How To Refill A Reed Diffuser: Everything You Should Know

Is your favorite reed diffuser about to run out of juice and you’re wondering what comes next? Rather than chucking it into the trash and buying a new one, it might be possible to refill it.

Let’s discuss how to refill a reed diffuser the right way. This guide will also look at common problems, troubleshooting, and getting the diffuser and its reeds back into action.

What Is A Reed Diffuser? Characteristics And Mechanism

A reed diffuser is a combination of scented oil and a method of dispersing that scent, via the reeds. Unlike electric diffusers or scented candles, reed diffusers don’t need to be lit or attached to a power source. Thus, they are convenient to use and easy to work with. 

They add to your home decor. Whether you are hoping to make guests feel welcome or want to create a scented aura at home, reed diffusers do all this for you.

A reed diffuser works through three main components: A diffuser, reeds, and essential oil (or fragrance oils). Let’s get an understanding of how reed diffusers work before we start with ways to refill them. 

Diffuser: Vessel That Holds The Reeds And The Oil

A diffuser is a bottle or any vessel that holds the scented oils. You can get the containers in a wide array of designs, sizes, and materials. The containers may have different designs but all have a narrow opening on the top. 

Most diffuser bottles are a bit heavy with a solid base. This prevents the bottle from toppling over and spilling the oil and reeds. 

When you buy a reed diffuser, you may find that the bottle is shut tight. This is to ensure that the scented oils don’t leak or evaporate away before the diffuser reaches the customer. That’s all well and good, but you could find yourself struggling to open the diffuser bottle. Try these tips to open a reed diffuser bottle to get started.

Essential Oils Or Fragrance Oils

For their scent, diffusers generally use essential oils, fragrance oils, or a combination of both. While the oils serve the same purpose, they differ in their source, composition, and cost. 

Essential oils are natural in origin and are usually sourced from plants. It includes flowers, roots, leaves, or stems. The extracted oil is highly concentrated, therefore it is combined with either a carrier oil or water for use in applications like reed diffusers. 

Fragrance oils are made artificially by blending synthetic and/or natural ingredients in a lab. These oils tend to replicate the fragrance found in nature. These are also known as perfume oils or scented oils. They are relatively less expensive than essential oils. Fragrance oils tend to decay faster and their scent and essence usually last for about a year after packaging.

Reeds: The Scent Carrier

Diffuser With Rattan Reed Sticks

Essential oil or the fragrance oil in your diffuser needs the help of reeds to disperse the fragrance molecules into the air. Reeds soak up the oil, which then gradually travels up the reed stem. Small pores in the reed expose this oil to the air, allowing its fragrance to naturally disperse.  

Reeds can be made from a variety of materials. This includes rattan reeds, fiber reeds, and bamboo reeds. Read on to understand which type of reeds you can pick for your diffuser: 

1. Rattan reeds

The best reeds are made of rattan, a lightweight wood. The reeds have several channels inside them, which soak the oil and carry it to the top. Thus, leading to scent diffusion. Rattan reeds tend to hold on to scent and diffuse at a slower pace than the other types. This suggests that they do not get saturated or clogged quickly.

2. Synthetic Fiber Reeds

Fiber reed sticks
My (nearly clogged) fiber reed sticks

You may chance upon fiber reeds, which imitate the quality of reed wood. These reeds are designed specifically for oil wicking and scent diffusion. 

The sticks have artificial channels or capillary action that ensure optimal oil distribution. Unlike their woody counterparts like rattan or bamboo sticks, synthetic reeds soak up oil faster and diffuse a strong scent.

Fiber reeds are usually made from polyester, though some might use other (similar) materials too.

3. Bamboo Reeds

Though bamboo reeds are a natural product, they shouldn’t be your first choice. Hollow channels in bamboo contain nodes, which can cause some trouble with proper scent diffusion. 

The nodes can block the oil from traveling up the bamboo sticks. And you fail to get your desired fragrance. Contrary to this reeds have a clear channel that has easy wicking.

