A DIY Reed Diffuser Makes Your Home Smell Like a Spa for Under $15

Photo: Getty Images/belchonock
Nothing transforms a stuffy apartment into a breezy Balinese bungalow like an essential oil diffuser. (Okay, so the effect isn't exactly the same, but I'll take what I can get.) Even better is a diffuser that doesn't need to be refilled, plugged in, or sanitized once a weekReed diffusers fill your entire home with relaxing scents, just without all the fuss... and electricity, for that matter.

While you can order one off Amazon in seconds, there's really no need to spend the money—you can make your own version for a fraction of the cost. "Reed diffusers can be made cheaply and easily at home; you only need four things," says certified aromatherapist Caroline Schroeder. "Plus, when you make your own, you can make unique [scent] blends that you really like and you will know exactly which ingredients are being used." This last bit is important, she says, because commercial products may contain additives that help with evaporation or synthetic fragrances, both of which can cause irritation to your skin and lungs.

What you need to make a reed diffuser

Schroeder says you only need a handful of items to make your own diffuser at home.

You will need:

How to make your reed diffuser

1. grab a bottle or jar

"The width of the neck of the bottle regulates the evaporation. The smaller the neck, the slower the oil will evaporate," Schroeder says. "When using a jar, cut a hole—3/4 to 1 ¼ inch—into the lid."

2. choose your base

"You can choose between carrier oils or water-based mixes," Schroeder explains. "Neutral oils like fractionated coconut or sweet almond are best. For water bases, add a little high-proof alcohol or a teaspoon of salt to the water, then stir until it's mixed completely. Alcohol and salt help to bind the essential oils to the water. Whichever base you choose, you'll need approximately ¼ cup of liquid."

3. Grab your favorite essential oils

"Any essential oil works. Pick your oils depending on your mood or desired benefits. For the bedroom, lavender is great due to its calming properties. And for the kitchen, lemon is a must: It neutralizes smells. Also, flower oils like ylang ylang make one feel welcomed," Schroeder says. "Just add 25 to 30 drops into your carrier oil, or 12 to 15 drops into water."

Schroeder recommends blending your base and scents in a measuring cup, rather than trying to mix them in your pretty vessel. By doing so, it's much easier to experiment and get the perfect scent. Then, once you find a mix you like, you can pour it into the bottle or jar.

4. Gather your sticks

"You need about 6 to 10 reed sticks," Schroeder says. "For the water-based mixes, bamboo skewers work well, too. Dip the sticks into the blend and wait a few hours so they can soak. Then put them upside down into your bottle or jar."

How to enjoy your DIY reed diffuser

Now that your reed diffuser is ready to go, all you need to do is rotate the sticks once a week to keep your rooms smelling fresh. And when it comes to replacing the oil, how often you need to do so depends on which base you use, the temperature of your home, and how much sunlight there is, which all factor into how quickly the liquid evaporates.

"The sticks no longer dispense fragrance into the air once they're soaked with oil completely," Schroeder says. "When you want to refresh it, just add a little bit more of your carrier oil and 25 to 30 drops of essential oils. The water-based mix will start to smell off after a few weeks and must be replaced entirely."

See? Giving your home spa-like vibes is simple. If only I would have known about this simple trick years ago.

There are so many more ways to use your essential oils. Here are 6 different kinds that can help get rid of dandruff, once and for all. And these options will help your hair grow to Rapunzel-like lengths.

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