How To Dilute Essential Oils The Right Way

How To Dilute Essential Oils The Right Way

One of the primary ways to obtain the best benefits of your favorite essential oils is to apply them to your body topically. Whether you have them massaged into your back, onto your feet, or you take a few drops and place them on the back of your neck, when diluted and mixed well, these scents can truly add something to your life.

When you mix scent to achieve a certain benefit, say relaxation, then you need a good carrier oil to blend it all together. But we will get into more detail about that later in the article. For now, let’s start learning exactly how to dilute essential oils and why it’s important to do so.

Why Should I Dilute My Essential Oils

Adding drops of oil in an amber bottle in a table with other different sizes of essential oil bottles and roses on a bamboo mat

Essential oils are volatile compounds that are extracted from plants that grow in every corner of the globe. Some of them are not as powerful as others, and there are quite a few that can cause an allergic reaction if they are applied directly. Due to the incredible power they possess, it is recommended that you dilute them accordingly.

What You Need

To complete this task, the possible ingredients are quite endless. There are more than one hundred essential oils on the market and more than twenty carrier oils in which to use as a base. So, the sky is really the limit when it comes with blends.

Still, there are general rules when it comes to making these blends and we want to lay them out for you in a way that is easy to understand. Before we get into dilution percentages, let’s look at general requirements.

2 bottles of essential oil, a pink flower below in blurry background

  • Essential oils: We realize this category is pretty wide and the term “essential oils” can mean just about anything. So, you need to think about what oils you want to use. Here are a few suggestions:
RELAXATION
PAIN RELIEF
CONGESTION

A bottle pouring oil on a bowl with oil, seeds, placed on a tile.

A bottle of oil with dropper in light background

  • Amber Bottles: These will house your blends or blended singles for the length of their use. They can also be reused time and time again. Amber bottles come in all sizes and dropper tops are an option.

violet and green cleaning towel, a liquid soap, a spray bottle

  • Rags: Things can get messy.

journal books and pencils in white background

  • A journal: This will help you when you want to recreate a scent

A real bulb placed in the middle chalk-drawn thought bubble

  • An imagination: Play around with your blends. Find scents that you love and experiment.

How To Dilute Essential Oils

First things first before you start mixing, you need to decide the blend you want to create and what you hope to achieve.

Step One – Direction

A bottle pouring oil in blurry rose background

Are you making a scent that will spark a little excitement in the bedroom or do you want something that will help you sleep? Maybe you are just looking to dilute a little oil to help ease those insect bites you got at the lake last weekend.

Whatever you choose to do, know what you are blending/diluting.

Step Two – Choose Your Essential Oil(s)

Woman dropping oil on her wrist.

Now that you have a direction, it’s time to find out what essential oils would work best to achieve your goals. Maybe you are looking for a blend that will lift your spirits. If so, then you can do some research to find those recipes that would include basil, lavender, and frankincense. Do your research, know what scents you want, and choose a few.

Step Three – Choose A Carrier Oil

coconut shells, coconut chunk in a bowl, and coconut oil on a decanter or jar on a wooden chopping board

This should be easier because there aren’t as many to choose from but pick a good carrier depending on what you are doing with it. For example, if you are making a nice lotion to apply as a moisturizer, then fractionated coconut oil is an excellent choice.

Step Four – Decide On A Strength

When thinking of how you want to dilute your essential oils, you need to think of the strength versus the job it’s intended to do. For example, if you are looking for a relaxation blend, then a dilution of 0.5% is fine. Now, if you are making a blend to ease that shoulder pain, then you might want to go a little higher for a better effect of the essential oils you are blending.

Cinnamon in knitted mat, 2 bottles of essential oil, anise, 1 bottle of oil, white flower in white background

​Dilution

​​​% 5ml bottle​ (1 tsp carrier)

​​​10ml bottle (2 tsp carrier)

​​​15ml bottle (3 tsp carrier)

​​​30ml bottle (6 tsp carrier)

0.5% >1 drop EO 1 drop EO 2 drops EO 4 drops EO
1% 1 drop EO 3 drops EO 4 drops EO 9 drops EO
2% 3 drops EO 6 drops EO 9 drops EO 18 drops EO
3% 4 drops EO 9 drops EO 13 drops EO 27 drops EO
4% 6 drops EO 12 drops EO 18 drops EO 36 drops EO
5% 7 drops EO 15 drops EO 22 drops EO 45 drops EO

This chart was put together by a company that is dedicated to essential oils and their safe usage. We don’t recommend anyone going higher than 5% for their dilutions for safety.

