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There are many reasons why you may want to know how to use essential oils without a diffuser.
Maybe you’re stuck in your car during rush hour traffic and need a boost of relaxing aroma to calm down. Or you have a long drive home after a hectic day and need a quick whiff of energizing aroma to overcome that fatigue.
Perhaps you bought an essential oil starter kit that didn’t include a diffuser and you need more time to decide which diffuser is best for your needs.
Maybe different family members in your household have different needs. One may need peppermint to overcome fatigue, another may need a relaxing essential oil to de-stress after a long day.
Or a family member may be allergic to a particular essential oil. In this case, it’s not practical to use a diffuser that spreads the aroma over the entire space.
Sometimes, you may want the benefits of aromatherapy but you just don’t want to use a diffuser.
Regardless of the reason, it’s good to know how to use essential oils without a diffuser. That way, you can get the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils anytime, anywhere.
Some are super simple and don’t require any additional investment of time or money. Others may require an additional accessory to make it work. And a few involve making your own product with essential oils. If you’re not particularly interested in DIY projects, or just don’t have the time, I’ve included premade alternatives.
So here are 25 simple and creative ways to use essential oils without a diffuser
1. Inhale The Aroma Directly From The Bottle
This is hands down the easiest way to use essential oils without needing any additional equipment.
Simply uncap the bottle and hold it a few inches away from your nose. Move your hand gently back and forth over the top of the essential oil bottle, guiding the essential oil vapors towards your nose. Breathe in to inhale the vapors.
That’s it! It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
One precaution to keep in mind – don’t inhale deeply when holding a bottle of essential oil under your nose. Instead, take a couple of gentle, shallow breaths at a time.
2. Put essential oil on a Cotton Ball & Inhale
Need a quick burst of essential oil aroma but you’re hands are otherwise occupied? A cotton ball can save the day.
Put a few drops of essential oil onto a cotton ball and put the cotton ball in your car vent or floor vent. As the air blows out from the vent, it will diffuse the aroma around the space.
Alternately, hold the essential oil-scented cotton ball to your nose and inhale gently.
You could also place the cotton ball with essential oil on your work or study table if you need help to stay focused. Or put it in a closet to get rid of the musty smell. The aroma won’t last as long as some other methods but it’s an effective quick-fix.
3. Scent tissue paper with essential oil & inhale
Don’t have a cotton ball handy? No problem. Put a few drops on tissue paper and place it in the car or floor vent. Tissue paper is absorbent and will release the aroma slowly.
Holding the scented tissue paper to your nose will also help you get the benefits of the oil.
I prefer to crumple the tissue paper before adding essential oil. The folds help to hold the aroma in better.
4. Carry an Aromatherapy Inhaler
Aromatherapy inhalers are among the more convenient and versatile ways to use essential oils without a diffuser. They are small, compact devices that can fit in your pocket or purse so you can carry them along everywhere you go.
An aromatherapy inhaler has a cotton wick placed inside a slim glass bottle. You unscrew the cap, add drops of essential oil onto the cotton wick, and replace the cover. The wick holds the aroma when the bottle is closed and releases it when you open the cover.
I love this pack of 3 aromatherapy inhalers from Plant Therapy. The glass bottle is housed within a lightweight and stylish aluminum sleeve that comes in three eye-catching colors – teal, purple, and grey. These are great for carrying in your purse or laptop case or stashing in your work desk drawer. These are great as stocking stuffers or for adding to an aromatherapy gift basket.
5. Buy or make your own essential oil roll-ons
Essential oil roll-ons are specially formulated and packaged for quick and convenient topical use. They contain a single essential oil or an essential oil blend and appropriate carrier oil. This is packaged into a slim glass bottle that is sealed with a roller ball.
To apply the essential oil topically, you open the cover and glide the roller ball over your skin. Because it already has a carrier oil, essential oil roll-ons are safe for topical use.
