comfortably moist. Remember, sometimes, the simplest solution is the most effective. 

So, don’t be lured by the siren song of salt water; it’s best to keep things fresh and clean regarding humidifiers.