Best Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils

13 Top Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils

Aromatherapy (diffusing essential oils) helps to stimulate the nervous system and provides a host of health benefits including creating a stress-free environment, relieving tension, providing energy, improving mental clarity, clearing nasal passages and reducing bacteria, fungus, mold from your home.

Diffusing essential oils disperses the oils into the air filling the room with a wonderful scent. Other methods of adding scent to your house which include plug-ins, room deodorizers and most regular candles are very toxic. Using essential oils for aroma is non-toxic with the added benefits of being therapeutic and healthy for you. There are even essential oils that kill germs, so there is no need to use that toxic spray to kill 99.9% bacteria, just mist some essential oils.


1. Terracotta Pendant (Neck and Room) Diffuser

  • Essential oil of your choice
  • Terracotta Pendant

Terracotta is wonderful because it hold the aroma longer. These pendants can either be worn around your neck, allowing you to inhale the molecules as they evaporate. These pendants can also be hung in the bathroom, closet or your car. Replace your toxic hanging pine tree that you have in your car, with a healing essential oil terracotta pendant.

Advantages: It is a portable diffuser that you can conveniently bring anywhere you go. They are wonderful to put your signature scent, of peppermint to keep you alert, or antiviral and/or antibacterial oils to protect yourself from airborne bacteria, or to help with a specific therapeutic issue. I think they make great gifts for any of your health loving friends.

Disadvantages: Of course they can break, but there really isn’t any big disadvantages. They are not expensive and are wonderful to have at least one of them on hand.


2. Nebulizer

  • Essential oil of your choice
  • Nebulizer

A nebulizer consists of a foundation (the pump) along with a glass nebulizer that processes the essential oils and releases a very fine mist delivering atomized microscopic oil particles into the air. A nebulizer is one of the best methods for therapeutic benefits, inhalation and is readily absorbed into the body.

I have had many different diffusers and have encountered a host of issues. The nebulizer is my diffuser of choice to fill the room with aroma.

Advantages: The temperature of the oils does not change. The atoms generated are miniature and find their way deeper into the lungs – for addressing respiratory issues.

Disadvantages: The price is midrange. The more expensive versions include a timer. The glass piece is fragile and can break. If you are clumsy like I am, it might get expensive to replace. When purchasing a nebulizer determine if you can buy replacement glass. You will need to clean it once in a while. The unit may be clogged by heavy oils. If you experience issues with a heavy oil that you want to use, try to mix it with a lighter oil.

3. Ultrasonic Cool Mist Diffuser

  • Essential oil of your choice
  • Ultrasonic Mist Diffuser
  • Water

The mist diffuser produces a cool fine mist. The fine mist of fine molecules consisting of water and essential oils are distributed into the air and will fill a large room with a wonderful aroma. It adds healthy essential oils along with moisture.

Advantages: The unit does not require a lot of oils. It is easy to clean after use.

Disadvantages: They can be the most expensive. You must clean it after every use to keep it running well! Some models are noisy and do not have a quiet mode for beeping. Some units will beep when you are running low on water and when they shut off. One of mine did not have a silence mode, I couldn’t run it when I was sleeping because it would run out of water before the morning, and the beeping would wake me up. Some units do not have automatic shut-off either, so you will have to monitor it. If you are going to by an Ultrasonic Mist Diffuser spend the money and get all the bells and whistles.


4. Candle Method

  • Essential oils of your choice
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Candle (Natural Candles)

Why are regular candles bad for your health?

  1. Put 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) into a bowl. If you desire a stronger aroma, you can add more essential oil.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp. (14 g) Grapeseed oil to the ceramic bowl. Gently blend the oils together. Mixing the essential oil(s) with a carrier oil will extend the fragrance of the oil, therefore, eliminating the need to reapply as often.
  3. Using your fingers rub the oil mixture over the entire natural candle avoiding the wick. Let the essential oils site in for at least an hour before lighting the candle.
  4. Light the candle and enjoy the aroma and ambiance.


5. Tea Light Diffusers

  • Essential oil of your choice
  • Small ceramic or soapstone container (lead-free)
  • Water
  • Tealight Candle (non-toxic)

The steam will fill the area with the wonderful aroma of the essential oils. Add extra drops as needed when the aroma starts to fade.

  1. Filled the small ceramic or stone container with hot water
  2. Light the tealight candle
  3. Add a few drops of essential oil to the water, more or less based on your preference.

Advantages: It is quiet, easy to use and affordable. You can find very affordable uncomplicated functional models, or wonderful handcrafted artisan diffusers which tend to be costly.

Disadvantages: You will need to keep away from children, the water gets hot, and you are using a candle. You must buy replacement candles. They are breakable.


6. Room Freshener Spray

  • Essential oil of your choice
  • Spray Bottle
  • Distilled Water
  • High Proof Alcohol(Vodka or Grain)

The alcohol is used as an emulsifier to help the water and oil mix. It also allows the oil aroma to stay suspended in the air longer.

  1. Use a 4oz glass spray bottle.
  2. Add 1.5 oz of distilled water
  3. Add 1.5 oz of High Proof Alcohol (Vodka or Grain)
  4. Add 20-40 drops of your favorite Essential Oils.
  5. Shake well (shake well before every use)

Advantages: Spritzing into the air will freshen a room quickly and will masks any bad odors. It also provides benefits to relaxing a hyper dog, and help the kids calm down at night before bed and is great to use for energetic work. No heat, electricity or batteries needed and it’s mobile.

