The ultimate guide to oil diffusers

Essential oil diffusers are electric devices that turn aromatic oils into diffused mists that fill the room with a fragrant aroma. They have many benefits,...
  • Essential oil diffusers are electric devices that turn aromatic oils into diffused mists that fill the room with a fragrant aroma.
  • They have many benefits, from enhancing the atmosphere with pleasant scents to helping lift the mood and encourage relaxation.
  • There are multiple methods of diffusion and oil-blending, so learning the safe and proper way to diffuse will help you get the most out of your oils.

Have you noticed an uptick in all things essential oils? This super-soothing aromatherapy trend seems to be everywhere, and we’re living for it. If you’ve contributed to this fast-growing interest, you’re probably already an aromatherapy pro. But if you’re a newbie in search of amazing tips and tricks for diffusion mastery, this is the guide for you.

Interestingly, though it seems like we’re suddenly seeing them everywhere, essential oils and oil diffusion are by no means modern concepts. In fact, they have been used for thousands of years in religious ceremonies, healing and more. Today, dreamy smelling essential oils are most often diffused to encourage stress relief and calm, but there are so many reasons why you should think about integrating them into your routine.


So why have these oils remained popular for thousands of years? The answer is complex, but it comes down to the belief that breathing in certain aromas can lead to improved mental and physical health. Though there’s no evidence that aromatherapy can cure anything, there is no doubt that it can help you sink into a certain state of mind and take you to a whole new place entirely. Here are some of the top essential oil diffuser benefits to consider before investing in your first ultrasonic essential oil diffuser.

  • It Boosts Your Mood—Though there is a lot of misinformation out there about essential oils and mental health, one scientifically proven benefit is that they can help make you feel happy. In fact, a study conducted at Ohio State University showed that lemon oil had the power to lift the mood in study participants. So the next time you’re feeling a bit blue, go ahead and break out something lemony.

oil diffuser boosts mood

  • It Helps Create a Relaxing Ambiance—Much like essential oils can make you feel cheerful, so too can they help you sink into a state of deep relaxation and maybe even get better sleep. Oils of lavender, rose, bergamot, orange, chamomile and frankincense have long been used for their tranquilizing effects. Try our orange and bergamot essential oil blend if you’re looking to totally chill.
  • It Doubles as a Humidifier—One reason why many aromatherapists prefer ultrasonic diffusing (which uses electricity to power subtle vibrations, which agitate water and trigger the oils to disperse) is because they help introduce great-smelling moisture into the air, making them amazing for use in dry, air-conditioned rooms or when you’re feeling under the weather in the winter.
  • It Makes the Room Smell Great without a Flame—Don’t get us wrong—we’re obsessed with candles (it’s kind of our thing). But we recognize that not everyone is comfortable having an open flame in the house, especially when there are pets and little ones around. But everybody loves stuff that smells good, so diffusers are a great alternative. The ultrasonic diffuser also edges out other types of diffusers because it’s relatively low-maintenance and easy to clean.
  • It Preserves the Quality of the Oil—Unlike other types of diffusion, modern-day ultrasonic diffusers are unique in that they help preserve the original chemical structure of the oils. Other styles heat—and sometimes even burn—the oil molecules, which can destroy the structure and make them less fragrant.
  • It Takes You Somewhere Else Entirely—When you burn that holiday essential oil blend, you’ll automatically be transported to your grandma’s house on Christmas Day, sugar cookies and all. Break out the beach cottage oil blend and sink into vivid memories of childhood summers. Aromas have the amazing power of being able to rustle up your entire catalog of feelings, so they’re ideal for all you homesick, nostalgic and reminiscent types out there.

homesick essential oil bottles


Clearly, there are tons of great reasons to invest in a high-quality essential oil diffuser and a stash of mood-boosting scents, but you may still feel confused by exactly how the diffuser works or how to get started. An ultrasonic oil diffuser plugs into the wall with a standard electrical outlet, which triggers a ceramic disc inside to vibrate. This vibration breaks down the essential oils into teeny-tiny particles, which are then blended with water and dispersed into the air as aromatic mist.

It may seem a tad complicated, but don’t fret. A good essential oil diffuser will do all of this work for you, with very minimal setup and effort from you. Generally, most ultrasonic essential oil diffusers work in the same way. Here’s how to use one.

