We know that you love using essential oils in skincare! Today we wanted to share another really fabulous way of using and enjoying essential oils, in an oil burner or diffuser.
This complete mini-guide to oil burners/diffusers will cover:
- Why use an oil burner.
- Where to use your oil burner.
- The difference between oil burners and diffusers including the pros and cons of each.
- How to use oil burners.
- Top tips for getting the most from your oil burner.
Let’s get started!
Why would you use an essential oil burner or electric oil diffuser?
Oil burners and electric diffusers are a great way to enhance or improve the fragrance of our homes, which also helps us to feel good because when we smell something pleasant it brings a smile to our face, lifts our spirits and improves our mood.
The added benefit of using essential oils in this way is that we are also able to access their amazing therapeutic properties!
You see, when vaporized or diffused, essential oils:
- Kill airborne microbes and purify the air around us.
- Improve respiration by stimulating, clearing and opening the breathing pathways and
- killing infectious bacteria (eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, peppermint, frankincense, lavender).
- Stimulate, sedate or balance nerves (lavender and rosemary).
- Stimulate, sedate or balance hormones (rose, bergamot and geranium).
- Stimulate, sedate or balance the beating rhythms of the heart (rose, ylang ylang, peppermint, rosemary or lavender).
- Boost focus, concentration and memory (lemon, frankincense, rosemary, peppermint).
- Induce a state of meditation (frankincense, sandalwood and vetiver).
Yes, these benefits are all available to you through the power of smelling and inhaling these wonderful oils!
Where would you use an oil burner or electric diffuser?
The great thing about oil burners and electric oil diffusers is that you can use them pretty much anywhere!
At home, you can use them to great effect in your:
- Dining room
- Living room
At work, as long as your colleagues don’t mind, you can use them:
- At your desk
- In reception
- In meeting rooms/conference halls
You could even use them in studios or workshop spaces eg yoga studios, gym classes, craft rooms, art studios, etc.
Essentially, wherever there is an electric socket for an electric diffuser or a safe/stable place for an oil burner, you’re pretty much good to go.
What’s the difference between an oil burner and an electric diffuser?
An oil burner has a bowl where you place the water and add your drops of essential oil. The water and essential oil are gently heated by a small tea light candle that is placed under the bowl.
Most oil burners either come with a copper or porcelain bowl and either is suitable. For example, I prefer a copper bowl because, from my own personal experience, it produces a more noticeable fragrance than the porcelain. However, a burner with a copper bowl is perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing as some porcelain ones on the market; ultimately it’s a matter of personal taste!
Positives: oil burners are cheap ($5-30+), easy to find and they produce an excellent aroma. They are portable, robust and don’t break, and can be used pretty much anywhere that is safe (ie not a fire hazard and out of reach of children and pets).
Negatives: oil burners require a lit candle, which means you’ll have a naked flame in your home and that means there is a fire risk. Also, oil burners create an aroma by heating the essential oil, which changes the composition of the oil slightly and you don’t get as pure an aroma as when you inhale the oil in its natural room temperature state. The heat from the candle flame obviously heats the bowl with the water and oil which means there is a risk of being burnt – be careful not to touch the bowl or spill the contents!
Electric oil diffuser:
An electric oil diffuser has a small compartment where the water is placed and a few drops of oil are added. The particles are diffused into the air through a variety of means (depending on the type you use – vibration or humidification).
Positives: electric oil diffusers don’t require heat to release the fragrance which means you get a higher quality aroma. They are considered a little safer to use than oil burners because they don’t carry a direct fire risk.
Negatives: they are much more expensive ($30-100+) and not as easy to come by (unless you shop online of course). They are powered by electricity so there is a risk of electric shock – they should not be used in bathrooms or within reach of children or pets. The can be quite brittle so may break easily making them a little more tricky to travel with.
How do you use oil burners or electric oil diffusers?
Ok, so this is the really easy part!
All you need is a little water in the bowl of the oil burner or container of your electric oil diffuser (maybe half to two thirds full) and a few drops of essential oil (3-5 drops for a small bowl/container, 5-8 drops for a medium sized one and 7-10 drops for a large one).
Remember, you don’t have to add lots of essential oil to start with because you can always add more – you can top it up later. Less is definitely better!
And finally, just pay a little attention to health and safety.
Oil burners are best kept out of reach of children and pets and on raised surfaces – bedside tables, coffee tables, cabinets, mantelpieces, desks and worktop surfaces etc. Also, please don’t leave them unattended… there is a naked flame and anything can happen! If you leave the room, it’s best to put the candle out. Make sure the water doesn’t completely dry up whilst the candle is still burning or you’ll burn the container.
Electric oil diffusers are a little safer to use than oil burners because there is no naked flame. Just be very careful about the wire, especially with pets around! Also, don’t use them in a bathroom – electric appliances and bath water are not a good combination! Use an oil burner in the bathroom instead.
If you want to buy or use an electric diffuser, make sure you get one that has an automatic off switch. This helps to keep the diffuser in good working order and also helps to prevent any electrical problems that may cause a fire… you wouldn’t want the aroma of burning wires and plastic to fill the air around you!
The size of burner or diffuser is important, too. Always check the advice from suppliers but small ones don’t tend to provide enough fragrance for average or large sized rooms. They are, however good when sat next to them eg at a desk, or bedside table and the aroma is unlikely to travel far and upset anyone else in the same room. Medium sized burners and diffusers are probably the most suitable for use at home and large burners and diffusers are probably best used in large office spaces, receptions, meeting rooms and conferences.
Top tips for getting the most from your oil burner:
- Close the door! This will intensify the aroma in the room and ensure it doesn’t all escape. Obviously this should be avoided if you are using an oil burner with a candle!
- What mood would you like to create in your home? How would you like to feel? Energised, relaxed, calm, etc. Choose a corresponding oil.
- Create a little sanctuary for yourself! Enhance your space further with candles, crystals, music, and plants.
- Take some time for self-care. Why not enjoy a foot soak or mediation whilst enjoying the aroma of your oil burner.
- When you take a bath with essential oils, use the same oils in an oil burner in your bathroom. That way you can enjoy the full benefit of the oils – absorption through the skin and the aroma.
So if your oil burner or electric oil diffuser has been sitting on the bookshelf or bedside table or in a box somewhere gathering dust, why not get it out and start experimenting with fragrances in your home or at work?!
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