Skip to Content

Can You Put Vanilla Extract in a Diffuser?

Have you seen the cost of vanilla essential oil? It is crazy expensive! If you love the warm, comforting smell of vanilla, then you might be wondering can you put vanilla extract in a diffuser?

I understand. Vanilla extract is definitely cheaper than vanilla essential oil. Plus, you probably already have it at home. Which makes this cooking extract seem like a smart ingredient to use in a diffuser or humidifier.

But should you diffuse it? Probably not.

Vanilla Extract vs. Vanilla Essential Oil

The reason why the two ingredients don’t work the same is because vanilla extract is a tincture. It is made with alcohol. Vanilla essential oil is the actual plant properties distilled down to a liquid.

If you add an alcohol-based tincture to a diffuser, the alcohol will burn off quickly. Which means the scent won’t last long.

If you decide to try using vanilla extract in a diffuser, you will need to add more drops than you would using an essential oil to get a strong smell.

Though the alcohol will burn off, a sticky residue could remain from the extract. Which could damage your diffuser. Plus, you will just have another thing you have to clean, even if the diffuser isn’t damaged.

Essential oils will diffuse more cleanly, leaving no residue behind.

You will get a stronger scent from concentrated essential oils, rather than a vanilla extract. However, vanilla essential oil costs a LOT of money. (This Vanilla CO2 extract, which is a very concentrated oil, is well over $100!)

bottle of vanilla extract against white background

How to Add Vanilla Smell to Your Home

If you love the smell of vanilla, there are some inexpensive ways to use vanilla extract without a diffuser.

  • Boil water with vanilla extract in it. Simmer it on low once it has reached the boiling point.
  • Add a drop or two of vanilla extract to the top of incandescent lights that get hot. (LED lights do not get warm, therefore this won’t work on most newer light bulbs.)
  • Use essential oil combinations that contain vanilla fragrances in them. You can still get the smell of vanilla without using a pure vanilla essential oil.

Ditch the Toxins in Your Home!

Join our weekly newsletter for shopping guides, cleaning hacks and smart tips to improve wellness where you live. 

Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.