Do Oil Diffusers Cause Damp Or Mold? (Interesting)

Unlike a humidifier, an oil diffuser does not cause a noticeable change in the humidity of the room which means dampness is not common. However, leaving water in your oil diffuser for days, or not properly cleaning it after use will cause the growth of molds which is dangerous to one’s health.

In this article, we would see if oil diffusers can cause mold or dampness and how you can prevent this from happening.


Yes, an oil diffuser can cause dampness. However, do not confuse the humidifier with a diffuser. The diffusers’ basic function is to break down essential oils and disperse them in the form of mist while humidifiers only disperse water to control the moisture level of the room.

Damp is caused by high humidity and the recommended humidity of a room is 30-50%. Anything less could cause dry skin and more can breed bacteria and molds.

Oil diffusers generally do not do much to alter the humidity of a room especially when it is a large room. This is because the water used serves as a carrier of the essential oil and so, just a little amount is dispersed. However, the diffuser you are using could also determine this.

I actually wrote a cool post about if you can use an oil diffuser as a humidifier, have a read if you are interested.

A photo of an oil diffuser defusing essential oil in a living room
Many of us now use oil diffusers but could they possibly cause damp or mold?

Some types of diffusers like the nebulizer oil diffuser and reed diffuser do not use water as a dispersing agent which means there’s no cause for alarm. However, if you are using an ultrasonic diffuser, you could be a little worried about high humidity hence; damp. Still, it is less likely that oil diffusion will cause dampness.

Sometimes it is advisable to get diffusers that are a mix of humidifiers too, like the young living desert mist diffuser. If your room humidity level is below the recommended percent, you might consider increasing it a bit by using a diffuser humidifier. So it’s really important to be mindful of the humidity level of your room so it will guide you on what exactly to get.


Yes, oil diffusers could breed molds. They are moist and dark. What better place for the sticky molds to build their nest?

Molds are an essential part of our environment, but we don’t want them sitting in our homes because they are not the best-wishing visitors. However, we can open the door to these domestic-unfriendly guys when we do not take the necessary precautionary measures.

Molds growing in your diffuser would not only change the smell of your essential oil diffusion but can cause health dangers. Scary right? But it is very easy to prevent molds from growing in your diffuser. Knowing the reason mold could grow in your oil diffuser will help you kick against them.

  • Molds can build up in the water tank when the water remnant is not properly drained out after use.
  • Molds can grow when the diffuser is not properly cleaned up and dried before storing when you do not plan to use it for a while.
  • It can also grow if you leave the oil in the diffuser after using it.
  • Using poor quality diffusers that do not air well can also cause molds to grow.


Maybe you are not so bothered about molds growing in your diffuser. Do you need a little push? Here it is; Molds are toxic to health. They don’t just cause discomfort but can be detrimental to health. That doesn’t sound pleasant, does it?

Molds can release allergens, irritants, and mycotoxins. It can lead to health problems like Aspergillosis, rhinosinusitis, fungal sinusitis, pneumonitis, and the like. Aspergillosis might be your worst nightmare as some types could even cause blood coughing. Wow!!!

Some symptoms of mold allergy are itching throat, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, skin rash, etc. So if you are having such allergies, before you consider other causes, check your diffuser to know if it isn’t a mold allergy.

You especially don’t want to be catching mold allergy if you already have breathing difficulties like asthma as it can cause asthma attacks.


Fortunately, some essential oils also act as mold inhibitors, which means they do not facilitate the growth of molds. Here is a list of some essential oil that will also help prevent the growth of molds:

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Spruce.

So while trying to get the best out of aromatherapy, you can get more health benefits by using these essential oils in your oil diffuser.


Preventing the growth of mold and dampness in your room is pretty easy. Here is a list of t

● Clean the diffuser after every use or after 24 hours of usage by draining the water and wiping it out with a cotton swab.

● Deep clean the diffuser before storing it and do well to store it properly. Do not leave oil or water in it.

● There are lots of oil diffusing products and most of them are quite cheap. While keeping close tabs on your budget, also ensure you get a quality diffuser product that has spacing between the plastics so it can breathe properly. It will save you a lot of stress.

● Make sure you know the humidity level of your room before deciding which diffuser to get.

If you notice mold growth in your essential oil diffuser, you need to clean it out using vinegar. Fill up the diffuser with water below the maximum fill level. Put in about ten drops of white vinegar and let the diffuser run for 3-5 minutes to disperse the solution. Drain out the water and clean the diffuser.

You can add other mold cleaners like hydrogen peroxide, salt, or baking soda to the vinegar to make sure you completely get rid of the mold. Be careful to avoid any cleanser that will cause health issues. One of these is combining vinegar and bleach. This mixture is poisonous.


Using an essential oil diffuser is of great health benefit and can boost your energy, but this aromatherapy effect would be reversed if you do not take out time to take proper care of the diffuser.

If you discover molds creeping into your diffuser, immediately clean it out. Also, make sure you check the humidity level of your room before going for a particular diffuser product.

Remember being health-wise could save you a visit to the hospital so take proper measures to prevent the growth of molds in the first place.

Andrew Scents and Aroma