How Long Should You Diffuse Essential Oils?

With many different types of diffusers on the market, it can be tough to know the recommended amount of time that you should use them once filled with water and essential oils. Some diffusers are built to offer 20+ hour cycles whereas others give you one to two hours. That still leaves us wondering, how long should you diffuse essential oils?

There are some rules of thumb to take into consideration, but as long as you have an idea of the space you’re working with and the amount of oil to use, you can choose what’s best for you and your family.

The General Rule of Thumb

The main idea behind using a diffuser is to fill a room with scent molecules or particles without overwhelming the space. You just have to make sure that there’s enough vapor in the air for you to experience the benefits of the oil you’re using.

On average, people recommend diffusing essential oils for up to 20 minutes at a time, if you’re in a small to medium size room. If you’re trying to fill a larger space with your diffuser, you’re going to have to let it run for longer. That is until you can notice the scent of the essential oils has traveled throughout the space.

Following the Instructions

If you find that diffusing oils with your diffuser is going to take longer than 20 minutes, then it’s best to take a look at the included instructions. Some diffusers that are designed to work for longer periods might diffuse essential oils slower. That is to ensure you don’t wind up using too much oil for a single room.

On the other hand, those that have shorter cycles might focus on putting out a lot of vapor within an hour, filling your room faster than you’d think.

It’s also important to take a look at your user manual or instructions to determine how much essential oil is recommended for a single cycle. Considering it’s impossible to know how your diffuser is designed to work without the instructions, you won’t want to put 10 drops of oil in a unit that puts a lot of immediate vapor into the air, as the smell will be far too overwhelming.

Choosing Your Desired Length

If you’re still stuck wondering, how long should you diffuse essential oils, we found the best way to figure it out is to test it on your own. The more often you use your diffuser, the more accustomed you’ll become to knowing how much oil you find best. It will also help you know how long you should let the diffuser run and what helps to remedy your ailments the fastest.

For example, when we first started using our diffusers, we would put up to 15 drops of oil and allow the unit to run for three hours, on average. This would fill a small bedroom with too much of a scent, which we found was way too much.

It’s equally important to try using your diffuser in different areas of your home. This is for the reason that it can affect how the smell of your essential oils travels throughout the house and affects different rooms.

As an example, if you know that you want your whole home to smell like pine, but you spend a lot of time in your living room, you’re going to want to put the diffuser in a centralized location and use a lot of essential oil. This helps to make sure that your living room isn’t too overwhelmed with the scent of pine; meanwhile, every room on your lower level will have a hint of it in the air.

Buying a Diffuser with a Timer

By now, the vast majority of diffusers that you find on the market are equipped with timers. These are another fantastic feature that will give you an idea of how long you should let your diffuser run.

If you’re someone who prefers to have a lot of control over the heaviness of the scent in your home, it’s best to find a diffuser with multiple timer options. For example, if you have access to a 15-minute timer, you can put the diffuser on while you’re in the shower. That way, your bedroom can be filled with a smell to help lull you to sleep.

Whereas if you know you’re going to have guests arriving within an hour, you can set an hour-long timer. As such, the house smells superb for when they arrive, and you won’t even have to try to remember to turn the unit off before the doorbell rings.

Timers are also useful to help prevent your diffuser from being overworked to where it’s more likely to break in the future. Although these devices are designed to last a long time, as with anything, the more you use it, its inner components will work harder. This can lead to deterioration at a faster rate. With the help of a timer, you can prolong the life expectancy of your diffuser with ease.

Rely on 100% Pure Oils

Another great tip when it comes to mastering the use of essential oils is to make sure that you only use 100% pure oils. That is not only because it prevents your diffuser from being clogged, but it will also make sure that you have access to the purest scents possible. Instead of using blends that are filled with other elements that take away from the smell of the essential oils, pure oils will give you the best scents possible, allowing you to run your diffuser for less time.

Final Thoughts

There are a wide variety of advantages to diffusing essential oils, which is why most households have one or more diffusers. If you’re a beginner, answering how long should you diffuse essential oils can be tough. With enough hands-on experience and testing your recently purchased unit, you’ll get a good idea of the general length of time that works best for your home.

Always remember, the smaller the room, the less essential oil you should use, and you’ll typically have to run your diffuser for less time. On the contrary, larger rooms are going to need a longer cycle. Additionally, for the highest possible scent level, it’s recommended that you use more than one diffuser throughout your home.

Essential oils are not without risk, one study concluded that while exposure for 1 hour was found to be an effective method of relaxation, it also found that exposure for longer than 1 hour may be harmful to cardiovascular health. As with most things, moderation is key.

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