There are many different ways to diffuse essential oils into the air and one of the ways we are asked about is Atomizers or Nebulizing style diffusers . But more specifically we are asked “what essential oils should be used in these types of diffusers?”
Before we continue, this article will be information for Atomizer type Diffusers like those sold by Diffuser World, Inc.
Atomizers have specialized glass or metal parts to cause the essential oils to be dispersed into the air as an extremely small mist-like vapor. Therefore, not all essential oils can be used in atomizers.
Any other style diffuser can use just about any essential oil, absolute or blends. The other types of diffusers include: Oil and Tart Warmers – both electric and tealight versions, Electric Fan Diffusers, Passive Diffusers like Terra Cotta Disc and Terra Cotta Pendants, Jewelry, such as Brass and Pewter lockets or aromatherapy bracelet, Scentballs,Car Diffusers and even including Personal Nasal inhalers.
Atomizers/nebulizers are very powerful diffusing machines and you do need to be aware that they will use a lot of essential oils and diffuse them into the air rather quickly.
Atomizers are best used with a timer system. They should run for about 10-15 minutes then shut off and then run again in a couple of hours. Again for the 10-15 minutes. This level of diffusing with them is considered the safest when using atomizer style diffusers.
The reason for the timing is to avoid overdosing and over using essential oils. Although they are wonderful natural scents, too much of a good thing can still be a hazard to your health. Just as much as a little can be great, too much could make you sick too. Common side effect that you have overdosed or been overexposed is nausea and headache.
Please visit our pages that talk all about the different types of diffusers and the page specifically on atomizers for more information. We also have a good page about the Variables when determining the best diffuser for you intended uses.
NOW onto how to choose essential oils that are best to use in your Atomizers . The simplest way to choose is to pour some out of the bottle. No you don’t literally need to pour any out but you will need to use a dropper and drop a little out.
First you are going to do the experiment using plain old tap water! Use a pipette to draw some water into in. Then drop three drops onto a clean glass plate.
Now, tip the plate on edge and watch the water run towards the edge of the plate. Do this again, but this time use honey or molasses. See how slow it runs or maybe it won’t run at all!
Now do the same with the essential oils you are not sure will work in your atomizing diffuser. If they run to the edge within a few seconds and acts like the drop of water it should work just fine in your atomizer. If it is slow like honey or molasses then you cannot use it in your atomizer.
Just realize that some thick oils like Vetiver, Sandalwood, Muhuhu aka African Sandalwood, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Ginger, Balsam Peru, Vanilla, Frankincense and Myrrh that are distilled from resins or roots may not ever work in an atomizer. Also Jasmine absolute and Rose absolute along with other absolutes are very thick too and may not be able to be atomized.
Any of these oils or absolutes may clog or gum the glass and/or metal parts. And never use an essential oil that is blended with a carrier like Jojoba, Sweet almond or Fractionated coconut oil as these cannot be atomized in the diffuser and can cause damage to your equipment.
BUT wait, there might still be a way you can use the thicker more viscous oils in your atomizer. How? Just blend them with a thin oil or oils that do run like water. Of course it won’t be the pure essential oil but a blend. It can still be enjoyed, so be sure you blend it with another essential oil you also enjoy. Again, once they are blended do the ‘drip and run’ test to be sure they are now thin enough to work in your atomizer.
As with any type of equipment using essential oils make sure you clean it periodically. Follow the directions provided with your atomizer manufacturer or at the very least clean with hot soapy water, rinse well with water and a clear alcohol such as Vodka.
The following essential oils should work in your Atomizer. This is not a complete list. It is the most common oils used singly in atomizers. And most of these oils are only ever diffused as a blend with other essential oils.
Many of them are not enjoyable by themselves but are great when blended with other oils. The health benefits of diffusing essential oils, no matter how they are diffused, are worth it!
Please follow manufacturers directions.
Anise, Basil, Bergamot, Cajeput, White Camphor, Citronella, Clary Sage, Roman Chamomile, Cinnamon leaf, Clove bud, Cypress,
Eucalyptus, any variety Douglas Fir or Siberian Fir needles, Geranium, Grapefruit, Hyssop, Juniper berry, Lavandin, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass,
Lime, Mandarin, Sweet Marjoram, Melissa, Myrtle, Neroli, Niaouli, Orange, Oregano, Palmarosa, Peppermint, Petitgrain,
Pine needle, Rose OTTO, Rosemary, Rosewood, Spearmint, Spruce needle, Tangerine, Tea Tree, Thyme, Ylang Ylang, any variety.
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