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How to Diffuse Essential Oils

Updated on June 20, 2013
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What is Essential Oil Diffusion?

Diffusion is the commonly used term of spreading the essential oil fragrance more widely through the air and may be done in many different ways.

Having these aromatic molecules of scent wafting through the home is common in many homes and even businesses. They may be used anywhere from churches, schools, hotels, even your car.

Essential Oils have many uses and benefits in Aromatherapy, skin care and even around the home but how can you benefit from diffusing these oils?

Different oils have different effects and benefits when diffused. Here are some key examples:

Diffusion of Scent

create your own fragrance blend of essential oils with petals and citrus slices in a room freshener.
create your own fragrance blend of essential oils with petals and citrus slices in a room freshener. | Source

Relief from Headaches

diffusers can help ease headaches, migraines and tension.
diffusers can help ease headaches, migraines and tension. | Source

Benefits of Diffusion

  • Kills air born germs and viruses
  • Provides fragrance to rooms
  • Air fresheners
  • Masks odors and stale smells
  • Creates Ambiance
  • Relaxing
  • Invigorating
  • Helps treat insomnia
  • Stress relief
  • Migraine relief
  • Feel good factor
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Stimulates the brain
  • Improves concentration

Safety When Diffusing Essential Oils

These oils are volatile and potent and this should always be remembered when using in any form. When planning on using as scent in a work space, when receiving guests in your home or any space that will see groups of people, always be mindful of what is good for you may not be so for others.

People may have allergies, reactions or find particular aromas off putting. Whilst the quantities that reach the body may be small, it is something to be very aware of, especially around the elderly and children who may be more vulnerable to fragrances. Choose your scents carefully or leave for another occasion.

Ways to Diffuse Oils ~

On a Tissue

For a quick and easy diffusion method pop a few drops of your essential oil of choice onto a paper tissue. This may be used in a variety of ways including down your bra, on your desk in work, in your car or on public transport.

Pick oils that are good for alertness for example for the car and work space. This method is cheap, portable and instant. It is a good choice if you love perfume but find it irritates your skin but obviously would need reapplying every hour or so to maintain the scent.

Room Spray Diffuser

Easily made with a glass spray container, fill the container with distilled, filtered, bottled or mineral water. The amount of drops you add depends on the size of container. Add 5-6 drops of EO for every oz of water for a 1% dilution and for a 2% dilution add 10-12 drops. I would not recommend adding a higher dilution ratio.

Always add drops a few at a time and try first, before adding more. Especially when trying a fragrance for the first time.

Room sprays are another quick and easy method for an instant lift to a space which does not need a heat source, batteries or electricity to produce oil diffusion. For this method a dark glass bottle is highly recommended as essential oils over time may disintegrate plastic containers. Only use plastic for short term use.

Pendant Diffuser

A terracotta pendant is one type of pendant diffusers available and works in the same way as tissue on your person would. The pendant worn around the neck has a few drops of oil added and would need top ups regularly as it is most concentrate when first applied.

Perfect for those who cannot wear fragrance on their skin but loves to have the smell of it. The pendants make great gift ideas for friends and family you know would appreciate this form of perfume wearing and there are many different types of pendant diffusers available.

Oil Burner Diffuser

Used in conjunction with unscented tea lights, this diffuser method has been popular for many years. Placing the tea light under the ceramic dish, add some water to the dish. Add 5-8 drops of essential oil and light the candle safely. The heat from the candle will enable the aroma from the oil to be carried through the air as it vaporizes.

These oil diffusers are readily available from ultra cheap to expensive and when selecting one make sure the bowl will take a cup of water, egg cup size is useless! Oil burners need obvious attention to keep topped up, to replace tea lights and not allowed to burn dry and risk cracking your burner.

They should always be placed in a suitable location out of children and pets reach since the water gets hot. The essential oil will need topping up, particularly the lighter top notes including lemon and orange. The heavier scents including patchouli, vetiver and sandalwood will last longer.

