A DIY reed diffuser made with essential oils offers an all-natural alternative to commercial air fresheners. There are many products on the market to make your environment smell nice; however, many of these are made with petroleum-based chemicals which are not disclosed on the ingredient list.
So even if your favorite room spray contains formaldehyde, Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), or Acetaldehyde you won’t see it on the label. It’s likely grouped under the umbrella term ‘fragrance’. These chemicals can cause allergies, asthma, cancer, and even reproductive problems, but manufacturers are allowed to do this thanks to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973.
Natural Diffuser Reeds
DIY reed diffusers allow you to control the ingredients. They also don’t need electricity or heat to work. The reeds are full of microscopic channels that act as straws which draw the liquid up and release the scent into the air. If the scent starts to diminish, just flip the straws upside down.
You can pick up reeds at most craft stores or order them from online retailers. They’re very inexpensive. If you notice a lack of scent, it’s likely the reeds need to be changed out. They last approximately 1-6 months and will gradually lose their ability to absorb.
The most important consideration when choosing a bottle is to choose one with a small opening. This will slow down evaporation of the liquid inside.
You may have recycled bottles at home that are good candidates for this project so feel free to use them. You can also check out your local dollar store for bottles or buy something online made specifically for this purpose.
Let’s Make Reed Diffuser Oil
There are many recipes out there for reed diffuser oil. This recipe used here is water-based since water is easier to absorb than oil.
As we’re going to use essential oils, and oil and water don’t mix, we’ll need a binder. For this, we’ll use rubbing alcohol that is 99 USP, but you can also use vodka. Here’s the recipe:
Reed Diffuser Oil Recipe
- 1/3 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons of the rubbing alcohol or vodka
- 20 drops essential oil
It’s a pretty simple recipe, but you can get creative with your own blend of essential oils and not have to worry about what you’re breathing in. If you’d like, you can also bottle it in a spray bottle and use it that way.
FAQ – DIY Reed Diffuser
Q: What liquid goes in a reed diffuser?
Reed diffusers typically use an essential oil blend in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or almond oil. The essential oils provide the fragrance, while the carrier oil helps to disperse the scent and keep it from evaporating too quickly. The mixture of fragrance and carrier oils is poured into a glass container, and reeds made of rattan, bamboo, or other porous materials are placed in the liquid. The fragrance oil is then drawn up through the reeds by capillary action and diffused into the air, providing a subtle and long-lasting scent.
Q: Can I put any liquid in my diffuser?
No, not all liquids are suitable for use in a diffuser. Do not put thick oils, such as vegetable or cooking oil. These oils are not suitable for use in a diffuser and you won't get the desired result. Similarly, do not put alcohol or any flammable liquids in a diffuser. These liquids can cause a fire hazard and can be dangerous. It is best to use specifically formulated blends that are safe for use in DIY reed diffusers.
Q: How long do the reeds last in a diffuser?
The longevity of reeds in a diffuser depends on several factors, such as the quality of the reeds, the thickness of the reeds, the viscosity of the diffuser oil, and the environment where the diffuser is placed.
In general, most reeds last for about 2-3 months in a diffuser. However, some reeds may last longer or shorter depending on the factors mentioned above. If you notice that the scent from your diffuser has become weak, it may be time to replace the reeds.
It's also worth noting that the effectiveness of the reeds can be prolonged by occasionally flipping them over to allow the oil to flow in the opposite direction. Additionally, keeping the diffuser away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts can help extend the life of the reeds.