How to use Essential Oils Reed Diffusers I DIY Reed Diffuser

Essential oils are known for their exotic aroma and the million benefits they possess. There are many ways to disperse aroma in your home including candles, sprays and Sachets. Another popular choice is reed diffusers which can be used in numerous locations in your home. The aroma dispersed by reed diffusers will not only liberate your senses, but also provide mental peace and calmness. Diffusers are a great way to freshen your home and they can be called, “therapy at home”. In this blog we’ll tell you all about Reed diffusers and how to use Essential oils in these diffusers.

 3,953 Essential Oil Diffuser Stock Photos and Images - 123RF

What are Reed diffusers?

Reed Diffusers is an extremely popular option in home fragrances. They draw up fragrances from diluted essential oils and gently releases them into the air. Reed Diffusers consist of three main components: A small glass jar/bottle, a set of wooden reeds or sticks typically seven in total and Essential oils.

For Reed Diffuser to work, all you need is reed inserted into a glass bottle or glass jar of scented diffuser oil, these reeds soak up the scent and emit light, pleasant aroma around your home.


Why should you use Reed Diffusers?

There are many reasons why Reed diffusers are a popular choice among people:

  • They are cheaper as compared to expensive ultrasonic diffusers. Reed diffusers have gained a momentum in the recent times and becoming more readily available than other diffusers.
  • They work as home décor and are aesthetically pleasing. You can just place the little bottle cum jar in a corner, and it will work just fine as a showpiece. There are many unique Reed diffusers like Buddha face, etc available in the market.
  • Reed Diffusers are flameless and safe to use around pets and children. If you’re someone who always worries about blowing out the candles or setting the house on fire, then these might be the best deal for you.
  • They are low maintenance and require less attention to work with. You literally just have to put a few sticks inside a liquid and Voila! Enjoy the different aromas.
  • And lastly, they are sustainable and you can easily make one for yourself at home.

You can also make new recipes according to your mood, and enjoy anytime.


Where to keep Reed diffusers?

Reed diffusers can be used in any location. The oils require no chemicals to release the aroma and hence is a safe option for every home, health facility, educational institutes or shared workspaces. For most effective results, it is best to keep them in smaller spaces like bathroom, small office or bedroom. If your space is large or has high ceiling, it may be difficult to notice the aroma as it will disperse over a wider area.

Even though they can be placed in kitchen as well but it is best to avoid room or spcaces whih have open heating element. The oils and wood used in this are flammable and can be dangerous if placed next to a heat source. Also there is risk of spilling. Therefore, reed diffusers should always be kept on a shelf and out of reach of children and pets.

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How to use Essential oils in Reed Diffusers

Essential oils can’t be used directly in Reed Diffusers because the reed won’t carry the scent alone. They require some sort of carrier to put forward the aroma like Isopropyl Myristate, Carrier Oils, fragrance oils, etc. Now the choice of Solvent depends on the kind of Reed diffuser you purchase.

There are two kinds of Reed Diffuser solutions or kits, one is made up entirely Natural base with essential oils, fragrance oils and carrier oils. While the other is Alcohol- based, it uses alcohol base solutions to thicken aromas and speed up their dissolving. They use solvents like Isopropyl Myristate, or DPG to create a base. The natural ones are great but the aroma might take more time to climb up the reed. Whereas, Alcohol elevates the aroma faster and you can feel the aroma, almost immediately.


Homemade Essential oil Reed Diffuser:

The common equipment you’ll need for these recipes are:

Glass Jar: Reed diffuser bottles should ideally be made of glass as it helps to extend shelf life. Also certain oils erode plastic materials over time. Look for small short jars which have a narrow opening. The smaller the opening, the slower your oils will evaporate.

Alcohol base (Binder) : You can add a small amount of alcohol to the oil mixture as it helps to thin the oils and bind them together. This helps them to travel up the reeds more efficiently. You can use solvents of your choice like Isopropyl Myristate, rubbing alcohol or DPG or just plain old Vodka.

Essential oils (Fragrance): Essential oils are ideal choice for reed diffusers because of their potency and long lasting aroma. This is where the fun starts. You can use single essential oils or combine 2-3 together to create an entirely new fragrance. Here are some essential oils you can try for reed diffuser: Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, Rosemary, Geranium, Ylang Ylang etc.

Carrier oils : The choice of carrier oil used in reed diffuser will affect how quickly it is absorbed and dispersed in room. It is the base oil and will help dilute essential oils. We recommend using carrier oils like Safflower Oil, Sweet Almond oil or Fractionated Coconut Oil as these are lighter oils and will travel up the reeds easily. Regular vegetable oils are way too thick and will not work well in reed diffuser.