Fan Diffuser

These simple diffusers, blow cool air across a disposable pad which has about 6 drops of essential oil added. If you want a few scents you use one pad per fragrance. The beauty of this is it requires no heat or candles, is safe in the home and is portable around the home as it plugs in. The pads will dry out quickly if using light oils so it is more cost effective to use the heavier oils which evaporate at a slower rate.

Small Plug-In Diffusers

These are similar to the branded room fragrance diffusers many are familiar with. These ones are plugged into the wall using low heat to diffuse the aroma and may be used in the car charger unit. Refill pads are available and a new one should be used each time you use a new fragrance or the pad may have some of the previously used oil on it. The pads only need 1-2 drops of essential oil on them.

Ultrasonic Mist Diffuser

This form delivers a fine mist of broken down particles of essential oils. Once purchased, it is a clean, safe economical way of using the oils and you save on the oil too as only 1 or 2 drops is all that is needed for a small room and maximum 5 in large spaces. Being potable it is great to have in the bathroom as you relax in a long essential oil soak.

Nebulizer Diffuser

This is often the preferred diffuser by aromatherapists for utilizing the healing properties of essential oils through inhalation and absorption. Nebulizers process essential oil into a near gas like state as tiny minute particles. You simply pour oil into the glass cylinder and switch on. They are not the quietest when powered on and I wouldn’t recommend in a room that needs to be quiet.

Dried Lavender

dried lavender makes wonderful natural products including sachets, infused oils, potpourri and for culinary dishes.
dried lavender makes wonderful natural products including sachets, infused oils, potpourri and for culinary dishes. | Source

Essential Oil Diffusing Ideas

Lavender – relaxing and healing it helps in a great variety of ways including insomnia, migraines, stress relief, skin care and has antimicrobial properties.

Grapefruit - for exhaustion, headaches, mental fatigue and depression.

Cassis – for low energy, colds, flu, fever and chills.

Eucalyptus – for hay fever, bronchitis and flu.

Cinnamon – colds, coughs and flu.

Frankincense – headaches, pneumonia and bronchitis.

Marjoram – for nervous tension, anxiety, exhaustion, colds, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, stress, poor circulation and insomnia.

Wild Orange – colds, flu, nervous tension and for children at bedtime.

Lemongrass – energizes body and mind, relieves fatigue, nervousness and is a great insect repellent.

Ylang-Ylang – induces calming and relaxing atmosphere.

Peppermint – improves concentration and accuracy, great when studying.

The Power of Rose Petals

beautiful to look at, to smell, is an edible flower and has beneficial skin care properties. Roses are a firm favorite across the world.
beautiful to look at, to smell, is an edible flower and has beneficial skin care properties. Roses are a firm favorite across the world. | Source

Fragrant Petals

petals, water and a few drops of essential oil is an easy and inexpensive way to create an ambiance.
petals, water and a few drops of essential oil is an easy and inexpensive way to create an ambiance. | Source

Other Ways to Diffuse Fragrance

Homemade Air Freshener

This is an easy method of introducing perfume scent of essential oils mixed with other ingredients including cinnamon sticks, cloves, slices of orange, lemons, vanilla pods, rosemary and lavender buds. It is as easy as boiling a large pan of water and adding aromatic ingredients, including some essential oils which will diffuse into the air leaving a lovely lingering scent. Why not make your own lavender oil by infusing dried lavender in olive oil? For a full recipe and ideas check out How tomake a homemade air freshener.

Petals in Bowl

Another simple idea that is easily done is placing rose petals in a bowl, pouring over water and adding a few drops of rose or rose geranium essential oil. Instead of water you could add rosewater or even make your own rosewater as shown in rosewater and lemon face wash. A bowl of petals looks good even as a table centerpiece or placed around the home but be careful to keep it away from pets and young children. Another option is dried lavender with a few drops of lavender essential oil is gorgeous for the summer season.

