Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner

1104 posts

Comments - How To: Make an Inexpensive DIY Reed Diffuser

Melissa on May 21, 2015:

Diffusing EO is always the better option than using synth etic air fresheners. I have been using EO for last few years but learnt to make own blend very recently. Will use reed diffuser next time, thanks for the post!

Leia Chester on May 17, 2015:

Making our own essential oil diffuser is always the best way because it’s safe and more convenient for us, especially when we do not have full knowledge to buy a real diffuser in many types of diffuser out there. Thanks a lot for your direction about an inexpensive reed diffuser, it’s very helpful!

Rachel on Feb 02, 2015:

Can I use Eau De Toilette versions of perfumes in home made reed diffusers? I have a bottle of Channel that I was given as a gift but I don't usually wear perfume and was wondering if I can use it to scent my room instead. I notice perfumes already have alcohol content (up to 95% of it could be alcohol) so wonder if I still need to stick to the alcohol quantities specified on your recipe if using perfumes. Or if using perfumes is a workable idea at all.

Karen on Oct 16, 2013:

Hi I to tryed to make reed defuseers ,I used sweet amond oil a little vodka fragrance oil and I don't get a very strong smell but when up close the guava oil was Devine I would l would like it stronger can you help.thax ......karen.

Anonymous on Sep 24, 2013:

How do I get the oil and vodka to stay mixed? Mine keeps separating out. Also, where did you get the reeds? All I could find was the bamboo skewers.

Steve on Jul 29, 2013:

Farheen - 

Oils that are used in aroma lamps or oil warmers are typically pure fragrance oils in order to give the maximum amount of scent.  Fragrance oil in any kind of warmer is always the strongest way of scenting a space.  When you're making a reed diffuser, you have to dilute that fragrance oil with a base to make it the right viscosity to travel up the reeds and to preserve it from being exposed to the air.  Just as pure fragrance oil would not work in a diffuser, you would not want to put a mixture designed for reed diffusers in an oil warmer.   But pure fragrance oil for a warmer can be dilluted with reed diffuser base to make it work in a diffuser.  Hope that helps!

farheen baig on Jul 29, 2013:

thanks for the tutorial for making the diffusers @ home i just wanted to know that what is the difference between burning oils & reed diffuser oils, can u pls help me by giving another option than vodka as in Pakistan we can not find it easily. 

Anonymous on Jul 11, 2013:

Don't fear mineral oil. Use it in your diffusers with confidence. Don't give in to the fringe that insist all petroleum based products will kill you in your beds.

Anonymous on May 15, 2013:

I tried this recipe with the vodka and without.  The reeds dry up quickly and I have to flip them every few hours.  I'm using 100% lemon oil and it doesn't seem to be traveling up the reeds.  Any suggestions?

Anonymous on May 05, 2013:

You should know that mineral oil is toxic: even breathing it in is considered dangerous, especially for pregnant women. You can use all kinds of much safer carrier oils - grapeseed, safflower, sweet almond. There are plenty that aren't petroleum based and harmful. If it's not found in ecologically-approved products, you probably shouldn't use it, and mineral oil is never used in green products.

Kirk on May 02, 2013:

Three weeks ago, I purchased a 16 oz. diffuser oil refill and 30 diffuser sticks from Pier 1 for $21. I filled 3 handblown vases with 3, 5, and 8 oz. respectively. After 2 weeks, the smallest vase had completely dried up , so I checked the others and they are only one-third full. Do you have any idea why they are drying up so quickly? I've had 6 oz. Pier 1 brand diffusers before that lasted months. Did I get ripped off?

Steve on Apr 25, 2013:

@Linda - Just like anything else, there are varying qualities of bases and reeds out there.  The bases are more similar, because there's a pretty specific recipe that makes all of this work, but there are a wide range of reed quality out there.  Its a trial and error thing, but if you put reeds in your oil and the level of your oil hasn't visibly dropped in one month, your reeds are probably bad.  6oz of base and oil should last you about 3-4 months, so if its taking much longer, your reeds are either cheap or they are filled with dust and need replaced.

Linda on Apr 21, 2013:

Are all bases equal? Does it matter what kind of reeds you use?

erica on Apr 17, 2013:

Are there alternatives to mineral oil if we want to use a petroleum-free product?

Linda on Apr 16, 2013:

Thank you for your help. I'll try getting the base all ready made up.


Sonya on Apr 16, 2013:


What about for people that cannot handle artificial fragrance?  I can only handle fragrances from 100% nautral sources (essential oils).  Can it be done?

Steve on Apr 16, 2013:

@Linda - Typical carrier oils like Almond won't work.  A reed diffuser needs to have a very specific viscosity in order to travel up the reeds.  After experimenting with many different "homemade" recipes, the simple truth is that none of them work as well as the base that is manufactured to specifically do this.  1 part fragrance oil and 3 parts reed diffuser base will give you a great result without wasting your essential oils.  There are several companies that sell the base, but here is one of them and its only $5 for 16oz.  From our testing, you can figure that 6oz total (4.5oz of base and 1.5oz of fragrance will last you about 3 months.

Good luck!

Steve Weaver

The Candle Lab

Linda on Apr 16, 2013:

Help! I have tried to make an oil diffuser several different times. I have tried mineral oil and almond oil. I used 1/4, 3T. vodka and several drops of essential oil that I bought at a natural soap company that was suppose to be pure. I've also tired NOW 100% essential oil. The reeds don't seem to soak up the oils and the oils separate. It seems like the oil mixture is too thick. I don't know what else to try. Any ideas?

TheCandleLab on Jan 28, 2013:

@Kama - 

There are specially made bases for reed diffusers.  They are unscented bases that will accept fragrance oil, and these bases work much better than homemade formulas because they are mixed to the exact viscosity needed to travel up the reeds and evaporate at the correct rate.  The bases themselves are not expensive - its usually the fragrance oil that is the expensive part.  Using good reeds and a good base will mean the best results.

Kama on Jan 23, 2013:

Is it possible to replace the vodka with something that is not an alcoholic beverage?

Leaf on Nov 15, 2012:

You can get free, small bottles from Cracker Barrel. Some restaurants will even save them for you. (They are the glass bottles from the syrup and even have the screw on cap.) Another way to use the bottles if to glue them over the lights on a string of lights. Looks great!

TheCandleLab on Oct 26, 2012:

Hey everyone - since we're mentioned in the post above, I hope you won't mind some self-promotion.  We offer fragrance oils in 120 different scents and we sell the reeds for diffusers as well.  You can find all of them on our web site at  

We also sell a $14 kit that includes 4oz of scented reed diffuser oil and a set of 10 reeds.  This should last roughly 3 to 4 months in a typical glass container.  And @Heidi - reed diffusers are very safe for birds.  Paraffin candles and many of the artificial room freshner products are a no no for birds, but reed diffusers are a great option.  Let me know if you have any other questions.

Steve Weaver
The Candle Lab
twitter - @thecandlelab
facebook -


Lisa on Aug 23, 2012:

Does it have to be vodka or can I use any high percentage alcohol, like medical alocohol? Thanks for the post!

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