You can find premade essential oil roll-ons for just about any purpose you may need, from promoting sleep and alleviating a headache to soothing itchy skin. Or make your own using a blend customized for your requirements.
6. Wear a Diffuser Necklace
Essential oil diffuser necklaces are practical and functional while still being beautiful and stylish. These necklaces come in a wide range of designs, from delicate single strands with a pendant to chunky terracotta beads. No matter what your style preference, you’re sure to be able to find one that suits you.
Some aromatherapy necklaces consist of a chain with a pendant. The pendant is designed with latticework and contains a felt pad inside. You put a few drops of essential oil on the felt pad and wear the necklace. You’ll be able to breathe the aroma as it gets slowly released from the felt pad and wafts upwards. These types of aromatherapy necklaces are especially versatile as you can change out the color of the felt pad to suit your outfit. You can also buy additional pendants to change the look completely.
Other essential oil necklaces are made from some sort of porous material such as terracotta. The terracotta absorbs the oil and emits the aroma slowly.
No matter which type of aromatherapy necklace you use, you will need to replenish the essential oil after some time. When you don’t get the scent anymore, you know it’s time to add a few more drops.
Essential oil necklaces look beautiful and make great gifts for any occasion especially when packed together with a set of essential oils.
7. Slip On An Aromatherapy Diffuser Bracelet
Using an aromatherapy diffuser bracelet is my favorite way to use essential oils without a diffuser.
I have an interesting collection of chunky and dainty bracelets bought from little trinket shops all over the world. No matter what outfit I’m wearing or where I’m headed, I can just slip on my essential oil bracelet and I’m ready to go. It’s the most practical way to keep my favorite aromas close to me throughout the day for that quick boost when I need it.
Aromatherapy bracelets come in a wide range of designs to suit every style and budget. Depending on your style, you can use a delicate chain with locket, a bracelet made of chunky lava beads, or a leather strap bracelet. These are all available in assorted colors and sizes so you’re not limited in your choices.
As with aromatherapy necklaces, you will need to replenish the oil fairly regularly.
8. Put Essential Oils In A Reed Diffuser
Reed diffusers are a wonderful way to use essential oils without a diffuser. They look so pretty you can use them as a décor accessory. Look for one or make your own reed diffuser with an eye-catching glass container and a few accessories to add along with the reeds. You now have a unique diffuser-cum-décor accessory.
Find detailed instructions here for making your own reed diffuser for essential oils. Make several with different holders and assorted colored reeds and accessories for different rooms. And definitely make a few extra to give away as gifts.
Reed diffusers are perfect for spaces where you may not have easy access to a wall outlet. They work particularly well in small spaces as they cannot throw the scent out over larger distances.
9. Spritz the space with an essential oil Room Spray
A quick spritz of an essential oil room spray will instantly freshen the room with your favorite aroma. Inhaling the vapors circulating around the space will also help you get the benefits of the essential oils in the spray.
Spritzing an essential oil room spray is especially useful for eliminating odors in the car, kitchen, basement, and closets.
You can buy or make your own essential oil room sprays. Make sure to always buy room sprays from reputed brands that use only pure, natural ingredients in their products.
Alternatively, use these instructions to make your own room sprays with essential oils. They are super simple to make and you’ll know exactly what ingredients went into your homemade room sprays. Making your own will save you money too.
10. Use essential oils in the bath
A warm bath with essential oils is a quick and easy way to turn an ordinary bath into a blissful spa session. No need to book a spa day to de-stress and relax. Instead, using relaxing essential oils in your bath will work just as well.
As you soak in the warm water, you’ll get the benefits of aromatherapy by inhaling the essential oil molecules and also through your skin. The benefits of using essential oils in the bath will vary depending on which essential oils you add to the water. Add relaxing essential oils to unwind and de-stress. Add these essential oils to soothe sore and painful muscles. And these essential oils are great for the skin.
Adding bath bombs or bath salts with essential oils will take your spa session to the next level.
There are a few dos and don’ts you need to be aware of. These tips on how to use essential oils in the bath will help you enjoy the benefits without the potential risks.
