• Last updatedLast updated: Sep 16, 2021

How to Clean Diffuser – Breathe Clean & Make Your Home Smell Nice (2022)

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Ever noticed just how amazing the scent in your house is when using an essential oil diffuser?

Yes, it not only makes the air smell amazing but it can also make it clean for you and your family. The oils are also very useful in keeping colds and flu in check. But, just like any other appliance, your diffuser needs regular maintenance. So how do you clean this essential electrical device that makes life indoors more comfortable?

Most essential oil diffuser manufacturers will provide instructions on how to clean their devices. But, what do you do if yours does not have them? Or if you find them too tedious to follow?

Well, there are many other ways of cleaning essential oil diffusers, but you need to find that one method that will work for all brands and types. In this piece, we help you understand how to clean diffuser so that it can serve you for long.

So let’s get started.

Why it is important to clean your diffuser

How to Clean Diffuser - Breathe Clean & Make Your Home Smell Nice (2022)Essential oils keep your home smelling sweet and feeling cozy. But as you enjoy the benefits of the essential oils your diffuser may suffer from neglect and in most cases end up getting damaged.

Over time particles from the oils and minerals from the water will build up and if you do not clean them they will end up clogging the diffuser and prevent it from working correctly. In addition to this, the residue of the essential oils and mineral buildup will tarnish the mist that the device diffuses and so you will not be getting a pure aromatherapy.

Cleaning after every use and doing some deep cleaning at least once a month if you use the diffuser regularly will keep it in good shape for long. It will also ensure you always get pure aromatherapy.

What you will need

  • Cotton Swab
  • Kitchen cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Clean water

How to clean your essential oil diffuser

Well, now you know that you need to clean your diffuser and why, but how do you do it? There are different ways of cleaning this appliance but what matters is doing it correctly. And for this to be so, you should follow the following easy steps.

  • Step 1. Unplug and empty diffuser

Safety is critical, and so it should always come first when dealing with any electrical appliance. And so when you want to clean your diffuser the first step should always be to unplug it from the power source. After this, the next step is to empty any essential oils that might still be on the diffuser. If it is already empty, you can start the cleaning right away by going to step 2 below.

  • Step 2. Fill the appliance with water

How to Clean Diffuser - Breathe Clean & Make Your Home Smell Nice (2022)

You need to use clean water when cleaning your diffuser. And you should start by filling it with water up to the maximum point. Filling the machine with water helps to remove the residue or particles that the essential oils leave behind.

  • Step 3. Add some vinegar

Oil residue tends to build up and stick on the inside of the diffuser and also on the glass and plastic components. The clean water alone will not be enough to get rid of the oil build up and so you should add some vinegar.

White vinegar is one of the best cleaning agents that you can use to clean different appliances such as coffee makers, microwaves, ovens and your essential oil diffusers. The right amount will depend on the size of your diffuser, but about ten drops will be enough for the standard size ones.

  • Step 4. Run your diffuser

With the water and vinegar mixture on the diffuser plug it back in and run it. Keep running it for about 5 minutes which is enough time for the solution to move through the unit and clean it.

You can leave the mixture to soak the diffuser for a few minutes so that you can get rid of the hard stains. Now you can pour out the solution but make sure you unplug it first and that you pour from the back to avoid splashing water to the operating buttons.

  • Step 5. Wipe down the diffuser

Even after using the vinegar solution there might still be some deposits in hard to reach places. But, cleaning these hard to reach areas is quite easy. And to do it you only need to take a cotton swab and dip it in vinegar.

You should then use it to remove residue from the tight spots on your diffuser. But, also ensure that you dry the areas where you clean with the cotton swab.

  • Step 6. Rinse with clean water

How to Clean Diffuser - Breathe Clean & Make Your Home Smell Nice (2022)

Well, we are almost finishing up the cleaning process. On to the next step. After wiping the diffuser with the cotton swab, the next step is to add in more water to rinse it. Doing this will help to rinse out the vinegar taste and smell while also getting rid of the loose particles that the swab detaches from the hard to reach areas.

The best way to rinse out the diffuser is to plug it in and leave it running for about 3 minutes so that the water can get to all those hard to reach areas.

  • Step 7. Dry the diffuser

The last step is to dry the diffuser.

The best part is that it only takes a few minutes to go through all the steps above. Before you dry it, you need to pour out the water, but some people will also prefer to rinse it several times just to be sure that it is clean enough. Once you finish all your rinsing, you should then use a dry piece of cloth or cotton swab to wipe the diffuser dry. And that is just it.

Cleaning after each use

Manufacturers of essential oils diffusers will always advise you to clean your unit after every use.

But, do you usually follow these directions? Most people do not and will only wash it once or a couple of times every month.

Leaving the water and essential oil in the unit for use later is never a good idea. There are some corrosive compounds in the essential oils that can damage your appliance. And also leaving them in the diffuser for long will ruin the smell of any other oils you use in future.

So, what should you do after each use?

The answer is simple. Just empty the contents of the diffuser and wipe it down with a damp cloth. You can additionally put a few drops of vinegar to the fabric. Also, make sure you dry it after the wipe down before storage.

Basic rules

How to Clean Diffuser - Breathe Clean & Make Your Home Smell Nice (2022)

  • Frequency is the key to keeping your diffuser in an excellent working condition. Make sure that you clean it after every use and do some deep cleaning at least once or twice every month.
  • Do not use any abrasive when cleaning your diffuser. Also, avoid things like aerosol sprays and solvents. Using these items can damage different parts of your diffuser such as the plastic components and affect the aroma diffusion.
  • Always give your diffuser a quick wipe down with vinegar and rinse it after every use. If your unit has an auto clean option, you should run the cycle at least once every week.
  • Never submerge your diffuser in water. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But, you will be surprised to know that many people tend to ignore this vital rule when cleaning their diffusers and this is more so those that have units that look like they are waterproof.

Why the diffuser might have stopped working

Think about this scenario for a moment, you come home after a tiring day and just want to smell the aroma of your favorite essential oil, but your diffuser is not working. Sounds sad and frustrating, doesn’t it? But what can be the problem? And how do you deal with it? Here are some common reasons why the diffuser is not working and how to solve them.

  • There is no liquid in the bowl, or the level is not correct. You can solve this issue just by adding more water.
  • You are using the wrong power adapter, or it is not connected correctly. Also, there might not be enough power getting to the unit.
  • If you are using distilled water, it might affect the diffusion. And so you should only use filtered or tap water.
  • Your unit is dirty, and the essential oil residue and calcium deposit are clogging up the diffuser. Cleaning it can solve this problem.
  • Obstruction of the air intake by dust can also cause the unit to slow down or even stop working.
  • One of the components is damaged due to wear and tear or through accidental falls or bumping it into something.

But, you know what? All these problems that might cause your unit to stop working are fixable, and in most case, you do not even need an expert to help you out.


So that’s how to clean diffuser. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

With all the benefits that you get from an essential oil diffuser the least you can do is to keep it in good shape through regular cleaning and maintenance so that it serves you for a long time. And you do not always have to wait for several weeks before cleaning it. Just get it done anytime you have a few minutes to spare.

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