The Science and Art of Diffusing Essential Oils

17 November 24, 2014 - Aromatherapy, At Home, Diffusion Ideas, How to Use Essential Oils, Young Living Diffusers

Essential Oil Bamboo DiffuserOur mind creates powerful connections between scent and our emotions, surroundings, and memories. Diffusing essential oils is a simple but effective way to access those connections. It can also help build new and positive memories and experiences.


Because diffusion distributes essential oil molecules into the air so effectively, it is an excellent way to maximize the beneficial properties of essential oils. There are lots of different ways to diffuse, so let’s talk about the most effective methods. It’s important to note that overheating essential oils using aroma lamps or candles can render the oils less beneficial, so we’ll focus on different cold-air diffusion methods.


Direct Inhalation of Essential OilsDirect Inhalation

You may simply open a bottle of essential oil and inhale or put a few drops of oil on the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, and then cup your hands over your nose and mouth and inhale. You can even add a few drops of oil to a bowl of hot (not boiling) water and inhale the vapor.


Cold-Air Fan

Young Living’s Travel Fan Diffuser introduces convenience and portability to essential oil diffusion. The Travel Fan diffuses by blowing cool air through the essential oil pad, releasing beneficial essential oil molecules into the air.


Ultrasonic Diffusers

Ultrasonic diffusion combines the advantages of a humidifier, air purifier, atomizer, and aromatherapy diffuser into one by breaking a mixture of essential oils and water into millions of microparticles and dispersing them into the air. Young Living has several ultrasonic diffusers with features our members love, such as:

  • Essential oil orb diffuserThe new Rainstone Diffuser: Beautifully designed with a robust feature set including 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8 hour settings with automatic shutoff; 5 soft LED light settings (blue, yellow, purple, alternating each color, and off); a negative ionizer; and a remote control.
  • USB Orb Diffuser: Small, new, and easily portable with an egg-shaped design, it is spill proof, making it ideal for the car, office, or at home.
  • Bamboo Diffuser: Elegant design, LED light, and timer settings for 1–4 hours of continuous diffusion.
  • Home Diffuser: Ambient light control, settings for alternating on/off or continuous diffusion, and automatic shutoff.
  • Aria Ultrasonic Diffuser: Elegant and décor-friendly design, multicolored LED lights, remote control, built-in speakers, ambient music, and audio input.


Atomizing Diffuser

Atomizing technology transforms essential oils into a vapor of millions of microparticles, dispersing the powerful, undiluted plant constituents found in Young Living essential oils into the air with no water added. Young Living’s new AromaLux Atomizing Diffuser includes an array of features and settings, including our highest vapor output, our most customizable volume and run time settings (with automatic shutoff), and a quiet motor.


What’s your favorite Young Living diffuser? Share how you diffuse your favorite blends in the comments!


—Heidi Jeanfreau, Young Living International and Portfolio Brand Manager

  • Hi Kelsy! Great questions, EO’s for topical use and diffusing can be safe and effective for people of all ages, and for our furry family members. We have a lot of general safety guidelines and tips in blogs: EO’s in the Nursery, EO’s for Pets a Quick How To, and Animals and Oils What You Need To Know. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Diana

    Can I fill water in the dewdrop diffuser less than the red sign mark ?

    • Hi Diana, You are welcome to fill the water below the fill line. The red fill line is the maximum amount of water that should be added. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Katherine

    I was diffusing Theives essential oil the other day and forgot to turn it off after the recommended 10 minutes and it ran for about 2 hours. Is this bad for me or my family?

    • Young Living

      Hello Katherine, The amount of time for diffusing is a safety standard put in place to address certain possible sensitivity issues for longer diffusion periods.For Thieves Essential Oil, the label directions state that you can diffuse up to 30 minutes, 3 times daily. If you have additional concerns, we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Sue

    Hi. Other than being costly, I’ve read very positive reviews on nebulizers for diffusing oils. Is there any reason why YL oils wouldn’t work well with this type of diffuser? What are your thoughts about them?

