How to remove the essential oil residue from your aromatherapy burner

Posted: June 16, 2010 by Cristina Proano-Carrion

Does the container in your aromatherapy burner look like this?


I enjoy my essential oils diffused in the atmosphere but I don’t like it when they build up in the container. You’ll notice it happens more frequently when the essential oils you diffuse are cinnamon, patchouli and other dark colored essential oils.

There’s a very simple way to clean it:

  • Cover the area with liquid dish-washing soap
  • Cover the soap and the entire area with baking soda

  • Let it rest for a couple of hours
  • Scrub with very hot water and a  sponge

This is how it looks now:

The best advice: refill the container often while burner is on and to wash it after each use with dish-washing soap and hot water.

Do you have other tips you would like to share?

  • Chelsea

    Just used arm and hammer tooth paste with steel wool and looks shiny and new!

  • Great idea!! I did it and worked, thank you!!

  • Joy Kam

    Hi is there any way to prevent this from happening entirely? Like do we need to use something else instead of water? Any recommendations?

  • Paul Tominac

    What about the residual tar from burning resin incense? I have a bronze Chinese dog for the purpose, but as the smoke rises through the holes in its head, a dark sticky tar forms inside, then begins to run down the outside. A site geared towards religious censors and their cleaning suggested using some sort of automobile brake fluid or the like (yes, let’s bring heavy chemicals into my organic house; such an idea). Given that the ancients did not have such chemicals there has to be another way. I’ve tried alcohol—lots of work, not always complete success. Dawn detergent and the hottest water does nothing. I used baking soda in combination with something to little effect. Any ideas for removing the tar from resin incenses? Steel wool and other abrasives can not be part of the solution given the bronze nature of the piece.