Step Five – Start Diluting

This is the step where we put it all together. I broke this down into a group of sub-steps.

2 Amber bottles white cover in white background

1. Put the bottle on a surface like a kitchen counter. Do not mix oils on wood surfaces or any others that can get stained for oils.

Person's hand holding Plant therapy Rose absolute essential oil pouring it on the other bottle on the sink with Young Living Lavender essential oil, dropper, carrier oil

2. Start with the first essential oil on your list and add the drops you want into the bottle. Be aware if one slips away from you. There have been plenty of times I wanted to put three drops of lavender and a fourth spilled out. It’s not that big of a deal but you have only so many drops for lesser dilutions so you need to pay attention.

An open notebook with no writing, pencil on the top in white background.

3. Make a notation in your journal. Give your blend a name and write how many drops of that oil you added to the bottle.

Person's hand holding Young Living lavender essential oil pouring it on the other bottle on the sink with dropper and carrier oil

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you are done adding the essential oil you planned and you’ve reached the appropriate number of drops to reach the limit for your dilution percentage.

Person's hand holding a carrier oil pouring it on the other bottle on the sink with dropper and Plant therapy Rose Absolute Essential oil

5. Add the carrier oil. This is where spills tend to happen so go slow. If it spills, don’t fear. Just clean it up and move on.

Person's hands holding essential oil bottle

6. Seal the bottle.

Person's hand shaking essential oil bottle on the sink

7. Shake it.

Green and orange storage boxes in wooden background

Step Six – Enjoy!

This is the best part of diluting oils. Now you get to use them and enjoy all the benefits they bring. I have several blends in my own drawer at the moment. Here are some recipes I have created that are sitting in my drawer right now.

Each of the recipes below has been put into a 15ml amber bottle.

Hair blend

Lavender + Ylang-ylang + Rose Absolute + Sweet Almond

I like to put a little of this blend into my hair after I wash it so it smells good. I should mention that I have curly hair that is pretty thick so it doesn’t get oily very easily. If you have thin hair, this blend might work for you but just use a small portion at a time. I did a dilution of 2% for this mixture.

Facial Moisturizer

Lavender + Ylang-ylang + Fractionated Coconut oil

The dilution percentage of this blend is at 0.5% because I apply it to my face and don’t want to risk a reaction. After washing my face, I put a small drop of this on my fingers and massage it in.

Relaxation Blend

Peppermint + Frankincense + Lavender + Avocado oil

I like to apply this blend to my feet when I am done for the day. The feeling of the mint penetrating my soles is quite relaxing and puts me in a good mood.

Disclaimer

When you are diluting or mixing oils, you need to be thorough with your research. Citrus oils like bergamot, orange, lemon, and lime all possess something termed as phototoxicity. This means that a user needs to avoid the sun for twelve hours after they are applied topically otherwise you will suffer a burn reaction.

Woman wearing black sleeveless top and pants, having asthma checked by a doctor.

So, it is best to apply diluted citrus oils at night. Of course, it is always important to consult a healthcare professional before using essential oils if you are planning on using them on children, pregnant or nursing women, or suffering from an illness or are on medications.

Easy Dilution

If you find you need to dilute a single stronger oil, like tea tree for some insect bites, just put less than one drop in a bowl with a teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to the area.

You might be interested in:

Keep Pests Away The Natural Way: Essential Oils As Insect Repellent- Click Here

Conclusion

Diluting oils is necessary in most cases, but more importantly, it’s a lot of fun. With all the different oils that are available, you can get creative and use your favorite scents as a base in most of your blends. Just like I have my favorite, lavender, in all my recipes above.

Of course, you don’t have to blend them. You can even dilute just one oil, it all depends on what you are going to use it for. If you know something about dilutions and blending, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below. If you know someone who would benefit from this article, please pass it along.

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