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The easiest way to start using essential oils is aromatically using an ultrasonic diffuser. But how do you keep your essential oil diffuser clean?
While it certainly is easy to start using a diffuser, you will need to give that diffuser a good cleaning once in awhile.
Thankfully, it’s not a very difficult task! Let me show you how to clean a diffuser.
Tips for cleaning an essential oils diffuser
Notice problems with your diffuser
The standard ultrasonic diffuser includes a reservoir area for the water and oil mixture that includes a small disc at the bottom and a lid that goes over the reservoir.
After using a diffuser on a regular basis you may notice that residue starts to build up and the the reservoir can look a bit dingy inside.
This could be from hard-water build up (if you’re using tap water) or the residue from the oils you’ve been diffusing.
You may also notice the diffuser isn’t releasing as much mist or it’s sounding louder. Those are also signs that it’s time for a good cleaning.
How to properly clean a diffuser
No matter what kind of diffuser you have at home to use with essential oils, here are some common tips for properly cleaning a diffuser.
1. Turn off and unplug
Before learning how to clean a diffuser start by turning off and unplugging it. You do not want to hurt yourself or cause any mechanical issues during the cleaning process.
Don’t forget to empty out any remaining water and oils so the reservoir is completely empty before cleaning.
2. Use warm water
Simply wipe out the outside with a warm, wet cotton cloth to clean any gunk or other build-up.
But remember that the base of the diffuser cannot be submerged in water. There’s a motor inside and lots of mechanical bits that should not get wet!
3. Clean with rubbing alcohol
While the outside shouldn’t be submerged in water, you can give the inside of the reservoir a good cleaning.
4. Rinse and wipe clean
After wiping everything down with alcohol give it a good “rinsing” with a clean damp cloth to remove any remaining build-up or product.
5. Wipe down regularly
Keep your diffuser clean on a regular basis by giving it a good wipe down each time you use it.
Whenever you refill the diffuser give the reservoir a quick wipe with a damp paper towel. This will keep some of the build-up from forming!
Then, once every month or two, give it a deeper cleaning. You can clean it with a mixture of vinegar and water or purchase a special cleaning solution.
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An alternative to quickly clean a diffuser
1. Fill your diffuser like normal
Fill the reservoir of the diffuser with water like you normally would when diffusing oils.
2. Mix in pure white vinegar
3. Turn on and run the diffuser
Run the diffuser for 5-15 minutes depending on how much cleaning is needed. Turn off the diffuser and let the mixture sit in the diffuser for an hour or two.
4. Clean as needed
If the ultrasonic plate (the small disc at the bottom of the reservoir) still looks dirty, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe it clean.
The lid is usually the easiest part to clean — soapy water and a good rinse will do the trick.
If the outside needs a cleaning, wipe it down with a damp cloth (remember: don’t submerge the base in water).
5. Drain & wipe down thoroughly
Finally, empty the diffuser and wipe it out with a damp rag or paper towel.
If you want to skip the vinegar mixture, you can purchase a cleaning solution that’s made specifically for cleaning an ultrasonic diffuser.
Tip: when there seems to be an odor that won’t go away, wipe out the reservoir with some imitation vanilla (which should neutralize the odor on the plastic) and then diffuse water to remove the odor completely.
A method for cleaning a nebulizing diffuser
Instead of filling a reservoir with water, a bottle of essential oil is attached directly to a nebulizing diffuser, giving you a very strong mist of oil. That also means it’s a bit harder to clean.
If you’ve diffused thicker or stickier oils, they may clog the diffuser or impede the performance if you don’t give them a good cleaning once in awhile.
Take the pieces apart as much as you able and soak (the non-mechanical bits) in a bowl of water with a tablespoon of vinegar added. The outside of the base and other parts can simply be wiped down with a damp cloth.
Evaporative diffusers vary so be sure to check the guidelines that are included with yours for any special care and cleaning tips.
Properly cleaning an evaporative diffuser
Cleaning an evaporative diffuser is very simple since they’re usually aren’t any small parts to fiddle with. Remove the scented pad and wipe everything down with a damp cloth.
Re-insert the pad and you’re ready to diffuse!
One last tip:
If you have a diffuser from DoTerra or Young Living, DiffuserDoc might be able to help you out with replacement discs.