- First of All….(a short rant about EO education)
- Carrier Oils
- Fractionated Coconut Oil – my fave
- Why I
RarelyNever Use Olive Oil
- Basic Oiling Accessories
FIRST OF ALL….
All posts about using essential oils will be from my personal experience. Please don’t take my word as gospel–research and educate yourself on oil safety (for a good place to start, see EO Resources and Education). What I find helpful you may not be comfortable with, and vice versa. I have friends who regularly take EOs internally with no problems and no worries–I am not comfortable with that, though I’ve done it occasionally for an acute need. As with all things in life, nothing is completely risk-free–but that’s never an excuse to fly into something blind!
95% of the time I use EOs topically, I dilute with a carrier oil.
Fractionated Coconut Oil: my favorite carrier!
It has no color, no odor, does not require refrigeration, remains in liquid form, and has a shelf life of at least one year if stored properly (out of sunlight and direct heat). It’s also cheap…a 4oz bottle from Plant Therapy is $7.99 and SHIPS FREE. I went ahead and bought the 16 oz bottle ($24) since I planned to make a lot of roller ball applicators (and have!). There are plenty of other great carriers available at Plant Therapy with different price-points. This is the one I started with and still haven’t run out.
Rarely Never Use Olive Oil anymore…especially in my roll-on applicators or in DIY projects (like salt scrubs, lotions). Olive oil oxidizes a little bit every time it’s exposed to air, heat, and light. “Extra-virgin olive oil contains chlorophyll that accelerates decomposition and makes the oil go rancid rather quickly.” (1) Before I got my coconut oil, I filled a couple roller applicators with EOs and olive oil…I didn’t use it up fast enough, so within a few months those applicators have a funky smell and the oil comes out a bit sticky. All the applicators I made with the coconut oil are still the same as day 1.
(Random FYI: this is also why I now buy olive oil in the small glass bottles and no longer use it for high-heat cooking [I prefer butter, coconut oil, and ghee]. I tested one of my massive bottles of olive oil that I used for several months and guess what? Yeah, it was rancid and I didn’t even know it. Apparently Americans are used to the taste of bad olive oil, me included!) (2)
BASIC OILING ACCESSORIES
I buy all my oiling accessories from Plant Therapy, Heritage Essential Oils, my Young Living distributor, and Amazon. Keep in mind that Plant Therapy offers free shipping on all orders. Heritage EOs has a $6 flat shipping rate, so I’ve only purchased accessories from them when I’m also buying oils. I’m only covering the bare basics here: diffusers, roll-on applicators, and pipettes.
Diffusing is one of the safest ways to use oils, and an inexpensive way to freshen a room with a holiday or seasonally appropriate scent…without the chemicals found in [most] scented candles. There are dozens of brands out there, and most will only cover the square-footage of a single room, sometimes two. Diffusers create faint white-noise–and occasionally you’ll hear tiny “splashes” of water droplets. I find this background noise relaxing, but easy to tune out when I want to. Read the fine print and several reviews (good and bad) before purchasing a diffuser.
If you’re on a tight budget and will not get a diffuser with a starter kit, this $30 Kinps little guy from Amazon has worked great for us as a single-room diffuser (we have two!). We recently used it in a hotel room with an air purifying blend to get rid of the musty (mixed with a hint of urine) smell, and it worked like a charm during the 15 minutes it took us to haul in all our junk from the family minivan. Features/details to know:
- An OFF setting for the lights—YAY!
- Mist comes out at an angle, so easy to “point” in a certain direction
- Light colors do not rotate, but each color has a bright and dim option
- 4 timer settings: 30, 60, 120, & 180 minutes–will automatically shut off if the water runs out
- Can be tricky to pull off the top and put back on. Best to make sure both hands are free, use one to hold the base, and slightly twist/pull up on the top with the other hand. When putting the top back, gently push/twist into place to line up the 2 dots on the base and top.
- Directions say to not use single citrus oils as they will degrade the plastic. I’ve used citrus in it short-term a few times, but immediately emptied the water and wiped out the base after use. No problems.
My daughter has this $40 ZAQ diffuser in her room. Super easy to use (can do everything with one hand and a baby on my hip), but the OFF setting for the light is actually really blue and annoying (to me), so functions as a faint light and is brighter than a lot of night lights. Colors rotate, which is nice for ambiance…but we end up covering the cone with a shirt when we turn it on at night for our daughter. No timer options…it just automatically shuts off when the water runs out. 4 hour run time. Have also used citrus oils carefully with no problems. I’ll freely (but not shamefully) admit that I haven’t officially cleaned the reservoir or opening of this diffuser in
1 2 3 months….and we run it 1-2x a day in my daughter’s room. 7 months and no problems.
Some diffuser directions say to only use distilled water. I honestly can’t remember what the directions were for my Kinps and ZAQ diffusers, but I’ve been using our tap water for months. I think using distilled is mainly important for those with hard tap water, but I’m not completely sure. You can always call the manufacturer and ask.
- Use straight EO drops in your diffusers, no carriers or blends diluted with carriers–a lot of “kid safe” product lines have carriers in them.
- Don’t run your diffuser close to an air return, unless you’re really wanting to freshen up the ductwork of your HVAC system. No really, if that sounds like a cool idea, put drops of EOs on cotton balls and stick them in your return vent. Cinnamon Bark kills mold or can at least slow down it’s growth, and ants don’t like it either!
- If you get a tall, pretty diffuser, depending on your kids ages, you’ll need places that are out of reach and close to an outlet to run them. As much as I love my Young Living bamboo diffuser (first pictured) since it covers a LOT more sq. footage than my others, it’s pretty easy to knock over. I’ve given up on using it on end tables in our living spaces until all the kids are older (like way older).
3 parts to these–the glass tube (can be clear or colored), roller fitment, and cap. Applicators that hold more than 10 mls are bulky and unnecessary. The roller can be plastic or metal. Metal rollers last longer and let out more oil…my husband likes this for his peppermint roller that he takes to work to use on tight muscles and on his forehead for headaches, congestion, and allergies. I like the slower-flowing plastic ones for the oils I use on my kiddos. Get labels (I used dollar store labels) and label as you make…include dilution ratios or some indication of who it’s safe for (examples: Baby Safe Thieves, Kid Safe Allergy Blend). I like to use a 6″ pipette to transfer carrier oil into the glass tube…less mess than squirting or pouring! (save pipettes for repeat use…don’t throw them away)
Where to purchase:
- Roller fitments only, steel or plastic: 12-pack, $5.99, Plant Therapy.
- 10 ml Roll-on Applicators: Green with plastic roller, 4-pack, $7.99, Plant Therapy
- 10 ml Roll-on Applicators: Clear with plastic roller, $0.75 each. Blue with plastic roller, $1.50 each. Heritage Essential Oils
- Pipettes: 6″ 10-pack, $1.00, Heritage Essential Oils. (shorter) 25-pack, $5.99, Plant Therapy
- BULK ORDERING: Have lots of local friends into oils? Consider splitting the cost of wholesale bulk ordering through an online source like The Scentsational Shoppe. A lot of local oiling moms split a $200 case of 864 stainless steel roller ball applicators (5 ml, perfect size for the purse, short-term use, and just in general!). I ended up paying $8 for 25 of them!
I hope this information serves you well! Happy oiling!
- New Warning About Olive Oil (and the best oils to cook with)
- Good Oils Gone Bad: Recognizing Rancidity and other Defects