What Is An Ultrasonic Diffuser And Why Use One?

While diffusing essential oils is far from a new concept, ultrasonic diffusers are a relatively new device. There were already several popular methods for diffusing essential oils before. Why did we need a new one?

Like with all inventions, ultrasonic essential oil diffusers were designed to be better than any of their alternatives, an improvement on the original diffusion technology. There’s nothing else quite like an ultrasonic diffuser— it really is the best essential oil diffuser. Once you know the difference, you’ll quickly find yourself sold on the new way.

What Are The Benefits Of Diffusing Essential Oils?

There are many reasons why people choose to diffuse essential oils. Sometimes, it’s as simple as wanting their homes to smell nice. Other times, people diffuse oils for aromatherapy purposes to get all the benefits of essential oils. 

Many people prefer diffusing essential oils as their sole home fragrance or aromatherapy method because it’s the most gentle and the most natural way to fill their homes with scent and to improve their well-being. Essential oils are plant extracts and are filled with health benefits. There are no chemicals or artificial ingredients in pure essential oils. A diffuser mixes these high-quality oils with water to create a fragrance right from the earth. 

Candles and incense use fire and smoke, and inhaling smoke in your home is never safe. It also creates a fire hazard, and people with cats, dogs, or young children may not feel comfortable with something burning unattended. 

People utilize custom or premade essential oil blends to help set the ambiance or tone in their homes. Relaxation blends, sleep blends, energizing blends, and blends to open up the sinuses provide aromatherapeutic support to people when they need it most. This is a benefit that other methods of home fragrance can’t offer. 

What Is A Reed Diffuser?

The first of the many types of diffusers is a reed diffuser, which utilizes essential oils blended with water. Reeds that look similar to incense sticks are dipped into the bottle, so they can soak up the infused liquid. They’re then flipped so that the dry end can become saturated. Reeds are left to sit in the oil, all pointing up like little antennas. This is the only aromatherapy diffuser method that doesn’t require any electricity, and it takes up minimal space. 

Reed diffusers are perfect to subtly scent a desk, a bathroom counter, or a bedside table. This subtlety may not be what most people want from their diffusers. Reed diffusers aren’t designed to throw the scent, but to gently carry it in the air around them. You won’t be able to fill a substantial area with aroma when you use a reed diffuser, so you may not end up getting the full therapeutic benefits from them. 

What Is A Heat Diffuser?

Heat diffusers either utilize a candle or an electric heating system to warm the essential oils, causing them to evaporate like steam off of boiling water. They create steam clouds that thoroughly permeate a space, but they don’t do so harmlessly. Note that this is not always the same thing as a humidifier.

Heat changes the way essential oils smell and work. Heat diffusers essentially boil the oils, pulling apart all the molecules of the oil and permanently changing them. They also create warm steam that can change the temperature of a room. 

If you have young children or pets, you may want to be careful about where you put a heat diffuser. The contents inside can cause burns if spilled, and the surface of the diffuser is warm. Always make sure heat diffusers are located in a safe place and ideally they should have an auto shut-off feature so that you lower the risk of fire.

What Is An Evaporative Diffuser?

Evaporative diffusers use a highly absorbent wick to hold the essential oils. An internal fan blows on this wick, slowly pushing out the essential oils through natural evaporation without the use of any heat. This is similar to many humidifying processes. Evaporative diffusers work, but they work a little harder than they need to. They’re somewhat difficult to clean, and they use antiquated technology.

oil diffuser

What Is A Nebulizer Diffuser?

Nebulizing diffusers are the traditional top choice for aromatherapy and complementary medicine practitioners. Nebulizers do not utilize any water or other oils. They are designed to take essential oils and break them down into atoms with a very powerful atomizer, the same way fancy perfume bottles do. They create a fine mist that’s nothing but pure, undiluted essential oil. 

Nebulizers have a tendency to blow through essential oil very quickly. They need to be kept on a timer and constantly monitored. They’re not the best “always on” device, as the run time can quickly accumulate and use a large amount of essential oils. They will deliver you with pure airborne diffuser blends, but they do so very expensively.

