Essential Oil Diffuser Upkeep


Essential oil diffusers release comforting scents into room air which are uniformly dispersed by circulating fans. The brightening or calming aromas which are the result of essential oils being reduced into mists is an enjoyable experience. But when the machine no longer works well, it may need cleaning or may have settings to be adjusted. It may also be worn. You can read essential oil diffuser reviews at

If you use an evaporative or ultrasonic model, it has to be regularly cleaned in order to keep it in good running condition. By doing this yourself you’ll save the expense of having to replace it sooner. Bringing it back to the shop for maintenance is usually too troublesome. And if it stops working well because it wasn’t regularly cleaned, restoring it to proper operation becomes more difficult.

There are some glitches which are easily remedied. When the diffuser starts malfunctioning, check these guidelines first and to see what can be done. As the methods of disassembly can vary, it would be best if read your specific model’s user guide before proceeding.

Regular cleaning and optimal usage

Most user guides for evaporative or ultrasonic types will state that the essential oil diffuser has to be drained and then undergo a rinse after every few uses. This may appear to be a bit too much, but failure to wash the tank and other parts will likely result in later problems. Following these steps regularly should help you to prevent poor operation and later malfunction.

  1. Unplug the diffuser from the wall prior to draining its contents, then top off the tank to half its capacity with fully-distilled water.
  1. Add between 8-10 drops of white vinegar to the water, which will act to dissolve any remaining oil deposits in the internal channels. Retain half of the vinegar mix for later use.
  2. Turn on and operate the unit for a few minutes in order for the base mix to fully flow into its internal recesses and tubes. Power down after about 3-5 minutes, and completely empty the water tank.
  3. Wipe off all interior areas you can reach with cotton swabs dipped in the vinegar mix.
  4. After filling the tank with distilled water, run the unit for 3-5 minutes to fully cleanse its internal channels.
  5. Scrub its external parts with cloth and let it dry before using it for aromatherapy.

Some owners tend to continually leave small amounts of diluted essential oil in the tank for later use as a matter of convenience. But the remainder may corrode plastic channels and metal mechanisms and result in slow deterioration and eventual stoppage. Leaving some dilute essential oil between each use will also alter the character of succeeding scent diffusions and perhaps lessen your satisfaction. You should always drain your diffuser and rinse it with water in operation after a few uses.


Evaporative and Ultrasonic essential oil diffusers which are frequently used will have issues sooner or later. A number of the more usual problems are easily remedied with these tricks and tips. If the power led don’t light up, you should check that the power cable is securely plugged into the wall outlet.

  • If essential oil scents are not being fully dispersed, the tank may not have enough of a mix of water or essential oil. Check the tank’s contents to ensure it is filled to above minimum levels. Also, check the controls to see if they were mistakenly set to improper modes of operation.
  • Check the tank’s contents to ensure it is filled to the right level. In worst case, drain the tank and wait a few days before running it.
  • If the tank’s contents are at above the highest level and feel too warm, the machine has been filled with too much water and running beyond its normal capacity.
  • Turn it off and empty its tank, then let it rest for some time. Then operate the unit with a full tank of water set to the proper full level. If it doesn’t start, it may mean its internal channels have been impaired from overfilling with water, and it may have to be sent in for repairs and reconditioning.
  • If the tank’s contents are at a proper normal level but feel too warm, the recirculating fans may be impaired by motor damage or obstacles in the air openings.
  • Remove any debris from the fan cover or the blades, such as dust or hair which are impairing the blades’ movements.
  • Remove any cloth or sheet underneath which might be obstructing its air openings.
  • Turn it off and empty its tank, then let it rest for some time. Then operate the unit with a tank of water filled to the normal level. If it doesn’t start, it may mean its interior parts are defective or have been damaged by overheating, and it may have to be sent in for repairs or replacements.

After all else

If you have gone through all these tips but the diffuser still refuses to operate after repeated power and cleaning cycles, it is likely malfunctioning and will require service.

Evaporative or ultrasonic types have to regularly undergo cleaning and rinsing cycles in order to perform optimally. Use these maintenance guidelines and tips to slow down deterioration and to keep your essential oil diffuser in good running condition for the longest time.

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