Homemade Essential Oil Diffuser With a Candle Warmer

homemade essential oil diffuser
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Fast and Easy Homemade Essential Oil Diffuser

OK, here’s a really quick tip to make your house smell awesome with a homemade essential oil diffuser.

If the idea of little wax particles and smoke floating around your house is a turn off, smoky incense bugs you, or if you just want to try something new to make your house smell great this diffuser is for you. You might take one look at the picture above and think to yourself that it doesn’t look like a diffuser.

Well, that’s true, it doesn’t look like a “normal” diffuser.  It doesn’t have reeds or a candle burning under a little tray of oil.  However, it is a diffuser because it does disperse small quantities of the essential oil into the air, which after all is all we really want.

It is really easy to do at any time, and without having to buy anything new or special, and that’s something I like.  So without further ado, here’s how you can make your own homemade diffuser.

Time: 5 min.

See my Rice & Essential Oils Diffuser post for another quick and easy air freshener recipe.

– What You’ll Need –

what you'll need to make your diffuser

Here is what you’ll need to make your diffuser, most of which you might already have around the house.

(links are for Amazon products)

– Step One –


Plug in your mug or candle warmer, and turn it on.  It should be just fine heating up while you get the rest ready.

– Step Two –

homemade diffuser container

Pick your container

You can use any sort of container you like so long as it can handle the heat.  That will generally be things that you can already get really hot in the microwave or bake.

A couple of options that I have are a ramekin, a nice pyrex measuring cup, or a mug. Personally I just use a mug like I have in these pictures, or sometimes even my pyrex measuring cup.  Use whatever is easiest for you.

(If you like the mug in the picture, check out Cherith Harrison of Edinburgh Scotland who makes them.  My wife and I love her stuff, we each picked up a mug while we were in Scotland.)

– Step Three –

add essential oil to the container

2-3 shakes essential oil

Grab your container, for this I’m using a my nice Scottish mug.

In the meantime put a kettle on to boil, or get you tap running so that it is nice and hot. While your water is warming splash around 2 – 3 drops of your favorite essential oil into your cup or dish.  

It doesn’t have to be three little drops, give it a good shake.  The more oil the more scent you will get.

I usually reach for my peppermint oil, but vanilla, cinnamon, or whatever strikes your fancy will work just fine.  You can even mix and match to get just the scent you want.

If you don’t have a a selection of essential oils on hand already a good starter set will give you a good selection of oils to work with as you figure out what types of oils and scents you like the most!

– Step Four –

add water to the diffuser container

1/4 cup boiling water

Then add a little bit of hot water to the glass, around 1/4 to 1/2 of a cup is just right.

Too little, and your water will evaporate away too quickly, using too much water will make it harder for the candle heater to get the water warm enough to evaporate, and it will also dilute your essential oil, and thus cutting down on the aroma that it will let off.

Adding in the essential oil first saves you the trouble of having to stir it up.  I’m lazy, so I let the water do the work. Play around with the ratio and find what works best for you and your equipment.  

Essential oils will vary in how strong they smell, so play around with them until you get it just how you like it. Have I mentioned that I’m good at doing dumb things.

Be careful, if you think, “hey I wonder how wonderful this smells,” right after you add the boiling water to the essential oil, like I did.  Don’t just stick your nose over the mug, like I did.  Or you might scold your nostrils with hot steam and super concentrated peppermint oil, like I did.

Try wafting the rising steam towards your nose like in high school chemistry class instead to avoid burning your nose.

– Step Five –

keep the cup warm

Keep it Warm

That’s it, now just put your mug, or whatever you’re using, on the warmer.  If you used boiling water you should have beautiful scented air wafting your way immediately, and for hours to come thanks to the candle warmer.

Using something like this Mr Coffee mug warmer should do the trick. Don’t worry if the mug doesn’t seem like it is really hot.  It only needs to be warm enough to cause the water to evaporate.  So, if you can feel some steam rising off of the surface you’re good to go.

Be careful, the water will evaporate, so don’t leave the mug warmer on all night.  Be sure to turn it off before the last of the water has evaporated just to be safe.

– My Experience –

This is something that works great, and I use all the time.  In fact I did this the other day with some peppermint essential oil, and I was still getting little wafts of peppermint around my house all day long, and into the next.

I do really like using this method to make my house smell nice because there’s no candle smoke, so I don’t have to be paranoid about it leaving black marks on the ceiling.

This diy essential oil diffuser is worth a try, it’s really easy, and makes your house smell great.  Let me know how this works out for you, or leave your thoughts in the comments.  FYI, my house smells like peppermint right now, and it’s awesome! – Lance

Homemade Essential Oil Diffuser With a Candle Warmer

Homemade Essential Oil Diffuser With a Candle Warmer

How to make your own homemade essential oil diffuser with a candle warmer.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Active Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2-3 drops Essential Oils
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Hot Water


  • Cup/Mug (can hold heat)
  • Candle/Mug Warmer
  • Tea Kettle


  1. keep the cup warm Preheat mug/candle warmer.
  2. homemade diffuser container Pick a mug, ramekin, or some container that can hold heat well.
  3. boil water for making french press Put your kettle on to boil
  4. add essential oil to the container Drop 2-3 (or more!) drops of preferred essential oil into mug.
  5. add water to the diffuser container Pour hot water into mug until filled about halfway.
  6. keep the cup warm Place mug on warmer. Don't forget to turn warmer off when you are done, the water will evaporate.
  7. Delight in a freshly scented home!

Last update on 2021-03-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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14 thoughts on “Homemade Essential Oil Diffuser With a Candle Warmer”

  1. I love this idea! I guess i’ll be out buying more essential oils this week to experiment with and a candle/mug warmer. Thank you. :)

  2. I have asthma, but really missed the smell of scented candles burning, especially around the fall and winter holidays. So I thought of doing this and decided to google it to find out how others have done it. I saw your blog and thought how refreshing it was to see a blog like this written by a man. Thank you! I’ll be looking at your blog to get more info…

  3. Thank you, Lance – this is a great way to diffuse healing essential oils into your home environment during cold/flu virus season as well as using it for aromatherapy! I already have on hand everything I need to do this! Stay well everyone!

  4. The best ideas are always in front of you! I used to have a tea light warmer that I would fill with water and put a cinnamon stick in but left it alone to long one day and it dried up then shattered. Been kind of cautious after that. But I have a mug warmer I use to keep sugar warm while waxing… So now I can bring back that amazing warm cinnamon smell this winter. Thanks!

  5. Mary, I have asthma as well. I actually thought up this method because I missed my candles and incense too. I’m happy I could help a fellow asthmatic :)

    It’s true, there aren’t many guys writing about these sorts of things. I figured why not and went for it! Thanks for the comment Mary it’s encouraging!

  6. Wow – I am 88 years old. My “kids” have given me essential oils over the years and I have never known what to do with them – now I know! Thank you for this method of using my oils (that must be years old) – I’m excited to give this method a try. I am glad I came across your webpage. Thanks for sharing. Lance.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Betty! I hope you’ve found many ways to use your essential oils since visiting this post!

  7. Fellow asthmatic over here and horrible seasonal allergies too. Been doing my research about essential oils and stumbled into this and wow such a great idea. Going to try it now. Thanks a bunch.

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