11. Use essential oils in the shower
No time for baths but love the idea of an easy home spa session? Using essential oils in the shower works just as well. Well, it’s not as relaxing as soaking in the bathtub but it’s a good enough alternative to all or nothing.
When using essential oils in the shower, it’s important to choose the right essential oils depending on your requirements. You’ll want to use peppermint essential oil for a quick pick-me-up in the morning and a relaxing essential oil to unwind at the end of the day.
Make the most of your short shower time with these tips on how to use essential oils in the shower for an amazing aromatherapy experience.
12. Light aromatherapy candles
Ditch those artificially scented candles and use non-toxic candles with essential oils. Lighting aromatherapy candles will bathe the room with a lovely soft glow while also filling the space with heavenly aromas.
These fabulous fall aromatherapy candles have warm, spicy aromas that make them great for lighting during fall and winter. Candles with holiday scents add a lovely aromatic touch to the overall setting.
There’s one thing you should know when lighting aromatherapy candles. Heat tends to damage the therapeutic properties of essential oils, which are highly volatile. While the candle will emit a lovely aroma, you won’t get the therapeutic benefits of essential oils with this method.
13. Use skincare products with essential oils
Using skincare products with essential oils allows you to enjoy the benefits of the oil while also keeping your skin moisturized. Look for products from reputed brands that contain all natural ingredients with no preservatives or chemicals.
You can find a wide range of all-natural body lotions, body butters, foot creams, and lip balms scented with essential oils. If you like making your own, here are a few recipes for you to try.
14. Make your own sugar scrubs with essential oils
Although sugar scrubs could be clubbed under skincare products, I thought it deserved a spot of its own if only because they are so incredibly easy to make. There’s no lengthy prep work involved and you most likely already have these ingredients at home. All you need is a few bottles of essential oils.
Check out these sugar scrub recipes with detailed instructions on how to make them and what type of sugar to use. Homemade sugar scrubs make lovely, budget-friendly gifts that you can give to everyone on your gift list.
15. Create your own essential oil pillow
This particular way to use essential oils is useful for anyone who struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep. Creating your own scented pillow with any of these essential oils can work wonders to overcome insomnia naturally.
Some of the most effective ways to use essential oils for sleep involve putting the oil on or around your pillow. As the essential oil evaporates, the vapors are absorbed by the nasal passage and transmitted to the brain.
There’s more than one way to create your own essential oil pillow. Put a few drops directly on the corner of your pillowcase. Or put a few drops on a cotton ball and place it at the side of your pillow. I love using this lavender-scented Blissful Dreams Pillow Spray. It’s easy to use, smells so relaxing, and works like a charm.
16. Make Your Own Scented Pinecones With Essential Oils
Scented pinecones add a nice decorative touch to any room while also filling the space with a lovely aroma. You can put the scented pinecones in a large bowl and use them to create an interesting centerpiece. Or place a few scented pinecones in your Thanksgiving or Christmas wreath.
Use these detailed instructions to make your own scented pinecones with essential oils. When the aroma has fully dissipated simply repeat the steps and re-scent the pinecones to keep the room smelling good.
17. Make Your own Essential Oil Diffusing Ornaments
I LOVE this idea and have been using it every year around the Holidays. When my son was younger we made our own essential oil diffusing ornaments with cornstarch, baking powder, and water. We scented some with essential oil blends that smell like a Christmas tree and some with various Christmas-scented blends and placed our scented homemade ornaments in different rooms. The whole house was filled with delightful Holiday aromas as well as the cutest handmade ornaments. Memories …
When he left for college I didn’t really feel like making my own so I bought a set of unfinished wooden ornaments. Every year I paint a few with acrylic paints and embellish them with glitter, washi tape, and other accessories. Then I scent the unfinished back of the ornament with one of these Christmas essential oil blends. The back is unpainted and porous so it absorbs the oil and slowly disperses it into the air.
