How to Diffuse Essential Oils ?(And Why You’d Want To)

Ever feel sick when you walk into a room that’s filled with artificial fragrances?

Over the holidays we stayed at a place, that was filled with scented candles, plug ins and who knows what else, and I seriously could feel them burn my lungs. Both my husband and I noticed it!

The wild thing is, I used to use scented deodorant (powder fresh!), smelly shampoo and floral body lotions. I also had my home filled with air fresheners and fragranced candles. Little did I know that they contained chemicals, estrogen disrupters and even carcinogens! Fact is, many of the artificial fragrances people bring into their homes are not good for health and well-being.

But I do have to say I love things to smell fresh… Just like good tasting food (our taste sense) or a pretty sunset (or visual sense), our sense of smell is important to honor! I used to burn natural candles but now diffusing essential oils are my go-to solution for fresher smelling air.

Before we start – a special gift for you

Here’s an exclusive download with 88 Ways to use Essential Oils that we made just for readers of this post! Click here to get it!

How to Diffuse Essential Oils Video

A diffuser is kind of like a little vaporizer

Most of the ones you’ll find are “ultrasonic,” which means they use vibrations to vaporize your oils and disperse them into tiny little molecules that fill your air with therapeutic scents, without using any heat.

You can find these on Amazon, starting at about $20. I use Young Living diffusers, because they’re my go-to brand for all things essential oils.

Using a diffuser is super simple

You might be wondering how to diffuse essential oils… it’s easy! You just a little water to the diffuser basin. Some manufacturers will say to use tap water or distilled water, add accordingly. Add about 5 drops of your oil here. Plug it in, start it up, and voila. You are diffusing.

Diffusing essential oils is one of the easiest ways to reap all the benefits of aromatherapy, which can include:

  • Supporting your physical wellness
  • Inspiring a positive emotional state
  • And of course, neutralizing odors

Some oils that I love to diffuse are

  • Peppermint and Lemon for a natural wake me up
  • Frankincense for a spiritual uplift
  • Grapefruit or Orange oil to boost my mood
  • Lavender or Peace & Calming to relax me and the kids at night

So that is how – and WHY – to diffuse essential oils

Essential oils have helped my family in so many ways, and I’m sure you’ll love them too.

Get my free guide on 88 ways to use essential oils!

Don’t forget to get my exclusive download, 88 Ways to Use Essential Oils!

Do you diffuse essential oils?

What are your favorite oils to diffuse? Share with us in the comments below!

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


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  1. Good evening I have just come across your page on Pinterest and thank you for the information you shared on your tutorial I have just recently taken a huge interest in aromatherapy and essential oils and I absolutely love them I don’t know what your your living brand is like as I am from south Africa but we have some pretty great brands here as well thank you again for the free download I look forward to reading it best wishes Kathy SA

  2. I keep a jar of epsom salt with some lavender essential oil mixed in it inmy laundry room and add it to each wash!!! Everything comes out smelling so nice!

  3. My mom just bought me a diffuser after finding out that I’m pregnant! She also purchased a peppermint essential oil for it but my aunt mentioned that it is not safe during pregnancy. I have your book but I was just wondering about your direct experience with safe essential oil use during pregnancy?? Thanks so much!!

  4. Hi, I have heard that diffusing EO oils over time will eventually coat the lining of the lungs and cause lung problems—have you heard this? Thanks!

  5. I love the smell of essential oils! Not only that, but they also have so many benefits I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to have them! I think they are very interesting and they’re something that I’m going to look into.

  6. How and which oil to diffuse to increase appetite on toddlers.. thank u!

  7. I love to diffuse Lemongrass. It helps keep bugs out of my home.

  8. Please answer the question posted above about using EOs with babies.

  9. Hi Genevieve

    Recently i purchased a YL kit using your guidance (ans user – as you instructed in your video).
    Do i get a discount if i want to reorder some of the essential oils from YL, using your user ?
    is that even possible?

    • Genia, yes, if you signed up as a wholesale member, then you get a 24% of retail price on all Young Living products. Please email if you have problems placing an order at mama at mama natural dot com.

  10. I love my Rainstone Diffuser and my Home Diffuser. I love diffusing Lavender It helps me with sleep

  11. Peace & Calming is my all time favorite oil. However they have been OOS on that one for a while. They came out with P&C 2 but I’ve been too afraid to try that one because I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed. Have you tried it? Does it smell comparable to the original? What do you think of it? Same with Valor. I have yet to be daring enough to give it a try because I loved the smell of the original and it really did help with my husbands snoring. Again, I’m afraid it will disappoint. Any thoughts? Thanks!!

    • Haha! I hear you!!! P&C is my all-time favorite. I’ve hoarded this oil so still have some. Same with Valor. So, I haven’t tried the II versions. You can also try making your own P&C with all of the oils except the one they’re out of stock. I do know others who have come to love the II versions.

  12. I know you are suppose to dilute oils when used topically on babies, but what about in diffusers…how many drops is safe?

    • I would only do the gentlest oils like Lavender and 2 drops is plenty in a diffuser.

  13. I’ve been using Young Living oils for almost two years now.. Love them!! I have 4 diffusers. Some of my favorite combos are Joy and Ylang Ylang. Just because it smells so nice. Cedarwood, Northern Nights Black Fir and 2 drops of Vetiver. You’ll sleep like a baby, it’s like taking a walk thru a dark forest. Any mix of citrus. Orange and cedarwood is wonderful, too. Just mix what you like and see what happens.

  14. Hi –

    Your posts are terrific!
    I wonder if you can help me.

    I have the older style YL home diffuser and I just took it out of the box, even though I got it a few years ago. (It is the one on the left: in this video I found on line.)

    I followed the directions exactly and the power is connected (the OFF button is red).

    However, when I push the 30 or ON button, they only light up while I’m holding them, then they go off as I let go and nothing happens. I’ve checked and rechecked the way the unit is sitting and also the water levels. I would suspect YL won’t help me as the unit is so old….

    And I can’t afford a new one now – I remembered I had one as I am seeking ways to help with anxiety due to financial, emotional and family stress. I would love any ideas you have that might work. Thank you!

    • Hmmm, I’ve never seen that problem before. Try contacting Young Living customer service at 1-800-371-3515.

  15. When using the Young Living diffuser, manual says to use tap (uck chlorine) or spring water, but not to use distilled. I use spring.

    I quit diffusing Lavendar around my son since Lavendar has phytoestrogens. Thoughts?

    • That study has been debunked. Regarding lavender being estrogenic.

      • Yup, it’s not estrogenic but helps balancing hormones in general.

  16. It’s so nice to see a post again that isn’t pregnancy related. Keep them coming.

  17. Hello Genevieve! How do you recommend cleaning your diffuser and how often? I know that you are to wipe it out in between uses, but I find that mine needs a deeper clean at times. Thanks for your help!

    • YL diffuser manual says to use rubbing alcohol to clean it.

  18. Love my essential oils!

  19. Diffusing stress away with peppermint smells like chocolate!

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