Can You Put Essential Oils In A Fog Machine?

While using essential oils for aromatherapy is a popular trend, it is not recommended to put them in a fog machine. Unlike fog machine liquids, essential oils are not designed to be used in this way and can cause serious damage.

Adding essential oils to a fog machine can cause clogging, leading to damage to the heat exchanger, electric pump, or spray nozzle. The oils can also leave behind a residue that is difficult to clean and can affect the shelf life of the machine. Moreover, the adverse effects of breathing in essential oils through a fog machine are unknown, especially for those with respiratory health issues such as asthma, chest tightness, or allergies.

There are alternative liquids to use in a fog machine that is safe and can achieve the desired special effects. Mineral oil, propylene glycol, and glycerin mixed with distilled water are all popular choices for creating a long-lasting haze effect without clogging or damaging the machine. Baby oil is another safe alternative that can create amazing effects while being gentle on the equipment.

Can You Put Essential Oils In A Fog Machine

Disadvantages of Using Essential Oils in a Fog Machine

Using essential oils in a fog machine may seem like a good idea, but it can have several disadvantages. One major problem with using essential oils in a fog machine is that it can clog the machine, causing damage. This is because essential oils are thicker than the fluids that are commonly used in fog machines, like mineral oil, propylene glycol, or glycerin and water mixture. These fluids are specifically designed for heated fog machines and are safe for respiratory health.

Essential oils can also have adverse effects on respiratory health, especially for people with asthma or allergies. When essential oils are released into the air from a fog machine, they can cause respiratory discomfort, chest tightness, and eye irritation. This could lead to severe respiratory problems, making it difficult for the audience or performers to breathe. In some cases, it may even trigger allergies, which can be dangerous for people who have severe allergic reactions.

Using essential oils in a fog machine can also affect the shelf life of the equipment. As essential oils are thicker, they can accumulate inside the machine and cause the pump or heat exchanger to malfunction. This can lead to expensive repairs or even replacement of the entire machine, reducing its shelf life significantly.

Safety Precautions to Consider When Using Essential Oils in a Fog Machine

When it comes to using essential oils in a fog machine, safety should always be a top priority. However, as we mentioned earlier, it is not recommended to use essential oils in a fog machine due to potential adverse effects on respiratory health, especially for those with asthma or allergies. If you still decide to use alternative substances such as baby oil, propylene glycol, or glycerin and water mixture, it is important to take certain safety measures to avoid any potential risks.

Firstly, it is crucial to wear eye protection when handling any fog machine liquids. This will prevent any potential irritation that may occur from the chemicals present in the mixture. Secondly, it is essential to ensure proper ventilation of the room where the fog machine will be used. This will help to minimize exposure to any harmful chemicals or fumes that may be present in the air.

It is important to note that some fog machine liquids, such as glycol-based fogs, may cause respiratory discomfort and chest tightness in people with conditions such as asthma. Therefore, it is vital to take precautions and only use fog machine liquids that are safe for not only the audience but also for the performers and technicians operating the equipment.

How Do You Put Essential Oil in a Fog Machine

Essential oils are natural products that are becoming increasingly popular in various fields, including the entertainment industry, as they offer a safe and natural way to enhance the ambiance of an event or performance.

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Many people wonder whether it is possible to put essential oils in a fog machine and how to do so. Here we will look at the process of adding essential oils to a fog machine and the potential adverse effects of doing so.

1. Prepare the Room for Use With the Fog Machine

Before you can begin using a fog machine, there are a number of important steps you’ll need to take to prepare the room. First and foremost, it’s crucial to ensure that the space is well-ventilated. This means opening up all windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate. This will help to prevent the accumulation of smoke and moisture, which can be irritating to the respiratory system and pose other health hazards.

It’s also important to make sure that any smoke detectors in the room are temporarily disabled or covered to prevent any false alarms. This is especially important if you’re using a heated fog machine, as these devices will produce smoke that can trigger smoke detectors.

