All You Need to Know About Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers are a popular addition to many households due to their ability to fill a home with fragrance without the need for electric plug-ins, messy incense, or candles (which can be problematic to households with animals or young children). 

They are also subtle in their appearance, and suit any home aesthetic. But if you’re new to the wonderful world of home fragrance, this article tells you all you need to know about reed diffusers.

What Are Reed Diffusers?

What Are Reed Diffusers

A reed diffuser has one simple job: to make a space smell nice! They come with three components: a small glass pot/jar/bottle, a set of stick-shaped reeds (which are similar in look to incense sticks), and a liquid fragrance (which is often an essential oil, or specially-made oil) that the reeds are dipped into.

How Do Reed Diffusers Work?

Reed diffusers are very simple to use. The reed sticks are dipped into the liquid (which may already be contained within the glass jar or bottle, or may come separately) – and that’s it!

The reeds will absorb the liquid very slowly and naturally emit the aroma into the air. Just choose an area you wish to be filled with a fresh, floral scent, and the diffuser will do rest for you. No need for electricity, flames, or aerosols.

The number of reeds you need to use depends on the size of the space you wish to fill up with the aroma. If the space is quite small, such as a guest bathroom, or utility room, you’ll probably only need one or two sticks in use at a time. Any more than that and the effect may be a tad overpowering!

What Are the Reeds Made From?

Generally reeds are sourced from bamboo wood or rattan, but you can also get them made from fibre. Generally rattan is the more favourable option, as it is more effective in diffusing the oil’s aroma, whereas bamboo can often ‘clog’, due to the bamboo’s nodes overfilling with oil, which will then render them ineffective.

The oil needs to travel up throughout the reed to meet the air outside of the glass bottle in order to complete its fragrant mission, and it cannot do that if all of the oil gets clogged in a node inside the bottle!

The Benefits of Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers have many benefits, particularly over other home-aroma methods. Some of these benefits include: 

  • They’re low maintenance. Unlike incense sticks, which create a dusty, messy brown ash that tends to smear when wiped; or plug-in diffusers, which will add to your energy resource outgoings; or candles, which can be a fire hazard, reed diffusers are no hassle at all, and are completely safe. They fulfil the role of aroma emitting without any need for additional resources or elements, other than the oil they come with.
  • They’re long-lasting. The oil creeps slowly up the reeds, and the reed material withholds it, so a reed diffuser will last a while before you need to replace either the oil or the reeds.
  • The aroma is consistent because the oil is long-lasting and doesn’t require changing too regularly.
  • They’re portable and can be moved from room to room if need be without making a mess, being a fire hazard, or relying on a power source nearby.
  • They’re more safe than other fragrance options. It is advised, though, to keep them out of the reach of young children and pets.
  • They’re vegan and environmentally-friendly. Particularly in comparison to aerosol-based fragrances, or candles made from beeswax. The glass bottles are either reusable or recyclable, and products such as bamboo and rattan are biodegradable.
  • They’re aesthetically-appealing. They’re subtle in their appearance, and the glass jar or bottle the reeds are placed in often come in different sizes, shapes, and colours to suit any décor theme.
  • They’re health condition-friendly. Unlike products that may affect those with respiratory issues, the way reed diffusers emit the aroma is completely natural, as well as subtle, so they are ideal for those with sensitive or compromised systems.
  • They generally don’t contain any harmful chemicals. Naturally-fragranced essential oils work perfectly fine.

How Long Do Reed Diffusers Last?

It all depends on the quality of the reed diffuser in question. A good-quality reed diffuser should last around one month; providing it doesn’t get knocked over or broken.

After the month is over, you generally do not need to dispose of your glass jar, but you will need fresh reed. Then all you need to do is to simply top up the jar with oil again and pop in the fresh reeds.

Reed Diffuser Maintenance

Caring for your reed diffuser properly will ensure its longevity, as well as its effectiveness. Reed diffusers are low-maintenance, but they still need some basic care. To get the most out of yours, you will need to:

  • Gently swirl the oil once a week to prevent the liquid from separating and settling at the bottom of the glass. 
  • Flip the reeds every four-to-five days to help keep them saturated in the essential oils, as well as keeping the natural momentum of aroma-emitting flowing nicely.
  • Replace your reed sticks monthly/as and when all of the oil has been absorbed.

When It Comes To Refilling Your Diffuser

As we mentioned above, once your diffuser oil is fully absorbed, this will be a good indicator that it is time to replace your reeds too. Reeds that become too saturated in essential oils will begin to lose their effectiveness.

You’re advised to wash the glass jar/bottle before refilling it (with Alien refill), as it will have likely gathered some dust. It will also prevent any strange crossover smells, if you decide to switch to another scent.

Clean the container with warm, soapy water and make sure it’s thoroughly dry before refilling with oil. When it comes to measuring how much oil to use when refilling, always seek advice from the instructions, as it will likely vary from diffuser to diffuser, as well as the potency of the essential oils you wish to use.

Where Should You Place Your Reed Diffuser?

That’s entirely up to you. They can be a wonderful addition to bathrooms and loo rooms to maintain a fresh fragrance, but really they can go anywhere of your choosing. However, it’s worth bearing in mind, the smaller the space, the more effective the diffuser will be.

For safety reasons, they shouldn’t be placed anywhere where there is a risk of being spilled onto something such as an electrical item. or above a gas hob or oil burner. Always keep your diffusers, reeds, and essential oils out of the way of small children and pets.

How to Control the Intensity of the Fragrance

Be mindful that the more reeds you use, the more intense the effect will be. The size of your diffuser also factors into it too.

With smaller rooms, use smaller diffusers with only a couple of reeds (no more than four), and choose a fragrance you’ll still enjoy in a few weeks’ time!

The first few weeks (before your reeds become overly saturated) is when the fragrance will be at its strongest.

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