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How To Diffuse Essential Oils Properly - Make And Tend
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Essential Oils And Wellness

How To Diffuse Essential Oils Properly

By June 23, 2019 August 31st, 2019 No Comments

Essential oils are packed full of properties that can benefit you physically, mentally and emotionally.

To experience many of those benefits, you’ll want to inhale the aroma of the oils.

And the best way to do that?

With a diffuser, of course!

A diffuser will effectively spread the powerful aroma of oils. Here’s a quick guide on how to diffuse essential oils.

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How To Diffuse Essential Oils

Diffusing oils is the most popular and most effective way of using essential oils.

The other main way of using oils is by applying them to your skin. When applied to the skin, oils are absorbed into your body.

But when diffuse essential oils, the components (or constituents) that are present in the aroma are inhaled in through your nasal cavity.

Your nasal cavity has receptors and receives these constituents. It then sends signals to your brain, which then send signals throughout your body.

So smelling and inhaling essential oils causes a reaction in your brain, which then affects other areas of your body.

Inhaling oils is usually the most effective means of using essential oils, as the receptors in the nasal cavity have direct access to your brain.

Here’s how to use essential oils in a diffuser to inhale the aroma effectively.

How To Use A Diffuser

Every diffuser is different. They hold different amounts of water. But other than the amount of water and oils, they pretty much function the same.

How to use a diffuser:

  1. Unplug the diffuser, remove the top, and empty and water and oils currently in the reservoir/ultrasonic plate.
  2. Wipe with a clean, dry cloth to remove previous oils used.
  3. Add water up to the fill line.
  4. Add a few drops of essential oils.
  5. Put the top back on, plug it in and turn it on.

If you only plan on diffusing oils for a short period of time, I would recommend not filling your diffuser up all the way.

Fill it up about half way, and add less oils.

Then, you won’t have to dump out and waste some oil (since you don’t want to leave water/oil in your diffuser for any length of time, and resume diffusing later).

It’s always best to use fresh water and oils. So only add as much as you think you will use in one sitting.

How many drops of oil should I diffuse?

For smaller diffusers (100 ml – 250 ml), you should use between 5-15 drops of oils.

For larger diffusers (250 ml – 500 ml), you can use 15-25 drops of oils, or whatever you feel comfortable with.

Always start with a smaller amount. Less is more with essential oils! Once your body is used to essential oils, you can increase the amount that you use.

How Long Should You Diffuse Essential Oils?

So setting the diffuser up is simple enough. But how long should you diffuse essential oils?

It’s generally recommended to diffuse oils for about 30 minutes at a time. Each bottle of Young Living oils, for example, has a recommended time for each oil inside the label.


So the best way to diffuse essential oil is intermittently. For example, 30 minutes on followed by 30 minutes off.

Many diffusers have multiple settings.

Use the “Full On” setting for short periods of diffusing, or constant diffusing while you are moving in and out of the room constantly.

Use a lighter diffusion setting for releasing less aroma into the air, but to leave on for longer periods of time, such as near your desk while you are working for hours at a time.

And some have an intermittent setting, which will run for a few minutes, then stop for a few minutes, and will keep doing that until you change it or until the water runs out.

I personally don’t enjoy this setting while I work, because the diffuser noise goes on and off constantly, which is quite distracting to me (even though it’s a pretty quiet noise).

I usually just use the lightest output setting so that it stays on, but just releases less aroma/mist at a time.

How long do essential oils last in a diffuser?

Each diffuser is different regarding how long it will run.

It’s based on how much water the diffuser holds and what the output is per hour.

The Aria diffuser (my favorite) holds 260 ml water and releases up to 42 ml water/oil per hour. On the right setting, it can stay on, releasing the aroma into the air for as long as 12 hours.

This Urpower diffuser (my favorite non-Young Living diffuser) holds 500 ml water and can be turned on for 1, 2 or 3 hours, or can be kept on until it runs out. If you use the “light mist” setting, you’ll get a long time out of it.

Again, just make sure you use fresh water and oils each time. Only fill your diffuser with what you will use at that time.

Other Questions about Using An Essential Oil Diffuser

Can you mix essential oils in a diffuser?


I almost always blend different oils together in my diffuser. You can look up diffuser blends on my blog, or you can try making your own.

Young Living Starter Kit Diffuser Blends
Diffuser Blends For Sleep
Spring Diffuser Blends
Summer Diffuser Blends

The only risk is that you might not enjoy the final aroma, or it’s not as well balanced as it could be.


Is it safe to inhale essential oils from a diffuser?


So long as you follow some basic guidelines, and use smaller amounts of oils to start, there’s usually nothing to worry about.

The only exception is diffusing around small children or diffusing while pregnant. There are certain oils you’ll want to avoid using just for safekeeping, which you can see here. 


What’s your favorite diffuser?

I love love love my Aria Diffuser from Young Living!

Here are some other diffusers I really like as well.

Using a diffuser for essential oils is super easy.

Nothing too complex here 🙂

The biggest thing is understanding guidelines for how long to diffuse. Starting out with a lower output setting or diffusing intermittently is great.

As you get used to oils, you’ll find out what works best for you.

Disclaimer: The statements on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to be medical advice. Suggestions here are specific to Young Living and should not be combined with oils from other sources. Examples and experiences do not guarantee similar results. Read our full disclaimer here


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