DIY Anti-Stuffy-Nose Inhalers

Cold season is coming on –  the perfect time to think about keeping sinuses clear and battling stuffy noses!

Today, I'm going to show you how to make your own anti-stuffy-nose vapor inhaler. Not only is this is an easy peasy project for beginners that won't break the budget, it's also a great idea for a personally-made gift for family, friends, young or old. (not for children under 6)

Sniff sniff - let's go!

You'll Need

  • Essential oils such as eucalyptus, wintergreen, pine, peppermint, rosemary
  • Menthol crystals 
  • Vapor inhaler container and absorbent stick (do NOT reuse packaging from another product)
  • latex gloves


1. Put on the gloves
It's always a good idea to use protective gloves when handling ingredients and packaging.

2. Open the inhaler packaging and stand an absorbent stick in the inhaler base (see top picture)

3. Drip (maximum) 20 drops essential oil on the absorbent stick using either method A or B

Method A - For very steady hands
Drip directly from the bottle to the stick, taking great care not to spill

Method B - For not quite as steady hands
Lay the stick in a small glass bowl and drip onto the stick, letting it sit for a minute to absorb any spilt essential oil

4. Place 3-5 menthol crystals in the inhaler sheath

5. Insert the base and stick and close

6. Cap

7. Make and apply a label

8. Enjoy your inhaler!

The Importance of Notes

Because these absorbent sticks carry a max of 20 drops, compose your essential oil mixture 'on paper' before making the inhaler.

For this inhaler, I used

  • 10 drops of eucalyptus 
  • 3 drops of peppermint
  • 6 drops of pine 
  • 1 drop of rosemary

TIP: mix and match essential oils - make a series of inhalers with different combinations to find what you like best. Always keep notes so you can recreate your perfect mixture when you have found your favorite combo.


my inhaler sticks - packed as a set of 6 - were purchased here
Menthol crystals and essential oils can be purchased with many soapmaking suppliers


Signe said…
Interesting! I've never heard before (or thought) that you could make one yourself. I guess we don't have any suppliers here in Finland...But if I find any I will try this, I'm sure. Do you use these yourself?
LisaLise said…
Hi Signe, I used to have these many years ago, but stopped for reasons unknown. It wasn't until I saw these containers at Aroma Zone that my interest was renewed and I started making them again. There will be an upcoming post on using them for aromatherapy soon.
Tina Rasmussen, CPH said…
Great post Lise!
I was thinking of using them for a bed-time mix. I have two very old "Resume the position bedtime diffusers" from Origina back when they had their amazing sleep-line, and after 10+ years they still have kept some of the smell. I found out how to add a few drops of lavendar and camomille to the strip inside and that got me thinking about making some for presents. Will have to have some of the inhalers with my next order :-)
LisaLise said…
Thanks Tina,
Have fun with it and do let mw know what you make! :)
Unknown said…
Where can you get menthol crystals? Just a small jar maybe 20mg?
LisaLise said…
Hi Poet - I buy mine at Urtegaarden in Denmark but I'm pretty sure you can get these with most cosmetics ingredients suppliers