Potpourri

Dried fruits, herbs, spices, plants, seeds, petals, flowers and essential oils may all be added into potpourri. This form of fragrance is incredibly popular with bags upon bags being manufactured and many will be in particular color combinations. Making your own natural potpourri is so much more authentic and saves you quite a few bucks as it is not the cheapest item when buying regularly. Have a fresh, invigorating aroma with some floral notes during spring and summer months with a more warm, rich and spicy choice for the colder wintery seasons.

Potpourri and Spices in Morocco

be inspired from the scents in the spice markets that sell homemade potpourri.
be inspired from the scents in the spice markets that sell homemade potpourri. | Source

Do you ever diffuse essential oils?

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5 out of 5 stars from 6 ratings of How to Diffuse Essential Oils

"Creating health awareness through homemade beauty solutions"

Oil Burner Diffuser

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

If you fancy any more of my homemade beauty recipes you can check them all out @ my homemade skin care recipes board on Pinterest.

Credit to homesteadbound ~

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

How to Diffuse Essential Oils Comments

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    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm back once more Suzie...it's been 2 years. I'm a huge lover of essential oils and recently purchased a lovely mist diffuser from my health food store. I just add a few drops of lavender oil into the water, plug it in and it runs for hours filling my room with a relaxing aroma.

      This hub is one of my favorites and I've saved it to refer to now and then. You've covered so much information...I'm inspired. Will share with others and pin to my board.

      Hugs,

      Audrey

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Suzie, this is an interesting article on essentials oils with aromatherapy. I've always wanted to try and do it someday. Thanks for sharing.

    • longlongway profile image

      longlongway 3 years ago

      Essential Oil Diffusers have been a mainstay in our home for several years. This is a great bit of knowledge.

      Thanks!

      Chad

      http://teatreeoilhq.com

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Vespa,

      I hope the new job goes well starting something new is always exciting! Thank you so much for your lovely words, you have been such a support from the beginning and you are someone I respect and admire greatly. You moved to a new country (one of my all time must see places as you know) met the challenges there and you cook the most amazing recipes! Thanks again my friend for everything, have a great week!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Suzanne, this is a new job. It wasn't what we were looking for--just fell into our laps. But I'm looking forward to a change and the oils will surely promote a cheery working environment! I also appreciated your information on considerate use of oils so as not to bother others. I'm always blown away by your wealth of knowledge and feel privileged to have met you on HubPages. : )

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Vespa,

      Is this a new job? Hope it goes well for you! having something that will not cause a general dispersal of scent is useful in an office environment, particularly citrus as you say to keep you alert and energized. peppermint is good too for a change. So many oils to choose from, I am sure you will have fun experimenting and if you are driving any distance to work the tissue is great too for that. Appreciate your support as always my friend!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I'm going to be working in an office environment soon, so this information will be very helpful. I've used oil burner diffusers before, but never even considered the tissue method which would be simple. I'm going to look into the mister. I love ylang ylang so I'm happy to know that it promotes a calming and relaxing atmosphere. I'll refer this list when I need a citrus oil pick-me-up. Thanks so much!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Lady_E,

      Lovely to have you join me here, appreciate your visit and comments. Your fragrance choices I LOVE, Jasmine and Lavender are two of my favorites and Tangerine or Orange so invigorating. Thanks so much for your interest, really good of you!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 4 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks. I enjoyed reading this and regularly use lavender / Jasmine or Tangerine Oil in a burner. It's interesting to read some new methods. E.g the Ultra Sonic Mist Diffuser.