4. Decorative Reeds

You can add glamor to your reed diffuser by using decorative reeds for oil diffusers. These are colorful, usually synthetic polyamide reeds, which come with accessories like flowers or dry flower sticks. 

Using them is quite simple. Fix the dry flowers on the outer end of the stick and use the reeds as you would use them otherwise.

Using And Arranging Reeds For The Best Results

  • For best results in diffusing scents, use reeds that are twice as tall as the bottle.
  • Control the fragrance intensity with the number of reeds. For strong fragrance use more than 4 reeds. For mild fragrance, 4 reeds or fewer will do the job.
  • When you slip the reeds into the bottle, flip them after a few minutes. This leads to better scent diffusion.
  • Swirl the fragrance oil in the bottle twice a week. This ensures the essential oil is not separated and doesn’t settle at the bottom.
  • Flip the reeds every three to four times a week.
  • Prefer thicker reeds around 3 mm in thickness as they soak more oil, leading to a great scent diffusion.

How Does A Reed Diffuser Work? 

Reed diffusers work in a very easy way and offer a simple alternative to candles or plug-ins. Let’s see how this amazing device works:

  • Uncap the bottle by carefully removing the cork and keeping it aside to recap for the future.
  • Take the reeds out of the packaging with dry and clean hands.
  • Immerse 4-8 reeds into the diffuser bottle. This depends upon the intensity of the scent throw you require.
  • Wait for a few minutes and flip the reeds.
  • Set the diffuser on the chosen point of your room.
  • The reeds absorb the fragrance oil, carrying it towards the top for evaporation.
  • The evaporation of the oil results in the dispersion of fragrance into the air.

Reed diffusers provide a constant and fresh scent that is great for your home and best suited for places like the drawing-room, living room, foyers, and bathrooms. The diffuser does the job on its own and you don’t have to keep an eye on it as a scented candle. 

Generally, a 100 ml reed diffuser should last for a month. But other variables do play a role in its lifespan. These include maintenance, central heating, air conditioning, open and closed doors, and dehumidifiers.

Besides, if you use more reeds than usual to have a strong scent, you end up with an empty vessel before a month. And when there’s not enough oil in the diffuser, the reeds will emit no scent.

But this does not imply that you have to part with your favorite diffuser. Your diffuser needs a refill and once you refill it you can enjoy its magic again. You don’t have to let it go!

Diffuser Needs Refill: Here’s How To Refill A Reed Diffuser

Refilling the diffuser is quite easy and you can do it all by yourself. Here are the basic steps that you need to follow to refill your diffuser.

1. Wash The Diffuser Bottle

The first step toward refilling your favorite diffuser is to clean it with liquid soap and hot water. Give it a thorough rinse until it gets rid of the scent. If you want to use another blend of oil, then repeat the process. It should have no traces of scent left.

However, if you intend to refill the same or similar fragrance oil, it’s not necessary to be so thorough with the cleaning. 

2. Buy Essential Oil/Fragrance Oil Bottle

Once your diffuser is clean and dry, it’s time to decide the oil you want to use this time. You may be interested in buying the former one or a new one. You can blend more than two essential oils or fragrance oils and create your preferred scent. 

This part is best practiced by the more experienced, since blending oils is a tricky thing, even if it’s not all that difficult. In most cases, it’s easier just to buy the scent you prefer.

3. You Might Need New Reeds

Reeds are vital to reed diffusers. With time, reeds become saturated and clogged which hampers their ability to work. If you feel that the diffuser isn’t working well after the refill, it might be a good idea to check the condition of the reeds and replace them if necessary. 

4. Refill Reed Diffuser DIY

Once you have assembled the diffuser, oils, and reeds it’s time to club them together and infuse life in your diffuser.

