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Can I Use Tap Water In My Diffuser?

So, you have a new ultrasonic essential oil diffuser to enjoy in the comfort of your home. You have a bottle of your favorite essential oil and you are ready for a relaxing evening of aromatherapy. But, what kind of water should you use in your essential oil diffuser? Is it safe to use tap water? Do you need to spend the money on distilled water? These are all questions we hear often and we hope you find some answers below.

Running Tap Water

First off, we recommend that you follow the directions for your brand and type of essential oil diffuser. Some diffusers require or work best with different types of water. The instructions included in many of today's essential oil diffusers recommend that you use tap water in your diffuser because it includes natural minerals that help the water diffuse into a vapor better than distilled water.

Some says that warm tap water is what they prefer you use in their diffusres. While other diffuser manufacturers, like Airome, recommend that you use distilled water and/or filtered water to lessen the buildup of mineral deposits on the ultrasonic plate and water tank and affect the performance of your diffuser. According to most brands their diffusers work great with distilled or tap water. They are designed to handle the hardness of tap water but will last longer and run better with distilled water.

Airome Diffusers & Essential Oils

Here is some basic information about the differences between tap water, distilled water and filtered water along with some of the pros and cons of using each in your essential oil diffuser.

Tap Water - Tap water is filtered but contains trace amounts of impurities, minerals and sometimes water treatment additives from your local municipality.

  • Pros
    • It is the cheapest source of water for your diffuser and almost everybody has access to it.
    • More minerals than other water sources which are important in helping water turn into vapor.
  • Cons
    • Any minerals and impurities present in your tap water may be dispersed in the air of your home through the vaporized mist from your diffuser.
    • Mineral build up will happen fastest with tap water which will require more frequent and thorough cleanings.

Distilled Water - Distilled water goes through a distilling process that removes the water's impurities along with all the minerals. 

  • Pros
    • It is the purest source of water you can use in your essential oil diffuser so your cleaning time will be minimized and diffuser life prolonged.
    • You can rest assured that you will not be breathing in any impurities from the water you use. 
  • Cons
    • It is the most expensive water you can use in your ultrasonic diffuser.
    • Distilled water is mineral-less and therefore does not vaporize as well as water with small amounts of minerals present. 

Filtered Water - Purified bottled water and tap water that is filtered at your faucet or refrigerator is not as pure as distilled water but contains less impurities and minerals than tap water.

  • Pros
    • Relatively inexpensive water option with very few impurities.
    • The low mineral content helps the water turn into vapor better than distilled water and requires less cleaning than tap water.
  • Cons
    • It is not as pure as distilled water.
    • It costs more than tap water.

As you can see, you can use tap water in your essential oil diffuser but it may not be your best option. We feel that you should use the purest water possible that fits within your budget and still allows the diffuser to function properly. For most people, filtered water is probably the best option. We hope you found this information helpful. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

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  • Fragrance Oils Direct on

    Lynda, we recommend referring to the user manual for your diffuser to determine how much water to put in it.

  • Lynda Bateman on

    Love my diffuser but still not sure how much water 2 put in it. Is tap water( has. a lot of cholrine in it) or bottle water.

  • Fragrance Oils Direct on


    We recommend using a damp paper towel and scrubbing at it a bit. The best time to do this is after it has been running, as it will come off a lot easier.

  • Debbie Higgs on

    If you do have mineral build up on your diffuser, how do you clean and or remove it all to brand new condition? Thank you

  • Fragrance Oils Direct on

    We are glad you found our blog post helpful. The diffusers in the photo can be purchased at

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