      Healthy Hub. :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Eddy,

      Always a great sightseeing your smiley face! Appreciate your interest, votes and comments!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Dirt Farmer,

      I remember Pier ! stock here it was fabulous! Remember it always had great displays and color co-ordination of products. Enjoy trying a few new diffuser types out!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rose,

      Welcome and many thanks for visit and commenting, you are such a great supporter and it has really meant a great deal and does so still. Have fun and diffuse safely!!!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vocalcoach,

      Great to have you stop by and take time to comment! Essential oils are so yummy knowing the ways to diffuse them is handy. So good of you giving this ticks, shares and pinning it!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi alogsinquito,

      Many thanks for your stopping by and commenting. So glad you found the info useful and cheers for the thumbs up!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Stephanie,

      So good to see you and thanks for your comments! Great to know you found useful and picked up a tip or two! Cheers again!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      Many thanks my friend for visit and commenting! Glad you enjoyed this article about diffusers and hopefully learnt a new method or two! Appreciate your votes,shares greatly!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and useful;a great share.

      Eddy.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Suzie. You don't light the sticks. They just sit in the liquid. I think it all came from Pier 1. Anyway, it doesn't work too well! I'll have to try one of your methods.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Ah buddy you are so generous with your comments, thanks as always. I know you are a lavender fan so this is right up your alley and Terry may well do some aroma diffusing around the home, i think you previously mentioned you use the air freshener (boiling up herbs, spices or citrus) on the stove which creates wonderful scent in the kitchen and other rooms. Appreciate your comments on my work, it means such a great deal to me. Thanks for sharing on, pinning and for all you sharing the love!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Janet,

      Poptpourri I love and homemade is so nice to make when you can. Thanks again for all your visits and comments, means a great deal!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Dirt Farmer,

      This sounds a bit like incense and I have seen fragrance burnt in wooden box type diffusers too. There are all sorts of methods of "diffusing" to have aroma circulate so yours is one as I guess the sticks are lit or is oil poured into the glass? Some are milder than others and it depends on the oil or scent choice and quality. Hope you have fun! Thanks for your interest and comment!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I had no idea that there were so many different methods for diffusing essential oils. There is something here for everyone!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I love essential oils and use them regularly. Now after reading your valuable hub, I have learned so many new ways to use and diffuse essential oils.

      Thanks my friend and voted up and across and will pin and share!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 4 years ago from USA

      Great information and well-designed article. Voted up.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      This is a greatly detailed hub. I love all the various information you have about essential oils and the various benefits and ways to use them.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      As always Suzie your hub smells wonderful ;) I love diffusers of all types and I also loved your descriptions of the different types of diffusers and oil scents.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting, oh and shared of course.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey Suzie. This was all new to me so thank you for the education. I do like some of the fragrances such as lavender and cinnamon. For all I know Terry may do this around the house here and I wouldn't know it. I must say your Hubs have become so consistently exceptional. The colors in the photos, the text, everything is just right. If you're not reaping the rewards for your efforts yet you will be soon. Keep up the great work. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc....

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      Great information about diffusion methods. I have not tried them except Potpourri.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi pops,

      Good to have your visit and to see you are now a fan of diffusing oils! Appreciate your votes, catch you at the Inn!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Someone gave me a diffuser that's essentially a glass bottle with wooden sticks in it. I've used it, but it doesn't have much scent. Have you heard of this kind of diffuser? Is it really a diffuser?

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      I have never tried this, but I will now. Up and useful and awesome too.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi phoenix,

      What a great tip! Must give this a try! thanks for stopping by and for adding this valuable information much appreciated!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      How kind you are in your comments, appreciate the humor always!! lol I am delighted I have passed on some unknown information from my world of to yours, oh wise one!! You continue educating this writer daily!! Thanks as always my friend, much appreciate your visits and friendship.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've made use of the radiators in our home. During the winter when someone comes home with a tickly throat and a sniffle, I put drops of eucalyptus oil on each of the radiators in the house. It helps clear the air so the virus doesn't spread and by morning the sniffle has gone and the tickly throat is on the run.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I love lavender and grapefruit. I usually use an oil burner for this. It's great for relaxing.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You used the words diffusion and wafting in the first two sentences. I haven't used them in 16 months. You must be a writer! LOL

      As always, it's been a learning experience, Suzie, and a trip into unknown territory for me. Thank you for educating this old man once again on the finer things in life.

      bill