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How Does an Aromatherapy Diffuser Work

Aromatherapy diffusers use ultrasonic technology to break down water and essential oil molecules and disperse them into the air.

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The Essential Life

How Does an Aromatherapy Diffuser WOrk

by britten thompson

Inhaling essential oils is the most effective way to experience their therapeutic benefits. With this mind, if you're looking for a way to add the healing benefits of essential oils to your life, we highly recommend investing in an ultrasonic diffuser. 



An ultrasonic diffuser is an electronic diffuser which disperses essential oils into the air. Diffusers work by breaking the essential oil particles down into micro-molecules & then diffusing them into the air as negative ions. Negatively charged ions will attach themselves to harmful positively charged particles in the air and help to purify your home.

This article does an excellent job of explaining the benefit negatively charged ions have with regards to our health.


How your diffuser works will ultimately depend upon which diffuser you choose. Typically, ultrasonic diffusers are filled with water and essential oils are then added to the water where they remain on the water's surface. It's important to note, the amount of essential oils you add to your diffuser will depend upon the size of your diffuser. Please read the instructions that come with your diffuser carefully.

Ultrasonic diffusers work by using ultrasonic vibrations. Ultrasonic vibrations are sound waves which vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency, which is a frequency the human ear cannot typically detect. These ultrasonic sound waves agitate the water causing the separation of the water particles. When the water particles are separated, they become negatively charged particles which are light enough to be dispersed into the air which creates the visible "mist" that you see when you use a diffuser.  

Essential oils are released into the air with these negative ions. Once released into the air, the essential oils work to purify the air thanks to their antibacterial properties and improve your health and state of mind as you inhale their healing aroma. Meanwhile, the negative ions bond with positively charged free radicals and work to clean your space while adding a small amount of moisture along with the fresh scent of the essential oil you've chosen.

When using essential oils in your ultrasonic diffuser, the oil's particles are dispersed into the air along with the water leaving your home smelling fresh. This is also how you will benefit from the essential oil’s therapeutic properties.


Ultrasonics are a great way to bring the healing benefits of essential oils into your life without doing what is called denaturing the essential oils.

Denaturing means that you are applying some outside element to the oil and thereby changing its chemical composition. Candles and candle diffusers are examples of ways to denature essential oils. Candle diffusers apply heat to your essential oils which “cooks” the oil. When an essential oils is cooked, the aroma changes and the intended therapeutic benefit of the oil is lost.

That’s not to say that burning candles seated with essential oils is bad. You’ll still fill your home with a lovely sent, so if you’re after scent alone, you don’t have to worry about denaturing your essential oils.


To ensure your diffuser lasts for a long, long time it is best to clean it regularly.

At The Essential Life we recommend cleaning your diffuser between each use. Regular cleaning will not only prevent buildup in the diffusers vibration mechanism, it will also ensure each time you diffuse essential oils in your home, you're diffusing the pure aroma of the oils your added without diluting them with residual odour from previously diffused oils.

To clean your diffuser mix equal parts water and rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle. Spritz the inside of your diffuser with the mixture and wipe it clean with a soft cloth. Use a q-tip to gently clean around the diffuser's vibration mechanism.


The ultrasonic diffuser that is best for you will depend upon the space you'd like to use it in. When it comes to purchasing a diffuser, ask the retailer about how much space the diffuser will scent. Another feature to carefully consider is the diffuser's running time. Do you want your diffuser to run for 12 hours? Or just two? This is a completely personal preference and will depend upon how you want to use your diffuser.

Other features you will want to consider when choosing the diffuser that is right for you include: sound, lights, material and appearance, Some diffusers will play music, or beep when they turn off. If you're using your diffuser in a bedroom, diffusers which make noise might not be desirable. Other diffusers have built in lights. Take a look at the options available on the market and decide which diffuser is right for you.

Be wary of poor quality diffusers. A good rule of thumb is: if it seems like too good of a deal, it probably is. Essential oils can degrade pool made diffusers quite quickly and the result can be, at best, a broken diffuser.


When it comes to purchasing an essential oil diffuser, there are many high-quality options available on the market. Here at The Essential Life, we've tested diffusers from a number of top-retailers and we've found a number of diffusers that we love for their appearance, their quality and functionality. We've also found quite a few diffusers that we DON'T love.

Why your home need an Aromatherapy Diffuser

If you’re thinking about bringing an ultrasonic diffuser into your home but you’re not quite sure yet, this video details eight compelling reasons why it’s a good idea to invest in an ultrasonic diffuser. Be sure to get your pen and paper out because in this video we share some easy essential oil diffuser recipes to help you get the most out of every last drop of your essential oils.

After reading this article and watching the video, if you’re still not sure about bringing an ultrasonic diffuser into your life and home, we’re always available to answer questions and help you out in anyway we can.

If you’ve got questions contact us at We’ve got answers and we LOVE sharing the joy of essential oils and ultrasonic diffusers with anyone who will listen!

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If you would like to start your own aromatherpy collection, We recommend purchasing essential oils from our affiliates on Amazon. Click here to shop now.


The Essential Life is dedicated to helping you get the most out of every last drop of your essential oils. To this end, we share as much information as we can about essential oils, including how to use them, how to blend them and so much more.

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for here on our website, please contact us and let us know how we can help you get more out of your essential oils.