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12+ Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils (Without a Diffuser)


In this post I’m going to go over some dos and don’ts of diffusing oils along with 12 different alternatives to diffusers.

Everything you need to know about diffusing with or without a diffuser, it’s in this post.

I also have a handy little guide for you as well, so make sure you read to the very end.

Watch here or read below.

12+ Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils (Without a Diffuser) Click To Tweet

I want to make sure you understand when to diffuse so that you can pick the right option for you.

Aromatic usage is when you’re inhaling the aroma.

You do this when you want to impact the mood, when you want to impact immune support on a slow, steady, consistent basis, when you’re wanting to impact respiratory health, or just clean and deodorize the air.

It is a low and slow approach to using essential oils, so keep that in mind as we go through the dos and don’ts and those 12 diffuser alternatives.

I also have to add that although these 12 alternatives are great, and I use them all the time, they don’t fully take the place of a good diffuser.

A good diffuser disperses the oil molecules throughout the air in a way that allows them to suspend longer. It also will usually come with an on-off cycle, and all of this can create a mellower aroma and really help you to maintain that low and slow approach.

So when you’re ready to invest in a good diffuser, you want to look for an ultrasonic diffuser. I recommend one with at least an eight-hour setting and an on-off cycle. Also pay attention to the square footage because every diffuser will cover a different amount of space.

Enough about that.


DON’T #1 – Don’t hold your face over the diffuser.

This isn’t always a risk, but there are some oils that can be really irritating for the skin in this way. And you don’t want to end up as an internet meme, so let’s just not do that at all. If you’re wanting to smell, you want to kind of just, you know, just fluff it into your face like that. Just fluff it in there, okay?

DON’T #2 – Don’t lock your pets in the room with the diffuser.

As long as they can get away from that diffuser, you’re going to be okay. I recommend though that you minimize oils like MelaleucaCinnamon, or Clove. These really strong oils that are harder for their bodies to process. It’s okay in small amounts or in blends, but you definitely don’t want to overdo it. And there are some good alternatives, so go ahead and opt for those whenever possible.

DON’T #3 – Don’t sniff from the bottle.

The main reason you don’t want to sniff from the bottle is opening, closing your bottle too much is going to expose it to air, which is going to start to decrease the quality of the oil over time, as it oxidizes. Some oils can also be too strong from the noise.

DON’T #4 – Don’t use an oil burner.

An oil burner can actually decrease the quality of your oils. So yes, it may smell okay, but you’re not getting the benefits. And then, what’s the point, right?

(Let me know in the comment section if I missed any don’ts.)


These do’s are also your 12 diffuser alternatives!
  1. A cotton ball in your air vent. Put a couple drops, stick it in there, you’re good to go.
  2. Tie fabric on a fan and let it blow around the room.
  3. Apply it to your hair. This is going to allow you to smell it as you’re going throughout your day. But keep in mind that if this is going to rub against your face, you want to make sure you’re going to use oils that are not going to be irritating.
  4. Use diffuser jewelry. You can actually put the essential oils on wooden beads in a necklace and then smell them. And they smell so yummy. And yes, you can use diluted oils on a lot of these diffuser pendants, or diffuser bracelets, or necklaces, so you’ve got some options there.
  5. Use a reed diffuser.
  6. Use your toilet paper roll. You can actually put a couple drops on the inside of your toilet paper roll! Then, every time you go to pull toilet paper, you’re going to get a little whiff of essential oils (which is much better than getting a whiff of something else).
  7. Drop on your air filter in your home.
  8. Use a room spray like this one below.
Good-Juju-Home-Spray., spray bottle, balance, clary sage, and frankincense essential oil bottles

  1. Make a perfume spritzer. This could be something like witch hazel or vodka that you put the oils in that diluted very well, and then you can spray it on like a perfume.
  2. Apply to a pillow case or maybe a stuffed animal. Again, do be careful that either the oil is going to be diluted or it’s going to be in an area that’s not going to get rubbed all over your face in case it’s an oil that’s going to be a little bit more sensitizing.
  3. Use the oils in the shower. I thought that they would just go right down the drain, so I tried to put my oils actually on a wet wash cloth, but that didn’t allow them to diffuse quite as well. When you put them in the corner of the shower, this does take some of them down the drain, but the steam from the water will actually bring it right back up again. It’s a great way to support the respiratory system or your mood just to kind of get you up and moving and happy first thing in the morning.
  4. Get crafty. Clay, cotton, leather, felt, or any other absorbent materials can all be made into a diffuser. So, get creative, get crafty, have fun with it.

Not only does it include all of these options, but also some links to some of my favorite diffusing DIYs, some of my favorite resources in terms of diffuser jewelry, places that I really love to get mine from, AND my top three diffuser recommendations. (So when you’re ready to invest in a diffuser you’ve got some recommendations to get you started.)

diffusing guide on ipad and iphone

Download my free Diffusing Without a Diffuser guide and learn:

 12+ ways of diffusing without a diffuser (obvi)

 My favorite DIY diffuser crafts and how-to’s

 The best places to shop for diffusing jewelry

 The top 3 diffuser recommendations for the best price and value


I would love to hear from you! How do you diffuse your essential oils when you don’t have a diffuser?

Scroll down to leave your comments!


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*This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.


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Tara Wagner

I’m Tara Wagner, creator of the Breakthrough Boss®. I help small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. Not with some new marketing strategy, but with a holistic approach to how you operate.
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