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Do Essential Oil Diffusers Really Work

do essential oil diffusers really work

I have about 10 or so essential oil diffusers at home. I love them! There are so many to choose from on the marketplace that you can find a style for your taste and any part of your home. There are lots of curvy shaped ones, but I really like the block shaped diffusers as they fit my personality and style a bit more. They contrast my curvy rhoots! On to the pressing question for those who have not yet owned a diffuser; do essential oil diffusers really work?

Do Essential Oil Diffusers Really Work?

Short answer is, Yes!
Long answer will help answer how they work in addition will also address some concerns that purchasers have when making a decision on whether or not they are worth buying.

How Diffusers Work

Generally, you can buy these diffusers with a 150ml/200ml or 300ml capacity. I find the 150ml diffusers a little more attractive (for smaller spaces) and quite a bit less clumsy to clean and handle than the 300ml diffusers.



Most diffusers, if not all of them, twist or pull open from the top.


diffuser open

Inside, you see the basin or tank. Note a conspicuous fill line about midway up from the bottom of the basin for some diffusers. This one happens to have the line outside and easy to see.


diffuser basin

Right in the center of the bottom of the basin you will see the atomizer. It is a small tympanic electrical device that vibrates to create ultrasonic waves beneath the water and essential oils that you would be pouring there. The vibration is so fast, it atomizes the particles of liquid covering it. These particles of water and oil are so light they float up out of the water. A small fan housed in an electrical cavity beneath the atomizer blows air up a tunnel beside the basin.


diffuser atomizer

The air travels above the basin to push the atomized particles out through a marker sized hole in the lid. Little particles of oil with the beautifully smelling oils fill the air and you start to feel all the good feelings!


How to Keep Essential Oil Diffusers Working

My first diffuser was from an essential oil company and it did not last long. It worked amazing at first and I couldn’t believe how enchanting it was to have the wonderful smells of pure plant oils being pumped into the air. Within two weeks, the thing was not working and I was void of my new wonderful experience. I was disappointed in the product, but thought better to see if maybe I could have done something to make my diffuser last. While I did not buy another diffuser from the EO company (only because I saw some on Amazon that I liked the style), I purchased a new one from Amazon and decided to read about how to take care of it.

Here are a few points I learned from years of owning an essential oil diffuser…

When you pour water in or out of the diffuser, make sure you don’t allow water to get into the vents.

The bottom of the diffuser houses the fan that moves air through the cavity so the atomized particles will flow out. It is quite easy to get water in the vent when pouring old liquid out. Obviously once enough water has gotten into the little electrical parts, your diffuser will stop working. You can try and let it dry out or even rinse it with isopropyl alcohol. Since this alcohol is about 91% alcohol, it will not leave water behind. Even if it does leave water, it won’t leave as much as you might have just poured in.

Make sure you clean the diffuser every couple of uses if using regularly. Clean after every use if using less often than twice a week.

The oils you will be using are light but can still gum up the vibrating part (the ultrasonic membrane or atomizer) of the diffuser that atomizes the liquid into light floaty particles. Some diffusers come with a cylindrical shaped sponge that will fit just right to clean in the crevices adjacent to the atomizer. I use a cotton swab with a bit of isopropyl alcohol to get into the tight edges. Just be careful to not press hard onto the atomizer. To clean the basin, take a sponge or rag and wipe it dry. The material should pull up the residues just fine. Some instructions tell you to use a detergent or soap. I would avoid this as some products leave a chemical smell behind.  Personally, I use lint free bathroom tissue to ball up and clean the diffuser (its the lazy way, but it works fine for me). If you have been using tap or hard water, you will end up with mineral deposits. A little vinegar will help that. Using the same cleaning tools listed above, you’ll break up the results of unfiltered water.

Don’t over-fill the diffuser.

Most diffusers can hold more water than the atomizer can push particles through. You should see a fill line on the inside. If you fill past this, your diffuser won’t work as expected. Now might be a good time for me to mention; use filtered or distilled water. The minerals that get left behind from hard water are tougher to clean if you let it go too long.

Expect to replace or repair diffusers from time to time (just not frequently).

These devices can last a long time if they are well cared for, but do not hope they will last forever. You will likely be disappointed. After six years, I have only thrown out one, of course, taking into consideration I have one for every room in the house.  Thankfully, most of these diffusers are inexpensive and easy to fix. The parts are even more inexpensive and you can find just about everything you might need on Amazon.

I have not met anyone who has not loved, loved, loved, owning an essential oil diffuser. Candles are about the only way I can think that come close to being as great at giving your space a wonderful natural aroma. I have given these as gifts as well. Mostly to clients. They are almost always on! Just don’t give the gift without giving a nice essential oil to go with them. That would just be a tease!

Do Essential Oil Diffusers Really work? You bet! I have a humble collection of diffusers listed below that I happen to like and find reliable. These are Amazon affiliate links of products that I have chosen because I like them. Enjoy!

do essential oil diffusers really work do essential oil diffusers really work do essential oil diffusers really work do essential oil diffusers really work

You’ve chosen a diffuser! Now you need oils! What to do??

Read about choosing essential oil brands here. –> How to Choose Essential Oil Brands in 4 Easy Steps

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