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Essential Oils Blog

How to Dilute Essential Oils

Plant Therapy How to Dilute Essential Oils


Click Here to Download Plant Therapy’s “How to Read the Essential Oils Dilution Chart” PDF

The dilution chart. We often get asked just HOW in the world you read this thing. We realize that this might seem intimidating – but we promise it’s not as bad as it seems! It’s important to remember that ANYTIME you apply essential oils to the skin, you’ll want to use a carrier oil. This chart helps you find the right ratio for your situation. Check out the illustration below for some guidance and the following discussion for some clarifications:

Once you learn how to how to read the chart there often are more questions:

1. How do I know which dilution rate to use?

For normal, daily use we recommend a dilution rate of 2%. For acute situations, like an injury or temporary condition you can  even go up to 5%-10% for a SHORT period of time. How long is this? Typically less than 2 weeks.

2. How do I get .5 of a drop of essential oil?

You don’t. If you really want to be exact, you need to increase the amount of carrier until you come across a whole number! If you can’t do this, just round DOWN to the next whole number (example 1.5 drops becomes just 1 drop).

3. What about use on the face?

This normally means you’d like to blend into a facial serum or cream and will be using it daily. Stick to 1% dilution – the skin on your face is more sensitive and you should use a lower dilution.

4. How do I safely dilute essential oils for my kids? 

For use with children, you can see guidelines in the bottom block. For the most part, we feel like a 2% dilution for spot treatments is fine. You’ll notice that this block refers to WHOLE BODY APPLICATION. Since we rarely cover our entire bodies in essential oils – a 2% dilution is fine.

5. What is “whole body application”?

In the case of a massage (or body cream) where a large portion of the skin is covered, you want to use a lower dilution. Since so much surface area is affected, this increases the total rate of absorption for your body.

That should cover most of the FAQs regarding this essential oils dilution chart. However, as always, we want to hear from you! Contact us by emailing [email protected] for any questions, concerns or comments you may have. You can join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes and participate in lively conversation with other essential oils users. We have your safety in mind – so come hang out with us to learn even more! We look forward to seeing you there!

Plant Therapy Essential Oil Dilution Chart

73 thoughts on “How to Dilute Essential Oils”

  1. I went to a YL “Make & Take” party and was given a recipe for a 5 ml allergy roller. I knew 40 drops were too much, but it allows me to take it home and dilute it more to be safe. I don’t have all the oils they used, so it’s a nice way to sample EO recipes. (plus more dilution) My question is: after using 10 drops Lavender, 10 Lemon, 10 peppermint, 10 copaiba, and filling to top with sweet almond oil, how can I dilute this to a safe level to be usable? That rep was using this on her children, which I shuddered at. She didn’t give details of botanical names, but they were on the bottles. I don’t know enough about oils to be picky, and they weren’t either. We have allergies and was interested in something to help. I know I can trust your answers. Thank you! Judy

  2. I googled dilution ratios and most charts I’ve seen so far have shown that a 30ml bottle needs 6 drops for a 1% dilution as opposed to yours which states 9. Can you explain why you state more than many others?

    1. There are several “versions” of dilution charts that we have seen. We have based our off of what is contained in Essential Oil Safety, 2nd edition by Tisserand and Young. Robert Tisserand works closely with Plant Therapy in ensure our safety information is accurate.

  3. Is the 1% dilution for the face per oil or overall? In
    Other words, if I’m adding 3 different essential oils, do I add 9 drops of each, or 3 drops of each. I feel like I should know this, but my basic math is failing me.

    1. Hi Beth! if you are using a 1% dilution and have 3 oils, you would use 3 drops of each for a total of 9 drops.

      1. Thanks! That makes sense but a lot of the recipes I see call for so much more. It’s really great to have this guide to make sure I’m not overdoing it!! You guys are awesome!

