How To Clean An Essential Oil Diffuser

How does a person really clean an essential oil diffuser? The essential oils can cause a build up and the diffuser can get grimy. So what is the best way to take care of your diffuser?

Learn how to clean an essential oil diffuser. Get rid of the slimy grime easily with this cleaning method.

Image Credit: Falon Koontz via Shutterstock

I admit that I have slacked in my ways of cleaning the diffuser. Ideally, you need to wipe out the diffuser after every single use. Hey, life happens and it doesn’t get done.

The other day, I really wanted to get all the diffusers a good deep cleaning. Yes, I said diffusers. I have a total of 3 in the house, one in each bedroom. However, I do need another diffuser. Can a person really have too many??? :)

Tip: Best places to have essential oil diffusers are in the rooms you spend the most time in. For example, bedrooms or living room/family room.

When to clean an Essential Oil Diffuser

  • If you notice that the diffuser is not diffusing correctly. Such as water still in the basin.
  • The mist isn’t as strong as when it was new.
  • When the diffuser starts to make noise when it is turned on.

How to clean an Essential Oil Diffuser

These instructions are for diffusers that use water, not the types that use straight oils.

Daily Cleaning

For daily cleaning, simply use a cloth or cotton ball to wipe out the inside of the diffuser. This will help keep away the slimy and grimy longer as well as essential oil buildup.

Honestly, you could probably get away with doing this after a few diffusings, like I said, life happens.

Monthly Cleaning


  • Water
  • White Vinegar (Check out all these other cleaning uses for vinegar!)
  • Cotton Balls or a damp cloth (Personally, I like using cotton balls)
  • Q-Tips


Fill the diffuser with water, but only about halfway to the fill mark.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar.

Run the diffuser for about 5 to 10 minutes. This will help run the vinegar through the diffuser and help to loosen up any nasty grime in the diffuser.

Carefully empty out the water. Make sure you don’t dump the water out into the motor or onto any external buttons.

Dampen the cotton balls or cloth and wipe down the insides of the diffuser. I personally like to use cotton balls since they are easy to squish into smaller spaces to really get that grime. If you have some really tight spaces, dampen a Q-Tip and use it in the tiny areas to clean.

Allow the diffuser to dry and it is ready to use again!

This method makes cleaning an essential oil diffuser SO easy. The vinegar does a great job loosening the ickies and it doesn’t take much effort to the diffuser back to being new again!

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  1. paula rosenquist says:

    If you use distilled water in the diffuser, is it still necessary to clean it out with the vinegar?

    1. Hi Paula! I have not used distilled water in my diffuser so I am not sure. The instructions that came with my diffusers said to use tap water. However, the essential oils may still cause a build up after while.

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