1. Set it Up—First things first: set it up! You’ll need to position your diffuser somewhere within close proximity to a wall outlet. We recommend placing it in your living room, bedroom or anywhere you like to relax. Place the diffuser on a side table or nightstand, preferably on a tray, at least two feet above the floor. This will help ensure that moisture is properly distributed into the air.

2. Fill Up the Tank—Because the diffuser relies on water to help create a nice-smelling mist, you will routinely have to fill it up with water. Our  diffuser has a clearly marked fill line so you always know exactly how much water to use. We recommend avoiding regular tap water because it can cause mineral buildup inside the diffuser, compromising its ability to work properly over time. Your best bet is to use filtered water in your diffuser.

homesick diffuser with tank

3. Add the Oils—Now for the fun part, adding the oils! First, remove the lids to all of your oils and give them a great, big whiff. Just kidding! That part is totally optional. Add as many drops of oil as desired. You will generally want to add anywhere between three and fifteen  drops for a 100-milliliter diffuser depending on strength, but don’t be afraid to experiment until you come up with the perfect amount. Want to blend two or three oils? Check out the blending tips below!

4. Adjust the Settings—The great thing about modern essential oil diffusers is that they can be tailored to a wide range of preferences. For example, our Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser has two selectable spray modes: a pulse or a constant stream. It also has an LED light that provides soft illumination and can function as a nightlight, if desired. Again, finding your ideal settings may take a bit of experimentation, but it’s well worth it when you land on the right ones.


Okay, now for the part that will make you feel like a professional aromatherapist with years of experience, even if this is your very first bottle. To diffuse like an expert, you’re going to want to learn a thing or two about blending so you find the right aroma for every situation and ambiance.

How do you blend essential oils, you ask? Well, it’s somewhat of an art, one that takes lots of trial and error. But it’s definitely one you want to learn how to master, especially if you want to create completely customized scents that play into your preferred vibe. Maybe you want a cinnamon, coffee and clove essential oil blend to warm you up in the morning or want to design your own essential oil blend for a clean smell when you’re doing chores on Saturday morning.

To get started, invest in a collection of pure essential oils that you can mix to create one-of-a-kind aromas (sometimes called synergies or blends). Choose scents that complement one another in terms of both the scent’s qualities and the feeling it elicits—for example, if you’re going for something soothing, don’t pair calming chamomile with uplifting lemon. There are lots of readily available essential oil recipes you’ll find online.

essential oil notes graphic

Each blend should have strong top, middle and base notes to create a harmonious, well-rounded balance.

  • Top notes are the first thing you’ll smell, yet they’re usually the lightest of the three and the ones that disappear the quickest. Common top notes include lemon, bergamot and other citruses as well as herbs like sage and lavender.
  • Middle notes or “heart notes” are the second thing you’ll smell. These notes are generally marked by their more mellow, smooth scent. Some common middle notes include florals like rose and lavender and spices like black pepper.
  • Base notes are the final thing you’ll smell within your blend. Mixing with the middle notes, base notes create the primary scent of the synergy. Some common base notes include earthy scents like cedarwood, musk, amber and patchouli.

Because they are not intended for direct use on the skin, these oil blends do not require the addition of a carrier oil, and you can simply drop them directly into the oil well in your diffuser or mix them beforehand. If you’re not particularly keen on creating your own concoctions from scratch, don’t worry. There are lots of pre-blended essential oil options that will work beautifully in your aromatherapy diffuser.


Last but not least, a little bit of light maintenance. We recommend giving your aroma diffuser a good wipe-down after every five or six uses. This will help ensure that every single pure or blended drop you use will smell exactly how it’s intended, without any indication of previous scents you’ve “burned.” It will also help keep your diffuser working at its best for longer.

To clean, make sure you completely shut off and unplug the diffuser before beginning. Wipe out the oil reservoir with a damp cotton cloth, making sure to get every drop. If you see some residue remaining, you can use a cotton ball dipped in alcohol to get rid of the buildup. Rinse the reservoir and allow it to completely dry before using it again.


If you’re ready to sink into the great, big world of essential oils, you’re in for a treat! All you need is a high-quality aromatherapy diffuser and the oils of your choice. With the right collection, you’ll build a library that helps you get into any state of mind. And with Homesick essential oil blends, you can use your oils to take you all over the world, from France to Long Island to Northern California.

Buying Essential Oil DiffusersBuy a quality essential oil diffuser! Essential oils can be costly in price and resources so they need to be used responsibly. You want your investment in those oils to go as far as possible so make sure you buy a high-quality device that will do its job well.