      2. This calculation confuses me as I thought the total combined 1% dilution for a 10 ml bottle is 3 drops. I have face serums in 10 ml bottle that have 2 different EO’s (Blend # 1: 2 drops frankincense, 1 drop clary sage) but are you saying that I can use 3 drops of frankincense & 3 drops of clary sage? If I add 2 more EO’s can my total drops equal 12 in a 10 ml bottle (4 EO’s x 3 drops = 12)?

        1. Michelle, your original thought on dilution is correct. For the 1% dilution in a 10ml bottle, that is a total of 3 drops(split between all the oils in the blend). You do not add 3 drops of EACH oil.

          1. That is not what plant therapy just stated though email which is correct? The combined oil would make sense but perhaps it is the amount of only one particular oil?

  4. New to oils here… I’m trying to make a teething blend for a 11mo old. I have Roman Chamomile and Lavender and found many recipes ranging from 5-12 drops each with a carrier oil. That doesn’t seem to match up with an 11mo old I don’t think?? What would you do for a 10ml bottle? Same thing with an Ear Infection Blend… I was thinking 2 Lavender, 2 Tea Tree, and 2 Chamomile? would that be safe for a baby? Thanks for any help you have, reading these dilution charts has confused me!

    1. We don’t generally recommend using essential oils on children so young. However for a short period of time, a specific purpose, and using KidSafe essential oils at a .25-.5% dilution would be safe. In a 10ml bottle that would be a total of 1 drop of essential oil. You can make a master blend of all of the essential oils then drop one drop into your 10ml bottle to properly dilute. Your essential oil combinations are great choices for your purposes, I would recommend that you only apply to the outside of the jaw and the outside of the ear. I hope this has answered your question!

  5. I’m making a scalp & hair oil, is the skin there more sensitive like the face (meaning, should I max out at 1% EO dilution) or is a 2% dilution safe for that application?

    1. 2% is a safe dilution, however if you’re going to be using it daily, for a substantial period of time, I would recommend sticking with a 1% dilution to avoid concerns associated with sensitization.

    1. Hi Sharelle! 1% is 9 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier. 0.5% would be 9 drops EO to 2 ounces of carrier oil. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email [email protected].

    2. I think the missing part for you Sharelle is how many drops are in a tablespoon for example. The way it is presented can be a bit hard to follow because they’re kind of talking apples and oranges. For example, in 15 mL which is 1 tablespoon there is between 250 and 300 drops (the variance comes from the viscosity or thickness of the oil, and therefore the drop size).
      The chart is an excellent tool to simplify, but I think what is missing for you is knowing the total number of drops in the complete blend. Because it’s incredibly tedious and time consuming to count out 250 or even up to 600 drops for a full ounce, following the chart is a good way to go. 🙂

  6. I have Respir aid on the way and want to make an everyday roll on for an elderly person. What would be the appropriate amount of drops for a 10ml roller bottle? TIA

  7. I am new to this guys so bare with me if you will. I purchased Nature shield synergy to ward off mosquitoes and knots. They attract to me like crazy. I would like to make a spray to use for this purpose. Any suggestions?

  8. I am thinking of making a herbal balm with 5% essential oil dilution. Is it ok with the dilution? I am making the balm to sell.

  9. Just ordered calming the child oil, so according to the chart to make a 10 ml rollerball I would add 6 drops of oil to the carrier oil, correct??

    1. Amanda, 6 drops in a 10 ml roller would be a 2% dilution. You could go as high as 9 drops of Calming The Child.

  10. Hello! Is it okay to use Nighty Night DAILY using a 2% rate on my 3 year old? I read that prolonged use can cause desensitization. Should I cycle in another blend that comprises of different oils after a one month period?

    1. We would suggest that you use as needed, for those occasional restless night, rather than every night.. frequent use could increase the risk of sensitization. Yes, switching out, or going without for a few days is a good option…

  11. Hi, i would like to ask a question. I am going to blend a body oil for sleep which i can use every night. Please advise what is the best dilution rate for 30 ml carrier oil ? . thank you 🙂

  12. Id like to ask. Ive put 12 drops of lemongrass oil in rosehip oil. 2% dillution yes? But Ive seen some sites that says it should only be .7%? what should I do? I dont have enough money to just buy a whole new rosehip oil bottle. Ive just read that the turle of thumb is.12 drops per 30 ml so thats what i did before seeing the .7% thing.

