Do Salt Lamps Work?

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do salt lamps work

One thing that I didn’t get on board with right away when I was changing the way we lived was salt lamps.  I didn’t really understand their purpose, and to be honest, I thought they were kind of hideous. I was also left wondering, “Do salt lamps work?” I definitely didn’t want one in my house because, really, what could they do?

About six months ago, I happened to see a more unique salt lamp in a client’s home, and I actually REALLY liked it.  In fact, I liked it enough that I tracked it down on Amazon and bought it. I’m not normally an impulse shopper, but for this, I definitely did.

Once I got it in the mail and set it up, I used it on and off at my desk.  I actually used it for lighting more than anything else as I really don’t like bright overhead light at any time of the day..  My husband asked me what on earth a salt lamp was good for, and I realized I had no idea. I just figured they were a positive thing for my environment.

I was actually REALLY curious what the science behind a salt lamp was and how it could improve the environment in my home.  So I got to work researching and learning all about these amazing little tools. I was SO surprised to find out the health benefits and and answer the question of  how do salt lamps work to improve indoor air quality.  

improve your indoor air with a himalayan salt lamp - plus how it works and how the science behind how it cleans the air


There are many benefits of salt lamps, and many practical uses for them.  I think figuring out how do salt lamps work has just solidified how much I love using it at home. Some people just like them for the calming, ambient lighting, which is great in and of itself.  This is actually why I THOUGHT I would like it so much, but it turns out there’s so many other reasons I like my salt lamp even more.

WARM LIGHTING:  The main reason I purchased my salt lamp, and oftentimes the reason I had heard of friends and family purchasing theirs was the warm, calming light.  In contrast to the blue light that electronics and even our light bulbs give, it seemed like a big positive to me. 

I actually cannot stand the blue tinted lighting that so many light bulbs give off.  I much prefer the hygge feeling in a home with soft yellow and orange lights. This lighting that salt lamps give off can actually help calm the body and mind. (STUDY)

HOW SALT LAMPS CLEAN THE AIR: This is where my research on how do salt lamps work got SUPER interesting.  I was intrigued to find out just HOW they can actually help clean the air inside your home.  

First, it’s important to know that salt lamps are not just light, but they give off heat as well.  The purpose of the light within the pink himalayan salt block is to warm it up.

Second, it’s important to know that the air around us is made up of water molecules. The water molecules within our air vary from time to time.  Obviously in a humid environment, the water molecules are more prevalent in the air.  In a dry environment, they’re aren’t as many.

Now, each of the water molecules in our home’s air contains allergens, dust, toxins and odors.  (This is why odors tend to linger in more humid environments in comparison to dry environments). Anything that becomes airborne in your home ends up getting trapped in the water molecules.

When the salt lamp is on and heated, it attracts the water molecules to itself.  Once the water molecules touch the salt, they adhere and eventually dry up. THIS is why salt lamps can be particularly dusty.

The salt lamp has just pulled allergens, dust, toxins and odors from your air as they become attached to the salt itself.  Simply wipe down your salt lamp with a damp cloth to remove excess dust.

Obviously the best way to reduce dust and allergens in the air is to have a regular schedule of dusting and vacuuming, but when paired WITH the salt lamp, it can also be beneficial.

do salt lamps work_ the science and research of how salt lamps improve the indoor air

SALT LAMPS CAN REMOVE ODORS: Water molecules that hold toxins, they also hold odors.  And humid air means scents linger for longer periods of time.  The salt lamp helps remove odors by attracting the water molecules that hold the odor to the salt lamp.  Once the water molecules come in contact with salt lamp, they adhere and dry out. This in turn removes the odor from your air.


The air around us has both positive and negative ions.  There’s a big difference in how each of these types of ions make us feel.

Positive ions generally make us feel more fatigued and can actually lower our mood.  A natural source of positive ions would be a full moon, which produces this type of ion.   (Maybe there really IS something about kids being crazy when there’s a full moon!?)


Negative ions in contrast, help us feel energized, refreshed and support mental clarity.  In nature, negative ions are produced through running water (think rain, streams, rivers).  This is likely why people are drawn to these sources of water and why we often feel rejuvenated afterwards.

In our homes, ions work the same way. Sources of positive ions in our home are electronics.  Vacuums, televisions and computers are probably the biggest source of positive ions in our home.   

Heated Salt lamps actually attract the positive ions and produce negative ions.  They help change the electrical charge around the lamp. The lamp doesn’t have a big radius, which is why this doesn’t change things on a large scale. 

Negative ions also have the ability to clean harmful particles from the air. But gain, the radius and strength of these salt lamps isn’t large, which is why they’re often found in multiple rooms and areas of a home.

improve indoor air and learn how salt lamps do work


Desk/Office:  The calming light can help lower stress levels while working as well as reduce the number of positive ions from electronics nearby.

Television Area:  Usually this is an area people congregate, and it can help with calming light in contrast to the blue light that the television offers.  It can also reduce the number of positive ions produced by the television.

Bedroom/Night Light:  Because soft light is so helpful when it comes to creating the perfect sleep environment, salt lamps can be a great option due to their naturally calming tone.  They can also help attract dust particles, which can reduce allergens in a bedroom.

the best rooms to use himalayan salt lamps in plus do salt lamps work_


This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Anja

    Interesting…I love the fact that they clean the air! I always liked the look of these lamps…I think I will get one now. Thanks!

  2. Tessa Zundel

    This was really interesting! My mom has one and I’ve thought about getting one since I have so many kids – thank you for the reminder. We live in a really humid climate now and I’m wondering if the lamp will weep. (I had a bag of Real salt in my pantry and I discovered a small bit of water underneath it because the salt had pulled it out of the air!) I could probably put something ceramic underneath to catch any excess water. Hmm…things to think about!

  3. Jessica

    I love that you share right up front your skepticism for salt lamps. I, too, had some skepticism at first! You did a great job researching and sharing that knowledge with us. Thank you. Also, I absolutely LOVE the basket with chunks of salt…wow, gorgeous!

  4. Lisa Murano

    I love my salt lamps, so much that I have them in almost every room. I especially like the bedroom one for that ‘soft light’ look as a nightlight. I’m glad to know they actually are helping to remove the dust from my bedroom too since I’m allergic to dust mites. Hopefully less dust = less dust mites. It’s worth a try, right? Great post.

  5. Emily Maze

    I always love your posts! So well written and thorough! Thank you for this… and I’m already a salt lamp lover… we have 3 in our house. One in my son’s room has been AMAZING for nighttime wakeups!

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