How Does A Fragrance Lamp Work?

How is a Fragrance Lamp Different from a Candle or Reed Diffuser?

how is a fragrance lamp different from a candle or reed diffuser

The difference between these three things is how they create a scent. A candle produces scent through burning wax, and when the fragrance molecules in the wax heat up, their scent is released.

Reed diffusers use rattan reeds and evaporation to create a scent. The base solution and fragrance oil mix get drawn up through the reeds, evaporating as aroma molecules into the air.

A fragrance lamp uses an alcohol base mixed with fragrance. The internal burner then heats the alcohol, and the lamp fragrance gets released into the room.

Air Sanitizing Benefits

air sanitizing benefits

So how does a fragrance lamp work besides making the air smell better?

Germ, Bacteria, and Virus-Fighting Claims

A pharmacy assistant named Maurice Berger invented the aroma lamp to purify the air in hospitals in the early twentieth century.

It does so through fragrance molecules breaking through harmful molecules, such as smoke, dust, or even pet smells. This process is called catalytic combustion, which turns the bad-smelling molecules into clean oxygen.

Reducing Pet, Smoke, and Other Odors

Fragrance lamps can clean 80% of airborne bacteria and 89% of dust mites in only a few hours.

Is the Isopropyl Alcohol Released Safe to Breathe in?

is the isopropyl alcohol released safe to breathe

Make sure to take the necessary safety precautions when using this type of lamp.

Isopropyl Alcohol in a Catalytic Lamp

If not used correctly, the isopropyl alcohol is not entirely safe for breathing in. It can be if you follow a few tips for using your catalytic fragrance lamp properly.

For starters, you must allow the wick to absorb the lamp’s fuel. This should take no more than a half-hour. You are also allowed to add a little essential oil, but not too much.

Light the catalytic burner with a lighter and burn until the catalytic stone reaches its optimal operating temperature. This part takes about two minutes.

Extinguish the flame with a candle stopper (blowing out the flame is not entirely safe or healthy). This allows the oil to diffuse through the catalytic combustion process and fill the room with fragrance.

How Often Should You Use a Fragrance Lamp?

how often should you use a fragrance lamp

Using an effusion lamp for only 30 minutes is all you need to clean the air in the room. Keeping the wick lit for too much longer than that can damage it.

However, it is safe to leave the wick to re-prime for 30 minutes before using the lamp again. It is probably not safe to re-prime the wick twice in one day, though.

Precautions and Tips for Using or Storing a Fragrance Lamp

precautions and tips for using or storing a fragrance lamp

The most important thing to remember is to keep the fragrance lamp airtight at all times. If alcohol is allowed into the air, the air becomes flammable, and gas stoves or open flames become dangerous to use.

Similarly, don’t use a fragrance lamp in an unventilated room. Do not inhale the lamp fuel either.

Ventilation and having no open flames near the stone burner are also important when you refill your fragrance lamp. If you spill any alcohol, wipe the area before lighting the flame, and always protect wooden furniture from the lamp since lingering fuel can damage it.

In other words, use common sense when using alcohol and open flames.

James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »