How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser - Everyday Essentials

The Plant Therapy website uses cookies for a variety of reasons. By accessing or using the Plant Therapy website you agree to the use of cookies. You can read our cookie policy here.

Plant Therapy Rewards
Affordable, Clean, Natural Living Solutions
We Care. Period

Your cart is currently empty.

Woman adding grapefruit to the diffuser

How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

An essential oil diffuser is a fantastic, and easy way, to enjoy the wonderful aromas and benefits of your essential oils. If you’re a beginner who’s not quite sure about the best way to use your diffuser, or even how it works, we’ll break down all the ins and outs of your diffuser for you. That way you can get the most out of diffusing your essential oils and keep your diffuser running like new. And if you’re a seasoned pro who knows all the ins and outs of your diffuser, who knows, you might still learn something new!

How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

How Does a Diffuser Work?

Most diffusers you’ll see on the market are ultrasonic diffusers. This simple technology uses electronic frequencies to vibrate a small disk at the bottom of your diffuser. It sits under the reservoir of water and your essential oils. When it vibrates, it produces a fine mist that sends your essential oils into the air. These diffusers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. No matter the size of your space or design aesthetic, you’re sure to find one that works for you.


Different Diffusers

Plant Therapy has a number of different diffusers available. Some big or some small. Some with crazy features like Bluetooth or a color-changing light. And some that just diffuse. No matter which diffuser you have, you’ll notice a few features in common. Each diffuser has a different sized water reservoir, which affects how long your diffuser will run as well as how big of an area it can cover. Each diffuser also has different timer settings allowing you to diffuse for a continuous amount of time or intermittently. But no matter which diffuser you own, the directions will be the same. Let’s get started.

How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

Add Your Water

Each diffuser will have a water reservoir. And although they are different sizes, each one will also have a handy red dot on the fill line to let you know just how much water to add. It’s important to not overfill your diffuser as it could cause it to not work altogether or cause water to spurt out. The manual for your diffuser will also let you know if there are specific requirements for which water to use in your diffuser. Unless otherwise specified, tap water will work just fine.

How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

Add Your Essential Oils

Now comes the fun part! You get to add your essential oils. There are a few considerations to make when you’re deciding how many drops to use: the size of your space, the size of your diffuser and the intensity of the aroma.

All of our diffusion guidelines for our single essential oils and blends will tell you how many drops to use per 100 mL of water. In the case of a bigger diffuser, like the AromaFuse with a 380 mL reservoir, you’ll bring that number up.  Smaller diffusers, like the NovaFuse with its 70 mL reservoir, will require fewer drops.

You might also find a diffuser blend recipe on our blog or in our Facebook group, which will usually have anywhere from 4-8 drops. Many times, these recipes take into account how mild or strong some of these oils are. They may be designed for a purpose, like sleep or focus. Or they can just be blended for their beautiful aromatic notes.

Remember, you can always add more drops to your diffuser, but you can’t take any out. When in doubt, start with less and build from there. When choosing the essential oils you want to diffuse, keep in mind that it is good practice to swap the oils you use frequently with oils you use less frequently once in a while. This prevents your body from becoming too used to an oil and building up an immune-response to it (sensitization).

How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

Select Your Settings

The timer settings on our diffuser will vary slightly by model, but you’ll find a variation of these settings: continuous, continuous with a timer, intermittent intervals in seconds and intermittent intervals in minutes. Some models like the AromaFuse will have the most options while our NovaFuse has simpler options. Also, each of our diffusers will automatically shut off when the reservoir is empty. To start your diffuser, press the mist button once. Press the mist button again to cycle through the mist settings. Once you’ve cycled through all the settings, press the mist button again to turn your diffuser off.

If you plan on diffusing for long periods of time, we recommend using an intermittent setting. This is not only safer, but it’s also more effective as both our bodies and our nervous system habituate to essential oils after this period. To avoid any potential issues, we recommend diffusing for half an hour at a time with at least a 15-30 minute break in-between.

Also, make sure the lid to your diffuser is in place before turning it on.

How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser


One important part of keeping your diffuser running smoothly is to keep it clean. In most cases, simply rinsing your diffuser and wiping it down will be plenty. But in the case of some oils that are thicker, darker, or in the case of Blue Tansy, very blue, it might require a little more TLC. You can read our step by step guide on how to clean your diffuser here. Often times, if your diffuser isn’t running like you know it should, it just needs a good cleaning.



