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Homemade Reed Diffuser with Water

Homemade Reed Diffuser with Water

Everyone loves their home to smell nice, and making your own homemade essential oil diffuser is a great way to do that without having to spring for more expensive candles or reed diffuser oils to do the job.

One reason I particularly wanted to try making a diffuser using water rather than an oil base was that many people complain about the oil (not the essential oils) in other homemade reed diffusers going rancid after only a day or two.

Personally, that’s not something I want to worry about so I decided to just try to make a homemade water based reed diffuser.

Time: 5 minutes

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How to Make a Homemade Essential Oil Diffuser

homemade reed diffuser ingredients

Here’s what you need:

Time to make this diffuser…

Grab Your Container

For my container I will be using one of the many free mason jars I was given by my grandma.  If you like them you can also buy the .

If you’re interested in some other mason jar uses check out what I did in my diy mason jar shaker post.

I know that this might not look like the elegant sort of diffuser many people might want, but you can use any type of container you want so long as it has a somewhat narrow opening at the top.

Alternative containers that work well for homemade essential oil diffusers are small vases and glass bottles.

A narrow opening is important because it keeps your home from being overwhelmed by essential oil smell.  Believe me, I spilled a bottle of peppermint essential oil once, smaller quantities are best.

1/4 cup water

homemade essential oil diffuser add water

Add 1/4 cup water into your diffuser container.  I used warmish water because I know that flowers and vegetables absorb warm water better, and it helps perk them up.

I figured that warm water might work similar with the reeds and help them to more quickly draw the water and essential oils up and diffuser them into the room.

30 drops of essential oil

homemade reed diffuser

For my homemade reed diffuser I used two essential oils.  I used about 25 drops of pine and 5 drops of peppermint for a festive holiday splash.

I know it’s not Christmas, but I love the smell of the holiday season anytime of the year.

If you don’t have a large selection of essential oils already, an essential oils starter set is a great way to get familiar with using essential oils.

Fabulous Frannie Essential Oil Beginner Starter Set - 100% Pure Essential Oils .33oz (Pack of 14)
Fabulous Frannie Essential Oil Beginner Starter Set - 100% Pure Essential Oils .33oz (Pack of 14)
100% Pure Therapeutic Essential Oils - no fillers, additives, bases or carriers added; All essential oils are packaged in dark amber glass bottle with euro style dropper cap.

5-15 Reeds

homemade essential oil diffuser

You can use as many reeds as you want.  The more you use the more smell you will get.  For mine I’m only using 5 reeds because I just want a mild scent that won’t be overpowering.

You want the reeds to rise beyond the lip of whatever container you’re using so that there is a larger surface area exposed to the air so that the scent can transfer better into the air.

It will take several hours for the reeds to absorb the liquid and draw it up high enough to begin making your house smell awesome, so be patient.

Or, check out my Diffuser Reed Buying Guide for some more fun options. There are some great reeds out there in different colors as well as some really nice wavy or curly shapes.

Tip: If you don’t want to buy reeds, or your to excited to try this out and can’t wait, I’ve read that you can use small twigs instead.  Also, many people suggest using skews that are used in cooking as an alternative to reeds.  Unfortunately because of bamboos compartmentalized nature skews most likely won’t actually work in a homemade diffuser.

Flip Your Reeds

It is important to flip diffuser reeds often so that they will continue to disperse scent into the air.  You will probably only need to flip the reeds once a week, but you can flip them as often as you like.

Just flip the reeds whenever you notice their scent fading.

How’s It Working?

For me this homemade essential oil diffuser has worked fine.  It does what it is supposed to.  However I wasn’t blown away by it.

Absorption seemed slower than I’ve seen with store bought reed diffusers.  I’d be interested to see if some of the more complicated homemade reed diffuser methods work better.

Many methods involve using oils, and some also use alcohol to help the liquid be draw up the reeds.  They will definitely be things I look into in the future.  For the time being this method using water works well enough for me.

Myself, I still really like my original diffuser idea, homemade essential oil diffuser with a candle warmer.  It works much faster, and begins to disperse fragrance right away.

But if you’re looking for a long term day in and day out lingering scent then a reed diffuser is the way to go for sure.

Thanks for reading the post, and let me know if you try making your own homemade water reed diffuser.


Homemade Reed Diffuser with Water

homemade essential oil diffuser

How to make your own simple homemade essential oil diffuser with just water, reeds, and essential oil.

Prep Time 4 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes


  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 30 drops Essential Oils
  • 5-15 Reeds


      1. homemade essential oil diffuser add waterPour 1/4 cup room temperature water into diffuser container.
      2. homemade reed diffuserAdd 30 drops preferred essential oils.
      3. homemade essential oil diffuserPlace as many reeds as you like (up to 15) into your diffuser. More will give you a stronger scent.
      4. homemade reed diffuser with waterLet sit for several hours to allow reeds to soak up water and oils flipping reeds about once a week.

Last update on 2024-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Becky Foster

Friday 5th of August 2016

I save my empty spice shakers and use them for all sorts of things. I put my shoe deodorizer in one and it works great!


Thursday 23rd of January 2020

That's great Becky, it's always good to reuse old containers. Thank you for your comment!

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