The Reeds (Sticks): Reed Diffusers usually use reeds which are made from ratten as they contain small chennels which help oil travel up the stick and disperse in the room. It is important that reeds/sticks are twice as tall as the jar so they can distribute the scent well. You can also use Bamboo skewers but they are less pourous than traditional reeds and will be less effective as comared to rattan reed sticks.


How to make Essential oil Reed Diffuser


  • ¼ cup Carrier Oil
  • 6-7 Reed sticks
  • 20-30 drops Essential oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Alcohol
  • Small Glass Jar


  1. Take out your clean jar and put ¼ or quarter cup of Fractionated Coconut oil, or a carrier oil of your choice.
  2. Add 20 drops of Essential oil of your choice, per ¼ cup of carrier oil.
  3. Add a tablespoon of Alcohol Solvent like rubbing alcohol and stir this mix slowly.
  4. Now put in the Reed sticks or Bamboo sticks to the solution and let them soak it up for at least one hour.
  5. Turn the sticks upside down with the soaked ends facing upwards, and just like that the aroma is ready to dissolve in air.

Tip: Don’t use any thick carrier oil, it might create a hard medium of travel. And if you use Bamboo sticks, peel them from the edges to increase their absorption.

 What To Know Before Using A Reed Diffuser - Iberchem

DIY recipes for Reed Diffuser blends


  1. Bedtime blend


  1. Refreshing blend


  1. Calming your senses Blend


  1. Fall Season Blend

These are the few blends recipes to try next time you go shopping for Reed diffuser kit.


How Long Do Reed diffusers last?

A well maintained reed diffuser with good quality oil should typically last for 2-3 months before requiring to be refilled or replaced. The aroma emitted by reed diffusers is usually mild and not as strong as other diffusers like electronic or candle operated.

In order to maintain longer life, gently swirl or stir fragrance solution once each week. This helps from preventing essential oils seprate and settling at bottom. Next, flip reeds every 3-4 days in order to keep the wood moist, so that it keeps emitting scented oil in air. Lastly, replace reed sticks once a month.


Do They Spread Fragrance Throughout your Home?

The reed sticks are made of lightweight wood, which absorb the oil as they are set in liquid. The oil gradually travels up the wooden stem and its fragarance is naturally dispered in air. Since the reeds are positioned in different angles, The point fragrance in various directions, encouraging it to travel across room.


Few Points to Note:

  • Essential oil reed diffusers emit light, subtle aroma in the room. These cannot be compared with the overpowering aroma of commercial reed diffusers which use artificially scented oils
  • Reed Diffusers work well in small, enclosed room like bathroom. In larger areas, the aroma will not be very prominent as it gets dispered over a larger area.
  • The reeds need to be flipped every few days to refresh the scent. Once reeds are fully saturated, you will have to replace them with new ones.
  • If you are looking for stronger aroma in your room, look for electronic or candle diffusers which emit stronger aroma as compared to reed diffusers
  • Heavier oils like olive or Jojoba will take longer to travel up theb reeds. Thus for quicker results stick with lighter oils like Sweet Almond, safflower etc
  • Keep reed diffuser away from children and pets


FAQ’s for Reed Diffuser

Can I re-use my reeds?

No, once reeds have been used for a particular scent, it cannot be used for another fragrance. The scent which has been absorbed by the reeds will mix with new scant and could produce undesirable aroma.

How often should I flip the reeds?

Whenever you notice that the aroma of your reed diffuser is fading, you can flip the reeds for a burst of aroma. You should flip reeds once a week.

How often should you replace your reeds?

Reeds should be replaced once they stop diffusing aroma. Over time, they become clogged with dust. Before replacing, we suggest you flip them . However if it still doesn’t work, you should consider replacing them as they might have been clogged with dust or saturated. We recommend replacing once every 2-3 months.

How many Reeds should I put in my bottle?

More reeds diffuse more aroma. Ideally you can put 7-8 reeds in one jar.

What If the bottle is not empty but it is not emitting aroma?

Flipping the reeds exposes the wet ends in the air which help kick-start the diffusion process. This will lead to faster emission of oil. Sometimes however even after flipping, they don’t emit aroma. This means they have become saturated or clogged and you need to simply replace with new reeds.

What are the Safety recommendations for Reed Diffusers?

Never ingest oils. Be careful while filling bottle with oils as they can damage some surfaces. Do not light reeds. Be careful while using diffusers around pets and children.


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