How To Clean Essential Oil Diffusers

If you’re looking for effective ways on how to clean essential oil diffusers, then this guide is exactly what you’ve been looking for. One of the most interesting quirks to arise within the modern consumer culture in which we all live is the myriad of permutations of fads and trends. Fashion is, and always has been, one of the most prominent examples here, with Oscar Wilde famously quipping that “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” From the Pet Rock to Pokémon Cards, we can all think of products which have risen to immense popularity and then plummeted again, usually within the span of a few short months or years. It’s fair to say that the Age of the Internet has seen its share of these phenomena. We can all think of memes, YouTube channels, and products that we’ve seen on the Internet that have come and gone in terms of popularity.

Still, not all fads or trends are created equal. For one thing, the latter tends to have a more positive connotation than the former. Cher Horowitz’s yellow-plaid ensemble in Clueless? An iconic example of mid-90s fashion trends that’s still memorable today. Pogs? An 80s and 90s fad that are all but forgotten.

Enter essential oils. Whatever you may think of them from a scientific standpoint, there’s no denying that they’re one of the trendier items among those interested in alternative and New Age items. The same holds true for the wide range of different diffusers in which many people choose to house these oils. Used correctly, your essential oils and corresponding diffuser can make for a lovely little accessory within your greater interior décor setup.

For all of that, however, it is of the utmost importance to make sure that you keep things clean. From a cleanliness standpoint, nothing is worse than diffusing pollutants throughout one’s home. At the same time, however, while essential oils are certainly a popular trend among those looking to add a touch of New Age flair to their homes, a surprising amount of people out there who own essential oil diffusers don’t properly clean them, either out of sheer neglect or else simply not knowing how to do so. Neither are good alternatives, which is why you’ll want to take the time and effort to learn how to clean an essential oil diffuser in a quick, yet thorough, fashion.

A Historical Overview

First, it’s worth asking the question – just what are essential oils, exactly, and where do they come from?

Essential oils are a popular name today for a wide range of different items which feature the oils and odors of different plants extracted and distilled. Four of the most popular types of essential oils on the market today include extracts taken from peppermint, lavender, frankincense, and trees which help produce tea. All of these plants were found in the Ancient Mediterranean world, and so the use of essential oils goes back millennia. While modern medicine has largely supplanted these old plants in terms of everyday medical care, they remain a lovely tie to the past. Then, as now, they work by diffusing a lovely perfumed aroma throughout a given space.

Essential Oil Diffusers

With that in mind, let’s return to essential oil diffusers themselves. After all, whether you plan on somehow “using” those essential oils or simply having them on display or else diffused throughout your home as a matter of fashion, they won’t do much good just sitting there. As such, you’re going to want to put it to use burning and diffusing the extracts in question. Diffusers come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. The spout from which the vapor, the volume of the item, the type and intensity of the burner – all of these variables will affect the manner in which your essential oils diffuser burns and diffuses material.

That said, in doing so, there is likely to be a good deal of sediment or other such remnants of the burned and diffused material. Essential oil diffusers are not like teacups or tea mugs – leaving a bit of past residue behind from past usage does not make future uses more “characterful.” On the contrary, it’s what can cause that aforementioned pollutant problem. That’s why you’re going to want to take care to clean your essential oil diffuser from top to bottom. This means cleaning everything from the point at which the aromatic vapor leaves the diffuser to the body of the item itself to the point at which the burning takes place.

How To Clean An Essential Oil Diffuser

While, as stated, different diffusers will be shaped differently and, thus, require different methods, a general guideline as to how to clean your essential oils diffuser would be to:

  • Ensure that it is no longer burning and is completely cooled by the time you begin. That may seem like an obvious step, but you still want to take extra care not to mistakenly burn yourself. You’ll also want to make sure that your diffuser is unplugged and moved away from any electrical sockets.
  • Take the time to read the manual for your diffuser. Again, it’s worth repeating that different diffusers have different structures, strengths, and weaknesses. As such, the best way to clean one diffuser may not carry over to another. In addition, reading the manual can ensure that you proceed in such a fashion as to optimize the overall utility of the diffuser.
  • Fill your diffuser with water until it is about halfway full. You want to be sure not to fill it much more than that, and you certainly don’t want to fill it to the point that it’s nearly full. If your diffuser is so full that water easily sloshes out of it, chances are it’s far too full.
  • Fill it with vinegar. This should be pure white vinegar, and about 10 drops worth should be enough. You will want to make sure ahead of time that the dropper you have is the right size proportionate to the diffuser you intend to clean. Adding this vinegar is an essential step towards cleansing your essential oils diffuser. Vinegar is great at cleaning all sorts of different stains, especially those which have been caked onto a surface. Likewise, the vinegar here should prove instrumental in removing stains that have caked onto the glass or plastic elements forming the interior and exterior of your diffuser.
  • Leave the diffuser sitting for at least three to five minutes, giving the vinegar time to break down stains. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that the diffuser’s interior is evenly coated with this vinegar.
  • Drain the diffuser of all contents.
  • Take a cotton swab and dab it with vinegar. You’ll want to make sure that there’s enough to do some cleaning, but not so much as to make it so soggy as to destroy its consistency.
  • Take the dabbed cotton swab and use it to once more clean the diffuser. You will then want to use this cotton swab to clean those hard to reach areas that might still have some stains caked onto them. This is great for getting out stains in corners or narrow spouts.
  • Once more, rinse out the entire diffuser with clean water.
  • Dry the entire unit with a clean fresh cloth. You want to make sure that the unit is completely dry before you turn it on again.

Congratulations! You should now have a nice, clean, pristine essential oil diffuser on your hands.

Common Problems

In addition to that step by step process, it is worth taking the time to review some of the most common problems people can come across when trying to clean their essential oil diffuser. Some of the most common problems include:

  • Essential oil diffuser is not turning on after cleaning: Be sure that you have plugged it back in, that the plug is firmly inserted into the socket and not dangling loose, and that the water levels in the bowl are correct.
  • Little diffusion: A common reason for this to occur is the fan inlet being blocked by pollutants or something else. Take the time to make sure that the fan is completely unobstructed. If your unit has mist settings, you’ll also want to be sure that you haven’t completely turned them off or turned them so low as to be negligible.
  • The water is abnormally hot: Recheck all of your settings to make sure that everything is normal. Try the old tried and true method of unplugging the unit and plugging it back in again. Make sure that the fan is not obstructed, as this can cause the unit to overheat. Remove any towels or cloths near the item. If it fails to cool normally, unplug it and seek professional repair.

Your essential oil unit is more than a fad to you. It is one of the most unique little tchotchkes in your home. It is something you see and experience on a daily basis. It is, thus, worth taking care of properly. As such, you’ll want to follow the steps listed above to make sure that your essential oil diffuser is clean, cool, and as efficient as possible.