Essential Oil Diffuser Troubleshooting: Common Issues and Quick Fixes


Primarily, essential oil diffusers work by breaking down the essential oil so the aroma is dispersed throughout the room.

Undoubtedly, it is a potent and effortless way to use essential oil to create a calming and soothing atmosphere everyone in the room can enjoy.

However, enjoying a lulling, almost dreamy atmosphere can come to an abrupt halt once the diffuser breaks or starts to malfunction.

While a good clean-up is sometimes all it needs, there will be instances where a good tune up will be required to have it working like new.

Troubleshooting Guide

Malfunctioning of the essential oil diffuser can be attributed to numerous reasons.

Below are some of the most common essential oil diffuser hiccups and the effective ways to address them:

No Power

  • Check if the diffuser power plug is plugged securely to the electrical outlet.
  • Check if the bowl has water and the level is correct.
  • Check if the right power adapter is used.
  • Check if the power supply socket is securely plugged into the diffuser.
  • If all else fails, empty the diffuser then dry it out for a few hours before plugging it back again.

Very Minimal Diffusion

  • Check if the water level is high enough.
  • Check if the fan inlet has not been blocked by dried up essential oil. If residues are present, don’t think twice about giving your diffuser a thorough clean up.
  • Check the diffuser’s mist settings. Ensure it is not turned down.

Light Indicators Flash but Diffuser Does Not Work

  • Turn off the diffuser then unplug it from the power source.
  • Empty the diffuser and give it ample time to cool down.
  • Ensure water is at the correct level when refilling.
  • Reconnect and try restarting the diffuser again.
  • If the diffuser will still not work, having it checked by a professional is the next best option.

Water is Hot and Level is High

  • Check if the diffuser has been overfilled with water.
  • Turn the diffuser off and unplug it from the power supply.
  • Empty the diffuser and allow it to cool down.
  • Refill the diffuser and restart.
  • If the diffuser will still not work properly, it is likely that it has been damaged and you’ll need to have a professional check on it.

Water is Hot and Level is Normal

  • Check if there is fan intake obstruction.
  • Check if there’s any cloth or towel below the diffuser and make sure you get rid of it.
  • Check and remove any fur or hair in the fan blades if there are any.
  • Turn off and unplug the diffuser and allow it to cool down for a few hours.
  • Refill the diffuser before restarting.
  • If the above fixes proved futile, professional repair is required.

Cleaning Your Essential Oil Diffuser

If truth be told, many essential oil diffuser issues can be avoided given proper care is observed.

Cleaning the diffuser properly and on a routine basis is considered an integral component of ideal diffuser care.

While the task can be challenging at first, you’ll get the hang of it eventually.

For starters, you’ll have to motivate yourself with the fact that properly caring for the diffuser can save you a significant amount in terms of repairs and replacement.

However, it is vital to also keep in mind that spot-on cleaning steps and recommendations can vary from one diffuser to another.

That being said, consider it a must to give the diffuser manual a quick read prior to using your diffuser.

As a general rule of thumb, below are 7 easy steps you can follow when cleaning your essential oil diffuser.

Note: Whether you are using ultrasonic or reed diffuser, make sure your diffuser is unplugged prior to cleaning it.

  1. Fill the diffuser with clean water. Ensure the water is below the max line.
  2. Put at least 10 drops of pure white vinegar in the water. The vinegar will help remove the oil residues inside the diffuser.
  3. Allow the diffuser to run for 3 to 5 minutes so the water-vinegar mixture is dispersed throughout the unit.
  4. Completely drain the diffuser after.
  5. To clean the diffuser’s corners and tight spots, use a cotton swab dipped in vinegar.
  6. Rinse using clean water after.
  7. Wipe the diffuser using a dry cloth and allow it to dry thoroughly.

After Every Use

Most manufacturers will recommend cleaning the diffuser after every use.

For many, cleaning after each use may seem a bit excessive.

However, many users later realize that cleaning after each use is not excessive but necessary.

The oil used can be corrosive and not cleaning the diffuser after using can affect its performance and longevity in the long run.

More importantly, oil residues may also significantly affect the overall aromatherapy experience.

So, after each use, empty your essential oil diffuser fully, ensure it is free from oil residues, and give it a quick wipe using a damp cloth and you can look forward to enjoying your essential oil diffuser for many years to come.

To ensure you only get quality diffusers and essential oils, trust only Breath In Wellness.


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