Essential Oil Diffuser Cleaning: How to do it?


The effectiveness and quality of an essential oil diffuser depends on how you treat it.

Just like any air-conditioning machine, oil diffusers get dirty quickly and contain a lot of germs, bacteria. If they are not cleaned often and thoroughly, they do more harm than good. It’s important to clean these machines systematically.

Here, we’ll show you how to carry out your essential oil diffuser cleaning.

Things can be troublesome when your diffuser functions improperly. Dirty diffuser can cause harms to your health, but improper way of cleaning may ruin the machine.

Thus, before getting started, you must keep in mind three essential things:

  • When to clean
  • How to clean
  • Notes to remember

When to clean

Before asking how you should clean an essential oil diffuser, ask when to clean it. Why?

Unlike most things, these types of machines require an excessive amount of cleaning. So, it’s not only about cleaning it hard but it’s also about cleaning it often.

When to clean

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How often do I clean my diffuser?

Twice a week if your oil diffuser runs all day long.

That’s the best time to renew the water since germs and bacteria will start building up in the tank.

If you rarely use it, you would still need to clean it after every use.

The oil stuck in the diffuser not only contains germs, it dries up after a period and starts clogging the pumps and pipes.

In other words, essential oil diffuser cleaning is mandatory for a high-quality and long-lasting machine.

In addition, cleaning the machine allows the scents to be authentic. The last thing you will want is a mixture of different smell. You don’t want to spoil the freshness of your new scents with the previous drops of oil.

Essential Oil Diffuser Cleaning – How to do

Actually, there are many ways to clean an essential oil diffuser but in this article, we will give you five:

  • General cleaning
  • Partial cleaning
  • Deep cleaning
  • Cleaning with vinegar
  • Cleaning with Citric Axid

General Cleaning

Apply this method when you’ve just bought your oil diffuser and want to clean it before using it.


…after you have stored your diffuser for a few months and want to continue the usage. There are 8 simple steps that need to be followed:

General Cleaning

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  • Fill the container with clean water (half way through). The water top should be in the middle of the container bottom and the maximum line.
  • Add white vinegar to the water. Vinegar is a great cleaning agent which helps you to get rid of the stains and clear off oil that stuck inside the diffuser.
  • Run the diffuser for 20 minutes. Allow the machine to do its work. This will help to carry our cleaning mixture all over the machine.
  • Drain it completely.
  • Use microfiber cloth or a piece of sponge to clean off any visible stains, molds.
  • Rinse it once more with water.
  • Leave it under the sunlight. The sun helps to get rid of the odors and kill germs living in your diffuser.
  • Wait for it to dry completely. Plug it back in and you’re good to go.

Partial Cleaning

If the diffuser is used constantly, it’s a good idea to do this partial cleaning once every few days. It should take you less than 5 minutes but the quality of the scent will be significantly improved.

  • Remove the glass reservoir and place it somewhere else to avoid dripping.
  • Add vinegar or alcohol directly to the container
  • Add some water to the container
  • Shake and swirl the container several times
  • Dispense the alcohol or vinegar and rinse the glass once more with water.
  • Wait for it to dry and you’re ready to go

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning should be done once every month if you use your diffuser often. It is one way to guarantee that your machine won’t be a nest for germs and molds. Also, you want your diffuser to look  good and work well.

  • Remove the remaining essential oil in the container.
  • Add a mixture of water and vinegar to the reservoir
  • Let the machine run for 10 minutes. This helps to clear the small unreachable parts.
  • Stop the machine and remove the glass reservoir
  • Prepare some hot water (80o C ideally)
  • Place the glass reservoir into a container with hot water. The hot water should be outside and inside of the reservoir to archive a thorough clean.
  • Add a small amount of washing liquid to the container
  • Soak it like that for around 30 minutes
  • Use a sponge to clean the reservoir once the water has cooled down.
  • Use a damp piece of microfiber cloth or a sponge to clean the surface of the diffuser.
  • Leave the diffuser and the reservoir under the sun until they dry
  • Put the reservoir back in and you’re good to go.

Essential Oil Diffuser Cleaning with Vinegar

For long, vinegar has been a great tool in dispelling stains and odors from machines. If some unpleasant smells keep lingering on your diffuser, it’s time to clean it with vinegar.

Essential Oil Diffuser Cleaning with Vinegar

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  • Unplug the diffuser and empty the reservoir
  • Add vinegar and water to the reservoir. The water should be halfway through the container. You should add around 10 drops of pure vinegar (same with the methods above).
  • Plug it back on and run it
  • Wait a few minutes for the mixture to go all over the machine and does its job.
  • Turn the device off and unplug it.
  • Pour the mixture out
  • Rinse the device with water once more
  • Wait for the device to dry out and process to use it.

Cleaning a Diffuser with Citric Acid

A replacement for lemon juice, citric acid is a water-soluble solution which is great for cleaning your diffuser.

Cleaning a Diffuser with Citric Acid

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Make sure that you check the manufacturer’s manual before applying it on your diffuser. It’s strong and effective. But it’s so strong that it can damage your device.

Here’s how you can do essential oil diffuser cleaning with citric acid:

  • Make sure that you put on a pair of gloves before working with detergent or acid.
  • Turn the diffuser off and unplug it
  • Make a mixture of warm water and critic acid: one tablespoon of citric acid with 100ml of water.
  • Allow this mixture to sit in the glass reservoir for 10 minutes.
  • Plug it back in and let the solution run through the device
  • Drain the solution
  • Rinse the unit with warm water. You must repeat this step several times until the solution is completely out of the system.
  • Dry the unit with a piece of cloth and let it dry under the sun if possible.

Diffuser Cleaning Notes

Here are a few reminders for you of how to clean it properly so as to avoid damaging the device:

  • Only apply these steps if you have lost your manufacturer’s manual. Otherwise, do as the instructions say.
  • Only apply these steps to diffuser that operates with water (not ultrasonic diffusers).
  • Do not use too much oil for the diffuser. Instead, buy high quality essential oil. Low quality oils require a huge amount for the air to smell good while they will start clogging your device.
  • Accept that your diffuser gets dirty quickly and cleaning is just a part of using it.


Air diffusers are great tools that can affect you biologically and mentally. Such device should be treated with respect and caring. Essential oil diffuser cleaning are the most important part of using a diffuser. Try to form the habit of cleaning your device often. It only takes a few minutes but the quality of the scents will be much better.

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