    • Young Living

      Hi Sue, Young Living previously sold an Essential Oil Diffuser with Glass Nebulizer. However, this product has been discontinued. Young Living essential oils work well with Nebulizer diffusers as well as other styles. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee the quality of any diffuser not purchased from Young Living. We hope this information is helpful!

  • Evelyn

    Can I use the young living oils on my ultrasonic aromatherapy diffuser that is not under young living thanks

    • Young Living

      Hi Evelyn, You will want to contact the manufacture of your diffuser as we do not have that information. However we can tell you that Young Living has conducted tests on the plastics used for our diffusers to ensure the plastics are stable and do not breakdown when in contact with essential oils.

  • Carol A. Morrison

    I am reviewing your products. I have read the FAQ’s, the responses I am seeing regarding diffusers not working properly seems scripted. Are your products guaranteed? I am concerned about the cost of your products and if something isn’t working, I haven’t seen anything in your website regarding guarantee of the product. Can you elaborate on this.

    • Young Living

      Hi Carol, Each of the our diffusers come with a one year warranty from the date purchased with the exception of the Orb and USB Diffuser. During that year, should there be a manufacturer defect, we would be able to provide a replacement diffuser at no cost to you. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • Ping dela Cruz

    Good Day!
    Where can I purchase your diffuser

    • JoAnna K

      Hi Ping! Did you ever get in touch with anyone to purchase a diffuser?

  • C.Tan

    Hi! Could you please specify the exact material that the Dewdrop diffuser is made of (e.g.. pp)? Thanks!

    • Young Living

      Hi C. Tan, The plastic used in the Dewdrop Diffuser is PP (polypropylene). Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • Deanna

    Hi There,
    I have a Rainstone Diffuser that is heating up the water inside. It is quite hot to the touch! is this normal? it was also knocked over and hot water spilled out of it. i am pretty sure the diffusers are NOT supposed to heat up the water or oils inside.

    • Young Living

      Hi Deanna, Great question. This is considered normal and happens with all water diffusers, the ultrasonic plate’s vibration will increase the temperature of the water. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Thea

    Hi, I was wondering…I know that thieves oil is best diffused only 20-30 min at a time. What about other EO? Can you leave it on all day or night? Can I leave a mixture for congestion on all night in the bedroom for example? Thanks.

    • Young Living

      Hi Thea, The amount of time for diffusing is a safety standard put in place to address certain possible sensitivity issues for longer diffusion periods. We recommend following the label directions on the individual oil bottle for diffusion times. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • Shamz

    Hi i have the “home diffuser”. I’m just wondering can we change the settings instead of 30 seconds to like every minute or two?

    • Young Living

      Hi Shamz, The Home Diffuser only offers two diffuser settings; constant diffusion or 30 second intermittent diffusion. We recommend looking into our other diffusers for various diffusing options. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • sbennett1016

    I’m new to YL oils. Is there a suggested length of time to diffuse oils? I’ve been running mine for several hours a day, but I read on other blogs that you should only diffuse for 30 minutes to an hour at most.

    • Young Living

      Hi sbennett1016, We recommend following the usage directions as listed on the individual labels for the recommended diffusing time. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

    • luca

      Hello, im new in Y&L

      I purchased two diffuserS: Aria and Rainstone diffusers. I was wondering how many drops of oil usually shall i put in each of them, considering the water filled at maximum capacity.


      • Young Living

        Hi Luca, For the Aria Diffuser add 15-20 drops and 8-10 for the Rainstone Diffuser. Please review the diffuser manual for the individual instructions for use with each of your diffusers. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • Lynn

    Do you have to use essential oils in the Young Living diffusers? I have some oils from different
    places. Will this mess up it up?

    • Young Living

      Hi Lynn, We recommend using only Young Living® Essential Oils for your YL Diffuser. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • marsha

    I have the dewdrop diffuser that runs up to 4 hours. Some of the essential oils recommend using for short intervals several times a day. Is it okay to leave the distilled water and oil in the diffuser all day (maybe even multiple days) and turn the diffuser on and off to meet the guidelines for use?