  • Pour the oil into the diffuser. Do not fill it to the top.
  • Slip in the reeds. Select the number of reeds as it suits your preference for scent throw.
  • Spread the reeds out as much as possible. Let the air circulate between them.
  • New reeds take some time to absorb the oil, so be a little patient.
  • After around half an hour carefully flip them so that the dry end is submerged in the bottle and the saturated end is in the air.
  • Allow up to 24 hours for the fragrance to fully diffuse.
  • Flip the reeds periodically, once a week to keep the scent strong.
  • Enjoy your favorite scent.

Diffuser reed refill is easy and interesting too. And now you don’t have to be sad about parting with your beautifully designed diffuser.  The bottle is reusable many times. Once it runs dry your diffuser needs a refill to be functional again.

When To Replace Reed Diffuser Sticks? 

Oil diffuser with modified reeds

There comes a time while using a reed diffuser that you have to replace diffuser reeds. With regular use, reeds get clogged with oil that prevents them from functioning efficiently. Check for signs like a weak scent throw. Flip the reeds and if that too doesn’t help. It’s time to say goodbye to the diffuser sticks. 

The lifetime of a reed depends on several factors, including the type of material, the thickness of the diffuser sticks, and the ambient environment (like dust). Usually, you can expect reeds to last between one to six months

In many cases, you’ll notice the scent getting weaker after about a month. This is because dust will settle on the reeds and start clogging their pores. There is no good way to clear the dust off the reeds and free the pores. 

It’s a good idea to turn the reeds in the diffuser roughly once a week. If you notice that there’s no scent from the reeds even after flipping them, it is time to get new reeds. 

Can You Reuse The Reeds Like The Diffuser?

What if the reeds are in good condition and you simply need to refill the diffuser with scent oils or essential oils? If you’re using the same oil or blend, go ahead and continue using the reeds. 

Using the same reeds with a different oil may not give the best results. Reusing reeds with a different fragrance oil will cause the blending of the two scents, which may not be pleasant.

However, there is no good way to rejuvenate spent reeds. If you notice that the reeds aren’t putting out the same strong fragrance as they once used to, it’s time to replace them. Clogged reeds are spent and unfit for reuse. 

DIY: How To Make Your Own Reed Diffuser Oil Refill?

Filling aromatic oil diffuser
Image: Anna Shvets @ pexels

If you have a creative bent of mind then you will be pretty excited to know that is it possible to make your oil refill at home? It’s an interesting DIY activity. And how to make your own reed diffuser oil refill at home is quite simple. 

First assemble the following items: A glass or a ceramic vase with a narrow neck, carrier oil (sweet almond oil or safflower oil as they are thin enough to travel up the reeds), and an essential oil bottle.

Once you round up the necessary items, follow the step-by-step guide to make your own reed diffuser oil refill:

  • Fill the diffuser vase with the carrier oil.
  • Add 3 to 5 drops of essential oil or fragrance oil.
  • Give it a good shake so the mixture blends well.
  • Add the reeds and let them disperse the scent.
  • You can add a few more drops of essential oil if you want a stronger scent.     

As a safety measure before you make your own reed diffuser oil refill, be sure to read up on the characteristics of essential oil. You must know which essential oils can be blended with the specific carrier oil. It should be safe and non-toxic.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Full To Fill Reed Diffuser?

When it comes to refilling your reed diffuser, pour the oil into the vessel until it is approximately ½ to ¾ full. Don’t fill it to the top. This will lead to the overflowing of the oil once you slip the reeds into it. 

Can You Top Up Reed Diffuser?

Absolutely. You can top and replenish your reed diffuser. It’s as easy to DIY at home. It takes knowing three simple steps and your diffuser is all set to emit scents. Wash and clean your diffuser bottle with liquid soap. 

Let it dry and pour your selected oil into the vessel and remember not to fill it to the top. Immerse the reeds and enjoy the aroma!

Refill Your Diffuser On Your Own!

Using reed diffusers is simple, quick, and straightforward. It’s also fairly easy to learn how to refill a reed diffuser and to properly manage the diffuser you own. This is one of the big reasons for the popularity of reed diffusers. So, if your reed diffuser has run its course, don’t chuck it away. It’s rather easy to refill the reed diffuser and continue using it.