How to burn essential oils - Here’s what you should know

There are endless benefits when it comes to introducing essential oils into your daily routine, but you might be wondering the best ways to use them. We’re here to explain how to burn essential oils to release their potential.

essential oil bottles and burners

Whether you’re wanting to invest in a long-term solution that’s going to allow you to fully enjoy using your essential oils, or you’re looking for a quick DIY hack to dip your toes into the world of aromatherapy, we’re confident that we have a solution for you.

It can be great fun to change up the way you use your essential oils, so don’t be afraid to get creative and try out different methods!

Content/Quick links

  • What is an oil burner?
  • Get started with a traditional candle burner
  • DIY tealight burner
  • A convenient, modern alternative
  • Create your own essential oils candle
  • Safety tips for burning essential oils
  • Burning vs diffusing
  • In summary

What is an oil burner?

person dropping essential oil in a burner

Before we get started, you might be wondering what a traditional oil burner or oil warmer is and how it actually works. In simple terms, an oil burner is used to heat essential oils, causing them to vaporize and enter the air as tiny particles. This enables you to enjoy the scent of essential oils around your home.

Traditional oil burners are often made from materials such as soapstone, copper or ceramic which all have fantastic heat retention abilities, making them ideal for the job at hand. Ceramic is most popular because it’s easy to clean and less likely to burn you than copper if you touch it. They have a bowl-shaped area where you can put your chosen essential oils and a space underneath where you place the candle.

When the candle is lit, the heat causes the essential oils above to evaporate and enter the air, so that we can benefit from the wonderful aromas released.

Oil burners can be used with just one essential oil for a purposeful scent that tackles a specific concern or desire. Or, you can create your own unique blend of essential oils which is tailored to your individual needs and preferences.

Get started with a traditional candle burner

person putting essential oil into burner

For a cheap and easy way to begin using your essential oils right away, you can purchase a traditional candle burner from a local convenience shop. These devices are readily available and can be found for very affordable prices, making them an accessible option if you’re looking to get started with essential oils.

A top tip when searching for your perfect candle burner is to choose a bowl which is relatively deep. This will slow down the evaporation process, prolonging the use of your essential oils. However, be sure there’s at least 6 centimeters between the candle and the bowl.

Fill the bowl with water (preferably distilled to prevent the build up of residue over time) and then add around 10 drops of your favorite essential oils.

For a more subtle scent or for smaller spaces, try adding just a few drops to the dish. For larger spaces or a more intense experience, add a few extra drops. The good news is, by experimenting over time, you can tailor how you use your essential oils to optimize the results and customize them to suit you.

DIY tealight burner

essential oil candle

If you’re feeling creative or you simply can’t get to a shop right now to pick up a candle burner, you can make your own at home ― not to mention saving yourself some money and doing your bit to save the planet. There are a few ways you can do this, but here are a couple to get you started.

For a quick fix, add a few drops of your essential oil straight onto the wax of the tea light and the heat from the melting wax will release the oils when the candle is burned. This method is really quick and convenient as a temporary solution, because self-care shouldn’t be tiresome.

Alternatively, bend a spoon to create a right angle and tape or glue it to the side of a jar with a tea light placed inside, fixing the bowl of the spoon above the wick of the candle. You can then place your essential oil and water blend in the spoon for a DIY oil burner.

A convenient, modern alternative

electric essential oil diffuser

While traditional essential oil burners are a low-cost and effective way to enjoy essential oils at home, they aren’t without their risks.

Electric essential oil diffusers use heat or ultrasonic waves to diffuse essential oils around your home, without the need for an open flame. This makes electric diffusers ideal for homes with small children or pets, where a traditional oil burner could be dangerous. They’re also safer and more convenient for use at night since you don’t need to worry about falling asleep with a candle lit but can still benefit from essential oils that help with sleep.

The preparation process for use is much the same as seen above for the traditional candle burner; simply add your distilled water and chosen oils to the reservoir, turn on your diffuser and enjoy the aroma! However, it’s important to remember that electrical hazards can still cause a fire risk, so take precautions to avoid any problems arising. Where possible, plug your burner straight into the mains socket, avoiding the use of an extension cord, and don’t plug too many devices into an outlet at any one time. It’s always best to remember to unplug your device when it isn’t in use, not only removing any fire risks but also helping you to lower your electric bill.

