Reed Diffuser Not Working – Reasons & Tips to Solve It

Reed diffusers are the most decorative air fresheners that can effectively scent any space without electricity or heat, but when you can’t smell the fragrance you might think that your reed diffuser not working. What to do in such cases? Read my tips and enjoy the pleasant aroma again!

Swirl the bottle

When the nice scent in your room has faded, the simplest quick fix you should try is gently swirling the bottle. Like this, the oil ingredients will blend and you can enjoy a stronger scent again.

Flip the reeds

If the fragrance coming from your reed diffuser is becoming weak, the easiest thing you can do is flip the reeds which will give a new burst to the scent dispersing and you will happily notice that the room is filled with a nice aroma again.

small reed diffuser with three sticks

Flipping the reeds is recommended every week or every few days or whenever you think the reed diffuser not working and want the fragrance to be a bit stronger, but keep in mind that the more often you do this, the faster the oil will disperse.

Add more reeds

Adding more reeds helps to diffuse the oil faster and this is what you need to do if you can’t smell the fragrance as strong as you want. Generally, the best is using 10 reeds for a large living room, 6-8 for medium-sized rooms while 4 for small rooms (this applies for standard-size reeds).

When adding more reeds, the best is to do it one by one while monitoring how intense the aroma gets to avoid the scent becoming too strong.

Change the reeds

If there is still oil in the bottle, you have already flipped the reeds but there is still no scent, you need new reeds because probably they got blocked from dust or became saturated.

diffuser reed sticks

Replacement diffuser reed sticks

  • maximum diffusing for all brands of essential oil
  • 60 rattan reed sticks and 60 fiber reed sticks
  • size 10 inches in length and 4mm in diameter

Never re-use the old reeds (there is no effective way to clean them properly since the reed channels and cells are already filled with the oil), get new ones. Placing in new reeds will certainly start dispersing the oil again so you can enjoy the pleasant aroma!

Get a bigger reed diffuser

Diffusers are like candles, the bigger they are, the greater the fragrance so picking the right size is important when choosing the product. If you don’t smell the aroma, you might have chosen one that is too small for your room.

You may make the fragrance stronger by adding more reeds, but the best is getting an extra large reed diffuser that will be powerful enough to scent a big space.

Refill the bottle

When a reed diffuser not working, the most common problem is that the bottle is already empty and simply just needs to be refilled. Normally 100ml diffuser oil lasts for up to 3-4 months, but it depends on a lot of factors such as where it is placed, the temperature of the room, humidity, air circulation etc…

Grapefruit Reed Diffuser Refill

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  • 175 mL / 5. 9 oz high-quality liquid refill oil
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If you don’t smell the fragrance, check if there is still oil in the bottle. Get a refill or mix your own reed diffuser blend, the important is never just re-fill the bottle, clean and dry it completely. If you are re-filling with the same scent, you might use the reeds again if they are still working, but when using another scent use new reeds too!

Change the oil

Another everyday issue with reed diffusers is that the oil in the bottle is defective so the reeds are not able to wick up and evaporate the molecules. This usually happens when people create their own diffuser oil mix at home but use wrong base oil that is too heavy (like regular vegetable oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil) our pour pure essential oil into the bottle.

reed diffuser oils in bottles

If this is the case, get rid of the thick oil and the blocked reeds and prepare a new blend. Use the right reed diffuser carrier oil (80%) and add essential oils to the mix (approximately 20%).

If the mixture is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of alcohol such as vodka that will make it thinner so the fragrance can travel up the reed channels more easily.

Position the diffuser to a different place

Although reed diffusers can be placed literally anywhere since they are not tied to cables or plugs, there are places where they can’t work as they should.

If you placed the bottle in a wrong place where the airflow is restricted or maybe there is a venting system in the room that is sucking up the air along with the nice aroma, you might think that your reed diffuser not working.

If this is the situation, simply put the bottle to a different place! Choose a high-traffic area where there is good air circulation that will help the fragrance dispersal, so the pleasant aroma can fill the room effectively.

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