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A Complete Guide To Using Reed Diffusers

Key points

  • Reed diffusers are one of the most popular types of home fragrances that bring nice and welcoming scents to your home. They are very easy to use and require minimum to no maintenance, which is why many people love them so much. They can also become great decor details for your home.
  • Reed diffusers come with reed sticks, some fragrance liquid, and a glass vessel. They can last up to 6 months, depending on their size and the volume of fragrance you put in them. You should flip the sticks once a week or once every two weeks to keep up fragrance diffusion. 
  • You can place your reed diffuser anywhere you want, such as in the bathroom, kitchen, hallway, bedroom, or closet. Just make sure to keep it away from windows, air conditioners, and corners, as well as out of reach of children and pets.  

Who doesn’t love to live in a cozy home with a pleasant smell wafting through the air? With home fragrances becoming more and more popular on the market, reed diffusers hold a special place among them all. Not only do they make your home smell wonderful, they often add a pinch of elegance and style to your home decor. If you’re new to reed diffusers, then this article is for you. Here, we’ll talk about how to use reed diffusers to infuse your home with elegant and rich scents. 

What Is A Reed Diffuser And How Does It Work?

Reed diffusers are one of the most popular home fragrance products that continuously spread the aroma in the air. Unlike candles, reed diffusers are flame-free and produce long-lasting scents. Reed diffusers come in all shapes and sizes, but all of them contain 3 main components: fragrance liquid, reed sticks, and vessels. 

The fragrance liquid is usually made from different essential oils and is placed into the vessel along with reed sticks so that one end of the sticks is soaked in the fragrance oil and the other is exposed to the air. Reeds are often made from natural rattan reeds and have small pores that absorb and diffuse fragrance oil by evaporating it. That results in your home constantly smelling wonderful with minimal effort and maintenance. 

How To Use Reed Diffusers 

The reason why reed diffusers are so beloved by many people is that they require very little maintenance and are very quick and easy to use. With reed diffusers, you can fill your room with a scent of your choice in just a few minutes. Below are the steps on how to use a new reed diffuser: 

  1. Before setting up a diffuser, put some paper towels underneath the glass vessel in case you spill the fragrance oil. We recommend avoiding setting up your diffuser on delicate or wooden surfaces because the oil may stain them if it spills. Then recap the oil container and store it in a cool, dry place to preserve its fragrance.
  2. If the glass vessel and fragrance oil come in separate containers, pour the oil into the vessel to take up ½ to ¾ of its volume. There’s no need to fill it completely because it may overflow once you place the reeds inside. If your diffuser vessel came with the oil inside, you should skip this step. 
  3. The next step is placing the reeds into the vessel in a way that makes the bottom part of the sticks submerged in the fragrance oil. The more reeds you add – the stronger the scent will be. We recommend starting with 6-8 reeds and then adding more if the fragrance is too light for you. 
  4. Leave the reeds for a few minutes to absorb the oil, and then flip them so that the dry end is now submerged into the oil. 
  5. Spread out the reeds to allow air circulation between them and give them up to 24 hours to fully diffuse the fragrance.
  6. Flip the reeds once every 1-2 weeks to keep up the scent’s strength. 
  7. Once the oil completely evaporates from the container, clean out the glass vessel and let it dry. Then fill it again. We recommend filling it from scratch rather than adding new oil to it, as old oil evaporates for a better and stronger fragrance. 

Reed diffusers can last up to 6 months, depending on how much oil you put in the vessel. Whenever you want a stronger fragrance, just flip the reed sticks one by one. It’s also recommended to flip the reeds to prevent the pores from getting clogged. Don’t do it very often, though, because the oil will run out faster. You should flip them every week or every other week, as this is more than enough for the scent to spread across the room.

Where To Place Your Reed Diffuser

When choosing a place for your reed diffuser, consider the size of the room. Basically, the bigger the room – the larger diffuser you need to evenly spread the scent. For smaller rooms, a small diffuser with 6 to 8 reeds is enough for a subtle fragrance. For bigger rooms, you may need extra reed sticks and a larger diffuser.

The most popular places for reed diffusers are bathrooms, bedrooms, and offices, but you can also put them in the foyer, kitchen, or anywhere you want. As an idea, you can also put your diffuser in a linen closet to keep your bed sheets and towels smelling nice. But make sure that the diffuser isn’t in a place where it can tip over and stain the fabric.

The location you choose should have good air circulation, but you should avoid placing your reed diffuser next to air conditioners, windows, or corners. Think of it as a vase with flowers and place the diffuser in a place where people will walk by and feel a nice fragrance every time. Also, keep the diffuser out of reach of pets and children.

Also, try to place your diffuser in a place that doesn’t get any direct sunlight. This will help the oil last longer and evaporate slower. 

When To Replace The Reeds In A Diffuser

Good quality reeds typically last from 1 to 6 months, and the scent may start to fade after the first month. That’s because the reeds can get clogged by the dust, which results in a lighter scent. If you want a constant and fresh smell, it’s recommended to switch the reeds every 2-3 months.

Explore Our Premium Candle Collection

Reed diffusers are an easy and elegant way to infuse your home with impeccable scents, while candles focus more on making your home cozy. At 96NORTH, we craft beautifully designed candles and reed diffusers that not only smell wonderful but also can become little style accents for your home. Made with 100% soy wax and premium cotton wicks, our candles are vegan-friendly and not harmful to your health, unlike paraffin candles.

Some of our signature candle fragrances are:

  • Roasted Coffee
  • French Lavender
  • Madagascar Vanilla
  • Tropical Coconut
  • Pumpkin Spice

Ready to infuse your home with welcoming fragrances? Check out our candle and reed diffuser collections.


How many sticks should you put in a diffuser?

It’s really up to you how many sticks to put in a reed diffuser. For small rooms, 6-8 sticks are enough to circulate the scent. If you need to cover a bigger area, use a bigger diffuser, and with that – more sticks. You can also add some sticks or remove some if the scent is too light or too strong for you.

How to use oil diffuser sticks?

It’s very easy to use reed diffuser sticks. All you need is to place them into the glass vessel so that one end is submerged in the oil and the other is exposed to the air. Let them sit for a few minutes and absorb the oil and then carefully flip them one by one. Flip them every week or every other week to keep the oil evaporating.

How long do reed diffusers last?

Depending on the size of the diffuser, they can last from 1 to 6 months. For example, an average 100 ml diffuser lasts for approximately 3-4 months. You may, however, notice that the scent is no longer as strong after the first month since the reeds tend to clog with dust and other impurities. The glass vessel you can reuse for as long as you want by simply replacing the fragrance oil and reed sticks.

How long do the reeds last in a diffuser?

You should change the reeds as the oil has evaporated from the diffuser, but they typically last up to 6 months. It’s also recommended to change the reeds once they are completely saturated or if they no longer diffuse the scent.

What to do if the reed diffuser doesn’t smell strong?

If you notice that the diffuser doesn’t give off a strong scent and there’s still plenty of oil in the vessel, try to flip the reeds. It’s not recommended to flip them very often, though, as this will result in the oil evaporating faster. Also, try to gently swirl the bottle to mix the ingredients in the oil.