Years ago I was introduced to essential oils as a way to help ease muscle pain from an old injury. It’s effectiveness made me look deeper into how it could be used, and essential oils quickly became a regular household supplement. Everything from cleaning solutions to wound healing can benefit from their use, but what I’m focused on today is how to diffuse essential oils so you can make it a regular part of your everyday decor.
Diffusion helps dissipate microscopic droplets of essential oils throughout the space your diffuser is placed within. Many oils have the ability to help calm, focus, and destress the mind, making diffusion a helpful practice indeed.
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Why Diffuse Essential Oils?
Not only do they make your house and office smell good, but essential oils have a wide array of health benefits you can take advantage of. Their incredible array of compounds travel through your bloodstream when inhaled and work to promote moods, help provide antioxidant properties, and also work to alleviate inflammation.
Not all oils should be diffused, although most can be. Be sure to use trustworthy oil distributors that provide pure oil and oil blends and also provide transparency in reference to third party testing. Some companies worth considering are doTerra, Young Living, Plant Therapy, and Rocky Mountain Oils, to name a few.
Diffusers can also be a great addition to your decor. The designs and lighting they add to a space can be customized through your own personal choices and be an integral part of your home display areas.
Which Diffuser Should I Choose?
Not all diffusers are made the same and there are a few that are more efficient than others. If you want to take advantage of strong diffusion, you want to choose either a nebulizer or ultrasonic diffuser.
Reed and ceramic clay diffusers are effective for small, intimate areas, such as when you want to take advantage of oils next to a bed or at your workspace. But they don’t work well in large spaces. Car diffusers are the same: they are made for small spaces and work off your car’s power to apply oils to the air.
Nebulizers are glass blown designs that use pressurized air to pull oils through narrow tubing to be dispersed into the air through gentle ultrasonic vibrations. They do not require any water to be added and are whisper quiet when running.
Ultrasonic diffusers use water and oil to create a fine mist that distributes oils into the surrounding air. They come in many shapes, sizes, and designs, and many times have various speed control as well as lighting. They are also very budget-friendly and introduce moisture into the air as they run. Some models are made as a dual humidifier, diffuser option.
Although I find nebulizers to be beautiful, ultrasonic models are better equipped to turn on and off in a busy household, and work within the rooms they are utilized in.
What You Need to Diffuse Oils
- Diffuser of Your Choice
- Essential Oils of Your Choice
This article is specific to ultrasonic diffusers. I’ll make a note on how other diffusers work below, but I love the variety of ultrasonic options to fit my decor, plus they are affordable for when you want to place them in more than one room in the house. The lighting option many come with are also a nice touch, especially if you have young children, and the larger, more powerful designs made for humidifying purposes is an especially nice touch.
What to Remember
Just because essential oils are natural, you don’t want to make assumptions about their safety- especially when children and pets are concerned. You also shouldn’t just run a diffuser all day and night. Take into account the following tips to ensure you are using a diffuser in a safe manner:
- Not all oils are safe to diffuse, and allergies can occur. Oly use oils that states that they can be diffused on the label, and if you think you might be sensitive to a new oil, always run a skin test in advance. You also want to take into account what oils may be toxic to pets.
- Don’t use citrus oils in plastic. Over time this can begin to break down the plastic and disrupt how well it works.
- Always use pure, undiluted oils in a diffuser. Many oils may already be diluted with a carrier oil of some sort. These will still be labeled as 100% oil, but only have a small amount of the pure essential oil included. The problem with these oils is that the carrier oil may clog up your diffuser and stop it from working.
- I made this mistake once, unknowingly, and gummed up a part in the diffuser that moved with the water level for automatic shutoff. It didn’t shut off and created a water leak that could have started a fire. This never would have occurred with an undiluted oil.
- Run your diffuser for 20 to 40 minutes up to 3 times a day. This is all it takes to saturate a room with oils, and since many of them will be effective for up to 4 hours, you don’t need to run the unit continually to take advantage of their benefits
- Be sure to have a plan in place for any spills that may occur. Accidents happen and you don’t want your unit where a spill can create an electrical issue. Also, always diffuse on a flat surface with nothing beneath your unit.
Step 1: Make Sure Your Unit it Plugged In
Before getting started, make sure the unit is plugged in. Some plugs fit under the housing, while others still may be permanently attached. You don’t want to have to be moving a diffuser filled with water around to try and get the plugin. This raises the chance you may have a spill.
Step 2: Fill to Max Water Line
Fill your unit to the max fill line with either tap water or distilled water. Distilled water is preferred because you won’t have to clean it out as often due to a lack of minerals and other residues that are often left behind on the plastic during diffusion.
Most max lines are located on the outside of the housing, but you may also find the line inside. Never fill above the line as it will interrupt the diffusion strength and not create much of a mist to carry the oils.
Step 3: Add Appropriate Amount of Oils
Picking and choosing your oils is the fun part! You can use favorite singles, blends, or even create your own blend options depending on how you feel and what effects you are looking for! Add 5 to 10 drops of oil per 100 ml of water depending on the strength you prefer. This is generally enough to run your unit multiple times a day without running out of water.
Step 4: Turn On
Turn your unit on! They don’t run very loudly, and are almost impossible to hear, so if you need assurance it is working- simply look for the fine mist that will appear almost immediately after turning on. You also should begin to smell the oils fairly quickly as it will rapidly begin to disperse within your space.
Step 5: Turn on Lighting if Desired
If you have a lighting option have fun allowing it to cycle through various colors or choose your own. Depending on the model you have it may have an automatic turn off, or turn on and off independent from the diffusion. This works great as a nightlight in young children’s rooms, bathrooms, or a way to light up a living area with a soft glow each night.
Using a Reed Diffuser
Although not a strong source of oil diffusion, if you want to diffuse without a diffuser, a reed option is a great way to allow oil to evaporate into an immediate area. All you have to do is add oil (with or without a carrier) to a bottle and drop in reeds. The reed then pulls oil up through their length. They don’t last a very long time, but are easy to make and customize on your own for your own decorative purposes.
Using a Car Diffuser
Car diffusers are small, ultrasonic models that work with water and oil to apply brief bursts of oil through the air as you drive. These are very effective, but require regular cleaning and refilling since they don’t hold much. Use them as you would a larger diffuser and take care not to spill into your car’s outlet.
If you want to add an interesting, and useful, piece of decor to your home or office, a diffuser is an excellent choice. No matter what kind you choose, if you can smell the oils you have chosen, you are reaping their many benefits. Ultrasonic diffusers are by far the most popular due to their affordability and many stylistic choices, but don’t rule out the delicate beauty of a nebulizer, or even the fun, whimsical addition a reed diffuser can bring to your decor.
I prefer ultrasonic models since they also serve as a humidifier, and can be purchased with that need in mind. For example, I have a humidifier/diffuser that is specifically made for high amounts of mist to be released into my children’s room. This is an amazing tool for when we are dealing with respiratory illnesses that require humid conditions for healing. A few drops of anti- inflammatory oils and those that help open up the sinuses work wonders. Plus, they love the changing light option.
If you have any questions or comments please let us know below. And, as always, please share!