A Simple and Effective DIY Homemade Nasal Inhaler

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Homemade Inhaler DIY

I make a homemade inhaler because no matter what time of year it is, noses can get stuffy. Whether it’s allergies or a common cold, this DIY inhaler works!

Homemade Inhaler: A Simple DIY Project

It seems like no matter what time of year it is, noses can get stopped up. Whether it’s from sinus trouble, allergies, or even the common cold, it can be hard to breathe. I’ve used nasal inhalers for these issues in the past, but at nearly $5.00 each, I thought I should try to make my own. It’s actually so easy I’m surprised I didn’t think of it sooner!

DIY Natural Nasal Inhaler for Congestion

Supplies & Ingredients

To make the homemade inhaler you’ll need:

Homemade Inhaler DIY 1


Cut the fabric into thin strips about 3 inches long and ¼-inch wide. Coil 2-3 pieces into the tube, pushing down with the chopstick. Add the essential oil. Place more fabric on top, pushing down. (I placed the fabric on the bottom for a base for the oil, then more on top so that the essential oil wouldn’t be strong enough to burn my sinuses.) Cap your inhaler and label.

To use

Remove the cap and inhale it into each nostril. Always replace the cap after using the homemade inhaler. Refresh DIY inhaler with a few more drops of essential oil when needed.

Additional Notes

I used cotton quilt batting, but any cotton fabric can be used. You may want to consider using an organic cotton fabric or unbleached cotton batting since you’ll be inhaling the scent from the fabric. You may need more if you use a thinner fabric like quilting cotton or muslin. Polyester and poly blends are best avoided because some essential oils can melt weaker plastics. (I’ve had no problems with the plastic lip balm tubes melting.)

Other Great Inhaler Uses and Ideas

Homemade Inhaler DIY 2

You can also use homemade inhalers for other applications like headaches and sleep aids. Here are some ideas:

(You can find all the essential oils mentioned in the following section here.)


Use 5 drops of peppermint essential oil for headaches. Peppermint opens up nasal passages and allows more oxygen to the brain, lessening the effects of some headaches.


Use 5 drops lavender essential oil for a sleep aid. Lavender calms the brain and body, allowing sleep to come more naturally than using drugs.


Use 5-10 drops of ginger essential oil in your homemade inhaler to relieve symptoms of nausea.

Nasal Disinfectant

Use 5 drops rosemary oil as a nasal disinfectant. Rosemary essential oil is a powerful germicide and can be used safely in the nasal passages as an inhalant.


Use 5-10 drops of ylang ylang essential oil to help you relax.

Balance Hormones

Use clary sage essential oil to help to balance hormones. It is thought that clary sage will help restore order to the hormonal system.

Canker Sores in the Nose

Use geranium essential oil in your homemade inhaler to help heal canker sores in the nasal passages. Canker sores and acne can get into the nose and this will help heal them gently.

Inflammation of Nasal Passages

Use 5-10 drops chamomile essential oil to relieve inflammation. Sometimes nasal passages can be swollen, and chamomile can help relieve this.

Dry Nose

Use 5-10 drops rose essential oil for a dry nose. Rose essential oil has properties that can soothe and soften the inside of your nose. This works very well for when the inside of your nose is dry and cracks, leaving it sore.

NOTE: If you try any of these and your nose stings on the inside, the homemade inhaler may be too strong for you. You can try adding more fabric, or you can dilute the essential oil in a tiny amount of carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil. Then stick with only a few drops, as too much can leak out and get into your purse or in your pocket.

Tip: be sure to check out our other remedies for congestion.


About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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      • Adle Giaccai says

        thank you so much! we don’t have anything cotton but cotton balls (maybe some quilting cloth), so this is good news!

        • Debra Maslowski says

          Hi Adle! You certainly can use cotton balls! I have done it in a pinch. Just be sure they are 100% cotton as the essential oils can melt some synthetic materials.