A Diffuser is any device which allows a liquid to evaporate thereby putting a scent into the surrounding environment. The process of diffusion is typically accomplished in 4 different ways:
(1) Heat —by applying heat, either through burning a candle, or by using an electrically heated vaporizer, the increased temperature will cause the essential oil to evaporate into the air.
Pros and cons: Great for spreading a lovely scent throughout your home, heat diffusion is best for pretty smells only. If you are wanting the therapeutic properties of essential oils then heat should be avoided. Heat alters the chemistry of the oil, removing any therapeutic properties it might have had.
(2) Reed diffuser is a popular way to add constant fragrance to your home without the use of heat or flame. Moreover, reed diffusers deliver fragrance using a simple wick system: fragrance oil seeps up through reeds or sticks, dispersing scent into the air.
Pros and cons: Reed diffusers give you a scent which is more consistent than candles or incense (which only release scent when lit), in a worry-free and hassle-free manner. If you are wanting the therapeutic properties of essential oils, it it not a good choice.
(3) Ventilation—by utilizing a small fan to create airflow, evaporation is achieved when air passes over a wick or absorbent pad which holds the essential oil.
Pros and cons: Evaporative diffusers are very basic in operation compared to ultrasonic diffusers. A fan blows air through a pad or filter where the oil sits and vaporizes the oil on the pad. The biggest problem with evaporative diffusers, is that the lighter oils (top notes such as citrus) diffuse off quicker than the heavier oils (base notes). Compared to the other diffusers, these aren’t as great for therapeutic use in large rooms, but are great for personal use in your vehicle or when traveling!
(4) Humidification Ultrasonic Diffuser—by using water and essential oil mixed together, a mist can be formed which will fill the air. This mist is produced usually ultrasonic waves of energy.
Pros and cons: This diffuser uses electronic frequencies to create vibrations in water, that are carried to the surface where the essential oils are floating. The vibrations vaporize the essential oils and disperse them into the air without using any kind of heat at all. Unlike heat diffusers, these do not destroy the therapeutic properties of the essential oils being used. These diffusers do a great job of purifying the air and removing unwanted odors! Using a ultrasonic diffuser may produce a nice scent, but has very limited healing capacity since the amount of essential oil is so small.
(5) Nebulizing Diffuser – Nebulizer ( —Is a process which forces the break down of essential oils into very tiny particles. It requires a high velocity, pressurized air stream and a specially designed jet nozzle. The rate of evaporation is highly accelerated and occurs almost instantly.
Pros and cons: This diffuser can diffuse quickly and efficiently; Some diffusers of this type can not effectively diffuse heavier, thicker essential oils and can be hard to clean. Unlike heat diffusers, these do not destroy the therapeutic properties of the essential oils being used. It is absolutely the best way to provide both aroma and therapeutic healing value with essential oils. It does not alter the chemical composition of the oils. It breaks down pure essential oil molecules without separation of the mixture. It produces a particle size small enough for the lungs and body to absorb them rapidly.Since nebulizing diffusers work so powerfully to quickly saturate the air with essential oils, they generally run at a higher sound level, and tend to use essential oils at a higher rate than any other type of diffuser.
In conclusion, The diffusion method you choose, will determine to a large degree, the amount of aroma and therapeutic benefit you receive from an essential oil. If all you want to do is provide a pleasant scent to your environment, ultrasonic diffuser will work fine and can cover either a bedroom or living room. But if you want to use essential oils for their maximum healing qualities and pure therapeutic benefit, only a nebulizer will do the job correctly and effectively.This is why doctors and respiratory professionals prescribe the use of a nebulizer to administer inhalants of a medicinal or therapeutic nature.
How to Maintain a Diffuser and Nebulizer
Maintenance is important to keep your diffusers at optimal performance and to make it work properly in long term run. As ultrasonic diffuser and nebulizing diffuser( nebulizer ) are two most commonly used diffusers. We will only discuss the maintenance of these 2 types of diffusers:
Cleaning a ultrasonic diffuser:
Before cleaning the externally exposed parts of your diffuser, always turn the power off on the product and remove plug from outlet and the diffuser. DO NOT clean the diffuser while it is plugged in to an electrical source.
- Unplug your diffuser so it is not connected to any electrical source and remove any batteries if applicable
- Remove the cover from product
- Add some water and a small amount neutral cleanser into the water container. Avoid harsh cleansers that could corrode the unit. A neutral cleanser is one that is gentle and has ph balance. Your typical dish soap will do. You can also use vinegar or isopropyl alcohol. Avoid harsh agents such as glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner or stronger agents such as CLR
- Use the cleaning foam to clean the inside of water container to remove any residual oil stain and rinse with water. Gently agitate the area around the diffuser screen
- When pouring out the water please pay attention to the water pouring direction. Avoid water entering the ventilation hole. If water enters the ventilation hole, try to gently shake out excess water and leave it to dry completely before trying to plug it in. Your diffuser is an electrical appliance. Avoid plugging in the unit if wet inside as it may result in damage to the unit and a shock hazard to you. Be smart and safe
- If you have on hand, using an alcohol wipe is also a good choice to to finish cleaning the water basin to help eliminate odor residue and reduce staining.
- After unit’s exterior is clean, reassemble and your unit is ready to use. Periodically, you should run a cleaning cycle.
Clean a Nebulizing Diffuser – Nebulizer
If you’re using the nebulizing diffuser daily, then you should do a regular cleaning weekly.
Step 1. Add few ml of isopropyl alcohol (70-95% purity) into the glass reservoir or glass bottle of nebulizers to shake, rinse and then pour out.
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Step 2. Add few ml of isopropyl alcohol again into the glass reservoir or glass bottle
Step 3. Power on the nebulizing diffuser and let it run around 15 minutes in order to clean the micro-tubes
Step 4. Dispense the leftover alcohol and let your diffuser air drying or use a hair dryer
Once it is dry, the cleaning is done and your nebulizer is ready for use.