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DIY Homemade Reed Diffuser Air Freshener

Few homes are without the wafting perfume of a scented candle from time to time. Most people light them to infuse a room with fragrance, to add a romantic ambiance to a meal and to make bathtimes more luxurious. But could the very candles used to soothe our mood actually be bad for us?

Are Scented Candles Toxic?

Research has shown most scented candles produce smoke laced with almost as many toxins as those produced by cigarettes. And since they are often lit in poorly ventilated rooms, such as bathrooms, or during the evening when windows are likely to be closed, the release of chemicals can cause indoor pollution that is potent enough to raise the risk of asthma, eczema and  skin complaints.

Sales of scented candles have soared in recent years as they have come to represent the ultimate fulfilment of ‘me’ time. The majority are cheaply made from paraffin wax, a by-product of the petroleum industry. These have been shown to release an alarming range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), substances that can be problematic to health.

It’s not just the candle wax that is potentially dangerous. Top-of-the-range candles are scented with natural perfumes or essential oils. But since they are costly and difficult to add in large quantities, many of the mass-market products contain synthetic fragrances and sometimes dyes that can give off harmful particles when they are heated.

Then there are the hazards of wicks. There are generally two varieties of wick: cored and non-cored. A non-cored wick, made from braided or twisted fibre, is considered the safest to burn, but can be limp and fall over in the wax, extinguishing a flame. Many candle makers use a cored wick, in which cotton is wrapped around a metal or paper core for support. And like anything that burns, once a candle is lit it produces soot, with particles that can remain suspended in the air for several hours.

Research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has shown scented candles give off more of this soot than unscented, and that cored candles release the dirtiest soot — sometimes containing particles of zinc, tin, lead and the metal cadmium. The length of a candle wick can compound matters. If it’s too long, it will produce more soot and a smoky flame that releases more pollution.

How can you freshen the air in your home without using Toxic Candles?

Using a homemade Essential Oil Reed diffuser is a cheap and easy way to bring beautiful aromas int your home without exposing your family to toxic chemicals & smoke.  Additionally you get all the benefits of essential oil aromatherapy in your home!

How to make a DIY Reed Diffuser Air Freshener

It’s so easy to make a homemade essential oil reed diffuser.  You just need a few simple items, most of which you’ll be able to find in your home already!

  • Jar/Bottle – When choosing your jars, look for small, short glass jars/bottles (never plastic!) with a narrow opening at the top. The smaller the opening, the slower your oils will evaporate. I encourage you to recycle/reuse a glass jar or bottle you already have instead of buying something special.
  • Carrier Oil – The most common carrier oils to use are safflower oil and sweet almond oil, as they are lighter oils that will travel up the reeds more easily.
  • Essential Oils – For each 1/4 cup of carrier oil, add about 10-15 drops of essential oil, depending on how strong or light you want the scent.
  • Reeds – I use bamboo skewers from our local dollar store, you can also purchase them online HERE

I use a recycled glass bottle for my homemade essential oil diffuser. I added 1/2 cup of sweet almond oil and 20 drops of Essential Oil, I add in 8-10 bamboo skewers— That’s it! Isn’t that easy!?!?

What Essential Oils should you use in your Homemade Reed Diffuser?

When selecting an essential oil or oil blend, you should match it with the environment in will be used in – Bedroom? Bathroom? Office?

There are 2 factors to selecting an essential oil for aromatherapy, what feeling or mood you want to create in the space and what scent do you find pleasant – using an essential oil that you don’t like the scent of doesn’t do anyone any good!

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19 Comments

  1. I do not have either of those carrier oils on hand. Is there an alternative to replace almond or jaboba oil?

  2. Hey I tried making this but my oil turned rancid in a week. I live in a really humid and hot place so is there any way to prevent the oils from turning rancid? I tried making it with safflower oil as the base, almond oil, and water too. But in all three I faced the same problem. I added a splash of vodka to it to help the oils wick up easily. Should I try isopropyl instead? And would adding a little vitamin e for a preservative help? But i don’t know how that would be. The reeds also turned black on the edges. Please help!!

    1. I’m honestly not 100% sure, im so sorry. We aren’t very humid here in Peensylvania except for a few weeks in the high of summer.

  3. “Hi,
    I’ve been a reed diffuser lover for a while. After trying some types of the oil diffuser, I realized that reed diffuser is the best one for me. And so, your information is really helpful and interesting for me. Thank you so much for sharing. Looking for more posts from you. “

  4. I never loved wicks, be it cored or non cored, as they burn out the oxygen in the air and thus , to some extent, pollutes the air. So using reed diffuser is anytime my favorite choice to make my room smell good.

  5. Essential oil reed diffuser is really one of the wonderful and natural way to diffuse the oil. Sometime people just need a jar or small bottle and simple reed, they can make their home brighter and comfortable. Thank you for sharing about using Toxic Candle by the way.

  6. Hello! I did a little DIY experiment and diffused organic Thieves essential oil but a problem was that mold appeared on the bamboo skewers within a few days..! Here’s what I used:
    -Small jar
    -Bamboo skewers from Walmart
    -15-25 drops thieves essential oil
    -Water
    Now I know you say use a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and since I used water that may be why mold appeared but shouldn’t Thieves combat mold? I’ve also read adding 90%+ rubbing alcohol but have yet to try. Any other people use just water and come across moldy skewers?

    1. I have not tried water in my diffuser and I’m not familiar with the Thieves oil blend. You can use some alcohol (even vodka) but it will evaporate quicker.

    2. I am having this mold issue with my reed diffuser as well. I used bottled water to hopefully avoid that issue. Did you find a solution?

  7. It’s actually a cool and useful piece of information.
    I’m satisfied that you just shared this helpful information with
    us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

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