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Essential Oil Diffusers 101 – All You Need to Know to Get Started

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Essential oils eliminate odors, purify the air, and help you relax. One of the most popular ways to use essential oils is in essential oil diffusers

We’ve talked about essential oils a bit here before. Mainly I’ve shared our favorite essential oil blends for each season and how to scent your home naturally with essential oils. One of the most popular ways to use essential oils is in essential oil diffusers. These amazing little devices break down the oil into tiny modules and disperse them through the air. When you inhale the oils, these molecules enter the bloodstream almost instantly. Since the integrity of the oil stays intact, you get the full therapeutic benefits from the oils.


Types of Essential Oil Diffusers

The main types of diffusers are:

Heat diffuser

There are two types of heat diffusers. One type uses a candle to produce heat and the other is electric. To use fill the small bowl with water, add a few drops of oil and then turn it on or light the candle underneath the bowl.

Evaporative diffusers

This type uses a fan to evaporate and disperse the oil. Simply place the oil on the filter or pad and turn on the fan.


This diffuser uses water and ultrasonic vibrations to disperse a fine mist containing essential oil molecules into the air. It can also double as a humidifier.


This type of diffuser is the most powerful of all and it’s perfect for large areas since it sprays a powerful mist into the air. Since it doesn’t use water there is nothing to prepare so it’s easy to use. Simply attach the bottle of oil to the diffuser and set the timer.

Reed diffusers

This is the simplest diffuser of all. Place the reeds in a vase or jar with water and essential oils. Over time they will absorb the oil and disperse the aroma into the air. Flip the reeds over occasionally to enjoy the amazing fragrance.

Tips for Getting Started with Essential Oil Diffusers

Now that you know a little about the main types of essential oil diffusers available, here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • Choose your oils carefully and always use high quality pure oils in your diffuser for the best results.
  • Some of the most popular oils used in diffusers are lavender, frankincense, ylang ylang, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemon. Keep in mind that some oils are too strong for children and should not be used in a diffuser if you have kids.
  • Essential oils are very potent so start with three or four drops. You can always add more if needed but using too much oil or using for long periods of time can cause problems such as burning eyes, nausea and headaches.
  • Diffuse the oils for approximately 30 minutes every two to three hours for the best results. There is no need to use a diffuser constantly.
  • Don’t mix the essential oils with carrier oil when diffusing. You only need carrier oils when you use essential oils topically.
  • When using a heat diffuser, don’t get the oil too hot because it will destroy the molecules making the essential oil less effective.
  • If your diffuser uses a candle, keep the oils away from the flame because they are flammable.
  • If your diffuser uses water, be sure to keep it filled when in use. Empty and wash the water container after each use and use distilled water because it won’t leave a mineral residue like tap water does.
  • Clean your diffuser regularly with distilled white vinegar and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the device.

Diffusing essential oils have many benefits. Depending on which oils you use, a diffuser can eliminate odors, purify the air, help you relax and help create a peaceful environment for sleeping. They also come in a variety of shapes, styles and sizes making it easy to find one that matches your décor and budget.

Do you have a favorite essential oil diffuser?

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