Next, you should remove any sensitive electronics or items that could be damaged by moisture or heat. This includes things like computers, televisions, and audio equipment. Additionally, be sure to clear away any flammable items from the immediate vicinity of the fog machine.

Once you’ve cleared the space and ensured that it’s well-ventilated, it’s time to set up the fog machine itself. Be sure to choose a flat surface where the machine can operate safely and effectively. Finally, make sure that the power source you’re using is sufficient for the size of the machine you’re using. With these preparations complete, you’re ready to start enjoying the amazing effects of your fog machine.

2. Mix the Essential Oil and Water Mixture for Your Desired Effect

Mixing essential oils and water to create a suitable mixture for your fog machine can add an extra punch of natural scent to your special effects. The first step is to choose the right essential oil and dilute it with distilled or filtered water. It’s important to note that only a few drops of essential oils should be used per cup of water to avoid any adverse health effects.

To mix the essential oil and water, use a spray bottle to spray a few drops of essential oil into a cup of water, and gently swirl it around. Keep in mind that the amount of essential oil required depends on the desired strength of the scent and the size of the area you plan to fill with fog.

Once you have mixed the essential oil and water, add it to your fog machine’s fluid tank. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to add liquids to your fog machine, as different machines may vary in their requirements.

3. Fill the Tank of Your Fog Machine With the Mixture

To fill the tank of your fog machine with the essential oil and water mixture, follow these steps. First, ensure that your fog machine is not plugged in and has cooled off completely before messing with it. Next, locate the tank or reservoir where you will pour in your mixture. You should be able to find the tank at the back or bottom of your machine.

Once you have located this, ensure that the tank is clean and free of any residual fog juice to avoid mixing the previous juice with the essential oil and water mixture. Then, pour the essential oil and water mixture into the tank and fill it to the recommended level. You should refer to your machine’s manual or instructions for the appropriate level of mixture to use.

Lastly, secure the tank’s lid firmly back into place to prevent any leaks. Always double-check to ensure that you have properly secured the lid before turning on the machine. Now you are ready to use your fog machine with the natural scent of essential oil and water mixture.

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4. Turn on the Fog Machine and Allow It to Heat Up Before Use

Before using a fog machine, it’s important to ensure that it’s properly plugged in and turned on. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to allow the machine to heat up. Most fog machines take about 5 minutes to fully heat up, so be sure to be patient and wait for the ready light on the machine to turn on before use.

This light indicates that the fog machine is ready to use and that the fog output will be consistent. So, turn on the fog machine and wait for the ready light to come on before you start using it for optimal performance.

5. Adjust Settings As Needed To Achieve Desired Effect

When it comes to using a fog machine, adjusting the settings is key to achieving the perfect atmospheric effect for your event. Whether you have a professional-grade fog machine or a more compact, mini version, it’s important to know how to use the controls available to you effectively.

One of the most important controls on a fog machine is volume control, which determines how much fluid is flowing through the heat exchanger. By adjusting this control, you can create a thicker or lighter fog effect as desired. If you are using a heated fog machine, it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature as you adjust the volume control to ensure that the fog is not too thick or not heating up properly.

Another important control to consider is timers, which can help you achieve a more consistent fog effect over time. Timers allow you to set the fog machine to turn on and off for specific intervals, ensuring that the fog effect is consistent and not too overwhelming for your audience.

Finally, DMX capability is an advanced feature available on some fog machines that allows for more precise control over your fog effect. With DMX capability, you can adjust settings like color and intensity to achieve more complex effects.

6. Monitor the Room for any Unwanted Smoke or Fumes

When using a fog machine, it’s important to monitor the room to ensure the fog doesn’t cause any respiratory health issues or have any adverse effects. This can be done by adjusting the output settings of the fog machine or periodically ventilating the room to clear out any unwanted smoke.

It’s crucial to keep an eye on the area during and after the fog machine operation. Inhaling fog machine smoke can be hazardous, especially for people with asthma or respiratory sensitivity. Signs of respiratory distress from inhaling too much smoke include chest tightness and coughing.

