How To Make Homemade Reed Diffusers

I posted yesterday about trying to grow aromatic lavender to cut and bring indoors for a dose of aromatherapy. Since that plan didn't exactly work out, I decided to look for a reed diffuser to use, since those plug-in types of air fresheners are full of chemicals (and draw electricity)...

The problem is that many of the nicer reed diffusers are pretty pricey. Paying $20 or $30 for an air freshener seems rather silly when many of us have the raw materials around the house.

What You Need

Materials

  • Glass or ceramic container (glazed inside, so it doesn't leak) with a narrow opening at the top. I decided to try this beautiful vase a friend bought for me, since it's already in my bedroom and it has been deemed completely uninteresting to the felines.
  • Essential oils of your choice. I have lavender and eucalyptus.
  • I've heard of using mineral oil as your "base," but I wanted to avoid petroleum-based products. Sweet almond oil or safflower oil are other options. But I was intrigued when I read about using vodka and water, mostly because I have some in the freezer, it's not my favorite libation, and it won't leave a greasy mess if it does get knocked over. Though I've also read that vodka will evaporate more quickly than something totally oil-based. It's your call.
  • Reeds or bamboo skewers. You can find replacement reeds online pretty inexpensively, but if you have bamboo skewers in the kitchen or craft room, just trim off the pointy ends before use.

Instructions

1. If you're using an oil base, you will want to use 30% essential oil to 70% base oil. You can experiment with the percentages to see what works best for you.

2. If you're using the vodka and water mixture, you will want to add approximately 12 drops of essential oils with 1/4 cup of water then add a little of vodka (the vodka helps bind the oils to the water).

3. Pour the mixture into your receptacle and place one end of the reeds or skewers into the solution, allowing it to saturate the reeds. Then take them out, and place the opposite ends into the bottle. You will want to rotate which ends are in the scent solution about once a week.

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Things to Keep in Mind

The smaller the neck on the bottle, the slower the liquid will evaporate. I'm about to learn how much more quickly mine will evaporate with the wider opening of my vase.

Experiment with different essential oil combinations until you find one or two you really like. You can then increase your batches and keep them in sealed containers (like a canning jar) to save prep time later on.

Have any of you made your own diffusers before? Which works better? The oil or the vodka and water? I've love to know!


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(Images: Michelle Chin)

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