Learn how to clean your essential oil diffuser to ensure oil purity is maintained and increase the life of your diffuser | www.NaturalMavens.comThe healing and soothing properties of essential oils have been known for centuries. Distilled from raw plant matter, essential oils can be used to treat respiratory ailments likes asthma and irritating coughs; for skin conditions such as eczema or breakouts; to relieve stress and prevent anxiety; and to give your home a fragrant and inviting ambience that your guests will never want to leave.

Essential oils can be used for their health benefits in many ways but one of the most common and effective ways is diffusion. Diffusion is the release of essential oil particles into the air where they can be inhaled and absorbed.

Diffusers are often filled with water and drops of oil, or oil infused cartridges, and powered by battery or electrical outlet.

These diffusers are great but to do their job effectively they need to be properly cleaned and maintained after every use.

Why is it important to clean my diffuser?

Essential oil diffusers are often the unsung hero behind the fragrant home and the invigorated body. But while you’re enjoying the healing properties of your favourite essential oils, your diffuser may be suffering from neglect.
Over time and use, particles from the essential oils and scale from the water can build up and clog the mist vent, preventing your diffuser from working properly. Additionally, the residual oils will tarnish every use, meaning your aromatherapy isn’t as pure as it could be.

If you’re noticing a build-up of oil residue or that it is simply not working as well as it should, then you need to know how to clean an essential oil diffuser, quickly, easily and naturally.

How to clean an oil diffuser

In this guide I explain how to clean an ultrasonic oil diffuser with minimal effort and without the use of harmful chemicals.  Let the diffuser do the work for you by following these seven easy steps to run a ‘clean cycle’.

Step 1 – Safety first

First things first. When learning how to clean a diffuser, it is important to remember that water and electricity don’t mix! Whenever you’re refilling, cleaning or moving your essential oil diffuser, turn off and unplug the adaptor from its power source first.

Step 2 – Add water

Fill the water reservoir up to about half way with cold clean tap water, stopping well before the maximum fill line as you will only be running the diffuser for a brief amount of time.

Step 3 – Add vinegar

Oil residue can often build up and stick to the inside as well as on the glass and plastic components of the diffuser. Pure white vinegar is a great natural cleaning agent—add up to 10 drops to the water reservoir.

Step 4 – Run the diffuser

Plug in your diffuser and run it for about 5 minutes. This will be enough time for the water and vinegar to move throughout the diffuser and clean it.

Step 5 – Drain the diffuser

After turning off and unplugging the diffuser, pour out the remaining water from the reservoir. Pour from the back of the diffuser so you don’t spill any water on the front operating buttons.

Step 6 – Wipe down

Using a cotton ball or wipe dipped in vinegar, gently wipe down the interior including the ultrasonic plate.

Step 7 – Rinse and dry

Simply rinse out the inside of the diffuser with some clean water then dry all over with a clean cloth. Your diffuser is now as clean as new and ready to continue diffusing your favourite essential oils.

Things to remember

Frequency is your friend! One of the most important things to remember when learning how to clean a diffuser is that you should do it often.

After every use, give your diffuser a quick wipe down with vinegar and a rinse. To keep your diffuser in its best operating condition, you should run the clean cycle at least weekly.

Don’t use abrasives, aerosol sprays or solvents to clean your diffuser as you can damage the plastic and taint the aroma in future uses.

Never submerge your diffuser in water.


While this guide is based on how to clean an ultrasonic diffuser, with some minor variation, you can follow these instructions for most diffusers. If in doubt whether these instructions for how to clean an essential oil diffuser will work for your particular diffuser, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Just remember that the more frequently you clean your diffuser, the more pure and effective the diffusion of essential oils will be, and the longer your home diffuser will last.

With just a little TLC your essential oil diffuser will keep working for you and your family; calming minds, healing ailments and adding an inviting, purified atmosphere to your home.


UPDATE: Several people have contacted me to say that Young Living diffusers cannot be cleaned using vinegar as it will void the warranty. I have no experience with these diffusers so was unaware of this. As I recommend above, always check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning.  A tip for cleaning Young Living diffusers is suggested in the comments below – use rubbing alcohol on a Q-Tip to clean.