What Is An Ultrasonic Diffuser?

An ultrasonic essential oil diffuser uses silent and subtle ultrasonic vibrations to break apart essential oils and water, sending them into the air in a cool mist. They don’t utilize any heat or any fans. The oils are rapidly evaporated through the tiny vibrations and sent into the air for maximum wellness. 

Ultrasonic diffusers don’t change the fragrance of the oils. They merely dilute full strength oils with water and send them out into the air. 

Why Choose An Ultrasonic Diffuser?

Ultrasonic essential oil diffusers are effective, safe, and easy. There are no wicks or pads, there is no heating element, and the scent is able to travel farther than it would with a reed diffuser. Unlike a nebulizer diffuser, you can extend the life of each bottle of essential oil. An ultrasonic diffuser uses much less oil to accomplish the same goal. 

Ultrasonic diffusers are much easier to clean. They don’t require much disassembly, and there are no pads or wicks to replace when they become too saturated or begin to smell bad from conflicting aromas of a wide variety of essential oils. 

What Kind Of Ultrasonic Diffuser Do I Need?

All ultrasonic diffusers work the same. The biggest differences are the aesthetic of the diffuser and the size of the tank. Aesthetic exclusively boils down to personal preference. Diffusers can be beautiful decorative pieces, and you probably want your diffuser to match the decor of the room you intend to place it in. 

The only real consideration you have to make is how large of a water tank you want. Even diffusers with large tanks still don’t take up much space. The tank is usually an indicator of how long the diffuser can continuously run before coming empty. 

Diffuser tanks come in 100ml increments, with 100ml being the smallest size. Some large diffuser tanks go as high as 500ml. A 100ml diffuser tank will run for up to three hours continuously, making it the perfect choice for a bathroom or a small bedroom. Larger tanks can run for as long as 6 hours, allowing them to effectively fill a space as large as a living room or kitchen. 

How To Fill An Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser

The tank of your ultrasonic oil diffuser will be filled mostly with water. The kind of water you use is up to you. Since there is no heat, boiling, or steam, the minerals will not be separated from the tap water. They won’t leave behind a residue or accumulate in the tank. You can use distilled or filtered water if you prefer, but it will not impact the longevity of the unit or change the way it works. 

How much oil to add depends on how big the tank is. Essential oils are very concentrated, and it won’t take much to produce a noticeable fragrance. Anywhere between three and five drops of essential oil per 100ml of water will do the trick. If you have a 300ml tank, you should be using anywhere between nine and 15 total drops. 

You might find that some fragrances aren’t as strong as others, while some essential oils are nearly overpowering in their aroma. Milder oils may take more drops to achieve the scent potency you desire, while strong oils may take less. It all depends on personal preference. 

When And How To Clean An Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser

Ultrasonic essential oil diffusers don’t typically get dirty. You might want to clean it every five uses to remove essential oil residue that may linger and impact future scent combinations. To clean your unit, remove the top to expose the water tank. Pour the remaining water out to the side of the unit, away from the fill line. This will avoid any water accidentally leaking into the internal components. 

You can use a warm wet cloth with a little bit of mild dish detergent to wash the tank, the same way you’d wash a coffee mug. If your unit contains an atomizer or other internal components in the tank, these can be gently brushed clean with the same mild dish detergent. Give it a little rinse to remove any sudsy residue, and use a dry cloth or a paper towel to remove any remaining water. 

Never use bleach or harsh detergents to clean your ultrasonic essential oil diffuser. Harsh chemicals in the plastic and any droplets left behind will be diffused by the unit, introducing them into the air. Mild dish detergent is safe, but sanitizing cleansers can create dangerous gas when diffused. 


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Ultrasonic diffusers are the perfect solution for home fragrance and aromatherapy. They’re easy to use, simple to maintain, and they produce safe and potent aromas. If you’re not sure what kind of diffuser to buy, always opt for an ultrasonic. It’s impossible to go wrong.





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