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Can You Use Reed Diffuser Oil in an Electric Diffuser?

Can You Use Reed Diffuser Oil in an Electric Diffuser?

Picture this: you come home after a long day from work, kick your shoes off and head straight to your diffuser for some lavender to ease your worries but then you realize you forgot to buy a new essential oil bottle!

Your eyes move along the room looking for a quick solution to this problem that doesn’t involve going to the store, you eventually land on your reed diffuser on the shelf. Have you found your quick fix?

The short answer to this question is no, but there are always a few exceptions to any rule.

Have a read to see if you can get away with using your reed diffuser oil in your electric diffuser.

What is in Reed Diffuser Oil?

What is in Reed Diffuser Oil

The most important thing to consider is what is in your reed diffuser oil. If you made it yourself, find the recipe you used or just have a look at the bottle if the oil was store-bought.

There are a few main ingredients that might be in reed diffuser oil: essential oil, a neutral oil, water, alcohol.

However, if you bought the diffuser oil at the store, there may be a few other preservatives or perfumes mixed in as well.

Most reed diffuser oils rely on a carrier oil rather than water so the essential oils mix in well and can be evenly distributed throughout the reeds. The alcohol, which is usually vodka or isopropyl alcohol, is used to keep the reeds fresh and prevent them from going moldy.

Many store-bought reed diffuser oils don’t even have real essential oils in them and don’t offer any wellness benefits! A lot of the premade products on the market rely on a perfume mixed with an oil, so be sure to read the ingredients before buying any oil refills online.

What Can I Put in My Electric Diffuser?

The short answer to this is that electric diffusers can only process water and essential oils. Ultrasonic diffusers use vibrations to create particles of water and essential oils, which are then projected out of the nozzle and into space.

Similarly, nebulizing diffusers or any other type of waterless diffuser are designed to only work with pure essential oils. The waterless diffusers project a burst of pure oils into space methodically to scent the area without being too overpowering.

Electronic diffusers are safe ways to enjoy essential oils, but only if you follow the rules.

Both machines are made for a very specific liquid and there is not really a lot of flexibility when it comes to changing that liquid. That’s why it’s so important to look over the ingredients in your reed diffuser oil before considering using it as an alternative.

Unless your reed diffuser oil is just water and essential oil, it is not suitable for an electric diffuser. If those are the only two ingredients, have a look at how diluted the oil is before adding it to the electric diffuser with the appropriate amount of water.

What Will Happen if I Put Other Stuff in the Electric Diffuser?

What Will Happen if I Put Other Stuff in the Electric Diffuser

Here are a few risks to adding reed diffuser oil ingredients into an electric diffuser. Please read these carefully as health and safety should always be a priority when using essential oils!

Health Risks

Any liquid put in a diffuser is going to be projected into the air and potentially inhaled. When you smell a diffuser mist, you are inhaling the oil and water particles, but because of how small and diluted the mist is, there is little to no risk of this being dangerous.

However, if using a reed diffuser oil, alcohols, perfume, and carrier oils will also be projected into the air which are not safe to inhale. Inhaling large amounts of alcohol can cause isopropyl alcohol poisoning which may lead to dizziness, nausea, low body temperature, rapid heart rate, and several other serious symptoms.

Although your body can handle small amounts of isopropyl alcohol, directly inhaling it in mist form is incredibly risky and you just don’t know how you are going to react. It is not worth it.

Unknown perfumes in reed diffuser oils can cause allergic reactions or even similar side effects to isopropyl alcohol poisoning.

While these ingredients are typically safe when in a reed diffuser because they are not being projected into the air. They are not designed for electric diffusers and should therefore not be used in them.

Diffuser Malfunction

Another risk of using reed diffuser oil in an electric diffuser is that you might damage your machine or even potentially break it.

The properties of different liquids, their viscosity, and how they mix can disrupt an electric diffuser. Reed diffuser oil also tends to be thicker and less concentrated than regular pure essential oils.

Because of how thick the oil is, the diffuser might have a hard time turning it into mist and will subsequently begin to malfunction. The mist will not be produced as well and even if the diffuser does continue to work, you still have to consider the health risks mentioned in the previous section.



Here are a few alternatives to using your electric diffuser if you don’t have any pure essential oils lying around.

1. Make Sure You’re Using Your Reed Diffuser Correctly

Make Sure You’re Using Your Reed Diffuser Correctly

If you don’t feel like you are smelling your reed diffuser enough, there are a few steps you can take to fix this. Reed diffusers can really change the energy of a room if you give them the right amount of love!

Firstly, have a look at the size of your diffuser compared to the space it’s in, you might have to add more reeds. If that doesn’t work, get a bigger vase with some more liquid in it to really bump up the scent factor.

Secondly, make sure to do your reed maintenance! Reeds need to be flipped at least once a week to ensure the oil is being distributed throughout the reeds as much as possible.

Choose a day of the week to go around and flip all your reeds. While you’re at it, top up the oil on any vases if needed.

You could even set a little reminder on your phone so you don’t forget!

2. Use a Candle Diffuser

While electric diffusers may not work well with reed diffuser oil, using a handy little candle diffuser should work just fine!

Candle diffusers are incredibly affordable, easy to use, and super-efficient when it comes to spreading scent around a space. Since they aren’t electric, you don’t have to worry about ruining your machine by switching out the liquid!

If your reed diffuser oil seems a little thick, add some water to it in the candle diffuser bowl so it can evaporate better and last longer. Of course, this really should only be used as a last resort as concentrated essential oils are always the best option.

If you’re looking for a good candle diffuser, try The NJCharms Ceramic Tealight Holder from Amazon. With plenty of great reviews, this tea light diffuser will make your wallet and your nose as happy as can be.

3. Buy Your Essential Oils in Bulk

Sometimes we just run out of things quicker than we can buy them! Whether it’s bread, toilet paper, or essential oils, some things are just best bought in bulk.

Buying essential oils in bulk is a great way to save money and ensure you’re never out when you might need it most.

This 473-milliliter bottle of Lavender Essential Oil from NOW will last you months upon months! The initial investment of the bottle is well worth not having to pop to your local health food store or go online every time you finish a tiny bottle of oil.

If lavender isn’t your thing, try this 473-milliliter bottle of Peppermint Essential Oil from NOW to give your sinuses a good spring cleaning. Because you only use a few drops at a time, we think this bottle might last you a whole year if you play your cards right!


Buy Your Essential Oils in Bulk

At the end of the day, store-bought reed diffuser oils are usually pretty artificial and only safe for their intended use.

While using reed diffuser oil in an electric diffuser sounds like a clever solution, the risks are far too serious to even try this substitute. It’s fun to play around with essential oils but safety should always come first and this swap just isn’t safe!

Keep your reed diffuser refreshed and consider buying your essential oils in bulk if you’re an avid oiler. You won’t regret it.

Also, have a lot at our recommended candle diffuser since it’s an affordable easy way to enjoy essential oils.

Let us know if you try any of our alternatives and how they worked for you.

Have fun and stay safe!