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How to use diffuser bottles

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

If you know how to use diffuser bottles you don't need candles for home scents

If you know how to use diffuser bottles you don’t need candles for home scents

I love it when my home smells good. And I want my office to smell good, too. But between cooking smells and pets and people and office chemicals, sometimes they’re more “Ewwww” than “Yum!” 

My first choice for adding fragrance to my space has always been scented candles. And I still love the look and the aroma of a candle. But with kids and a cat and and a dog who loves to knock things off the coffee table with her tail, I’m a lot more careful with when and where I light candles. And at work, I worry that a stray paper tossed on my desk could turn into a disaster. 

For awhile, I thought I would have to give up my love of scents. Then someone gave me a diffuser bottle for my birthday, and I discovered a whole new, flame-and-wax free option for having a beautifully scented space. If you haven’t made the switch, this article is for you! Trust me, you’re going to love them!

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Diffuser basics 

You may have seen them in shops, but weren’t sure how to use diffuser bottles as a substitute for candles. Or you may have stumbled across one of those dollar store versions and been turned off something that smells more like a gas station bathroom than a fine candle. 


Take heart! They’re so easy to use…and real ones smell wonderful. So how do you use them? Ready? 

Step One: Open the bottle of scented oil.
Step Two: Insert the set of thin sticks that came with the oil (use all of the sticks)
Step Three: Wait about an hour for the oils to begin to infuse the sticks
Step Four: Enjoy flameless home or office fragrances!
Step Five: About once a week or so, turn the bundle of sticks upside down in the bottle
Step Six: When the oil is gone, replace it using a refill oil made for diffusers or buy a new set

And that’s it!

Where to use diffusers

Diffusers are a natural choice for bathrooms

Instead of needing to spray pricy cans of air freshener, the diffuser is already working to deal with, er, um, less-than-wonderful odors. Place one at the back of the sink, on top of a cabinet or on a bathroom shelf. Add one inside of the linen closet to keep everything in there smelling sweet, too. (Do place it on a top shelf or far in the back where it won’t get knocked over by towels or sheets.) 

Diffusers rock in kitchens

You know that wonderful after dinner smell? The faint hint of cooked fish? The not-so-subtle smell of onion and garlic? A diffuser tucked into a corner of the counter can make those not so appetizing smells go away. 

Diffuser plus family room equals the end of stinkiness

If your family is like mine, the family room is where they kick off their smelly sneakers, drop a gym bag, plop down after a run or show up to watch TV with a aromatic sandwich in hand. That means the space I worked so hard to decorate smells anything but pretty. 

I used to light candles all the time in there. But if I was out or busy or forgot to light them, there was nothing to combat the smells. Now a couple of diffusers on bookshelves do the work for me. When I come home or someone stops by unexpectedly, it always smells good. 

Diffusers work at work

Some offices are fine with employees lighting a candle on their desk. But most frown on any kind of flames inside the building. And sometimes the smoke alarms are so sensitive that even a tiny votive can set them off. 

But a diffuser bottle on my bookshelf takes care of my desire for a welcoming scent, without risking a visit from the fire department. (Do choose a subtle scent for the workplace. Not everyone loves the same fragrances.) 

Diffusers versus the cat box

I have tried every cat litter on the market, and still my laundry room was…aromatic. Not now. I stashed a spicy cinnamon scented diffuser bottle on the top of the cabinet. Diffuser, 1, Cat box smell, 0.  

Diffuser bottles in the car? 

Yeah, no. Believe it or not, I know someone who tried this. She put one in her cup holder, thinking it would make her car smell great. It did but…on the first bump it spilled all over her seat and carpet. Good smell, messy car. Not a good plan.  

How to use diffuser bottles safely

While diffusers eliminate the risks associated with candle flames, they still require some care. Most are not non-toxic, so never place them within reach of small children or pets. Make sure they’re placed on stable surfaces, well back from edges. And do keep them away from fabrics…the oils can stain. 


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