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Can You Put Vanilla Extract in a Diffuser? (Quick Answers)

Smelling vanilla not only makes people happy but also makes them feel welcomed. Maybe that’s why people these days want it to fragrant their surroundings as well and so ask if vanilla extract can be used in a diffuser. If you too are curious to know we recommend reading further!

Can you put vanilla extract in a diffuser?

Technically you can put vanilla extract in a diffuser but it’s not suggested. The smell of vanilla extract doesn’t stay for long to serve the purpose as it evaporates soon. Moreover, they are likely to build up residue in the diffuser. So it’s better to use essential oil instead or go another way.

We understand your love towards the scent of vanilla so we’d say pouring vanilla extract in a diffuser is okay. But it’s not the best idea.

Diffusers are used with essential oils in them to make the air of a place smell nice. Many people use perfume or extract too. But the reason essential oils are the best, it doesn’t vaporize early. Also, they are strong in the aroma.

But extracts don’t hold fragrances that strong. They dry up soon too if you put them in the diffuser. Moreover, the alcohol in vanilla extract stays as residue in the diffuser if used. 

Basically, vanilla extract doesn’t help much when used in a diffuser to scent a place. On top of that, it lefts leftovers in the diffuser which can give your irritation instead of calm and peace. That’s why it’s better not to use vanilla extract in a diffuser.

Why not should you put vanilla extract in a diffuser?

A lot of people think of putting extract in their diffuser but we can never support the idea. You should never put the extract of vanilla in a diffuser even if it’s technically possible.

Here is why you should never put vanilla extract in a diffuser:

It won’t stay long:

The goal of using vanilla extract is to make the place around smell like vanilla for a good duration.

But using extract will not fulfill that aim since the extract of vanilla doesn’t stay long. It vaporizes too early so you can’t even enjoy breathing in it.

Neither it’s as concentrated as other fragrance products. So you can’t enjoy a fragrant air.

It can clog the diffuser:

Vanilla extract contains alcohol in the amount of 35 percent at least.

So it can be called an alcohol-based product and heavier than other fragrances. As a result, it lefts residue in the diffuser when poured in and eventually clog the diffuser making it less function-able.

It’s formulated for a different reason:

The biggest reason why you should not use vanilla extract in a diffuser is that it’s formulated for taste, not for fragrance. It doesn’t even smell the way you imagine it would.

Tips to use vanilla extract in an oil diffuser:

Though vanilla doesn’t help much when used in an oil diffuser, many people still might want it to give a try. Especially when they don’t have the essential oils.

So if you’re one of those who want to relax in the delicious vanilla fragrance but ran out of oils, we can help you a bit to feel the warmth of the vanilla scent using the extract. To know how to go through the tips below:

Simply pour it in the diffuser:

You can just put the extract in your oil diffuser as you do with other oils to have the fragrance around.

But you must make sure that you clean it properly afterward. Otherwise, these sweet smell liquids can ruin your diffuser.

Use it with another carrier oil:

You can use the extract of vanilla in a safer way than’s to use it with any other carrier oil. It could be lavender or cinnamon oil or any scented oil.

Pour a couple of vanilla extract drops in the oil and pour it in the oil diffuser and the smell will last longer than the raw extract. Thus, you can enjoy the warmth of vanilla for a while by following the methods.

Vanilla extract v/s vanilla essential oil. What’s the difference?

Extracts are mainly a kind of liquid that works as an ingredient to boost a flavor. On the contrary, oils are compounds made of various parts of a plant like leaves, roots, or seeds.

It is used mainly for its therapeutic virtues and aroma. So vanilla extract and vanilla oil isn’t same. Because:

The formulation:

Vanilla extract is prepared by soaking vanilla beans in ethanol and then filtering them. Thus gradually it gets the flavor of vanilla from vanillin.

On the other hand, sadly but there is no such thing as vanilla essential oil. But semi-solid resin known as vanilla fragrant oils does exist.

Essential oils are obtained by steam distillation procedure and since vanilla beans don’t cooperate with this process, it’s extracted differently and then named essential oil.

The ingredients:

Vanilla extract contains ethanol (alcohol) in a percent of 35 minimum. Whereas, vanilla essential oil doesn’t carry any alcohol instead it’s a combination of cold-pressed essential oils like jojoba oil or almond oil.  

The purpose:

Vanilla extract is for taste. They are ingredients that can be put in a food item to enhance the flavor. Vanilla essential oil is mainly used for scenting places and well-being of health. It’s not edible neither can boost flavor.


While used in an oil diffuser vanilla extract can leave residue because of the alcohol it contains. It’s heavy so can clog a diffuser.

But vanilla essential oil is light and doesn’t contain anything heavy so they don’t leave left-over.


Even though both of these are famous for their smell but vanilla extracts are less intense and vaporize early .So it’s not ideal for using in a diffuser.

Vanilla essential oil on the other hand is way more concentrated so the fragrance is amazingly aromatic. It lasts long if poured in the oil diffuser.

What can you put in a diffuser besides essential oils?

Diffusers are mostly used with essential oils in them to fragrant the air around them. But it can be used without essential oils too. Here are a few things that you can put in a diffuser besides oils:


We all have perfumes at our home, sometimes we even carry them along. Also, the smell of most perfumes is intense and long-lasting. So it’s a great option to use it in the diffuser when you’ve no essential oil around.

You can put any fragrance anytime but it’s safe to use oil-based ones with zero alcohol in them.

Lime and Citrus juice:

If you’re into DIY then this might interest you since lemon or any citrus fruit juice can be put in a diffuser to make your place smell fresh.

Not only do they smell like natural but also easy to get. You can even find them in your kitchen right now. Moreover, you can prepare it to pour in the diffuser in a jiffy!

Extracts or Essence:

Extracts might not be a wise choice but they can save your day. All of us have one or two extracts at home. It could be vanilla or peppermint or whatever you’ve got. Just don’t forget to wipe your device later to avoid clogging.


These are some of the gifts from the technology we should thank about. E-oils are similar to an e-cigarette. But they are safe to use when not containing nicotine. You can buy any flavor you want and explore the scented air.

How do I make my house smell like vanilla?

If you love the sweet yet exotic smell of vanilla and want it in your house all the time, here is what you can do:

Boiling vanilla extract:

Put 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract or essence into two cups of water and boil the water. After a few minutes, the smell of vanilla will permeate the air.

Soaking cotton in vanilla essence:

Soak a few cotton balls in some vanilla essence and then keep them in a jar or tray in different spots. It will spread a light yet pleasing fragrance of vanilla.

Using it in a diffuser:

Put a few drops of vanilla-flavored oil in a diffuser and let it vaporize. You can breathe in your favorite scent all the time.

Can I put vanilla extract in my humidifier or reed diffuser?

You should not put vanilla extract in your humidifier as it might damage the device. Also, the humidity in the air can get ruined. 

But you can put it in a reed diffuser along with water to fragrant the air.

Final Thoughts:

You cannot put vanilla extract in a diffuser as long as you have other options. Since the extract is alcohol-based it can damage your device by leaving residue. Also, it dries up soon so the smell will not last long. So it’s better to avoid using vanilla extract in a diffuser.