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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.

Itís best to away from commercial versions and to make your own essential oil diffuser. That way youíll know exactly whatís in it. It is quick and easy to assemble, using household materials that youíve 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 wonít make a greasy mess if it gets knocked over, unlike the oil-based version below.

Pour ľ cup of hot tap water into an attractive jar or container. Add ľ 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 itís 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 ľ 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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Kara, selected from TreeHugger

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

64 comments

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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.

8:03AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Thanks for How to make an easy home-made diffuser. It is worth the time to learn about and use essential oils. They have improved my life, my health and I would not live without them!

6:41AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

I much prefer natural rather than chemical especially since there's nothing harmful to worry about.

3:25AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

You should have at least one place to spend time which is scent free. Home should be a sanctuary not a chemical soup.

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This recipe is also nice with mixed vegetables cut into small pieces

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