How to clean a diffuser

how to clean an essential oil diffuser

When was the last time you cleaned your essential oil diffuser? Don’t know how to do that? In this post, you’ll learn how to clean a diffuser using natural ingredients.

You’ve purchased an essential oil diffuser and have been using it for a while. But how do you know when to clean it? How do you clean an essential oil diffuser?

As with any appliance you own, if you look after it properly, you’ll enjoy years of use and benefits.

Essential oil diffusers need extra care and attention- cleaning the unit and changing the water, and of course making sure that the diffuser works properly.

Many diffuser owners neglect to look after their diffuser and, of course, complain when they don’t work!

I’ve created a quick, easy guide to how to clean your essential oil diffuser, so that you can continue to enjoy using your favorite essential oil blends in your home or office.

how to clean an essential oil diffuser


Since diffusers break down essential oils and disperse them into the air as a mist, the unit can get clogged up with oils. It’s important to clean the unit regularly to remove these excess oils and prevent clogging. If you wait until your unit is clogged, you’ll have to work harder at removing it, or you could damage your diffuser!

Neglecting the unit can also lead to a dirty diffuser.

A dirty diffuser can breed bacteria, mold and viruses that can make you sick.

The main reason for owning a diffuser is for the health benefits- the last thing you want is to make yourself sick thanks to neglecting your unit!

But don’t stress about spending hours maintaining your essential oil diffuser! Just a few simple and quick tasks will keep your diffuser in excellent condition. Your health will thank you for it!

Remember, before you begin cleaning your essential oil diffuser, make sure that it is not plugged into the wall!

Check Your Manual and Warranty Conditions

Before proceeding with my suggestions for how to clean your diffuser, read through your diffusers manual and any warranty information. If the manual explains how to clean your diffuser, please follow these instructions so that you don’t void your warranty or cause any unintentional damage.

If your manual doesn’t contain any cleaning information, please read on for my suggestions.

Changing The Water

Firstly, remember to regularly change the water in your essential oil diffuser’s water tank. This will keep the water fresh and clean, and enable your diffuser to work efficiently.

Dirty water is a breeding ground for mold, bacteria and viruses. Dirty water can clog the diffuser, making it difficult for the steam to disperse.

Some essential oil diffusers have water tanks that are easy to remove, so you can carry the tank to a sink and empty the water easily. Others are a bit trickier to remove or carry, so the best thing to do is to scoop out the water from the tank and into a large bucket.


Cleaning the unit

To clean the diffuser, please follow these 6 simple steps:

  1. Pour clean water into the diffuser until it is half-full.
  2. Add between 5-10 drops of vinegar, depending on the size of your diffuser. Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that will help remove the oils in the diffuser.
  3. Run the diffuser for about 10 minutes, so that the vinegar-infused water disperses from the unit and thoroughly cleans it.
  4. Using a cotton swab or clean cloth dipped in vinegar, wipe the diffuser, especially any dirty spots or hard-to-reach corners.
  5. Rinse the diffuser with warm, clean water.
  6. Dry the diffuser with a clean, dry cloth. Once the diffuser is completely dry, you are ready to use it again with your essential oils.

How Often Should You Clean An Essential Oil Diffuser?

Most diffuser manufacturers recommend cleaning the unit after each use, and many users neglect to do this.

For the best performance from your diffuser, it’s important to empty it after each use and clean it out. You don’t want the oils to damage the diffuser if you leave the unit with the water still inside.

You may want to change your essential oil blend on a regular basis- you want to clean your unit so that the essential oils don’t mix with each other. This can damage the oils’ health benefits and create some unusual odors!

You don’t need to run a thorough clean each time you use the unit, but simply empty it and wipe it down to remove all the oils.

By Christine Carlisle

Christine is a freelance senior writer for Home Health Living and has been writing for us for 4 years. She's a health copywriter with over 10 years experience as a writer. Christine lives alone in a cabin in Maine and was once a hand model while living in New York City. She's a dog person.