How to Use Essential Oils to Scent a Room

Essential oils are a fantastic all-natural way to scent a room without introducing synthetic scents or toxic chemicals into your home. Essential oils are very versatile and can be diffused in many different ways, including several DIY options. We’ve rounded up nine different ways to use essential oils to scent a room:

Reed Diffusers

Reeds are full of tiny channels that absorb oils and release them into the air once the oil particles reach the end of the reed. Reed diffusers don’t require any electricity, so they can be placed anywhere in your house where they won’t be knocked over. They can also be left to diffuse oils 24/7 since they don’t need to be monitored constantly.

Electric Diffusers

Electric diffusers use the heat generated by electricity to warm the oil and disperse it into the air. Electric diffusers come in many shapes and sizes, including larger tabletop models that plug directly into wall outlets and pocket-sized diffusers that fit into USB ports. Some bigger models may incorporate fans as well as heat to better disperse the oil’s fragrance.

Candle Diffuser

Candle diffusers also harness the power of heat to disperse essential oils, albeit in a slightly different way. To use a candle lamp diffuser, mix a few drops of oil in some water and pour the mixture into the dish on top. Light the candle below the dish so the heat from the flame can heat the water-oil mixture and disperse it into the air. Candle diffusers are usually made from glass, ceramic, and other similar materials. Because they use open flames, they need to be constantly monitored for safety.

homesick essential oil diffuser

Ultrasonic Diffusers

Heat isn’t the only way to diffuse essential oils — in fact, heating or burning essential oils can actually destroy their original structure. Ultrasonic aroma diffusers atomize water and essential oil using sonic waves instead of heat. The essential oils are then released as tendrils of mist, so you can watch them disperse. Due to the superior properties of ultrasonic diffusion, we chose this technology for our Homesick aroma diffuser.

Room Mists and Sprays

Perhaps the simplest way to scent a room with essential oils is a room spray. These room mists mix oil in water to be spritzed around the room. While this method doesn’t require electricity, heat, or any equipment besides a spray bottle, spraying essential oils into the air without atomizing them reduces the strength of the fragrance, so the scent won’t smell as strong or last as long as some of the other methods on this list.

Unfinished Wood

Unfinished wood also makes an excellent diffuser due to its high absorbency. Just make sure that it’s truly unfinished, and not covered with clear paint or lacquer. Many people like to add a few drops of oil to clothespins and then clip them on objects around the house for an easy DIY diffuser. You can also do the same with wooden ornaments and hang them like air fresheners.

scooping baking soda wooden spoon

Baking Soda

Baking soda is incredibly absorbent, making it a great material for a DIY diffuser. Mix a few drops of essential oils with a handful of baking soda and put in a decorative dish on a counter or table. You can also scatter the baking soda over carpet or couches, then vacuum it up after a few hours. The baking soda will absorb dirt and impurities and leave behind the soothing scents of your essential oils.


There are plenty of everyday household objects that can be turned into diffusers, including humble toilet paper rolls and tissue boxes. The thin cardboard will quickly absorb the oils, so add a few drops to the inside of the toilet paper roll or tissue box. You’ll get a pleasant whiff of fragrance every time you reach for a Kleenex.


While terracotta is more often used as a necklace pendant for a portable, personal diffuser, it can also be used to scent a room. Look for a larger dish or even a candle lamp diffuser made out of terracotta. If you rub a little bit of oil into the terracotta, the porous surface will soak up the oil and slowly diffuse it into the air.

Whether you’re looking to make or buy an essential oil diffuser, there’s a perfect option out there to suit your needs and budget. Keep these nine options in mind when deciding how to use essential oil diffusers and essential oils to scent a room.