(Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Diffusing Essential Oils
We’re often asked about how to choose, use, and care for an essential oil diffuser, and we want you to have the information you need to make a great decision! Here are the answers to many of the questions you’ve asked us over the years.
Why choose an atomizing diffuser instead of one that uses heat or water?
The nebulizing diffusers that we recommend use only cool air to naturally atomize the essential oils without damaging their molecular structure or powerful therapeutic properties.
Some aromatherapy experts suggest that the beneficial chemical compounds in essential oils (especially the cold-pressed citrus oils) can be altered and damaged by heat. Heat-based diffusers also tend to have a limited coverage area and offer scent alone, rather than the full range of aromatherapeutic benefits found in most essential oils. The heated molecules that do make it into the air tend to be larger and are usually filtered out in the nose rather than passing through into the body.
We choose to offer nebulizing diffusers because they are very efficient, capable of covering far more cubic feet than the water diffusers. The added humidity from water diffusers is typically undesirable, unless you reside in a very dry area and need the extra moisture in a targeted area.
How often should I clean my diffuser?
With regular daily use, you might want to clean your diffuser once a week or so. If you notice a decrease in output, or have been using an especially viscous oil, you may need to clean more frequently. If you intend to not use your diffuser for an extended period or are packing it away for storage, you should always clean it first.
Do I need to clean out my diffuser when switching oils?
Unless you want to make a point of diffusing only one scent at a time, you do not have to clean out the diffuser or empty the bottle when switching.
How should I clean the diffuser atomizer on my Breeze?
Quick clean: Simply diffuse Lemon or Orange essential oils (they’re natural cleaners!).
Deeper clean: First, unscrew the atomizer from the bottle and disconnect from the tubing and air pump (never submerge the air pump!). Submerge the atomizer nozzle in either hot soapy water or rubbing alcohol for one hour. If you see visible clogs, you might try gently loosening it with a small pointed tool such as a safety pin. If any residue is left after soaking, run rubbing alcohol through the diffuser very briefly (about a minute or so) in a well-ventilated area to help loosen any leftover residue. Let the atomizer dry thoroughly before reassembling and once again diffusing essential oils.
Does the specific oil used affect how often I’ll need to clean the diffuser?
Yes! Some oils are thicker than others and, over time, can gum up the diffuser’s passageways. Oils that are more resinous, such as Myrrh, can build up faster than a more slippery, quick-diffusing oil such as Eucalyptus. You will probably have to clean out the diffuser more often with the “stickier” oils.
How fast do essential oils diffuse?
There is no clear answer to this question, because it depends on many factors, including the viscosity of the specific oil and the rate of air flow in the diffuser. Output will also vary somewhat with oil volatility, humidity in the air, and ambient air temperature.
Can I add water or carrier oils to the diffuser to help extend my expensive essential oils?
NO. If you are using a nebulizing diffuser from Beeyoutiful.com, never diffuse essential oils that have been mixed with anything else! You can diffuse a combination of essential oils, of course, but do not add water, carrier oils, or any other liquid.
If you want to extend the diffusing power of a bottle of a more expensive essential oil, consider pairing it with a more economical kind (such as Eucalyptus or Orange) to stretch it a bit. Of course, make sure the fragrances are compatible!
Water and oil do not mix, and our nebulizing diffusers are not built to diffuse the two together.
Carrier oils are great for “carrying” the essential oils across the skin in topical uses, but the natural composition of carrier oils is much different than that of essential oils and they should never be diffused. Carriers are typically made up of less refined liquid waxes and fatty acids, rather than being a single true distilled oil in the way that most essential oils are. The heavier chemical structure of carriers such as Almond or Jojoba Oil does not lend itself to diffusion and inhalation, and will result in a damaged nebulizer and a sticky mess in the air and on surrounding furniture. (You would probably not disperse a can of non-stick pan spray into the air in your home!)
How large an area can my diffuser cover?
The Breeze can cover 1500 square feet of open area. If your home is divided into smaller rooms, you will likely need to move the diffuser around for best coverage.
The Aromis diffuser will cover about 900 square feet of open area. If your home is divided into smaller rooms, you will likely need to move the diffuser around for best coverage.
Will it hurt my diffuser if it runs when the oil bottle is empty?
No. Because there is no heat involved in the oil reservoir, it won’t be damaged. However, we recommend that you do turn off the machine when not in use, to extend the life of the air pump.
Is there a timer? How can I make it intermittent?
The Aromis diffusers have built-in timer settings. The Breeze has no internal timer; however, you can plug the diffuser into an external appliance timer (available at hardware stores) that then plugs into the electrical outlet.
Will I get the most benefit from my essential oils by running the diffuser intermittently, rather than continuously?
The answer depends on your objective. For example, if you’re diffusing Eucalyptus to attempt to kill mold spores in a problem area, or you’re trying to “fumigate” an enclosed space against spiders and other creepy crawlies, then non-stop diffusing for several hours (even a day or more) can be beneficial. If you’re looking for aromatherapy benefits, or to freshen the air in the home, then intermittent is ideal.
Is it safe to diffuse essential oils around children and pets?
Some oils are very kid-friendly (see some suggestions here), and others are decidedly not. Some essential oils are extremely toxic to animals. Please consult a reliable essential oil reference book (here’s our recommendation) or a certified aromatherapist about the specific oils you have in mind, always taking into consideration age, current health issues, and medications when choosing oils. You’ll need to consult an animal-centered resource to see what’s appropriate for your pets.
How readily available are replacement parts for my diffuser?
We keep some replacement parts on hand; please contact us to confirm what we currently have in stock. We do not carry plastic tubing for the Breeze, but it is easy to find at hardware stores.
- Pros: Durable, sturdy, hard to break (kid-friendly!). Travels well. Inexpensive. Long run time when drawing from a full bottle. Quieter than some diffusers. One year warranty.
- Cons: Requires a stand (included, fits .5oz bottle, also included) for the oil bottle, or else be careful not to knock it over. No built-in timer.
- Pros: Built-in timer. Sleek, classic design.
- Cons: Includes delicate, breakable components. Higher price.
We’ve done our best to answer frequent questions based on our own years of experience using diffusers in our homes. If you don’t see an answer to your question, please give us a call at 1-877-623-3968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help you out!
Want more info?
- Read about 6 Crucial Things You Need to Know BEFORE Using Essential Oils.
- Sign up for our free 101 Practical Uses for Essential Oils email series.
- Read about our essential oils and how they’re made.
- See all of our posts about essential oils here.