Essential Oil Dilution Calculator

essential oil measured drops in a bowl

How Many Drops Of Essential Oil Do You Need To Add To Your Blend For The Desired Dilution Percentage?

Books and online calculators such as this, will usually always measure things based on drops of oil and this calculator is based on 20 drops per ml. Just be aware though, that the only way for true accuracy is to measure your drops using a digital scale because different oils can amount to a slightly different number of drops per ml. The dripolator in the bottle is also not a standard size so could differ between brands which could also affect the size of 'a drop' and therefore this calculation and your dilution %, so this tool is intended as an approximate guide only.
Note: The drops of essential oil required are added to the container. So if you have 100ml of carrier and you want a 1% blend, you add 20 drops of essential oil. This will technically make it 101ml if 20 drops is 1ml. 
Are you measuring in milliliters (ml) or fluid ounces (oz)
What size is your container of carrier oil?
Desired dilution percentage?
Total Number of Drops of Essential Oils You will Need To Add To The Container

What Dilution Percentage Is My Blend?

If you have an essential oil blend and are looking to work out the percentage of it then use this calculator. Once again the same caveats mentioned above apply and this calculator is based on 20 drops in 1ml that are added to the container of carrier oil.
Are you measuring in milliliters (ml) or fluid ounces (oz)
What size is your container of carrier oil?
How many drops of oil did you add to the container?
The dilution of this recipe is

Why might you need this essential oil dilution calculator?

Despite the numerous posts floating around the internet telling you otherwise, essential oils can actually be quite harmful if used in the wrong way. One of the ways of using essential oils that carries a tremendous amount of risk is using them undiluted on the skin. 

At the lower end of the scale, they can cause irritation. So think itchy, inflamed, sore and blistered skin.

On the more severe side, sensitization (overexposure - which can be the first time the oil comes into contact with your skin but more than likely repeated contact over time), can occur which can result in anaphylaxis which can be fatal. It is basically your immune system going into overdrive.

Factors to consider and carefully research are:

  • The sensitivity of your skin
  • The level of use and if it will be regular
  • The age of the person (for example a child)
  • Any medications and/or health concerns of the user
  • If the oil has oxidized (basically gone off, although the scientific among us will likely scoff at that description)
  • The oil itself as they can vary greatly in properties and risk factors
    • This also includes photo-sensitivity which can cause severe burns if skin is exposed to sunlight too soon after application)

We mentioned an approximate dilution guide in the list of essential oils blog post but you can find it below also for your convenience. It is recommended to conduct a patch test before using any oil to test for your own personal reaction if any.

Dilution Guide:

  • 1% = young children, senior people, people with sensitive skin, people with health concerns and generally if you want to err on the side of caution and build up
  • 2% = general use in common blends for use by an average healthy adult
  • 3% = when creating a blend to address a specific concern

Always check the safety for the individual oil you plan to use. The easiest thing is to get a book. It's not cheap but it's a one time purchase and worth every penny (we get nothing for recommending this) - Essential Oil Safety by Tisserand and Young.

Oh, if you are wondering how to conduct a patch test - here you go:

  • Dilute the oil with a carrier as you would normally (see table below for dilution guidelines), but for the purposes of the patch test, dilute at twice the concentration you plan to actually use
  • Apply 1-2 drops to the inside of your forearm. Applying 2 drops to the inside of a plaster is often an easy way to do this effectively
  • Keep the area dry and leave for at least 24 but ideally 48 hours
  • If you have a reaction then wash the affected area straight away with a carrier followed by soap and water and do not use the essential oil or blend
  • Repeat this a second time to test for sensitization

Happy blending! :)

P.S You dilute them in a carrier - not water, because water doesn't dilute them. They bind to fats.