    1. Mikaela, you can add any carrier, such as Coconut or Almond to get the proper dilution. With Lemongrass Essential OIl you would want to keep at 6 drops per ounce of carrier oil.

  13. I would like to make a facial scar blend from your essential oils, consisting of the following oils frankincense, lavendar, myrrh, geranuim, carrot seed, helichrysum in carrier oils of Tamanu and Rosehip. This would be for kids 10 yrs old and above. What is the best way to make a recipe with several different EO in several carrier oils but making sure to follow the proper dilution rates for children/teens and using the correct total of drops for each EO? How do you determine the number of each EO for the carriers? Any recommendations of EO and/or combinations for a scars blend and suggested number of drops and dilution would be appreciated. Thank you!

    1. I think in this instance it would be best to create a master blend first, and then dilute that to apply topically. A master blend is the same thing as a synergy, it is a mixture of undiluted essential oils. In a separate empty bottle, combine the essential oils in the desired quantities. Once that is done, I would dilute it to 1% for the face (3 drops per 10ml of carrier oil), and 2-3% for other places (6-9 drops per 10ml of carrier). Here is a blog post that may help you: https://www.planttherapy.com/blog/2017/03/30/beginning-blending-1-2-3/ 🙂

    2. I’m looking to do the same thing with the same oils plus a few more. The mix would be for me for Discoid Lupus scars and over all skin health. The chart is confusing to me. I need direct simplified instructions. How many drops of oil per teaspoon or tablespoon of carrier all, no matter the combined amount of essential oil. I need a rule of thumb to follow.

      1. Unfortunately there really isn’t a rule of thumb when it comes to safety diluting essential oils. Dilution rates can very for different oils, so saying “use X amount of drops per Y amount of carrier oil” is always going to be safe is not true. To give you an idea of how to follow, there are 15ml in a Tablespoon. Start at the top and go to 15ml. Go down to 2% and you should arrive at 9 drops.

  14. Helllo! Great stuff here! Wanted to know If i was to make a flu or a cold blend , what dilution rate & am i looking at ? and how long can i use it for that period?
    Thank you !

    1. It would really depend on the ages of users and what oils you chose to use. For short term use, you could go up to 5%.

  15. Is there a standard amount of drops/ml for carrier oils or would that depend too much on their consistency? I was hoping to blend amounts smaller than 5ml at a time.

    1. It can vary, though it usually averages between 20-40. We base our dilution chart of the median average, 30 drops per ml. 🙂

  16. Hi there! New to using essential oils. I bought the Nature Shield syngergy blend and I noticed it says to dilute to 5% for topical use. But I don’t know how to dilute oils. I gather I need to use a carrier oil and add droplets of the essential oil to it. But I don’t know any examples of carrier oils for Nature Shield.

    1. Any carrier oil would work for Nature Shield. Some popular options are Fractionated Cococnut Oil and Aloe Vera Jelly. 🙂

  17. Thank you for the chart! I’ll just use 10ml bottles and it will be easy to figure out. I have a question… Does the dilution ratios also apply to use in a diffuser? Sorry if that’s a dumb question hehe! Thanks again!

  18. I have several dilution charts/guides… just didn’t know if it was the same for body butter products versus those with carrier oils

  19. I’m making my son a calming rollerball. I’m new to oils. I have the calm the kid oil and it says 1-3%. Does that mean to take 10mls and add 9 drops to the carrier oil?

  20. i am making a hair product and i want to know how many essential oil drops should i put in a 8 oz bottle which is 237 ML and how many carrier oil drops would i put in a 8 oz bottle. Also for the 16 oz bottle which is 473 ml how many essential oil drops would in it and how many drops of carrier oils would i put inside of it as well if i am missing it with other stuff to.

  21. Hi there, new to oils but these were highly recommended! I am looking to make soaps, are solutions different for soap making? Not sure where to start at all!

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