What You Should Know about Diluting Essential Oils

If you’re new to using essential oils, it’s important to learn more about how to safely use them to avoid adverse reactions. Any time you use essential oils, it’s so important to dilute them. Here’s what you should know about diluting essential oils.   

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Diluting essential oils is super important – where’s why!

Why Should Essential Oils Always Be Diluted?

We love the benefits of essential oils, however, proper use of essential oil is important to make sure we’ll be making the most out of them without any negative reaction. Make sure to read their safety guidelines to ensure safe use. In fact, a safe practice is doing a patch test every time you try a new essential oil.

There are several reasons why pure essential oils should always be diluted. Some of the most important things are that most essential oils cannot be applied directly to your skin or they may cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, pain, itching, redness, or other side effects. If you are cooking with food-friendly essential oils, it’s essential to dilute them or you could be putting yourself at risk of getting sick. Inhaling undiluted essential oils can also be dangerous.

Undiluted essential oils are particularly unsafe for babies and young children (and even when diluted, some still may not be safe so be sure to research beforehand). Pets may also experience bad effects to undiluted essential oils (and others are toxic to animals, so again, please research).


To dilute essential oils, you will need to add them to your favorite carrier oil. Carrier oils are a popular option among essential oil users. These are real oils that you can add essential oil to. Some of the oils that you might use include coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, Argan oil, jojoba oil, witch hazel oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, and vegetable oil. Some of the other non-oil carriers you might consider using include butters, alcohols, or waxes. The perfect carrier oil will depend on specific situations, so make sure to do your research beforehand. In general, it’s important to remember that a few drops of pure essential oils go a long way.

The dilution method is important as well, as there are different ways to dilute them. Contrary to popular belief, essential oils should never be added directly to water without being added to a carrier first. The reason is that the essential oils will rise to the top of the water. If you are adding them to a bath, for example, the full amount of essential oil is likely to cling to your skin.

Image shows a transparent bowl with essential oils and a carrier oil. Text reads "What You Should Know about Diluting Essential Oils"
Let’s learn everything about diluting essential oils.

How Much Essential Oil Should You Use?

So you know about the importance of essential oil safety. Now you may be wondering about the number of drops of essential oil you should use when diluting them. The dilution ratio will vary according to the reason you’re using it, as well as the oil itself. It’s essential to research how much to use beforehand.

However, here is a guide for proper dilution to use as a general good rule of thumb:

  • .25% dilution amounts to one drop per four teaspoons of carrier oil (often recommended for children up until the age of 6)
  • 1% dilution amounts to one drop per teaspoon of carrier oil (often recommended for topical application in people with sensitive skin, children over six, those with preexisting conditions, elderly people, etc.)
  • 2% dilution amounts to two drops per teaspoon of carrier oil (often recommended for aromatherapy and topical use for normal adults)
  • 3% dilution amounts to three drops per teaspoon of carrier oil (often recommended for injuries or pain relief)
  • 25% dilution amounts to 25 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil (recommended for some EOs)

Before using your essential oils, it’s so important to research ahead of time to find out safe amounts.

These are just some of the things you should know about diluting essential oils. If you have any questions about the safety of using EOs, be sure to consult your physician ahead of time.  


Did you know these tips about diluting essential oils?

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