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How to – Make and Use Roller Ball Bottles

Roller Ball Bottles are a way of using essential oils that have become immensely popular. But do you know how to make and use roller ball bottles to get the most out of them?

It seems funny to think that when I started using essential oils many years ago, Roller Ball Bottles were effectively unknown. But now they are everywhere! Whether you are looking at rollers that are ready to use. Or the myriad of recipes for them that circulate daily online and via social media.

Roller Ball Bottles are small, compact and easy to carry around, Which makes them a practical alternative for using essential oils “on the go”. It’s not surprising, therefore, that they have become so very popular.

If you look at online recommendations, you would think that Roller Ball Bottles are suitable for everyone and for every use or condition.  But like many things in life, Roller Ball Bottles do have their limitations.  And they may not be suitable for everyone, or for every situation.

In my opinion, Roller Ball Bottles are particularly good for applying oils to small areas. On pulse points as a perfume. On specific areas to treat skin conditions. Or on the temples for headaches etc

They are not so suitable for applying oils to large areas. This is not surprising as most bottles contain less than 20ml of oil. This amount would be exhausted very quickly if used for a full body massage or an area like a whole leg!

Roller Ball Bottles share a method of use with massage or other applications to the skin.  These all rely on the essential oil being absorbed through the skin to be effective.  However there may also be situations where another method such as inhalation would be more effective. So a Roller Ball Bottle would be a less appropriate method of use in those cases.

Let’s look at how to prepare and use a Roller Bottle

Roller Ball Bottles are made up of 3 parts –

  • glass bottle (typically holding up to 15ml)
  • plastic plug, incorporating a stainless-steel ball
  • cap to seal the bottle

To make your roller ball bottle –

  • Add your essential oil or oils to the bottle. Depending on the purpose of the blend you may use between 3 and 15 drops per 15ml bottle for an adult.
  • Top up the bottle with a carrier oil. Jojoba is my favourite carrier oil to use in this instance but you can use another carrier oil if you prefer.
  • Push in the plug firmly.
  • Screw on the cap


Write the details of your blend on a label and attach it to the bottle. This ensures that you do not forget what a particular blend is for. (Especially important if you make up more than one blend!) It also ensures you remember what the blend was so you can reproduce it at a later date if required.

Here are Some General Tips for Roller Ball Bottles –

  • Concentrations

    Be aware of the concentrations you use in rollers. As they are usually applied to a smaller area, you can often use a higher concentration than you would for, say, a massage oil to be used over the whole body.  But you must bear in mind the size of the area you are going to use the roller on.  The larger the area, the lower the dose.
    Likewise the frequency of use or the length of time you want to use the blend can have an effect on the dose also.  A blend for use every day should generally be more diluted than one you use only occasionally or for a very limited time.

  • Allergies and Sensitivities

    You also need to bear in mind any allergies, sensitivities or other condition that may be applicable when choosing your essential oils or the concentration. If that applies to you use a lower concentration of essential oils. And don’t forget to check the cautions for individual essential oils too.

  • Children

    Blends for children should always be at a much reduced dose depending on the age of the child. As a rule of thumb, most children’s roller ball bottle blends should have no more than half the concentration of the equivalent adult blend. For children under 3 halve than amount again. (Generally avoid using on babies under 12 months of age unless for a specific reason and, preferably, according to the recommendations of a professional aromatherapist.)

  • Online Recipes

    Beware of online recipes. While some have appropriate dilutions, others use way more essential oil than is advisable. I personally have seen many with dilution rates of 20%, 30% 40% or more. As said above, the appropriate dilution of essential oils is absolutely crucial, both to ensure use is effective and that it is safe. (For more information on diluting essential oil read my blog post here.)
    If you find a recipe that you want to try but think the concentration may be too much, simply reduce the relevant amounts of essential oil, keeping the proportions the same, until they fall within the guidelines stated above.  (You should still check the appropriate cautions for the essential oils in question in case this requires you to reduce the amount even further.)

  • Uses for Roller Balls

    You can use your roller ball bottle to apply your blend to different parts of the body depending on the usage. For example, as a perfume, best apply to pulse points. Headaches try the temples or back of the neck. Aches & pains apply to the affected part.  Colds or congestion, apply to the neck and chest.

Roller Bottles are one of the easiest ways to apply essential oils topically.