Can I Put Rubbing Alcohol in a Diffuser?

can i put rubbing alcohol in diffuser

Fragrance diffusers are a part of all households today. Like, Who doesn’t want their home to smell great all the time? You can make your house smell like literally anything.

Those mild tones of Jasmine, the refreshing scent of Lemongrass, or the pleasing notes of Mogra.

With a diffuser at home, you can literally play around with all the fragrances in the world. But how about putting Rubbing Alcohol in a diffuser?

Can you put IsopropylAlcohol in a diffuser?

If your idea of putting Isopropyl Alcohol in a diffuser is for cleaning purposes, then yes, you definitely can. 

Is it safe to put Rubbing Alcohol in a diffuser? Essential Oil Diffusers require regular cleaning for healthy maintenance. Prominently because over time, with usage, essential oils leave a greasy residue in the diffuser.

This residue (if not cleaned) will further attract dirt and dust particles. The process will follow up with infusing the accumulated dirt into the air.

That is why cleaning is important no matter whether you use your diffuser once a week or once 15 days. 

How do you clean a diffuser with Alcohol?

The idea is completely safe until you put Rubbing Alcohol in a diffuser for cleaning purposes.

However, you need to follow some precautions, which we will discuss later in the article. 

But before that, let’s have a quick look at the process of cleaning a diffuser with Rubbing Alcohol:

NOTE: Depending upon the usage, one should clean the essential oil diffuser at least once in 15 days. Frequent cleaning is definitely a good idea, though skipping the thought isn’t.

  1. To begin with, unplug your Essential Oil Diffuser and let it cool down. A lot of oil diffusers heat up during the usage, though cleaning them with or without Alcohol in this condition isn’t safe. 
  2. Once the diffuser is all cool, disassemble all its parts and empty its water tank. 
  3. Now add 15 ml of 70% Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol into the diffuser’s water tank. If the diffuser is smaller or bigger in size, estimate the quantity of Rubbing Alcohol accordingly. 
  4. Let the Rubbing Alcohol solvent sit for 20 minutes to half an hour in the diffuser. Later with the help of a brush, consider cleaning the diffuser well. Use earbuds for corners that are small/ difficult to reach. 

TIP: If the diffuser’s residue build-up has gotten worse (too much), leave Rubbing Alcohol into it overnight. 

  • Now empty the diffuser tank, rinse it thoroughly with water, and then let it dry completely. 
  • Later, to end the process, use a microfibre cloth and clean the diffuser to eliminate all traces of moisture. 

Also, make sure you go cleaning diffuser covers as well. The best method is to soak them in Isopropyl and water solvent for a few hours. Further, scrub them, rinse them and then wipe them down.

Can you diffuse Rubbing Alcohol? Can you put disinfectant in a diffuser?

A lot of diffuser cleaning methods may advise you to add and burn Rubbing Alcohol in the device, though never ever do that. 

Remember, Rubbing Alcohol is a highly flammable liquid. At the moment you will diffuse it in your diffusing device, it will instantly catch fire or lead to a blast.

If not, the fumes from the burning of Isopropyl, when it reaches near ignition point can lead to a fire.

When inhaled by individuals, these fumes can also cause breathing difficulties, nausea, dizziness, and even lead to unconsciousness.

That is why never ever diffuse Rubbing Alcohol. Even avoid burning this solvent for any cause in a non-ventilated (closed) space. 

Can you mix Isopropyl Alcohol and essential oils? Does Alcohol dissolve essential oils?

Similarly, like you mix Water and essential oil, you can mix IPA and essential oils too. And similarly, like the former combination, Isopropyl Alcohol and essential oils as well don’t blend together. 

Here is the science-based explanation behind the same:

When we mix Oil and Water, Oil floats on top of the Water. However, when we mix Rubbing (Isopropyl) Alcohol with Oil, then Oil settles/ sinks at the bottom, and Alcohol floats on the top. It happens because each of these liquids has a different density. 

  • The density of Water: 997 kg/m³
  • The density of Rubbing Alcohol: 786 kg/m³
  • The density of Oil: 870 kg/m3

What happens when you mix Alcohol with Oil?

While oil, due to less density, will float when you mix it with water. Rubbing Alcohol due to less density will float when you mix it with oil. 

In simpler words, a drop of Rubbing Alcohol is lighter than a drop of oil; thus, the former floats, and the latter settles down. 

But then why do Water and Rubbing Alcohol mix together, regardless of their density?

Considering density plays a key role in mixing two liquids, the question of why Water and Rubbing Alcohol mix together regardless of their different density does have a strong stand.

Besides density, Polar molecules too play an important role in mixing two liquids together.

While water molecules are polar, Rubbing Alcohol has both polar and nonpolar molecules. This means both of these liquids are able to form hydrogen bonds, and thus, they easily mix together.

Liquids that blend and mix together are called miscible. Here both Water and Rubbing Alcohol are miscible.  

Similarly, on the other hand, oil is a formation of nonpolar molecules. And because most nonpolar substances do not mix well with each other, the oil will either settle or float when you mix it with Rubbing Alcohol or Water. 

Can you use Rubbing Alcohol with essential oils?

The idea of using Rubbing Alcohol with essential oil is safe and sound unless you know the right proportions. 

During the cold and flu season, it is common for bacteria to linger around your house. These virus-causing bacteria are the main culprit of causing you cold, cough, and even fever sometimes.

Though if you disinfect the air, you can ensure safety for yourself and the family. Here is how you can do the same:

  1. Take a clean spray bottle and fill 1 part of Water and half part of 50% Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol into it. For increasing the antibacterial properties, add a tablespoon of tea tree or other similar essential oil. It will also add to the fragrance. 
  2. Give the mixture a good shake so that everything mixes well together. Oil will definitely not mix into the solution, but let it be. 
  3. Now spray this solvent on door knobs, at sinks, toilets, drainage, and other areas. Within a minute or two, wipe it down. The needed disinfecting will be done by then. 

NOTE: Never ever spray Rubbing Alcohol solvent near the gas stove, gas pipe, electric socket, and other points of ignition. Considering Rubbing Alcohol is a flammable solvent, it will quickly lead to fire or blast. 

Can you mix denatured Alcohol and essential oils?

No, considering the density of denatured Alcohol is 789 kg/m³, and the density of oil is 870 kg/m3, both the liquids won’t mix together.

Instead, the essential oil will settle down at the bottom, and denatured Alcohol will start to float on the above.

Wrapping up…

This was all for Rubbing Alcohol and its usage in a diffuser. While your concern is just about cleaning the essential oil diffuser, you can go carefree and use Rubbing Alcohol for the same.

Though make sure the diffuser isn’t connected to the electric socket during the process. 

However, if your concern is to diffuse Rubbing Alcohol, drop the idea or be ready for fire hazards. Or the concern even goes towards Alcohol poisoning due to the fumes from burning/ boiling of Isopropyl. 

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