Can You Put Vicks (Vaporub, Vapopad, Vaposteam) In A Humidifier?

For many of us, the winter months mean agony. Dry air, flu, and cough are the common things we have to combat during that period. In addition to a humidifier, we also use some household remedies to make us feel better. Such as, many people like to use Vicks for chest congestion and cough.

Some may wonder if they can put Vicks in a humidifier to get the best of both worlds. However, you can’t add Vicks Vaporub to a humidifier. It may release some harmful chemicals and shorten the humidifier’s lifespan. But Vapopad and Vaposteam that come from the same brand can work well with a humidifier.

In the following paragraphs, I will provide a more in-depth explanation of this ” Vicks in a humidifier” subject. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

What is Vicks?

what is Vicks vaporub

Vicks has been popular in America for over a century and has become a household name. But in case you don’t know, people often refer to Vicks as Vicks Vaporub, a topical ointment that can temporarily relieve cough, sore muscles, and minor aches. 

It is so versatile that moms always prepare it for their children or other family members at home. 

In fact, Vicks is a big brand that produces an array of products for well-being. When it comes to relieving symptoms of conditions caused by dry air, they also offer Vapopad, Vaposteam, and Vicks humidifiers which I will cover in the following sections.

Can you put Vicks Vaporub in a humidifier?

why you shouldn't add vaporub to humidifier

Adding Vicks Vaporub to a humidifier is not allowed regardless of which type of humidifier you have.

Don’t get me wrong, Vicks Vaporus is not a toxic product that you can’t use anymore. It is just that using it with a humidifier is not correct. 

As an ointment, it contains petroleum jelly for retaining moisture and consistency. Many skincare products have it in the formula since it can create a waterproof barrier for the skin. Unfortunately, petroleum jelly may be dangerous when used in a humidifier. 

It is a type of oil that can’t dissolve in the water, so your humidifier will end up with more buildup. The buildup can become the petri dish for mold and viruses, posing health risks to your body. 

Meanwhile, it will clog the appliance, making it stop producing mist or causing other malfunctions. If you want your humidifier last long, please stay away from the Vicks Vaporub.

When putting Vicks in a humidifier, a portion of petroleum will get into the air with moisture particles. We will breathe it in naturally, but it is harmful. Inhaling or swallowing petroleum in large quantities may lead to irritation of your mucous membranes, shortness of breath, cough, and so on.  

On top of it, Vicks Vaporub is flammable, and it can catch fire when overheated. As a type of electronics, any humidifier can overheat. It could be even worse when you have a warm mist humidifier at home.

Can you put Vicks in a humidifier for a baby?

It is a big no-no to use Vicks in a humidifier for a baby.

The manufacturer said that Vicks Vaporub is not allowed to use for children under two years old. The ingredients in it could be irritating for the baby.

Adding in the disadvantages of being flammable and making the humidifier prone to fail, putting Vicks in a humidifier is the last thing you want to do.

Anyway, for the safety of your baby and yourself, just don’t do it.

Can you put Vicks Vapopad in a humidifier?

humidifier and vapopads

As an alternative, you can use Vicks Vapopad with a humidifier. It is also the product from Vicks, so you can rest assured of its quality.

Adding Vicks Vapopad to the water in the reservoir is still not allowed. Instead, you can put it into the medicine cup or tray on the humidifier. Not every humidifier comes with such a part, but most Vicks humidifiers do, including both warm steam vaporizers and cool-mist humidifiers. 

I personally have a Vicks cool-mist humidifier, which is perfect for working with Vapopad.

Vapopad can release menthol and lavender vapor for up to 8 hours per pad which can help feel relaxed. The ingredients also include  Eucalyptus Oil, Cedarleaf Oil, Nutmeg Oil, and Thymol. Note that it is non-medicated, and you can apply it to infants and children as per instructions.

Can you put Vicks Vaposteam in a humidifier?

Vicks Vaposteam is another alternative to Vicks Vaporhub. Unlike Vapopad, it is medicated, meaning that it can help you relieve cough, irritated breathing passages, and other symptoms. 

It has a liquid consistency without adding petroleum jelly so you can add it to the water tank or medicine cup of the warm mist humidifier. The active ingredient is Camphor, a natural substance for cough suppressants. Other components also include cedarleaf oil, eucalyptus oil, laureth-7, menthol. 

In addition, it also contains a lot of alcohol, boosting the evaporation process. 

While it is often being used with warm mist humidifiers, it can also work with Vicks VUL600 cool mist humidifier because it has a heated medicine cup for Vaposteam to evaporate. I assume any cool mist humidifier with a heated medicine cup would also work.

Vaposteam shouldn’t be used on children under two years old like Vicks Vaporub.


Humidifiers and Vicks are both great products for relieving discomfort on dry days. However, you can’t put Vicks in your humidifier. The petroleum jelly will cause adverse effects on your health when released into the air and breathed in by yourself. It will also clog the device, shortening the lifespan. You could also run the risk of a fire. 

To get the same benefits, you can either add a Vicks Vapopad or Vaposteam in the medicine cup on the humidifier or pour some Vaposteam into the water tank. When you add Vaposteam to the reservoir, you should ensure it is a warm mist model or a cool-mist model with a heated medicine cup.

As a medicated product, you can’t use Vicks Vaporub and Vicks Vaposteam for babies under two years.

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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