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How to Dilute Oils—And Save Some Money

Every oil user should know how to dilute. There’s some specifics and some fluidity and flexibility with diluting.

  • Some oils require dilution to be used safely All oils should be diluted. (Please see my recent post about sensitivity development.)
  • Some people need oils to be diluted for safety or sensitivity
  • Using oils is all about frequency, not quantity. It saves you money and is more effective if you dilute and apply more frequently.

What do I dilute with?

A carrier oil is the term most people use in regards to using an oil to dilute an essential oil. Good options are Fractionated Coconut Oil (for constant liquid) or Coconut Oil (solidifies in cooler temperatures). Almond oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil are also good.

When do I dilute? ALWAYS!-But some oils require higher dilution

Type of Oil “Hot”

Particular oils are “hot” or powerful.  Some people are more sensitive too. Citrus oils can sometimes cause sensitivity and may benefit from dilution. Oregano, clove, cinnamon, thyme, etc are all hot oils and benefit from dilution. Peppermint, lemongrass, and immunity blend can also benefit from increased dilution on some people.

Skin Test

Every person is different and your response to oils will be different then others. It’s best to trial a small amount of oil in a small part of your body before mixing it into a full body rub and applying!


It’s always recommended to dilute when applying to children. With young babies, you will use a heavier dilution rate than with older children. Typically with children a 1 drop of EO to 1 tbs of carrier oil is sufficient, but it also makes a difference the age of your child and the oil you are using. This dilution would be sufficient for lavender but may need more dilution, even up to 1 drop per 2 tablespoon of carrier oil with oils like clove, cinnamon, or oregano may not be sufficient.


There have been times when I’ve had a reaction to an oil. Applying a carrier oil on that site will then help dilute the oil and reduce the reaction. Next time, try diluting heavier or apply only to the bottom of your feet. Also, watch out for a sensitivity to an oil. Discontinue use of an oil if you continue to have reactions even with higher dilutions.  Attempt to bring your body into more homeostasis with rest from that oil and immune boosting strategies such as whole and raw foods and probiotics.

Can I pre-Dilute?

This has been my latest love when it comes to oils! I’ve mixed up commonly used oils in our house in roller bottles.  I don’t have to figure out how much oil to carrier oil needs to be used when my daughter is crying with a tummy ache. I just grab the roller bottle and rub it across her belly, knowing I’ve already done the dilution and thought ahead of time. These roller bottles are easy to find on or I’ve been using clear ones but with more reading, I just ordered a set of blue ones to help maintain the oils. You can also order spray caps that screw onto old essential oil bottles so you can dilute and spray on as needed.

You can check out this website for more information regarding diluting. Please take note that each website has a different “right way” so it is best to make a decision that is appropriate for you!


  • Daniel mcauliffe

    I want to dilute on guard to use in a nebuliser . What do I use?

    • renaefieck

      Personally, I would not recommend using in a nebulizer because of the concentration of oils while breathing. On Guard is considered a hot oil and can irritate mucous linings of the throat and lungs. I have used it in a diffuser. I follow the directions on my diffuser which is generally about 4 drops of oil then fill with water to the fill line. You may check with a physician regarding using it in a nebulizer. Hope that helps.

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