Inhaling essential oils is the best way for them to reach the limbic part of our brains, which activates memories and emotions. Diffusing essential oils is an excellent way to provide great health benefits to those needing emotional or nervous system support.
Plus, it makes our homes smell amazing at the same time! This is a much better option than freshening the scent in our homes with synthetic air fresheners, which have the opposite effect on our health. And if you don’t know about the health damage synthetic air fresheners and scented candles have on our bodies, I strongly suggest you do some research.
For those of you who don’t know what a diffuser is, the basic premise as that inside the water chamber, there is a plate where the tiniest vibration occurs – 1.7 million times per second on average – and when we pour water into the chamber, that vibration is enough to create a mist that evaporates into the air. Add oils to the water, they evaporate as well, and voila! Your house smells incredible and you reap the health benefits at the same time.
Diffusing is always with lukewarm water and what we call cold air diffusing. You should never heat with essential oils that raises their temperature above 110 degrees. Anything above that temperature removes the health benefits. They still smell great, but you lose the health benefits, which is a waste of precious oils, if you ask me.
Choosing Your Diffuser
Diffusers aren’t cheap. Well some of them are, but I have found that the cheap lasts only a few months before they stop being effective. And some of them don’t create enough output to reach the whole room. So I recommend you spend a little money on it.
I love the Young Living brand diffusers because of the quality. They use medical grade plastic that withstands the strength of essential oils, and each of the diffusers come with a one-year warranty. Since you are spending a little money on a diffuser, getting one with a warranty is important.
There are a few things I have learned about what I want in a diffuser.
- It needs to have easy access to the chamber for adding water, adding oils, and cleaning it. Some diffusers are very complicated and it usually means you’ll use it less and that’s not helpful to your health.
- If you plan on using it for sleep, be sure it has a light that goes completely off. A small little “on” light is no big deal for most people but if it is for you, keep that in mind.
- Different diffusers have different lighting options. Choose the one that displays the color you enjoy the most.
- If you plan on using it for sleep, make sure it’s quiet.
- Having the plug on the backside as opposed to the bottom is a plus. Lifting the diffuser when it’s full of water to plug it in can be a little precarious.
- They come in all levels of run time – some run for a just a few hours and some for up to 16 hours. Some run constant, some intermittent. If you want to have an intermittent setting to make it last longer, make sure it’s not a noisy start and stop if you are using it for sleep. You can put less water in the longer running diffusers if you just need it for a few hours. And since essential oils evaporate faster than water, you will likely need to add more oils to the water after 6-8 hours to continue reaping the benefits.
- Make sure it automatically stops when the water runs out. It’s easy to forget these things are running and I have many times left the house and forgot to turn it off.
- Make sure it has enough output to fill up your whole room with essential oils. Bigger room, bigger output is needed.
- When in doubt, read the reviews! People are very willing to talk about these products and share their opinions. Believe them! Even if you love the look, it may not be worth it if it’s difficult to use. What good is a beautiful diffuser if you can’t use it? So read the reviews. If it doesn’t have any reviews and it’s expensive, try to find someone you know who has one and can share the pros and cons. Otherwise, don’t buy it. I have wasted many dollars on useless, hard to use diffusers that I didn’t do the research on.
Diffuser Use and Care
Most diffusers come with similar instructions to first remove the lid and fill the chamber with water. You can use filtered or distilled or tap – if your tap water is hard or heavily chlorinated, I would use filtered or distilled. Distilled is recommended but I personally don’t keep distilled water laying around and have never used anything but filtered and tap water.
Where to fill the water to depends on the unit. Read the instructions on yours to know how much water to include.
Watch out for the air intake. You want to avoid getting water into the air intake both when adding water and when dumping water.
Once your water is in the chamber, add 2-3 drops of your favorite oil, replace the lid, plug it in and push start. Some oils may require using more than 2-3 drops if it’s not very potent. Young Living oils are some of the most potent oils in the world, so 2-3 drops is all you need. If you add your oils and you can’t smell the scent in a few minutes, add more oil to the water.
Once your lids are back on, push the start button and choose the light setting you want. Each diffuser is different so play around with yours until you find the right light and setting.
Once the water is evaporated, your diffuser will shut off automatically (if it doesn’t, toss that diffuser and get a new one).
Sometimes it shuts off before the water is completely gone. You can try pushing the button again to run it a little longer and use up all the water or just dump the remnants and start again.
Since diffusers don’t come cheap (or at least they shouldn’t), it’s important to clean your diffuser regularly. I try to clean it after every use to avoid oil buildup that interferes with the vibration. You can clean it several ways:
- After every use, I swish water around in the chamber, dump it and use a cotton swab or cleaning tool to swipe the oil residue from the vibration plate.
- Every 3rd or 4th use, either pour rubbing alcohol in the bottom, swish it around, dump it, then cotton swab the/cleaning tool the vibration plate or put ¼ cup of vinegar in the diffuser and run it until vinegar is gone.
- Try not to let water sit stagnant in the diffuser for long periods of time. If you do, be sure to use the rubbing alcohol or vinegar approach to make sure you remove all of the bacteria that have built up from stagnant water.
Of course, I’m always happy to answer questions, so feel free to contact me if you would like more info.