Orbeez are a lot of fun to play with, but what do you do with all those leftover water balls? Instead of throwing them in the bin you can give them a second lease on life as decorative scent diffusers.

Use them with various water soluble fragrances and scents, or try them with essential oils – our guide will show you how to put your leftover Orbeez to good use.

What You Will Need

  • Orbeez (aka water beads)
  • Fragrance or essential oil
  • Container for the Orbeez

We recommend a glass jar or similar as your container as this will allow you to show off the Orbeez.

A Quick Note Before We Begin

Before we begin, we need to check whether the fragrance is water based or oil based. Oil won’t mix with water, and it also won’t be absorbed by the water beads (instead, it will sit on the surface of the beads).

However, water based fragrances will mix with water and will more easily be absorbed by the beads.

This is a limitation of the material the beads are made from (sodium polyacrylate) and there’s nothing that can be done to make them absorb oil.

The only difference in the directions is whether we pre mix the water/fragrance and then add the beads, or just sprinkle the fragrance over the Orbeez once they have fully grown. The former option is for water based fragrances and the latter option for oil based fragrances.


1. Let’s start by preparing your Orbeez (or water beads if you have gone for the generic version). Place them in water for at least 4 hours (best to try for 6 or leave overnight) to ensure they have grown to their full size.

Use distilled water for best results. Filtered water is OK too. Tap water can be a bit iffy depending on where you live.

Note: If you’re using water soluble fragrances then feel free to mix it in with the water before you grow your Orbeez.

2. Pour your water beads into a jar or container (one with a lid is a good idea). Use one which will allow the scent to freely mix with the air.

3. If you’re using oil based fragrances (such as essential oils) then you should sprinkle the oil over the top of the beads.

Note: The amount of oil depends on how many Orbeez you’re using. Around 15 drops is a good start. Add more if necessary.

4. Mix the beads and then sprinkle some more on to ensure you have fully covered the Orbeez.

5. Place the container of Orbeez in a location out of direct sunlight and enjoy the aroma!

Note: Orbeez (water beads) should not be placed in direct sunlight as they will shrink too quickly. If your Orbeez have shrunk just add some more water to hydrate them.

Note: If you’re using the Orbeez air freshener at night time only, make sure to shake well before use to ensure the fragrance is free to mix with the air.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Orbeez Absorb Essential Oils?

No, Orbeez won’t absorb oil. This includes essential oils. However, they will absorb water based essential oils (be aware that water based essential oils are synthetic in nature).

Why Won’t Orbeez Absorb Essential Oils?

Orbeez (and water beads) are made from sodium polyacrylate. It’s simply the nature of sodium polyacrylate to absorb only water, and not oil. If you want to test this out, try adding some vegetable oil to your Orbeez and see what happens (spoilers: nothing will happen).

Do the Essential Oils Need to Be High Quality?

You’re using them in your scent diffuser, and not on your skin so they shouldn’t need to be top tier quality.

How Can I Prevent Mold From Growing?

Always use clean Orbeez. Your best bet is to grow fresh Orbeez in distilled water. However, we understand you may want to reuse Orbeez that have been played with, and if this is the case then you should make sure to have cleaned them before reusing them.

How Should I Store Orbeez When They Are Not in Use?

Orbeez will lose water slowly over time. You should ensure that they are stored out of direct sunlight and kept in an airtight container when not in use.

Can I Use Any Color of Orbeez?

Yep, the color shouldn’t matter at all. Perhaps try blue or purple Orbeez to go with a lavender scent.

How Long Will an Orbeez Air Freshener Last For?

It depends on how often it is used (with the lid off) and where it is kept (in sunlight or out of sunlight). You should expect them to last two months or so (but you may need to add a little water to rehydrate the beads).

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