Essential oil diffusers break down the essential oils so that the aroma can be dispersed throughout the whole room. It’s a great way to use essential oils since this brings a soothing and relaxing atmosphere that you can enjoy.
However, it’s troublesome when the diffuser starts functioning improperly or even breaks. At times, all it needs is a good clean-up, but it may also need some other tune-ups for it to get fixed if you experience some issues.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure policy here.
Below, I’ve outlined the most common reasons for problems, and how to easily fix your essential oil diffuser at home.
If your essential oil diffuser is experiencing some hiccups, give these tips a try, and also don’t be shy to share your own experience in the comments.
Make Sure You Clean Your Essential Oil Diffuser
It is vitally important that you clean your diffuser properly on a regular basis. While it can be a challenge at first, you’ll slowly get used to the process of cleaning the diffuser and you’ll be maintaining it yourself instead of paying someone to do it for you, or waiting for the diffuser to break down and having to expense the replacement cost. It’s an incredible hassle to bring in or send back a diffuser just for cleaning, and it becomes of an even bigger problem if the diffuser gets broken because you didn’t clean it properly.
Exact cleaning recommendations and steps will vary depending on which diffuser you use. PLEASE give your diffuser manual a quick read before you start its operation, just so that you know what you need to do to maintain it’s best functionality and most effective diffusing of aromatherapy.
To be used only as a general rule of thumb, here’s a list of steps you can follow to clean your essential oil diffuser:
8 Simple Steps To Clean Your Essential Oil Diffuser
*** ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR DIFFUSER IS UNPLUGGED FROM ITS POWER OUTLET BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO CLEAN IT ***
- Fill your diffuser about half way with clean water. Make sure you stop well below the max line.
- Add up to 10 drops of pure white vinegar. This will help in removing the oils that are stuck inside the diffuser and on the glass or plastic pieces.
- Let the diffuser run for about 3-5 minutes to allow the water-vinegar mixture to disperse throughout the unit and clean it.
- Drain the diffuser completely.
- Using a cotton swab dipped in vinegar, clean the tight spots and corners of the diffuser to make sure that no spots are left dirty.
- Rinse with clean water.
- Empty again and you’re good to go.
- Use a dry cloth, or more cotton swabs or cotton balls to wipe the diffuser and dry it thoroughly.
Please note, some people have told me that cleaning your diffuser with vinegar voided their diffuser warranty – specifically on Young Living diffusers. If your unit is still under warranty, it would be best to call customer service of your diffuser brand or product seller first before you attempt any home remedies to clean your unit. Some diffusers also give you specific cleaning instructions in their diffuser manuals. Please always consult these avenues first before proceeding with my general cleaning tips.
After Each Use
Most manufacturer instructions will tell you to clean out your diffuser after each use, which at first may seem a bit excessive. While I owned my first diffuser unit, I didn’t do it properly each time. I’d leave water plus essential oil mixture in the diffuser, thinking “oh I’ll just run this again tomorrow”.
Please DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE. The oils used in your essential oil diffuser can be very corrosive and you really do have to clean it out after each use for best longevity and performance of the unit. Further, the smells and leftovers of one oil can severely effect the experience you have when you put another scent or oil in your diffuser.
So, after each use, please fully empty your essential oil diffuser of all water and oils, and give it at least a quick wipe with a damp cloth, Kleenex, or Q-tip.
Top Rated Essential Oil Diffuser Reviews
(5 / 5) Pure Spa Essential Oil Diffuser Review
(5 / 5) Pilgrim Anton Essential Oil Diffuser Review
(5 / 5) ELEGIANT Essential Oil Diffuser Review
(3.4 / 5) GreenAir Spa Vapor+ Essential Oil Diffuser Review
(3.9 / 5) NOW Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser Review
Troubleshooting Your Diffuser
If you’re using your essential oil diffuser on a regular basis, it can from time to time come up with some troubles or hiccups. But do not panic! Most common problems can easily be solved with the following few simple tricks.
Here are ways to troubleshoot these problems:
Diffuser Doesn’t Have Power
- Check if the power plug is securely plugged to the electrical outlet
- Make sure that the bowl contains water and the levels are correct
- Check if you’re using the right power adapter
- Check if the power supply socket is plugged into the diffuser
- Empty the diffuser, wait for a few days to dry it out and try plugging it in again
Very Little Diffusion
- Check if the water levels are correct/high enough
- Make sure that the fan inlet is not blocked by dried up oil essential oil > give your diffuser a clean-up if you can see left over dirt
- Re-check the mist settings of the diffuser and ensure you didn’t turn it down
Water in the diffuser is hot, level is high
- This means that the diffuser has been overfilled with water
- Turn off and unplug the diffuser from the power supply
- Empty the diffuser and let it cool down a bit
- Refill the diffuser at the right water level and restart
- If the diffuser doesn’t start up, that means it has been damaged by overfilling and will need proper repair
Water in the diffuser is hot, level is normal
- The fan intake may be obstructed
- Remove any towel or cloth that may have been placed below the diffuser
- Check to see if there are hairs or fur pieces stuck in the fan blades and remove
- Turn off and unplug the diffuser, letting it cool down for a while
- Refill the diffuser at the right level and restart
- If the diffuser doesn’t start up, that means it has been damaged and will need proper repair
Light indicators flash but diffuser doesn’t start
- The diffuser may have malfunctioned or there has been a detected fault
- Turn off the diffuser and unplug from the power source
- Empty the diffuser and allow to cool down for a bit
- Refill the diffuser at the correct water level
- Reconnect and restart the diffuser
- If the diffuser doesn’t start up, it may need to be checked by a professional for assessment or repair
Using a diffuser to use essential oils is very convenient. However, you also need to remember that you need to clean and maintain it regularly to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged. Read your particular diffuser’s manual to learn how to effectively clean your unit yourself and also know the proper way how to use it to prevent damage from occurring in the first place.