DIY Essential Oil Reed Diffuser Oil Blend Recipes

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DIY Essential Oil Reed Diffuser Oil

Don’t buy expensive essential oil reed diffuser oil blends that contain chemical agents. Make your own blends and use chopsticks as reeds!

I love the fresh scents that essential oils can give you. But some applications aren’t practical.  Candles present their own problems (open flames, chemicals, VOCs), and air freshener gels and sprays have who knows what in them. Diffuser reeds are much more practical and allow you to enjoy the scents without the bother.

What are Essential Oil Reed Diffusers?

Diffuser reeds are usually made from bamboo or rattan, one being porous and flexible, where the other is not. Both, however, have the ability to soak up the reed diffuser oil, move it through the wood, and allow the oil to disperse the scent into the air. This is what you want. While you can buy these reeds online, you can also use a cheaper alternative; chopsticks! I have a million (ok, not really, but it seems like it) chopsticks that I’ve either gotten from friends or that came with take-out foods. I’ve used these numerous times with great results. Other options include actual reeds from plants such as cattails, sticks from branches that have been dead for a while, and stems from plants such as roses. As long as they are dry, they should work just fine.

Making Reed Diffuser Oil Blends

Most commercial oils for reeds include propylene glycol, which is used as a solvent to break down the oil enough to make it more fluid. You can use light oil instead and it works much the same way. I use safflower or sunflower oil, because both have a lot of vitamin E, making them longer-lasting oils. You could also use fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or grapeseed oil. Since it won’t be used on the skin, it’s not necessary to use an expensive oil. Just remember that most plant-based oils do become rancid after a while, so it’s best to use one that has a longer shelf life.

Basic Reed Diffuser Essential Oil Recipe


  • 6 diffuser reeds
  • a glass jar, such as a pint mason jar
  • some sort of cover for the jar, such as a beeswax wrap or something similar



  1. Mix the oils together and decant them into the jar.
  2. Place the reeds in the reed diffuser oil, swishing them around a bit.
  3. Place the wrap on top of the jar, working it around the reeds, but closing off the top of the jar. This will slow down any evaporation.
  4. Place the jar in a place where it won’t get knocked over, such as on a bookshelf. The scent from the oils will last a month or so.
  5. To revive your oils, add another 15-20 drops of essential oil. Swish around and set back on the shelf. This in total should last about 6 months to a year. Check your oil once in a while for rancidity. If this happens, discard the oils and reeds and wash the jar. Then you can start over.

Some Essential Oil Options

Most essential oils and fine for this type of application. Some you want to use with caution, such as using tea tree essential oil around pets. These reed diffusers are more passive than using a steam diffuser but check with your vet before using any essential oils around pets.

Here are some of my favorite essential oil reed diffuser blends and single oils:

There are many oils to choose from to make your essential oil reed diffuser blends. Use what you think is best for you and your family. My two favorites are grapefruit and frankincense. I also like to use eucalyptus when my allergies flare up.

There is some controversy as to whether essential oils used this way actually “clean” the air, helping to get rid of germs and bacteria. I think it falls along the same lines as smudging, that some good comes out of it. And if it smells good too, then I’m all for it!

Essential oil reed diffuser blends don’t need to be expensive or full of chemicals. Enjoy making your own!


About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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