To prevent any potential hazards, it’s important to monitor the room and take the necessary precautions. By adjusting the output settings or ventilating the room, you can keep the fog in check and ensure a safe environment for everyone. Remember to prioritize respiratory health and avoid any adverse effects from using a fog machine.

7. Clean Up Any Residual Fumes Once Finished With Your Session

When using essential oils with a fog machine, it’s important to clean up any residual fumes once your session is finished to avoid any adverse effects on respiratory health. Failure to clean properly can pose serious risks to individuals, especially those with asthma or other respiratory issues.

The first step in the cleanup process is to turn off the fog machine and allow it to cool down before attempting to clean. Once cooled down, pour any remaining mixture out of the tank into a catch bottle to avoid wasting the fog fluid.

It’s essential to wipe down the inside of the tank with a soft, damp cloth to remove any excess oil residue. This residue can lead to respiratory effects if it remains on the apparatus or is inhaled. You should also use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down any surfaces that may have been exposed to the fog mixture, including floors, walls, and furniture.

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Additionally, you may consider using an air purifier to help clear out any remaining fumes in the area. This method helps to minimize the exposure of adverse effects to individuals in proximity.

Alternatives to Using Essential Oils in a Fog Machine

While essential oils may seem like a tempting addition to a fog machine, they are not recommended for use as they can cause adverse effects such as chest tightness and respiratory issues, especially for those with asthma. However, there are alternative options available that can still provide the desired atmosphere without risking health concerns.

One alternative to using essential oils in a fog machine is to opt for water-based fluid or fog juice specifically designed for use in fog machines. These types of fluids are formulated to work safely with fog machines while producing desired atmospheric effects.

Another alternative is to use natural products such as Rosco fog fluid. This product is a water-based fog fluid that is safe to use and creates a flat, long-lasting haze effect. It is also environmentally friendly and has a longer shelf life than some other fog machine liquids.

If a scented effect is desired, some contributors have successfully mixed small amounts of scented oil with store-bought fog machine liquid. However, caution should still be exercised when adding any kind of oil to a fog machine.

Other safe alternatives include using a glycerin and water mixture or distilled water as a fluid for the fog machine. These options will still produce the desired atmospheric effects without the potential negative respiratory effects that can come with using essential oils.


Can essential oils be used in a fog machine?

While it’s technically possible, it’s not recommended to use essential oils in a fog machine. Essential oils are not designed for this purpose and can potentially damage the machine or pose health risks.

Will using essential oils in a fog machine produce scented fog?

Yes, adding essential oils to a fog machine may infuse the fog with a fragrance. However, this practice is not advised due to potential machine damage and health concerns.

What are the risks of using essential oils in a fog machine?

Essential oils are highly concentrated and can leave residue or clog the fog machine’s mechanisms, leading to malfunctions or damage. Moreover, heating essential oils can create harmful fumes or irritate the respiratory system.

Can essential oils affect the performance of the fog machine?

Yes, essential oils can impact the performance of a fog machine. They might leave residues that could block the machine’s heating elements, reducing its efficiency or causing it to malfunction.

Are there any safe alternatives to using essential oils in a fog machine for fragrance?

Yes, some fog machine manufacturers offer specially formulated fog fluids with pleasant scents that are safe to use. These fluids are designed to work efficiently with the machine without causing damage or health risks.

What should I do if I’ve already used essential oils in my fog machine?

If essential oils have been used in a fog machine, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean and flush the machine with the recommended cleaning solutions or distilled water to remove any residue. Additionally, consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific cleaning instructions to prevent potential damage.


In conclusion, while essential oils may seem like a natural and enticing addition to your fog machine, it is not recommended. Mixing essential oils with fog machine liquids, particularly glycol-based fogs, can have adverse effects on respiratory health. This is especially concerning for people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Additionally, using oils that are not specifically designed for use in a fog machine can cause damage to the machine and potentially even lead to a fire hazard. It is always best to stick with FDA-approved fog machine liquids for safe and reliable atmospheric effects.