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Create your own essential oils candle

essential oil candles and essential oil burner

Crafting your own scented candle is actually much simpler than you might think, and very achievable in the comfort of your own home. So rather than splashing your cash, why not save yourself some money and create your own aromatherapy candles? The other added bonus is that by making your own candles, you can choose the scents you want to combine and also the strength of the scent produced by adding more or less of your favorite oils.

The only products you need to create a simple candle are a glass jar, candle wick, beeswax and your selected essential oils.

First, melt the wax and add your chosen essential oils to the mixture, giving it a stir to ensure the oils are evenly mixed. Then, place the wick into the center of the jar and add the melted wax, leaving a small space at the top. Allow the wax to set, placing it in the fridge if you want to speed up the process.

For a unique gift, why not create some personalized aromatherapy candles for your friends? Don’t forget to include instructions on how they can create their own candles once they have enjoyed yours!

Safety tips for burning essential oils

essential oil bottle with essential oil candles burning

Essential oil burners can bring so many benefits to your home, from filling them with aromatic scents to looking wonderful on your shelf. But to thoroughly enjoy them, taking precautions to ensure safety and peace of mind is important.

When using a candle lit burner, there are a few things to keep in mind to minimize fire risks and give you peace of mind. Make sure your burner is in a suitable location that is stable and uncluttered, allowing plenty of air circulation.

Don’t forget to consider who else uses the space, especially if there are children or animals around, placing your candle out of reach. Even if the room is only used by other adults, it is always best to inform them that you’re lighting a candle and where you are placing it.

While enjoying your burner, don’t leave it unattended at any point. This includes falling asleep – it’s important that you extinguish the candle before going to sleep. Once you’ve extinguished the flame, leave the holder to stand for some time before handling, as it may be very hot.

Burning vs diffusing

essential oil burner and diffuser

Although burning your essential oils can be a fun and initially cheaper alternative to diffusing, it does come with a few drawbacks which should be considered.

As mentioned above, there can be some dangers when burning essential oils, and bare flames aren’t suitable in all households. The oils themselves can occasionally catch fire, so they should be supervised consistently which can become tricky if you’re busy moving around your home.

It’s also important to check the ingredients of the candles you’re burning, as many affordable candles contain petroleum which can be harmful when inhaled.

It is often the greener option to use an electrical device to disperse the scent of your essential oils rather than a candle due to the potentially harmful contents of the wax itself, which are released once burned.

You might be wondering which is the more efficient way to use your essential oils. The simple answer is via diffusion.

With oil burners, the heat involved in the evaporation process leads to the most volatile compounds in the oil being dispersed first before the denser molecules. This unbalances the nature of your oils and limits their effectiveness. This also means that your essential oils can be burned off too quickly which damages them and limits their benefits, especially if using a flame which is too large.

On the other hand, ultrasonic diffusers vaporize all oils evenly without damaging them, making it a healthier, more balanced and safer approach that doesn’t require constant supervision. You’ll also get to enjoy the sound of the water, the sensation and visual effect of the rising mist and the soft glow of its light.

Both oil burners and diffusers require a little bit of maintenance for longevity, so that’s a moot point.

Although essential oil diffusers come with a higher upfront cost, the long-term benefits of investing in an electric diffuser are undeniable.

In summary

Burning essential oils can be great fun and also a fantastic way to release their power. Candles can be a quick, cheap and easy way to start your journey with essential oils as they can allow you to immediately get started, without any upfront investment.

There are many different methods to choose from and you can be experimental, finding the methods that work best for you, your home and lifestyle. Be mindful of the risks posed by burning essential oils and of open flames.

Once you’ve experienced the benefits of essential oils in your home, you may decide it’s time to purchase an electric diffuser. Volant has an incredible range of elegant, handmade diffusers that use the modern technology of ultrasonic vibrations to safely and effectively distribute the aromas around your home, for when you’re wanting to take the next step on your aromatherapy journey.

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