    • Young Living

      Hi Marsha, To keep your diffuser running at top performance, it is recommended to clean the diffuser after each use or in your case at the end of the day. The distilled water and oils can remain in the diffuser while meeting the guidelines, however we do not recommend leaving the standing water for an extended period of time. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Kim Barnes

    How much water do you put in the Bamboo Diffuser?

    • Young Living

      Hi Kim, The Bamboo Diffuser can hold up to 120ml of water. We recommend using the cup that was included with the diffuser to fill the diffuser. Be sure not to exceed the fill line! Thanks for stopping by!

  • M. Flaherty

    Hi, how long does it take for the oils to work? I’ve been using the diffuser for 2 weeks and I really don’t feel any better.

    • Young Living

      Hi M. Flaherty, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of the body, including ailments or injuries. If you have further concerns, we recommend speaking with a health care provider about using essential oils aromatically. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • I definitely don’t wanna buy distilled water. I am going to buy the home diffuser. Did I just waste my hard earned money ?

    • Young Living

      Hi Rachel, Great question. Distilled water is recommended for the Home Diffuser. This type of water allows the diffuser to perform at it’s highest. However, we do offer other diffuser options that do not require the use of distilled water; such as the Dewdrop or Bamboo Diffuser. For those particular diffusers, it is recommended to use tap water that contains minerals. All of our diffuser options can be viewed online here. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Cheryl Audette

    Do you have any recommendations for preferred timers to use with your diffusers?

  • melani

    hi i heard we can’t diffuse citrus oil because it release petro chemicals.

    i have been diffusing orange oil with dew drop diffuser. is this safe? there are no reminder on diffuser box about citrus oil.

    • Young Living

      Hi Melani, We have conducted tests on the plastics used for our diffusers to ensure the plastics are stable and do not breakdown when in contact with essential oils. With that being said, as no two essential oils have identical chemical make up, over time some oils have more potential than others to wear down plastic material. For this reason, it is important to clean the diffusers often to prolong the lifespan of the unit and further reduce any possibility of leaching. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • There are many things to consider before saying how long an essential oils lasts in the air. First is the type of essential oil and diffuser being use. Another is the construction of the room, its space of diffusion and also its ventilation.

  • Denise Van Zile

    Hi, will the chlorine in tap water be in the air to breathe, and isn’t that unhealthy? Thanks

    • Young Living

      Hi Denise, For those concerned with using tap water, the use of bottled water, purified water or distilled water may be substituted depending on the type of diffuser you are using. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • Meg F

    Hi, I have a rainstone diffuser and the other day some water got spilled on the remote. It is not working so I was wondering if there was a way for me to buy a new remote without having to buy a new diffuser. Thanks!

    • Young Living

      Hi Meg, We are sorry to hear about your remote! A new remote for your Rainstone Diffuser can be purchased through Member Services by phone, email or Live Chat. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Theresa Maddox

    I just went to use my bamboo diffuser and it made a funny, windy noise for a minute and it doesn’t diffuse now. It turns on but nothing comes out! Can I exchange it for another one. Miss it!

    • Young Living

      Hi Theresa, We’re sorry to hear your Bamboo Diffuser is not working properly. Please try the troubleshooting steps in the product manual. If you continue to experience problems with the unit, please contact Member Services for assistance via Live Help or at 1-800-371-3515.

  • Kristi

    Hi, If I get water in the air vent of my home diffuser, what does that mean? It is working fine. I’m not 100% sure water got into it, but while pouring water in the water flow went back before going straight down as water does when pouring, and It was on the outside of the air vent….

    • Young Living

      Hi Kristi, It is recommended to avoid getting water into the air vent of the Home Diffuser as this may cause damage to the unit internally. When removing excess water from the reservoir, pour water from the opposite side of the air inlet to avoid spilling on the operating buttons or getting water in the internal air inlet. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • Carolyn D

    Where do the oils actually go? Do they cling to walls and fabrics? After time do the diffused oils make things oily and dirty?

    • Young Living

      Hi Carolyn, Great question. Staining and residue to floors, walls, etc. should not occur from normal or even prolonged use of a diffuser. There is a possibility that a residue can appear directly on the diffuser, but surrounding material is not directly affected. You may want to rotate the diffuser in different areas or be sure that the diffusion mist is facing away from a solid surface. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Julie

    Hi! My dewdrop changed colors the first day, but now it only stays blue. I have not abused it and cleaned it according to instructions and tipped it out in the proper direction. Please help! Its so boring now! It seems like the first time i had to unplug it it broke. Thnks!

