How to Dilute Essential Oils for a Diffuser

How to Dilute Essential Oils for a Diffuser: The Best Way to Enjoy Scents

Last Updated on January 10, 2023

If you want to make your home smell more pleasant and eliminate odours, a diffuser is a great way to achieve that. However, don’t just add pure essential oils to your device, skin or in the bath because doing so can lead to a reaction on your body. Limit your concern, and let’s take a look at how to dilute essential oils for a diffuser and why it’s necessary.

Do You Need to Dilute Essential Oils to Use in a Diffuser?

When using essential oils in a diffuser, it’s best to dilute your essential oils. But, most importantly, why is this process necessary? Diluting essential oil blends can avoid skin reactions, such as sensitivity and irritation. And another important reason to dilute essential oils is to avoid systemic toxicity, including neurotoxicity and fetotoxicity. However, it’s believed that diluting oils in a diffuser isn’t as necessary as when you use essential oils on your skin. Although doing so has the added benefit of reducing any of the above risks and saving you money by not using many essential oil drops.

Moreover, bottled essential oils are 100 times more potent than the original plants they came from.

How to Dilute Essential Oils for a Diffuser

Diluting essential oils for a diffuser isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, you should always refer to the manufacturing booklet that came with your diffuser. If you don’t have this to hand, double-check the size of the water tank of your diffuser. Generally speaking, most essential oil diffusers will range between 100–500ml.

When we talk about diluting, this typically means adding a safe substance to the oil, most typically water.

Below is some guidance on the dilution rate you need based on your diffuser water tank size. For reference, perfume is considered to have a 10% dilution, and you wouldn’t apply perfume to your entire body. Alternatively, 1% is recommended for facials, and we wouldn’t suggest more than 3% for your diffuser, especially if you plan on using it every day. See what works for you, but we would recommend starting with less and increase if you do not feel the benefits.

For a 100ml tank:

0.5% dilution: Less than 1 drop
1% dilution: 2 drops
2% dilution: 4 drops
3% dilution: 6 drops

For a 200ml tank:

0.5% dilution: 2 drops
1% dilution: 4 drops
2% dilution: 8 drops
3% dilution: 12 drops

For a 300ml tank:

0.5% dilution: 3 drops
1% dilution: 6 drops
2% dilution: 12 drops
3% dilution: 18 drops

For a 400ml tank:

0.5% dilution: 4 drops
1% dilution: 8 drops
2% dilution: 16 drops
3% dilution: 24 drops

For a 500ml tank:

0.5% dilution: 5 drops
1% dilution: 10 drops
2% dilution: 20 drops
3% dilution: 30 drops

Over time, you’ll find that it almost becomes second nature when diluting essential oils without having to make much calculation. Some people prefer more essential oils to purify a larger space. In contrast, some people find that too much oil can contribute to discomfort, a headache and might be irritating for animals to inhale. So long as you’re diluting the essential oils with water, you’ll continue to have control over the scent in your home to create a comfortable, therapeutic experience.

While adding the essential oils to your diffuser, use rubber gloves to prevent any contact with the products, which could lead to skin irritation and even burns.

Other Methods to Diluting Essential Oils Without Water

But, if you don’t want to use water to dilute your essential oils, there are some other methods. Let’s explore the various ways to can dilute oils effectively and safely in your home.

Method 1: Carrier Oils

Carrier oils are essential oils made out of vegetables, also known as vegetable oils. Carrier oils can carry the essential oil to your body without causing any damage (as mentioned earlier) while still creating a wonderful blend of oils for your home.

You might want to consider a few carrier oils, including avocado oil, olive oil, peanut oil, coconut oil, jojoba, and cranberry seed oil.

Method 2: Emulsifiers

green plants on the table

Alternatively, you might want to consider diluting your essential oils with emulsifiers. Suppose you’ve ever tried to combine essential oils with water and found a pool of oil on top. In that case, this is because the two mixtures have a different composition that won’t mix properly unless you add an emulsifier into the mix.

Emulsifiers can mix oils and water without leaving a pool of oil on top while allowing the scent to last a long time when used in your diffuser. Consider that you’ll still need to mix an essential oil and emulsifier with water for the best results.

How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

An essential oil diffuser might seem complex to use for some, but it’s something to consider if you want to boost your mood, enhance your state of mind, aid with sleeping and more. Here’s how to care for your devices at home.

Step 1: Set up Your Device

First, you’ll need to set up your diffuser. As a general rule of thumb, place the diffuser close to a wall outlet and use it in a popular area in the home, such as the living room, bedroom or kitchen. Wherever you choose to place the diffuser, ensure that it’s at least two feet above the floor and a couple of inches from the wall. Doing so will help the diffuser’s moisture to distribute into the air.

