DIY Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

So many of you know I recently remodeled my cosplay storage closet.

Since my closet smelled like butt before I got started on the remodel (no, really… it want rank), once all my touch ups were done and I had fully painted, aired out, and sanitized the small closet, I was feeling pretty hardcore about KEEPING it fresh smelling.

So I decided a 24/7 smell pretty element would be a good start. Without thinking, I ran out to buy this cheapo *linen scented* storage deodorizer thingy from Walmart – the kind you pop up and stick in the corner of a room – and thought my foul smelling closet days were over.

WRONG!!! Even though my closet was pristine clean and smelling fresh, there was SOMETHING about this *linen* scented chemically based deodorizer that smelled like a cheap disinfectant mixed with a motel room that has lingering cigarette smoke. I am not even joking. My husband thinks I am crazy, but that is exactly what it smelled like to me. Like a smoking room in a cheap motel that got waaaaay too much heavy duty cleaning spray. I would get revolted just walking into the office where the cosplay closet is.

This cheap $2 pop up deodorizer made my sparkling clean closet smell old and gross and unclean. NOT COOL.

So I decided it was time to buy a reed essential oil diffuser and keep things fresh, natural, and quality, like I should have from the very beginning. Except, those things cost like $20-30 for good quality ones and, well, I am cheap.

So I thought, hmmm. I have a horde of essential oils in my little home apothecary. I have tons of tiny bottles. All I am missing are the diffuser reeds. Now, I read that bamboo kitchen skewers actually do a pretty decent job, but a quick glance at shows, that lo and behold, the short porous oil wicking reeds only cost like $5 for 100 reeds on Amazon Prime!

So a quick Amazon Prime impulse purchase later, and my closet now smells fresh and fantastic. Check it out!

You Will Need:

  • A glass container with a narrow opening
  • 4-5 reed diffuser sticks (these are the ones I bought)
  • 1/4 cup carrier water
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 20-30 drops of essential oil

Mix the alcohol and oils together in the glass container.

Place the diffuser sticks in the container. It will take a while for the oil to travel up the sticks, buy you can speed up the process by flipping the sticks after several hours.

Continue to flip the sticks every few days to refresh the scent.

The Carrier: Oil or Alcohol and Water?

Now, when I researched this little DIY project I noticed that some recipes were using oil as a base and some were using water and alcohol. The main difference between the two is that using a carrier oil base means that the mixture will last longer without you having to replace the mixture frequently. However, the scent will not be as strong, and if it spills (especially is a closet!) oil messes can be hard to clean, if not downright disastrous on fabric.

A water and alcohol base makes for a stronger smelling diffuser and an easy clean up in cases of spills. The mixture will evaporate faster than the oil, but even half a cup of a heavier alcohol mix will stick around for about a month or so. (Note that if you use alcohol for the mixture, the alcohol smell fades fast, and you will only get the lovely essential oil scent!)

But whichever you ending up using – oil or water and alcohol – just make sure you use a bottle with a small opening. This keeps the liquid from evaporating away too quickly. If you don’t have any lying around, you can always check thrift stores or the dollar store!

For my cosplay closet I use cedarwood essential oil with lemongrass oil since I think it lends a wonderful CLEAN storage smell to my closet. For my office I use a lavender and orange mixture since it is relaxing, yet invigorating. Really, the sky is the limit with the options you have for your scents. (This is why people get straight up ADDICTED to essential oils!!)

What do you use to freshen your closet and storage space? Share below!

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Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at or via the contact form on her website at

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at or via the contact form on her website at

42 thoughts on “DIY Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

  • 14 January, 2017 at 6:30 am

    I have everything except rubbing alcohol…what else can I use instead?

    • 15 January, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Any kind of clean alcohol from what I understand… a lot of people use vodka!

    • 15 January, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Are they cedar chips?? I was thinking of using those!

  • 14 January, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Gingi I like this idea, I too want a diffuser but they are costly… this is a great DIY for closets… xox

    • 15 January, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Yeah, this was such a cheap and simple project!!

  • 15 January, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Cedarwood is perfect for your cupboard as it will keep the fishmoths at bay. Citrus is great for working spaces. I use vanilla in my bathroom and jasmine in my bedroom. PS your subscribe pop up kicks me out of the comment field.

    • 15 January, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      Yes!! I have been wanting to also use cedar blocks in my closets as well. Isnt jasmine oil crazy expensive tho???

  • 15 January, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Now I just need to find the sticks somewhere around here! Alcohol and water definitely sound like the best carrier solution. I have purchased cheap and costly diffusers, and I totally agree with you! The cheaper versions just make things worse! Baci, Valeria – Coco et La vie en rose FASHION & BEAUTY

    • 15 January, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      Right?!?!?! It seriously smelled like cheap motel in my closet for a bit there, haha!

  • 15 January, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Don’t you hate it when the closet smells like BUTT? Lol I’m noticing how much I don’t like chemically based deodorizer, the chemical smell is stronger than anything and I get horrible headache from most of the brands. My Mother gave me her oil defuser on Christmas Day, and it changed my entire apartment. Not only does my apartment smell better I don’t have any annoying headaches, and it feels alot fresher, cleaner and natural, totally my style. .

    • 15 January, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      The only chemical deoderizer that doesnt give me headaches is Fabreeze, but even then I dont like using chemical solutions. I am a big fan of Mrs. Meyers cleaning sprays, but they are kinda pricey!

  • 16 January, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Your website is just awesome, I love it <3
    Keep sharing dear 🙂

  • 16 January, 2017 at 2:23 am

    What a great idea! I hate it when my house smells like a gas station bathroom!

    • 16 January, 2017 at 2:36 am

      RIGHT?!?!??!?!?! This is so clean and fresh!!! Try it! <3

  • 16 January, 2017 at 5:23 am

    Interesting post my dear, thank you for sharing 🙂

  • 16 January, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I used to have a diffuser (White Linen from Rituals), but never got around to repurchase it. I will try your DIY, as I have quite a few essential oils at hand anyway. Much cheaper than getting a premade one.

    • 16 January, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Yeah, this is so stinkin easy, it is just a breeze to throw together!

  • 16 January, 2017 at 9:25 am

    What a great idea! We usually buy these and they aren’t cheap to buy but this is a much cleverer option!

    • 16 January, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Yes, I never knew the diffuser reeds were so inexpensive on Amazon!

    • 16 January, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and glad you found it helpful!

  • 16 January, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    We were gifted one of these for Christmas but it’s good to know how easy it is to make when it runs out. Thanks!

    • 16 January, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      Yeah! Dont throw it out, there is no need to! <3

  • 16 January, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Lol, at your intro! Thanks for sharing this because I have everything needed to do this myself, most of it is from a set I purchased a while back, but honestly, I didn’t really smell much with it; I think it was the oil that came in the kit. I have quite a few I got from a holistic shop that I know are of great quality, so I’ll have to use some and create the mix you’ve shared here. Thanks for sharing, girlie, and I hope you have a great week ahead!



    • 16 January, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Yeah, I like to make mine crazy strong… it drives my hubby nuts, but I love being greeting with a fresh oil smell when I open my closet!!

  • 20 January, 2017 at 12:24 am

    I have to try this! I have bought reed diffusers before, but once it was all evaporated, I was without until I found another store with a scent I liked.
    And… This is a another incentive to bump up my essential oil collection 🙂

  • 31 January, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks for the DIY tip and certainly I will try this one day! I hate to spend buying essential oils because they tend to get pricey.


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