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How to Clean a Diffuser

A bouquet of your favorite flowers… jasmine, rose, and magnolia.

A peppermint hot chocolate on a rainy day… peppermint, cacao, and a drop of coffee. 

An adventurous hike through evergreen woods… eucalyptus, cedar, and pine. 

Essential oils can evoke a range of emotions from peaceful relaxation to hyper focus. Diffusing essential oils can provide not just emotional benefits, but health and wellness benefits as well. 

As with any other device or tool (like your car, your washing machine, etc.) your diffuser requires regular maintenance to operate at full capacity. A clean diffuser allows you to reap the benefits of aromatherapy anytime, anywhere for years to come.

Essential oil diffusers can induce feelings of calm and relaxation.

How to Clean a Diffuser

Cleaning a diffuser is quite simple. The process is similar to cleaning a humidifier, though the components are slightly different. 

Make sure to check your device’s user manual for exact instructions on how to clean your specific diffuser. The following steps are a general recommendation, and can be used on most diffuser models. 

Just four simple steps, and you will have a spick-and-span machine diffusing delicious-scented oils for your aromatic pleasure! 

Step #1: Unplug and dump contents.

First things first: unplug your diffuser. Never clean your diffuser while plugged in; you run the risk of electrocution or seriously damaging your device. 

Once you unplug your diffuser, dump the tank contents into your sink.

Step #2: Fill with clean water and 10 drops of pure white vinegar. 

Fill your diffuser to the fill line with clean, fresh water - preferably filtered water to avoid mineral content from the tap. Add 10 drops of pure white vinegar with a dropper. If you don’t have a clean dropper, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the water tank.  

Step #3: Give your diffuser a good scrub. 

How to clean an essential oil diffuser

Now is the time to scrub your diffuser like your life depends on it. Sometimes your diffuser will come with a designated diffuser brush; you can use this brush to scrub the nooks and crannies of your diffuser tank. If you don’t have a diffuser brush, you can use a clean sponge. 

Dump the vinegar water mixture and use a Q-tip to delicately wipe the ultrasonic plate. The ultrasonic plate can be easily damaged, so be sure to use a light hand when cleaning this part of your device. 

Step #4: Rinse your device and run for 3-5 minutes with clean water.

Lastly, rinse your device with fresh water and pat dry. 

Fill your device to the fill line with more fresh water and run your diffuser for 3-5 minutes. You’re done!

Why Clean a Diffuser?

You may be thinking: “Why would I need to clean my diffuser if the essential oils I am using have antiseptic properties?” or, “I diffuse lemon and blood orange essential oils in my diffuser daily… Isn’t that an effective cleaning method?” 

Unfortunately, no. While diffusing citrus essential oils is a great way to clear the air in your home and add a little pep to your step, regularly cleaning your diffuser is a super important part of essential oil diffuser ownership that should not be overlooked. 

Regular diffuser maintenance will help to:

  • Ensure your diffuser operates properly
  • Prevent damage to your device 
  • Keep your diffuser water tank fresh so that old oil residue does not mix with new oil blends
  • Increase the lifespan of your device

How Often Should an Essential Oil Diffuser Be Cleaned?

How often should an essential oil diffuser be cleaned?

You should check your diffuser user manual for information regarding cleaning frequency. If you misplaced your manual or threw it away (we’re guilty, too), you can follow our general schedule, below:

Daily Use: Deep clean your device weekly

Weekly Use: Deep clean your device weekly

Monthly Use: Deep clean your device monthly

Set up reminders in your phone, put a weekly task on your Google calendar or, if you prefer old school methods, write a reminder in your day planner. As we discussed in the previous section, regularly cleaning your diffuser ensures proper function and longevity of your device. So, do what you have to do to remember your cleaning schedule and watch your diffuser last for years beyond your expectations.