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The Most Frugal, Low-Tech Way To Diffuse Essential Oils

There are many ways to enjoy the scents of your favorite essential oils, but few are simpler or more affordable than this one!

Jill Nystul • July 21, 2023

Jill Nystul • December 20, 2023

Jill Nystul • December 20, 2023

Jill Nystul • December 20, 2023

In addition to being a great way to make your surroundings smell wonderful, diffusing essential oils can have additional benefits, like boosting your energy, helping you focus, or calming you down. However, plug-in or battery-powered diffusers aren’t always the most practical choice.

For instance, a traditional ultrasonic diffuser will only continue running until the water tank is empty, so it only really makes sense to use them when you’re spending time in the same room. But there is another option for “diffusing” the aromas of essential oils in your home in a more passive way—by making an old fashioned reed diffuser.

Making a DIY reed diffuser at home is quick and easy, and you only need a few simple supplies to do it. You won’t have to worry about an open flame, hot wax, or power cords when you’re using it, and best of all, it will release its fragrance for months and look good doing it.

How To Make A DIY Reed Diffuser

You’ll need:


Fill your bottle about two-thirds of the way with carrier oil, then add 20 drops or so of essential oils. Swirl to combine, then insert a handful of bamboo skewers into the bottle. (Make sure to choose bamboo skewers that stick out several inches from the top of your container to help carry the scent.)

I used fractionated coconut oil in my reed diffuser, then added 10-15 drops each of lavender and lemon essential oils. (Lavender and lemon is one of my favorite scent combos!) In place of FCO, you could use almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, or any other type of carrier oil you like.

Leave the skewers alone for about an hour, then flip them over to saturate the dry sections and speed up the saturation process. Place your finished reed diffuser somewhere it won’t be knocked over by children or pets, and within 24 hours you will begin to notice the lovely fragrance perfuming your space.

Flip the skewers over about once a week to refresh the fragrance.

Which Essential Oil Should I Use In My Reed Diffuser?

If you want to go the essential oil route like I did, the good news is that there’s really no wrong answer when it comes to choosing an oil or oils to use. You can choose based on where you plan to put the reed diffuser, or stick with the scent you like best. Here are some suggestions along with a few of their benefits:

What scent would you use in a reed diffuser?