What are store-bought room diffusers made from?

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On my last trip to the shops I took some time to turn over a few supermarket brand room diffusers and read the small print on the back. I was pretty surprised at what I found. They all contained a range of interesting chemicals such as:

It's true that not all of these ingredients are harmful, but it's not clear why some of them are in there at all when there are a variety of perfectly good alternatives. For example, the Gyre and Gymble diffuser uses only 2 ingredients:

  • a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, and 
  • a splash of one of our essential oils.

And that's it. Nothing you can't pronounce, and nothing that you would be worried about spilling on your kitchen bench top. 

One note that is worth considering: whatever you do, do not not pour sweet almond oil down the sink as it can block up your drain. However, this is no different from any oil that you might use around the home such as cooking oil or massage oil. These oils should be placed into a bottle or bag and thrown away in the normal rubbish, or into your local council's oil disposal program.