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How To Measure Essential Oils: Quick And Easy Quantity Conversions

Updated on August 10, 2014

Solving The problem Of How Much Essential Oil To Use And All Your Other Oil Measurement Problems

Quick and dead easy conversions, ratios and measurements for using and blending essential oils.

Essential oils are strong and potent and you need to be accurate when mixing and blending them. Unfortunately there is a whole load of confusion surrounding how to measure essential oils that leaves many people feeling lost and helpless.

I've analysed the basic problems that arise when calculating how much essential oil to use and made these simple charts and shortcuts to make the whole thing really quick and easy for everyone.

Every measurement and quantity associated with essential oils is here plus tips and suggestions for reliable measuring shortcuts. I hope you find them useful.

*Just for the insatiably curious like me I've added a free link to an amazing converter at the end of the page. Use it to convert anything to anything. Along with everyday useful measurement conversions, I just found out how much an Ancient Roman Amphora equals in current UK Imperial measures. One Amphora equals 0.718 of a Bushel by the way.

Essential Oils Are Sold By The Millilitre But Essential Oil Recipes Ask For 'Drops'

How many drops of essential oil in a milliliter, and what size bottle to buy?

Essential oils are always sold in dropper bottles, generally in quantities of 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50 and 100 milliliters.

Whatever the viscosity of the oil, if it is fluid, there will be approximately 20 drops of oil per milliliters. (The oils that settle and become solid need to be warmed before they will 'drop.')

The most common quantity that essential oils are sold in is 10ml.

Plant Therapy Ylang Ylang Complete Essential Oil | 100% Pure, Undiluted, Natural Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Grade | 10 milliliter (1/3 ounce)
Plant Therapy Ylang Ylang Complete Essential Oil | 100% Pure, Undiluted, Natural Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Grade | 10 milliliter (1/3 ounce)

This is a bottle containing 10ml of Ylang Ylang essential oil. The actual bottle measures approximately 2 1/2 inches or 6.5 centimetres from the bottom to the top of the lid.

It happens to be an oil I find really helpful in calming my heart beat when it gets too fast.


Convert Millilitres To Drops

How Many Drops Of Essential Oil In A Milliliter?:

1ml = 20 drops

5ml = 100 drops

10ml = 200 drops

30ml = 600 drops

50ml = 1,000 drops

So to find out the number of drops in any number of millilitres:


But Carrier Oils Are Often Sold In Fluid Ounces

So you need to convert fluid ounces to milliliters to follow essential oil recipes.

These are some of the carrier oils most commonly used to dilute essential oils. Which oil is used depends upon personal preference, budget, and what you intend to use it for.

It makes sense that larger quantities of fluid get converted into fluid ounces to save dealing in thousands of milliliters, but it does mean making a mathematical conversion in order to accurately blend essential and carrier oils together.

And Empty Bottles For Storing Essential Oils Also Come Labelled In Fluid Ounces

These lovely coloured glass storage bottles are really necessary for storing essential oil blends and they often come in ounces.

It is frustrating because you buy essential oils by the milliliter, and then buy the empty bottles in fluid ounces. I made the chart below for instant conversions.

Convert Fluid Ounces To Milliliters And Drops

5 ml. / 100 drops = 1/6 fl.oz..

10 ml. / 200 drops = 1/3 fl.oz..

30 ml. / 600 drops = 1 fl.oz..

50 ml. / 1,000 drops = 1 and 2/3 fl.oz..

100 ml. / 2,000 = 3 and 1/3 fl.oz..

This is my essential oil store. I keep my oils, carrier oils and blends here.

How Many Drops Of Essential Oil Should I Use?

Knowing how many drops of oil to use is important

Essential oils are generally diluted and added to a carrier oil like Almond or Coconut. The number of drops of essential oil added to carrier oil is:

1/2 - 1 drop of essential oil per 1 ml. of carrier oil.

With any oil that you haven't used before, use the lower amount of drops per ml. first. You can always add more essential oil drops, but you may not want to try diluting your mix if it feels too strong, particularly if you are mixing in a small bottle.

Ratios Of Essential Oil To Carrier Oil

So add this number of drops to these amounts of carrier oil:

2-5 drops per 5 ml carrier oil

5-10 drops per 10 ml carrier oil

10 -20 drops to 20 ml carrier oil

15-30 drops per 30 ml carrier oil

25-50 drops per 50 ml carrier oil

Measuring Larger Quantities With Measuring Spoons

Oil blend recipes always call for exact ratios however little or much you are making..

It really does make a difference how many drops of oil and how much carrier oil you use

Firstly oils always need to be diluted before applying to the skin. How diluted is the difference between irritating the skin and getting a pleasant result.

Secondly, different oils have different strengths when it comes to aroma. For example, just one drop of Ylang ylang is enough to contribute to many floral blends, and any more will drown out all other aromas. So in order to know how much essential oils to use, it is important to count out the drops.

If you are making up batches of cosmetics or massage oil blends you will be mixing up larger quantities. To accurately measure these larger quantities of carrier oil and essential oil and keep the ratios correct, use a measuring spoon and the following conversion table.

Convert Measuring Spoons To Milliliters And Drops

One Teaspoon = 5ml. or 100 drops

One Dessertspoon = 10ml. or 200 drops

One Tablespoon = 15ml. or 300 drops

Measuring Spoons In Stainless Steel And Colourful Plastic

Useful measuring spoons to measure how much essential oil to use accurately

I hope you found this page on how much essential oil to use helpful - I'll be happy to help if I can with any questions you might have.

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    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      An essential translation of the terms of measurement!

    • giovi64 lm profile image

      giovi64 lm 

      5 years ago

      Interesting lens!!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you so much for this! You have saved me hours of research and calculating!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for the very useful info. I've searched many pages for this information. Your page should be at the front of the info search!

      Again ,thank you.

    • greenspirit profile imageAUTHOR

      poppy mercer 

      5 years ago from London

      @anonymous: Raindrop Therapy is not something I would recommend to anyone who wasn't absolutely sure that they didn't have an allergy to certain oils. And even then, as essential oils work so well when diluted, it seems an unnecessary practice. We have a tendency to always think that more of something is better, but this just isn't true.

      It may well have helped certain people in certain circumstances, but that's not to say it is right for general use and practice. It's far safer to follow standard guidelines for using essential oils.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      How safe is the Raindrop Therapy that Young Living Oil promotes ?


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