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Diffuser Sticks: What They Are, How They Work, and Which to Choose

The right fragrance can change the ambience in your home, helping you create a personalized feel that suits your style and your personality. Scented candles are great for a few hours of fragrance but if you want to be welcomed home by your favorite fragrance, as soon as you walk in the door, a reed diffuser is the way to go. While a scented candle can burn for a few hours, reed diffusers continuously disperse fragrance for months at a time.

Reed diffusers are a great way to impart your home with long-lasting fragrance. Here’s what you need to know about how they work and how to choose the right diffuser sticks to ensure you’re getting quality fragrance distribution.

How Do Reed Diffusers Work?

A reed diffuser consists of three components. First, the vessel is the main body of the reed diffuser which contains the second component, the fragrance oil. Third, you have the individual reeds you insert through the mouth of the vessel into the fragrance oil.

Diffuser reeds are filled with microscopic channels. As the reeds absorb the fragrance oil, it travels up the length of the reed. Once it reaches the top, it’s released into the air and the scent along with it. The reeds act almost like tiny straws that draw the fragrance up through the bottle and into the air.

Tips for Choosing the Right Diffuser Sticks

Finding the right diffuser sticks is essential if you want to enjoy pure, well-balanced fragrance. Make the wrong choice and the fragrance could be overwhelming or barely noticeable.

For example, bamboo rods are less effective than reeds. The channels in bamboo rods are interrupted by nodes which prevent the oil from traveling all the way up the length of the bamboo and dissipating at the top. Natural rattan reeds have clear channels which allow for faster and more even scent distribution. You can find rattan reeds in different lengths and thicknesses according to your needs.

A high-quality diffuser stick can last between six and 12 months. You’ll know it’s time to replace the reeds when they’ve become oversaturated and clogged – basically, when they stop releasing fragrance. If you notice the fragrance weakening after just a few months, try flipping the reeds before replacing them.

When shopping for diffuser sticks, consider the size and shape of your reed diffuser. The larger the vessel, the longer the reeds you’ll need. The length of the reeds should be at least double the height of the vessel. You can use as many reeds as will fit in the neck of the bottle, but the more reeds you us the more intense the level of fragrance will be.

How to Use a Reed Diffuser Properly

Reed diffusers come in different sizes and you have the ability to control the strength of the fragrance based on the number of diffuser sticks you use. For large rooms, choose a bigger reed diffuser like the Signature 15.5-ounce reed diffuser. Smaller rooms, like the study or the guest bath may do fine with a smaller diffuser like the Classic 6-ounce reed diffuser.

The key to getting the most out of your new reed diffuser is to set it up properly and to flip the diffuser sticks as needed to keep the fragrance fresh.

Here are the steps to take setting up your new reed diffuser:

  1. Place the diffuser vessel on a sturdy, non-porous surface.
  2. If you’re worried about drips, place a tray or coaster under the diffuser.
  3. Pour the fragrance oil into the diffuser, filling it ½ to ¾ full.
  4. Save any extra oil in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.
  5. Place the diffuser reeds in the reed diffuser and arrange them as you see fit.
  6. When the fragrance fades, carefully flip the reeds – do not flip more than once a week.

Even if you notice your reed diffuser running low on oil, don’t top it off. Adding new oil to old oil may affect the fragrance, so it’s best to let it completely evaporate then wash and refill the diffuser. Keep a refill of your favorite fragrance on hand as well as a box of LAFCO diffuser reeds so you never run out.

Having trouble finding a fragrance you like? Try the LAFCO Fragrance Finder to be paired with your perfect fragrance or find a complementary fragrance to go with your reed diffuser.

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