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Lights on a Diffuser: What Does the Green and Red Light Mean on My Diffuser?

Lights on a Diffuser: What Does the Green and Red Light Mean on My Diffuser?

Did you know the red or green light on your diffuser is sending you a message?

These lights are crucial parts of every diffuser you use at home or in the office. When the lights aren’t working, it can be tough to deduce the state of the diffuser.

But, what is the message behind the lights? What does a red and green light mean on my diffuser?

What Does the Red and Green Light Mean on My Diffuser?

What Does the Red and Green Light Mean on My Diffuser

First, never panic when you see the red or green light. These pass a message about the device and help you act.

Usually, the green light means all is okay with the diffuser. Therefore, you can relax and enjoy the lovely aromas from the essential oils. The green light comes on when there’s enough water in the reservoir.

However, when you see red flashes start to appear, it’s time to get up and act. Typically, this is an indicator that you need to refill the water in the reservoir. If you don’t, the diffuser will activate auto-shutoff, which prevents any damage to the device.

Another reason the red light comes on is when there’s an issue with the diffuser. The light can stay on for some time, even after refilling the water tank before the diffuser stops working. Several reasons can cause the diffuser to stop working.

Why Did My Diffuser Stop Working?

Low Water Levels

One reason there’s a red light on your diffuser is low water levels. After some time, you need to refill the water tank.

If you don’t, the diffuser will give a warning light then automatically shut down. The auto-shutoff feature is a safety precaution that protects you and the diffuser.


Every water diffuser has a reservoir that you fill to a certain level. Check for the mark which indicates the right water level before you start using a diffuser.

However, at times you can overfill the diffuser, which causes problems. Over-filling means water can spill to other parts of the device, so the red light comes on. If you notice this or accidentally bump the diffuser, turn it off.

Why Did My Diffuser Stop Working

Then, drain all the water and start drying the excess moisture. Once you remove as much water as possible, please leave it to air dry for two days before using it again. While the water can evaporate quickly, essential oils take time.

Once all the moisture is gone, refill the water tank and turn on the diffuser. If the green light comes on, you’re good to go. If it’s red, the device still has some moisture and needs time to dry.

Obstructed Airflow

A diffuser requires ample airflow to work properly. Any obstruction causes the red light to flash and eventually turn off the device. That’s why it’s crucial to pick the right place to set up the diffuser in your home.

For instance, avoid soft surfaces that can interfere with air intake. Choosing the right surface ensures the device keeps working and maintains the green light. A level hard surface is the best choice that won’t affect the diffuser.

Also, check if any hair or dust is causing an obstruction. The best way is to clean the device each time before using it to diffuse essential oils.


Water in the diffuser needs to maintain a certain temperature throughout the diffusion process. If it overheats, it can cause damage indicated by the red light. It’s not unusual for the water to heat up. But, if it’s too hot, something is wrong.

Normally, overheating occurs due to obstructed airways due to dust and other debris. Additionally, poor cleaning cycles can affect the state of the device. That’s why it keeps flashing red and feels too hot.

That’s why you need to take time and clean the device thoroughly. The best method is a proper cleaning cycle, as indicated in the diffuser manual. Please do this as often as possible since it also increases the lifespan of the device.

Basically, when you fill and clean the diffuser properly, the green light comes on. But overfilling and poor cleaning causes the red light to come on.

How to Properly Clean an Essential Oil Diffuser

How to Properly Clean an Essential Oil Diffuser

It’s good to clean your diffusers properly to prevent damage.

The red light means your diffuser isn’t clean. So take time to clean it and enjoy the green light symbolizing that everything is okay.

Below are some steps to help you deep clean an essential oil diffuser.

  1. Start by unplugging the essential oil diffuser and pour out all water left inside.
  2. Next, fill the diffuser with a tap or filtered water. Keep an eye on the water tank to avoid it running more than half away.
  3. Once the water is in place, pour in eight to ten drops of vinegar. The solution works to remove all excess essential oils still clinging to the water tank.
  4. Plug back the diffuser and turn it on. Please leave it to run for 5 minutes, which gives the solution ample time to deep clean the device.
  5. Turn it off and drain out all the vinegar solution once the time elapses.
  6. Take a cotton swab and dip it in vinegar. Take your time to reach the tight spots and corners of the diffuser to remove all dirt.
  7. Pour in clean water and rinse the water tank thoroughly.
  8. Dap a clean cloth in water and wipe the exterior removing all excess dust and dirt.
  9. Check the air vent and remove any debris that can hamper airflow.

Now that your essential oil diffuser is clean, repeat the process every week. But, make sure you rinse out the essential oil solution after every use to prevent build-up.

In Conclusion

Essential oil diffusers can flash a red or green light. Green indicates that the device is functioning well.

However, take note when you see the red light. It’s revealing that something is wrong.