Step 2: Fill up the Diffuser With Water

A diffuser relies on water to create its wonderful aroma of oils, so you’ll need to fill it up with water to the maximum water line on the device. Most are marked, so you’ll never accidentally overfill the tank with water. In addition, try to use filtered water if you can because tap water can create a build-up of minerals in the diffuser, resulting in your diffuser becoming less effective.

Step 3: Add the Essential Oils

Now it’s time to add the essential oils to the device. It sounds redundant, but ensure that you enjoy the smell of the oils, as this is what your room will be smelling like. Opt for lavender oil if you need help falling asleep or peppermint to boost your mood. Add the diluting measurements as stated above.

Blending to Make Your Own Essential Oil Recipes

Thankfully, you can make your own essential oil blends to add to your diffuser for a customised scent in your home to benefit your health. Doing so also allows you to create scents that are safe for all skin types. You don’t have to be an expert to make your essential oil application fill into a new bottle. However, the process requires much more thought than simply placing a mixture of your favourite-smelling essential oils into a dish.

To get started with essential oil dilution, you’ll need a range of undiluted essential oils. You can purchase essential oils in bulk online, but bear in mind that you want the scents to complement one another based on the feeling it creates and its smell. For example, you don’t want to mix lavender oil products with lime oil because the energising nature of lime doesn’t pair well with the relaxing ambience of lavender.

For those in doubt, here’s a guide on how to mix essential oils to create a delightful smell for your home:

Top Notes

Every essential oil mixture will comprise of top, middle and base notes. The top notes are the first part you’ll smell since they’re the strongest. The most common top notes are lemon and sage.

Middle Notes

For the middle notes, these are the second mineral oils that you’ll smell. Some good examples of middle notes include rose, black pepper and lavender. You’ll typically want a floral scent for the middle notes.

Base Notes

Finally, base notes are the last thing you’ll smell from your mixture of essential oils. These are typically earthy scents, such as amber, musk and cedarwood.

When it comes to blending your mixture of undiluted essential oils, stick to the top, middle and base notes. Keep in mind a 30%/50%/20% rule for a dilution percentage. So, to calculate this, know how many drops in total you’ll be using to begin use. If you’re using 10 drops overall, you’ll use 3 drops for the top note, 5 for the middle and two for the base note.

Examples of Essential Oils

If you’re completely clueless about which oils to choose, we’ve provided an easy-to-follow guide with many of the popular oils:

  • Citrus: sweet orange, bergamot, lime, citronella, grapefruit and neroli
  • Floral: rose geranium, lavender, geranium, ylang-ylang and palmarosa
  • Herbal: basil, red thyme, spearmint, marjoram, chamomile, rosemary, sage, tea tree and clary sage
  • Spicy: black pepper, nutmeg, clove, coriander and peppermint
  • Woody: petitgrain, frankincense, juniper berry, cypress, patchouli and cedarwood atlas

Common Signs That You’ve Used Too Much Essential Oil in Your Diffuser

Accidents and mistakes can happen, and sometimes you might pour too much essential oil into the diffuser. Some common signs that you’ve used too much include nausea, dizziness, vertigo, headaches and even vomiting.

If you’re new to essential oil dilution and making your own creations, remember that less is more. Always begin by adding one drop first because you can then play around with the amount later based on the scent and the size of the room you’ll use the diffuser in. Another trick is to set the diffuser with the essential oils and then leave the room. Come back into the room and assess if the scent is too potent. Although it might seem like a waste of money, it’s best to get rid of the essential oil now rather than when it’s being used in the diffuser and causing you or other people in your household to feel ill.

What to Do if You Use Too Much Essential Oil

If you end up going overboard with too many drops of essential oil, you can preserve the oil for another occasion. Empty the oil into a jar and dilute the other half of the mixture with more water. Seal the container and use it another day. It means that you don’t have to go through essential oil dilution again when your diffuser is running low.

How Long Will Drops of Essential Oil Last?

We already mentioned that essential oil dilution could save you money in the long run because you’re not using as much of the product if you’re adding water to the oils. However, it’s important that you buy high-quality essential oil products, which aren’t always cheap. These will typically come in small bottles—between 5–30ml.

A 10ml essential oil bottle contains around 200 drops, which should last you up to 60 uses. Even if you use the diffuser every day, this can last around two months or the best part of three months if you minimise how much you use your diffuser.

When buying essential oils, go for quality over price. It can be tempting to reach for the cheapest essential oil product you find, but these have typically been harvested, which means they contain chemicals to remain their smell. If you’re going to be using a diffuser for the health benefits of breathing in oils from plants in your home, you want to invest in the best bottle that’s pure and not packed with unknown substances.

Air With Aromatherapy

Keep everyone safe at home—including children and pets— and learn how to dilute essential oils for a diffuser and measure the quantities using a dilution calculator properly before adding to your diffuser. Once you’ve created your desired essential oil composition, you can store the solution in a bottle—ready for use next time.

Do you have any more information on this topic? If so, share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.

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