Disadvantages: If you are making a large quantity then, you should use a glass bottle for storage. Plastic is okay for short-term storage, but over time will the essentials oil deteriorate the plastic.

7. Fan Diffuser

  • Essential oil of your choice
  • Fan Diffuser

These diffusers use a fan that blows air into a disposable pad that contains essential oils. Great to use in a bedroom with relaxing oils to fill the bedroom with aromas before going to bed.

Advantages: The aroma begins to fill the air quickly, not having to wait for any heat. Easy to use and not dangerous for children. There are inexpensive models that work wonderful.

Disadvantages: The moving air dries out the disposable pads and evaporates the oils fast, especially the lighter top note oils. They have motors to run the fans, they all have some sound, but some models are noisier than others. The pads need to be often replaced, and you will have to purchase replacement pads. Also, you should use a different pad for each oil.


8. Electric or Plug-in Diffuser

  • Essential oil of your choice
  • Plug-in or Electric Diffuser

There are electric diffusers that have plates that you fill or plug-in units for the wall and car chargers that you place the oil on a pad. They use low heat to evaporate the essential oils into the air.

Advantages: They are quiet, inexpensive to purchase and easy to use.

Disadvantages: If you buy one with pads you will periodically need to change the pads. Therefore, you will need to purchase replacement pads. You will also need different pads for different scents.

9. Reed Diffusers

  • Essential oil of your choice (30 drops)
  • 1/4 cup carrier oil
  • Glass vase with narrow opening
  • 4-5 reed diffuser sticks OR bamboo skewers
  1. Mix the essential oils and carrier oil together in a glass container. Lighter oils are better to use for reeds because the travel up the sticks faster. If you want to use a heavier oil then use a little high-proof alcohol (Vodka or Grain)
  2. Place the reed diffuser sticks OR bamboo skewers in the container. It takes a while for the oil to penetrate the sticks.
  3. Flip the sticks every few days to refresh the scent. The container with a narrow-opening will slow down evaporation.

Advantages: Does not need to be plugged in, or refilled as often as some of the other diffusers. Easy to keep up. Once you create a mixture, you can flip the sticks over once every few days.

Disadvantages: When the reeds become completely saturated you will need to replace them. It is also a mild aroma, which can be an advantage as well if that is what you are trying to achieve.

10. Simmering Water Diffuser

  • Essential oil of your choice
  • Water
  • Pan
  • Stove
  1. Put water in the pan
  2. Put several drops of essential oils
  3. Simmer water all day (Check to make sure there is always water.)

Advantage: Do not need to purchase equipment. The only additional cost other than the oils is the price to run your stove.

Disadvantage: Due to oil and water not mixing very well and the ratio of water to oil the scent is very faint. The heat may destroy some of the healing properties in the oils, but is still beneficial for any aromatic health concerns you are working on (e.g. stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, tiredness.

11. Hot Water Method

  • Essential oils of your choice
  • Ceramic bowl
  • Kettle
  • Towel or cutting board
  1. Boil the water on the stove. Using a tea kettle is preferable. When the water starts to boil, remove it from the heat and let the water cool down while you prepare a bowl of your favorite essential oil(s). You want the water steaming, but not too hot that it will scald and destroy the oils.
  2. Put 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) into a ceramic bowl. If you desire a stronger aroma, you can add more essential oil. Place this bowl on either a towel or wooden cutting board in advance in the desired location. Having the bowl in place in advance makes it easier to pour the hot water out of the tea kettle, which will reduce the risk of burn. The towel or wooden cutting board will protect the surface from moisture.
  3. Fill a third of the bowl with the hot water from the tea kettle. The steam will diffuse the essential oils aroma into your room.

Advantage: Do not need to purchase equipment. The only additional cost other than the oils is the price to run your stove.

Disadvantage: Due to oil and water not mixing very well and the ratio of water to oil the scent is very faint. The heat may destroy some of the healing properties in the oils, but is still beneficial for any aromatic health concerns you are working on (e.g. stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, tiredness.

12. Tissue Method

  • Essential Oil of your choice
  • Tissue

The tissue method will will allow you to smell it whenever you need to inhale your essential oil(s). I put my tissue in my purse and pull it out an take a deep breath whenever I want some energy. The added benefit is my purse takes on the aroma and always smells wonderful. Don’t blow your nose with it, or you will have to make another one. You can even place the tissue it in the vent of your car. This will take the place of any toxic car fresheners.

  1. Put 2-3 drops of essential oil on a tissue.
  2. Add 1 drop whenever you need to refresh it.
  3. Sniff often
  4. Insert in car vent

Advantages: Virtually no cost. It is always available and in public places, at work, on a plane, on a bus, etc. Place your tissue in your vent to wake you up on your morning commute. I always carry my peppermint oil with me and use it every morning. I have a plug-in car diffuser, but I like using the tissue in the vent much better, if I’m going to have it on.

Disadvantages: This will not fill up the whole room with the sent, it will be your personnel aroma.

13. Bathtub Aroma

Add a several drops of oil in your bathtub. This will diffuse the oils and create a wonderful aroma in the bathroom and nearby rooms. I always add a few drops of lavender essential oil into my son’s bathtub to get him relaxed for bed. He is a very active little boy. It works wonders to calm him down and to have a restful nights sleep!

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