There’s nothing left for you to do but sit back and enjoy the wonderful aroma of essential oils. Plus all of our essential oil diffusers have safety features so that they automatically shut off when they run out of water.


26 thoughts on “How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser”

  • I have a 100 ml diffuser. if I want to mix in 3 different oils and each oil calls for 2 drops per 100 ml of water can I put in 6 drops or do I need to divide the different oils into 2 drops. thanks gary

    1. You should be fine using the 6 drops of oil but we wouldn’t recommend going over that. We hope this helps!

  • Hi. We have one of those fancy plant therapy diffusers with a remote control device but no directions on how to use it.
    can you help?

  • Can your oils be used for candle making? I bought this beautiful selection of oils from you in 2018 (dont remember what i was going to use them for) I recently found them in packed boxes from my storage. If i can use them in my candle making then I will give them to the Goodwill. Thank you.

  • I would like to know how to use the clay diffuser. I put drops of patchouli on it, but I didn’t smell it. Do I have to dilute the oil?

    1. Hello Vivian! Passive diffusion can be tricky in a sense that the aroma it produces is not going to be as strong as say using an ultrasonic diffuser. The scent will be a bit muted and dissipate over time. I am surprised to hear you are having this problem with Patchouli though, as that is quite a heavy oil and usually works great with something like a clay diffuser. You do not need to dilute it, but try adding a few more drops to the diffuser and see if that helps.

  • When diffusing in a house with kids and a dog are only kid and pup safe oils safe or is that just for topical usage? New to your oils. Thanks.

    1. Our KidSafe and Pup & Pony guidelines are for both topical use and diffusion. But you can diffuse provided your pets and kids don’t have access for 30 minutes after you stop diffusing. You can find more tips for using non-KidSafe essential oils around kids here!

  • I have an older diffuser, the kid safe one. It has been a long time since I used it. There are 4 buttons; Led, volume, timer, power. I do not remember what each button is for. Can someone help me please?

  • Is there a particular reason that the ultrasonic diffusers have been discontinued from Plant Therapy’s line? Is there any concern with using them still?

    1. Hi Kayla! There is absolutely no concern with still using them. We’ve been working hard at designing new diffusers which is why our current ones aren’t available anymore. Our new diffusers will be released within the next couple of months!

    1. It’s probably best that you don’t, especially if it’s an ultrasonic diffuser, to make sure it continues running well. However, a passive diffuser, like our Crystal Carfresh Diffuser, is safe to leave in your car.

  • I love using a diffuser! I have felt the difference in my energy and my daily motivation. Its the best way for me to start a day! Peppermint and lemon are my absolute favorites.

  • I have two of the Nova Fuse Diffuser. One for my master bedroom/ bathroom. The 2nd One for my large Family Room/ kitchen area.

    I use them every day. Yes! cleaning your diffuser it is an imperative factor to work properly. I clean mine 1x week.

    I use one diffuser to relax my puppy environment with lavender/ or lemongrass EO. This is better than soy candles!!! and to keep your home environment healthier.

  • I bought my first two diffusers in the last month. One is a novafuse from Plant Therapy and the other a generic from amazon. I don’t feel like I am noticing much of a smell from either. When I set up the novafuse in my kids’ room (100 square feet) and keep the door shut, the aroma does fill the room very nicely. But when I put it in my own room (about 150 square feet), I don’t notice much scent unless I’m standing just a few feet away from the diffuser. When I lay down in bed, I can’t smell it at all. My amazon diffuser didn’t seem to put out any scent at all unless I stood right over it. When I set up the novafuse in my kitchen, it made even less of a noticeable scent than it had in my bedroom. I had to lean over the diffuser and inhale the mist to smell anything at all. I feel like the oils I am trying to diffuse are just being wasted. I’m not really getting any nice smells in the areas where I am diffusing, and I am especially concerned because my main interest is in using immunity boosting oils to keep our family healthy. If I can’t even smell them, how much are we breathing in and how helpful are the oils for our health? I had envisioned that diffusing would make the whole area smell noticeably of the oils. Are my expectations off, or am I doing something wrong? I’ve been adding between 6-8 drops of oils to the novafuse. Thank you for any advice!

    1. There are a lot of factors that could contribute to why your NovaFuse isn’t filling the room with aroma, like ventilation, which oils are used, etc. I’d recommend reaching out to our customer satisfaction team at [email protected] and they’ll be able to help you out.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.