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How to Clean Diffuser: The Right Way
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How to Clean Diffuser: The Right Way

Diffusers are great tools for helping to create a calming atmosphere in any room. They can also help to purify and freshen the air, but it’s important to keep them clean if you want them to work effectively. Cleaning your diffuser regularly will ensure that it continues to operate properly and provide you with all the benefits you expect. This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to clean a diffuser safely and efficiently.

Types of Diffusers and Their Cleaning Methods

When cleaning your diffuser, it’s important to know which type of diffuser you own and the specific cleaning methods best suited for that particular type. Here are some of the most common types of diffusers and their recommended cleaning methods:

Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers are one of the most popular types of diffusers, and they work by releasing essential oils into the air through a series of wooden reeds inserted into the essential oil blend. They require very little maintenance, but they must still be cleaned regularly.

The best way to clean a reed diffuser is to remove the reeds from the bottle of essential oils and wipe them down with a damp cloth or paper towel. Then, use rubbing alcohol to clean the bottle and refill it with your favorite essential oil blend.

HVAC Diffusers

HVAC diffusers use air ducts in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to disperse aromatherapy scents throughout an entire house or building. For these types of diffusers, ensuring you have access to all the air ducts to properly clean them is important.

First, turn off the HVAC system and then use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to remove any dust or debris from the air ducts. Next, use a damp cloth with mild detergent to clean all surfaces of the system and then dry completely before turning the HVAC system back on.

Oil Diffusers

Oil diffusers are the most common type of essential oil diffuser and work by turning essential oils into a fine mist that’s released into the air. These diffusers require more frequent cleaning than other types of diffusers because they can accumulate bacteria and gunk over time.

You might be wondering how to clean an essential oil diffuser properly. Well, the best way to clean an oil diffuser is to use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab or Q-tip. This will effectively remove any debris or residue from the reservoirs without damaging the device.

Other Diffusers

Aside from reed and HVAC diffusers, there are also other types, such as ultrasonic, nebulizing, cold air diffusers, and heat diffusers. These diffusers require special cleaning methods depending on the type of diffuser and the manufacturer’s instructions. Below, we go over some general tips for cleaning these types of diffusers:

Materials Needed for Cleaning a Diffuser

Materials Needed for Cleaning a Diffuser

  • Water
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Soft, Lint-Free Cloth
  • Mild Dish Soap
  • Soft-Bristled Brush
  • White Vinegar
  • Pipettes Droppers
  • Microfiber Cloth
Steps to Clean a Diffuser

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Diffuser


Before cleaning, disconnect the diffuser from the power source and ensure that all water and essential oils have been completely drained from the diffuser. This is essential to avoid potential electrical hazards and enable thorough cleaning.

Clean the Diffuser

Using the materials listed in the section on “materials needed for cleaning a diffuser” above, follow these steps to clean your diffuser:

  • Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of your diffuser and remove any dust or dirt buildup.
  • Submerge the base of the diffuser (not the motor or electronics) in a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap for a few minutes, then scrub away any residue with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Dip cotton swabs into rubbing alcohol to clean hard-to-reach areas, such as the crevices between buttons on electronic diffusers
  • For metallic surfaces, use white vinegar to prevent oxidation from occurring over time.
  • Place pipettes droppers inside the diffuser’s water tank and fills it up with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any essential oil residue that may have built up over time.

Drying the Diffuser

After cleaning, allow the diffuser to air dry thoroughly, ensuring that all residual moisture evaporates. This helps prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. Once the diffuser has dried naturally, use a lint-free or microfiber cloth to remove any remaining moisture, ensuring a completely dry surface.

Tips and Precautions for Cleaning Your Diffuser

Diffuser cleaning is an important part of maintaining a healthy aromatherapy experience. Here are some additional tips to ensure cleaning your diffuser is done safely and effectively.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Use the right cleaning solutions
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials
  • Clean the diffuser regularly
  • Pay attention to the water tank to ensure there is no buildup
Drain Oil and Water Out of Diffuser

Troubleshooting Common Diffuser Problems

Now that you know how to clean your diffuser, here is some supplemental information on troubleshooting common diffuser problems:

Clogging and Buildup

If you notice a buildup of essential oils in your diffuser, we recommend using a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol to clean it out. This should help unclog any residue that’s causing the issue. It will also help if you use the right amount of essential oil for your diffuser size, as too much can cause clogging or buildup issues as well.

Diffusers Not Producing Mist or Output

If your diffuser isn’t producing mist or output, it may be due to a blockage in the diffuser’s air vent. To find and clear the blockage, unscrew the housing unit of your diffuser (usually done with a screwdriver) and use a cotton swab or lint-free cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean out any debris that has built up.

Strange Smells or Odors

If you notice strange smells coming from your diffuser, it could be because of bacteria or mold that has built up inside. To eliminate this, we recommend first turning off the diffuser and then submerging it in a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap for five minutes before scrubbing away any residue with a soft-bristled brush. This should help eliminate any foul odors and get your diffuser back in working condition.

Diffuser giving Strange Smells: What to do?


Keeping your diffuser clean is important for maintaining an effective aromatherapy experience. In this guide, we have covered how to clean a diffuser properly, including how to clean essential oil residue. You can use our tips to transform your dirty diffuser into a squeaky clean one. It will ensure your home smells fresh, and you will enjoy aromatherapy’s benefits.

Enhance your home, office, or living space with irresistible luxury fragrances from Lèlior. Experience the power of scent with top-of-the-line diffusers, fragrance oils, room sprays, and more. Our hand-made products are paraben-free, cruelty-free, and made of all-natural ingredients. If you have any questions about finding the right scent or scent system, please write to us at


Frequently Asked Questions

Why Did My Diffuser Stop Working?

This could be due to a blockage in the diffuser’s air vent, a power connection issue, or a lack of water. Firstly, check if the power is connected and then also inspect the diffuser’s air vent for any blockages. If there are none, try filling up your diffuser with fresh water and turning it back on.

How Often Should I Clean My Diffuser?

We recommend cleaning your diffuser at least once a month or whenever you notice any residue buildup or strange odors coming from the device.

Is It Safe To Put Vinegar In A Diffuser?

Yes, it is safe to use vinegar in a diffuser. White vinegar helps prevent oxidation and can be used to clean the metallic surfaces of your diffuser.

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