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Make Your Own Chemical-Free Essential Oil Diffuser

Make Your Own Chemical-Free Essential Oil Diffuser

This DIY project is cheap and easy, and ensures that you won’t have a room full of toxic fragrance.

The purpose of an essential oil diffuser is to spread the aroma of essential oils throughout a home, deodorizing and purifying the air, making a room smell great, and lifting the mood. Some require electricity to heat the essential oils, while others use reeds to diffuse the aroma. Many diffusers, unfortunately, contain artificial fragrances or carrier oils whose phthalate-laden fumes are less than healthy and defeat the purpose of creating a sweet-smelling, purified, and energizing space.

It’s best to away from commercial versions and to make your own essential oil diffuser. That way you’ll know exactly what’s in it. It is quick and easy to assemble, using household materials that you’ve probably already got. There are a few different versions for the base liquid:

1. Alcohol + Water + Essential Oil

Alcohol evaporates faster than water, which makes it a good option for drawing the scent up through the reeds. It also won’t make a greasy mess if it gets knocked over, unlike the oil-based version below.

Pour ¼ cup of hot tap water into an attractive jar or container. Add ¼ cup alcohol (I used rubbing alcohol but apparently vodka works, too) and 20-25 drops of whatever essential oil you want to use. Swirl to mix.

2. Carrier Oil + Essential Oil

A ratio of 30% essential oil to 70% carrier oil is recommended. Avoid mineral oil, as it’s a petroleum-based product. Try sweet almond or safflower, which are oils with minimal scents. Add essential oil and swirl to mix.

3. Carrier Oil + Alcohol + Essential Oil

Use ¼ cup carrier oil (sweet almond or safflower) with 2-3 tbsp vodka and a generous quantity of essential oil (that 30%:70% ratio again).

Pour any of the above combinations into an attractive glass or ceramic vase. Add bamboo skewers (cut off the pointy ends first), special diffuser reeds (order online), or some kind of dried plant material, i.e. twigs, woody stems, reeds, that will draw the liquid upward.

Soak the ends for a couple hours, then flip around. Do this a couple times a week. Top up the mixture with more essential oil as needed.

Wondering which essential oil to choose? Here are a few ideas.

Lemon, lemongrass, and thyme essential oils are good for purification.
Lavender, orange, peppermint, cedarwood, frankincense, and jasmine help to inspire a positive mental state and combat depression.
Eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender can reduce tension.
Peppermint can energize.

Written by Katharine Martinko, TreeHugger.

Photo credit Thinkstock

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+ add your own
12:59AM PST on Nov 15, 2014

Great idea

12:48AM PDT on Sep 28, 2014

Thank you!

7:54AM PDT on Sep 24, 2014


7:39AM PDT on Sep 8, 2014

Interesting article, thank you!

3:15AM PDT on Sep 8, 2014

Interesting, thank you.

1:50PM PDT on Sep 6, 2014

With the festive season looming, try cinnaman, orange & lemon. Don't use too much cinnaman though.

9:26AM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

This sounds like a wonderful idea however, heat destroys the anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-biotic properties of essential oils. But, since you are not really diffusing them (like in a cold air diffuser) I guess it would be ok. I use essential oils medicinally and could not be without them. Kath P., essential oils properly diffused will rid your house of viruses, molds and bacteria NATURALLY. They are not a "chemical soup" Kara, thanks for the post, great idea.

12:13PM PDT on Sep 3, 2014

Yesterday I found reeds at a second hand store for 10cents and a vase for 20cents, added the water and alcohol as you described and some grapefruit essential oil. Looks pretty and smells great, thanks for the inspiration!

10:00AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Great idea! Would love to see more of these kinds of ideas!

9:23AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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