    • Young Living

      Hello Julie, Thanks for your question. The LED light on the Dewdrop Diffuser is blue. Unfortunately, this particular diffuser does not have alternative colors to choose from. If you have further concerns with your diffuser function, please contact our Member Services at 1-800-371-2928 for further assistance.

  • Paula

    Is there a safe distance I should sit when diffusing my oils? How close can I put it next to my bed when sleeping?

    • Young Living

      Hi Paula, Thanks for your question. We do not have a set guideline for how far away the diffuser should sit. As each person is different and has varying levels of sensitivities, the diffuser can be placed at a distance that is comfortable for you. We recommend referring to your diffuser manual for safety and care instructions.

  • Kunal

    I have an ultrasonic oil diffuser of 120ml(4 hour) capacity. If I pour 120ml water and around 5 drops of essential oil to it how long shall the aroma last approximately? In my case the aroma lasts only for 30-40 minutes, thereafter the only thing i recieve is the mist. 🙁 Is it normal? pls. help.

    • Young Living

      Hi Kunal, Thanks for your question. We cannot provide a specific time for how long essential oils will remain in the air as there are too many variables to consider such as the essential oil and diffuser used, diffusion time, size of the room and ventilation in the room. For optimal results, we recommend following the usage instructions in the diffuser manual and on the essential oil bottle label.

  • Brett

    Hello! I put distilled water in my Dewdrop before I read in the instructions not to use distilled water. Will this damage the diffuser? Thanks!

    • Young Living

      Hi Brett, Great question! Distilled water will not damage your Dewdrop Diffuser. We recommend using tap or spring water as it contains mineral molecules that can conduct electricity and enable the diffuser to work properly. Purified or distilled water does not contain enough mineral molecules for the diffuser to function at it’s best. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Lauri

    Should I be mixing different oils when I use my diffuser or can I use one scent at a time?

    • Young Living

      Hi Lauri, You are more than welcome to add more than one oil when diffusing if you choose, however we recommend following the usage directions listed on the bottle for diffusing. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • Gloria Cain

    I need a diffuser. That will cover a classroom and one for my desk. What do you recommend. Really need battery operated for my desk. Thanks in advance

    • Young Living

      Hi Gloria, We offer several diffusers that will fit your needs, we recommend viewing our diffusers on our website. The only diffuser we have that is battery operated is our Travel Fan Diffuser, however we also have two small USB Diffusers that can work in conjunction with a computer. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Tiffany

    Are all of Young Living’s diffusers made with hospital grade plastic or other materials that can withstand citrus oils?

    • Young Living

      Hi Tiffany, Great question! The plastic used for our diffusers is Polypropylene (PP). The plastic also does not contain any phthalates and is BPA free. Citrus oils can be safely used in our diffusers. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Eliza

    How long do essential oil molecules (and their scents) remain in the air after diffusing?

    • Young Living

      Hello Eliza, We cannot provide a specific time for how long essential oils will remain in the air as there are too many variables to consider such as the essential oil and diffuser used, diffusion time, size of the room and ventilation in the room. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jennifer M

    Do you have to use purified water in the diffuser?

    • Young Living

      Hi Jennifer, Great question! The type of water recommended depends on the diffuser you are using. We recommend using distilled water for the Home Diffuser. Tap or mineral water is suggested for the Aria, Bamboo, Dew Drop, KidScents®, and Orb™ Diffusers. Please refer to the diffuser’s manual for full care and usage instructions.

  • Elle L

    Hi, I have the USB Diffuser and it’s not puffing anything out. I have only used it once with RC and once it was finished, upon refilling it, it didn’t work. Please help!

    • Young Living

      Hi Elle, We’re sorry to hear about your diffuser. Please refer to your diffuser manual for the cleaning and troubleshooting instructions. Please contact Member Services if you require further assistance. Thanks for stopping by!

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