First things first, choose the right kind of diffuser for your needs. There are three types:

Passive diffusion
The most utilized type of diffuser for essential oils today is an ultrasonic diffuser. This type uses ultrasonic waves and water to disperse essential oils into the air.

They are widely available in many sizes, shapes and price ranges. This is the type of diffuser we are focusing on today to teach you to use.

How To Use An Essential Oil Diffuser

The process of using an essential oil diffuser usually consists of adding water into the machine’s container, then adding a few drops or more of the desired essential oils before switching it on. The unit should be placed in any room you want to enjoy its fragrance.

1. Choose Location For Diffusing

Pick an open area in a room or office with a solid surface or tabletop. You will need an outlet to plug it in. Also, since water is being used, it is good to have a placemat or towel down if you are using on a wood surface.

I have a diffuser on my nightstand near my bed and one in my family room on a solid table. For best use, avoid placing in direct sunlight or near a fan.

2. Add Water To Your Diffuser

Once you have your place picked out, fill your diffuser water tank to the fill line of the water reservoir with clean tap water that is room temperature.

Most diffusers have a water level line on the inside of the water reservoir or a measuring cup to fill up and then add to the reservoir, refer to your diffuser manual for the recommended water amount your diffuser requires.

*DO NOT OVERFILL or your aroma diffuser may not run properly.

How To Use Essential Oils Diffuser by Loving Essential Oils | how to use an aromatherapy diffuser, add water

3. Add Aromatherapy Oil to Diffuser

Next, add 3-10 drops of essential oils to the water. You can use a single essential oil like lavender, or an essential oil blend. See below for recommended oils to diffuse.

Usually, 6 drops of oil is enough but sometimes you may want more oil for a stronger scent. You can experiment with the essential oil amounts to see what you prefer.

How To Use Essential Oil in Diffuser by Loving Essential Oils | How to use an essential oil diffuser, add oils
Not sure what to diffuse? Get our Essential Oil Diffuser Guide with over 200 Diffuser Blends for lots of recipes to try:

4. Turn On oil diffuser

Place cap or top of diffuser back on as your diffuser requires. Set which features you would like if your model has options like a nightlight or color changing LED lights. Turn on and enjoy the wonderful scent!

How To Use An Aromatherapy Diffuser Like An Expert by Loving Essential Oils | How to use an aromatherapy diffuser with essential oils

Not all aromatherapy diffusers are the same, some have options depending on the model you purchase. You may be able to set the length of time you want the diffuser on, or different time cycles you can choose from like on for 30 seconds then off for 15 seconds.

Some also have light options you can turn on for a display of colors or a solid color. These features vary widely depending on brand and model.

How To Clean Your Diffuser

It is also best to do a quick clean after use, here are the steps to follow:

Unplug diffuser and remove any water left in the reservoir.
Clean inside with a small brush and warm water (most diffusers come with one or you can use a clean paintbrush dedicated to cleaning your diffuser).
Rinse out and dry off.
Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the ultrasonic chip found in most water reservoirs.
Let the diffuser air dry.

Best Essential Oils To Diffuse

What should you diffuse? A lot depends on your desired goal, if you want something calming like lavender for relaxation or peppermint which helps soothe headaches and nausea.

Here are my favorite single essential oils to diffuse alone in a diffuser and some of the reasons I have used them.

Lavender Essential Oil: The scent is calming, relaxing, good for sleep, anxiety, sadness, restlessness, reducing stress

Peppermint Essential Oil: Diffuse for improved concentration, focus, alertness, respiratory support, refreshing aroma, mental fatigue, seasonal allergies, headaches

Lemon Essential Oil: Good for uplifting, detoxifying, cleansing, purifying, deodorizing, energizing

Frankincense Essential Oil: Use during meditation, yoga, good for balancing, lifting spirits, improving focus, anxiety, spiritual awareness

Grapefruit Essential Oil: Helps reduce food cravings, uplifting, balancing, enhances mood, relieves anxiety, stress, tension

Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Great for nasal congestion, respiratory ailments, breathing discomfort, insect repellent, bug bites

Sweet Orange Essential Oil: Cheerful scent to improve mood, calm anxiety, digestion, uplifting, natural detoxifier

Where to Buy Essential Oils?

Essential oils are great because not only do they make you feel good physically but mentally as well. I love having them around since they have so many benefits like clearing the air of bad odors and improving moods by releasing calming scents in your home or office!