I always make a few extra and use them as Christmas gift tags. To add a special touch, I write out the name of the recipient so it becomes a personalized gift tag. You can hang these in the car too.
This is a fun project to do with kids and can become an annual Holiday tradition. You can find several different sets of unfinished wooden ornaments that you can use for making your own Christmas diffusing ornaments.
18. Use a Gel Diffuser
All you need are desiccated gel balls or gel crystals. You can find these in various colors. Put 1 teaspoon desiccated crystals in a bowl or wide-mouthed jar, add 1 cup water over the crystals, and 20 drops of essential oils. Stir gently and leave it to rest.
The crystals absorb the water and essential oils and start to look like sparkly gems. These water-filled crystals act like a passive diffuser, gently diffusing the essential oil into the air.
Use a decorative bowl or jar and make sure to leave it open to allow the essential oil scent to diffuse through the space.
19. Put essential oils into the vacuum bag
Carpeted flooring can start to smell dank and musty during the winter and more so if you have pets. Getting your carpet cleaned and deodorized regularly can be tedious and expensive. An easier and more cost-effective way to mask this problem is by adding refreshing essential oils directly into the vacuum cleaner bag or dust container. As you clean, the motor will diffuse the aroma around your home and mask any bad carpet odors.
The best essential oils to put into a vacuum bag are those with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. They will clean and sterilize the environment while also leaving it smelling fresh and clean.
20. Use Laundry dryer sheets scented with essential oils
Scenting a dryer sheet with essential oil before adding it to your load of laundry in the dryer will reduce static while also scenting the clothes. At the end of the cycle, your clothes will feel softer to the touch and smell good too!
22. Use a toilet paper roll as a makeshift diffuser
Putting a few drops of essential oil on the innermost cardboard tube of a toilet paper roll and put the roll back in the dispenser. When anyone unrolls the toilet paper, it will activate the essential oil and release the scent. This is a quick and easy way to keep your bathroom smelling fresh.
It’s best to use essential oils or blends with fresh, clean aromas in the bathroom. Lavender, orange and lemongrass are excellent for adding to a toilet roll. These blends also have lovely clean and fresh aromas – lemon and lavender, grapefruit and orange, or rosemary, lavender, and lemon.
19. Use an essential oil facial steamer
It’s easy to make and use an essential oil facial steamer to get the aromatherapy benefits. Just add a few drops of essential oil in a vessel of warm water or in an electric facial steamer. Place your head directly over the vessel or pot and inhale the vapors. Create a tent with a dry towel to prevent the vapors from escaping.
I use this tented technique only when using essential oils to clear congestion in the nasal passages. And for this purpose, I use eucalyptus essential oil. Eucalyptus vapors are a proven decongestant.
I don’t use the facial steamer to get any other aromatherapy benefits as it involves using heat. And as I said earlier, heat damages the therapeutic properties of oils.
23. Use expired essential oils as effective Bin odor eliminators
This is the best way to use essential oils that have expired. Expired essential oils may still retain their odor but they don’t have any therapeutic properties. You won’t get any benefits if you add them in a diffuser or in your DIY projects. But you don’t have to throw them out either. You can still make use of the expired oil as an effective bin odor eliminator.
24. Use essential oils as Pet urine odor eliminators
Essential oils are great for masking the strong odor of pet urine. If you have pets at home, chances are you’ll need to use odor eliminators often especially in winter when your pets don’t get to go outdoors as much. Use the recipe below to make a sufficient quantity of pet urine odor eliminators so you’ll have it handy for a while.
In a spray bottle add 15 drops lemon and 5 drops each of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oil. Add 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt to the oils in the bottle and shake well till the salt dissolves completely. After removing the excess urine with paper towels, shake the bottle and spray the entire area with your homemade odor eliminator. Let it sit for an hour and then wipe it off with a dry cloth or paper towels.
21. Use these Homemade car Air Fresheners With Essential Oils
Get the instructions for how to make your own car air freshener with essential oils.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.