How to Clean an Oil Diffuser

Diffusers require routine maintenance and the occasional deep clean. Learn how to care for this machine, and be rewarded with the best possible aromatic experience.

Properly maintaining your oil diffuser will guarantee its longevity and the best possible scent experience. A good cleaning routine with a water and white vinegar solution is the easiest way to ensure accurate scents as you rotate between different oils for different needs throughout the day. Knowing how to care for the diffuser on a day-to-day basis is just as important as knowing how to give it a deep clean, so let’s review both processes.

Disassemble and clean your oil diffuser on a routine basis.

How to Clean an Oil Diffuser

Cleaning an essential oil diffuser to prevent scent confusion and mold from developing.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

But first: Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model. Many systems are assembled differently and may require extra precautions to keep electronics dry. Similar to cleaning a humidifier, it’s important to note the placement of your reservoir’s drainage outlet so you can avoid accidentally getting water into an air outlet or an electrical plug. Never submerge your oil diffuser in water.

Routine Cleaning of Your Oil Diffuser

When you’ve finished diffusing an oil, make it a habit to empty any remaining water from the reservoir. Stagnant water can create build-up within the machine, and residual oil can linger too, affecting the scent output the next time you diffuse.

Use a 1:1 water and white vinegar solution to clean the empty reservoir and the mist vent. Wipe it down with a dry cloth or cotton ball, and allow it to air dry between uses, rather than reassembling it while harboring moisture.

Disassemble and clean your oil diffuser on a routine basis.

How to Clean an Oil Diffuser

Cleaning an essential oil diffuser to prevent scent confusion and mold from developing.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Next time you put it to use, you’ll have the best possible scent experience.

Deep Cleaning Your Oil Diffuser

Deeper cleaning efforts are necessary if you’re a user who refills and diffuses the same scent for extended periods of time without cleaning the diffuser regularly. You’ll also want to consider a deep cleaning treatment if you left water stagnant in the machine for an extended period of time. (It’s easy to forget — we know it.)

Start by unplugging your diffuser and emptying any remaining water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Fill the diffuser halfway with plain water and a teaspoon of white vinegar. Run it for 5-10 minutes so the vinegar has a chance to disperse through all components of the system, and then empty the reservoir again.

Disassemble and clean your oil diffuser on a routine basis.

How to Clean an Oil Diffuser

Cleaning an essential oil diffuser to prevent scent confusion and mold from developing.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Clean any loose components like the mist vent separately with warm water and dish soap, and dry them completely.

To clean the reservoir that holds the water, start by wiping down the surfaces you can easily access with a cloth dampened with a 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar. Then, use a cotton swab dampened with white vinegar to dab at the delicate misting chips and to tackle any build-up along the walls of the reservoir.

Disassemble and clean your oil diffuser on a routine basis.

How to Clean an Oil Diffuser

Cleaning an essential oil diffuser to prevent scent confusion and mold from developing.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Allow the entire system to air dry before use, which will help any lingering vinegar scent to dissipate. After it has dried, you can resume use as normal with new water and your favorite scents.

Next Up

A Lazy Person's Guide to Cleaning a Microwave

Clean that dirty microwave with an all-natural method using everyday pantry items.

How to Clean Your Iron

Try this easy method for removing burns and build-up from your iron.

How to Clean a Keurig-Style Coffee Maker

Keep your single-serve coffee maker (such as a Keurig) sparkling inside and out with these easy steps for cleaning and descaling.

How to Clean a Coffeemaker: Do Rinse Pods Really Work?

On a mission to get the freshest cup of joe, we tested single-use cleaning pods to see how they worked.

How to Clean an Oven Naturally

No harsh chemicals necessary!

15 Genius Ways to Use Peanut Butter

Because peanut butter’s power goes way beyond the PB&J.

How to Remove Wine Stains From Carpet

We've all been there — you've tipped over or splashed a glass of vino on the carpet and are left with a scary-looking stain. With just a few common household items, the stain will be gone in no time.

How to Clean Everyday Kitchen Items

That coffee grinder could use some love.

How to Clean Major Home Dust Collectors

Dusty vents, fan blades, blinds, windowsills and tools? No problem, with these great cleaning tips.