Why You Should Leave a Cup of Rice in Your Closet

published Mar 28, 2018
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Rice is a staple on dinner tables around the globe, but has many other great uses that go beyond the kitchen. Most of us have used it to save our cell phones from unfortunate run-ins with water because it’s hygroscopic and can trap the water molecules, but have you ever used it to trap odors?

A cup of rice in a stinky space can make a world of difference. Making a deodorizing rice jar is one of the easiest, and best smelling things you can do for your home. All you need is a jar (mason jars work perfect), a bag of rice, and your favorite blend of essential oils. If you’re dealing with an exceptionally smelly closet, you can balance the odor with lemongrass oil. If you’re just looking to add a pleasant, subtle fragrance, try rosemary, peppermint, or lavender oil.

To make:

  • Pour 1-2 cups of rice inside a glass jar
  • Add 10-20 drops of your favorite-smelling essential oils
  • Optionally: cover the top with a breathable fabric and secure with a rubber band (or the outer band lid of the mason jar)
  • Give the jar a good stir or shake to evenly distribute the oils
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

It’s not necessarily the answer to a diffuser and won’t leave your entire home smelling like an Anthropologie store, but it fits the bill for small spaces.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Try it in every closet in your home, and any small rooms that tend to fill up with not-so-fresh-smelling items like the laundry room, entryway, and mud room. Be sure to store it up and out of the way—especially if you choose not to put a fabric lid on. If you don’t notice the smell anymore, shake up the rice again to better distribute the oils.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Depending on the amount of moisture in the room, the rice cup should be good for at least 4-6 months.