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diffusers, nebulizers and essential oils, oh my!

Pure + Radiant Blog

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diffusers, nebulizers and essential oils, oh my!

Courtney Kahla

I'm a recovering candle addict. The fragrance... the ambiance... it soothed me. But I will never forget the day that I purged our home from toxic candles. A few years ago, I lit my #toxicAF candles and the fumes were finally enough. As the headache set in, I rummaged through my home and put all 22 of my paraffin wax candles in a box on my front porch and sold them on an online garage sale for $1 each.

That was a difficult break-up because what in the world could replace my beloved candles?

Essential Oils

I don't want to get into a brand battle because I use a variety of brands for a variety of things. My only recommendation is to do your own research and find an organic essential oil that works best for you. Some of the brands I use are:

I don't recommend store-bought essential oils because you don't know how long they've been sitting on the shelf, exposed to intense artificial light. This is the same reason why I don't buy my olive oil from the health food store. There is no governing body that certifies essential oils and there are no grades of essential oils based on their quality. I wish there was an honest way to do this, but at this time, nothing exists. So basically, "Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade" means nothing in the essential oil world. That is a trademarked phrase.


When you're researching essential oils to buy, make sure the label reads "100% pure" and "organic" when possible. Also make sure it is not blended with jojoba, almond, or another carrier oil because that means the essential oil is diluted and you want the pure essential oil. You can dilute it yourself later, if desired.


To ingest or not to ingest? That is the question.

This was a difficult clear vegetable capsule to swallow. Many companies say it's safe to ingest essential oils but at the end of the day, you have to do your own research and do what works best for your body. I used to add peppermint, lemon, or grapefruit essential oils to my water, but after reading Hope Gillerman's book, Everyday Essential Oils, I no longer ingest essential oils. This is my personal preference. It makes sense to me that one drop of an essential oil is VERY potent and can equal 75 cups of tea of the same herb so I prefer the physical herb. But you do you!


There are a few ways I like to utilize essential oils in my home:  ultrasonic diffusers and nebulizers. Let me break it down for ya!

Ultrasonic Diffusers

An essential oil diffuser uses water and whatever drops of essential oils you place into it to fill the air in your home. That means it doubles as a humidifier! The key to finding a great diffuser is to make sure it's ultrasonic. Otherwise, the diffuser will be using heat and that destabilizes the essential oils. You never want to heat essential oils. They typically diffuse anywhere from 1 to 10 hours, depending on the settings. I have used many ultrasonic diffusers through the years. Yes, I've tried the amazon and groupon deals, but they break easily and don't last as long, so these are my tried-and-true (I literally use them everyday) favorites listed from least expensive to most expensive:

 Radha Beauty Aromatherapy Wood and Glass Diffuser (200 ml) — $39.95 — Photo by   Shelby Tsika

Radha Beauty Aromatherapy Wood and Glass Diffuser (200 ml) — $39.95 — Photo by Shelby Tsika

 ZAQ Paradise Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser — $69.99 — Photo by   Shelby Tsika

ZAQ Paradise Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser — $69.99 — Photo by Shelby Tsika

 Vitruvi White Stone Diffuser — $119.00 — Photo by   Shelby Tsika

Vitruvi White Stone Diffuser — $119.00 — Photo by Shelby Tsika



Now, a nebulizer is very similar to an ultrasonic diffuser except it doesn't use water at all! This is the only nebulizer I have and I use it in our largest open space (living room, dining room, entry way, and kitchen).

 Organic Aromas "Magnificent" Nebulizing Diffuser in light wood — $95.00 — Photo by   Shelby Tsika

Organic Aromas "Magnificent" Nebulizing Diffuser in light wood — $95.00 — Photo by Shelby Tsika

Organic Aromas gifted me this nebulizer and I've been a fan from day one! My favorite thing about it is that it's all glass. The essential oil never comes into contact with plastic — heck yeah! It also has an elegant wooden base. It looks beautiful no matter where you place it in your home and that's refreshing since some of those ultrasonic diffusers look like alien spaceships. I also think this nebulizer works best in the larger area of our home (compared to an ultrasonic diffuser) because water isn't used which dilutes the essential oil. This Organic Aromas nebulizer packs a powerful punch and has no problem filling our space.

Word on the street is that nebulizers break and need to be cleaned frequently. While I believe this nebulizer to be the most effective and least maintenance on the market, it still requires more care than an ultrasonic diffuser. But that's me being super lazy. It runs for 2 minutes and then pauses for 1 minute for approximately two hours and then automatically shuts off. It needs to rest for at least 60 minutes or it'll burn out the motor. You have to physically turn it back on again to run another 2-hour usage cycle. I really only run this thing 2 hours a day and our home (that tends to smell like dogs since we have one Great Dane and a revolving door of foster Great Danes) is vibrant, peaceful, and refreshing!

Organic Aromas recommends cleaning the reservoir once a week by diffusing rubbing alcohol and deep cleaning once a month by soaking in warm water and gentle soap. The funky thing is, both methods say the diffuser is ready when it's dry but in my experience, it has taken a few days for that thing to dry! The tubules are so delicate and tiny that water seems to get stuck in there and won't dry. One time I got impatient and used it anyways and it started spitting at me. Oops! Also, make sure you don't use essential oils that contain a carrier oil such as jojoba, almond, or grape seed oil or thicker essential oils such as sandalwood, cypress, or frankincense because like I said, those tubules are delicate!


I hope this information encourages you to toss the toxic candles are start using healthier options, like essential oils, in your home!