How do I Burn Scented Oil?

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Oil burners can burn either synthetic or natural essential oils.
Oil burners can burn either synthetic or natural essential oils. (Image: dolphfyn/iStock/Getty Images)

Burning scented oils requires either a traditional tea light or electric oil burner and fragrance oils. Scented oils enhance the mood in the area in which they are burned, and can even bring back memories of a special vacation or childhood event. Scented oils and oil burners are readily available at most big-box stores, as well as candle stores and fragrance retailers.

Kinds of Oil Burners

You have a couple of different options when choosing an oil burner. Traditional oil burners are constructed out of pottery or ceramic and are heated with a tea light candle. This type of burner works well, but because it has an open flame, it may not be the best choice for people with children or pets. Electric oil burners are also made from pottery or ceramic and work just as well as the tea light oil burners, but they do not need a flame to operate.

Synthetic or Essential Oil

An oil burner may use synthetic or essential oils, but should not be used to burn lotions or perfumes. Synthetic oils are sold in a wide array of fragrance options such as honeysuckle, birthday cake or sand and sea. Many stores carry the same fragrances for oil burners that they carry for candles and wax cubes. Essential oils made from natural ingredients can be burned in the oil burners instead of synthetic oils. Essential oils are sold at many homeopathic stores, natural food stores, some supermarkets and superstores.

How Much Oil

The amount of oil you need in an oil burner depends on the kind of oil you burn, the size of your oil burner and the desired fragrance level you want to attain in the room. Generally speaking, 20 drops of oil burns for a few hours, while a full bowl of oil will last for several days. To decrease the potency of the scent, add a drop of water to the oil in a one-to-one ratio, but only mix the water with cool oil to avoid spatters and burns.

Oil Burner Safety

Set the oil burner on a flat surface and away from high traffic areas. Always use a clean oil burner and wipe it out before and after each use. Never leave the burner unattended, and place it on a heat-resistant surface, because the burner gets hot while in use. You can add more oil to an oil burner if there is still oil in the bowl and its plugged in, but If the bowl has gone dry, do not add oil, as it may cause the bowl to crack. Allow the bowl to completely cool before adding fresh oil.

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