How Do Reed Diffusers Work?

How Do Reed Diffusers Work?

Reed diffusers are a great way to keep your home, workplace, or any other indoors space smelling fresh. They are inexpensive, easy to use, are really effective, and you can even make your own without too much trouble. So, how do reed diffusers work, and are they a better choice than electric diffusers or scented candles? Let’s take a look.


How Do Reed Diffusers Work?

Reed diffusers are simple in design but very effective. There are three main components to a working reed diffuser:

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The bottle or jar holds the fragrance oil. You can get these in all different shapes and sizes, and the look is often a big selling point as most people want a design that fits in with their home decor.

They tend to have a solid base and a little weight to them. This is to make sure the diffuser cannot be easily knocked over. Knocking a reed diffuser over will cause one heck of a mess that’s tough to clean up!

The fragrance oil is what produces the scent. There are seemingly endless fragrances on the market to choose from which is part of the fun and allure. You can even make your own scents and experiment with different fragrances.

The reeds are what carries the fragrance and diffuses it into the air. Good quality reeds are made from rattan. Rattan contains small channels that run the length of the reed and allows the oil to slowly travel the length of the reed and diffuse, or evaporate into the air.

Check my post detailing how to use reed diffusers if you need assistance.

Do I Need to Turn or Replace the Reeds?

You only need to replace reeds after the have diffused the entire bottle of oil. If you’re using a refill, even if it’s the same oil, you should use new reeds.

Turning, or flipping reeds is also something to be aware of. Whenever the scent from the diffuser is weakening you can flip the reeds round to give it a fresh kick. This is sometimes due to dust particles blocking the channels in the rattan, or just the age and wear on the reeds.

Some people flip their reeds once a week, some do it once a month. It really comes down to personal preference and how well you can smell the fragrance. You have some control over how strong the fragrance is in this respect. You oil will also last longer if you flip the reeds less often.

Can I Clean or Reuse Reeds?

No, reeds can only be used once and when they have diffused all the oil in the bottle they are at the end of their life. There is no way to clean reeds. They are made from rattan, a thin strip of wood from a plant.

To be blunt, there is no reason to try and reuse reeds. Not only is it not possible, but they are very inexpensive.

Can I Clean or Reuse Reeds Replacement Reeds

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I have a large bunch of spare reeds at home and will usually put some new ones in after I have flipped the original reeds at least once and the fragrance is starting to faint. It’s a good way to make the most of the fragrance oil and keep the scent smelling as fresh, and as strong as new.

How Long Do Reed Diffusers Last?

This is one of the most popular questions, people always want to know how long their reed diffuser is going to last. It’s a hard question to answer as there is no exact science, and no two diffusers and conditions are identical.

The humidity in your home, how often you flip the reeds, the amount of airflow, all these factors contribute to how quickly the oil is going to diffuse. As a rough guide however, in normal conditions you can expect the following:

Oil (oz)Life Expectancy (months)

Under no circumstances should you dilute the oil with anything to try and make it last longer. Fragrance oils have been carefully blended for maximum efficiency. If you dilute with a carrier oil or try adding more fragrance oil to give the scent a lift it will upset the balance.

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