Aromatherapize your house with your rice cooker!

June 20 |

I love my 6-cup rice cooker (it also comes with a steaming tray). I love lavender. And I loooooove the idea of using my 6-cup rice cooker to make my apartment smell like lavender! Lo and behold, this Reddit post came along and informed me that there's a way to make that happen, and I'm going to tell you all about it.

What you need

  • An adorable rice cooker — we've had this one for nearly six years and it's so far never failed
  • Something fresh that you love to smell. I shot a wedding the weekend before I attempted this little aromatherapy trick. Luckily for me, the bride and groom handed out satchels of lavender as a gift. Score! You can also use any herb, flower, mint, etc. that you want.
  • Water: so fresh, so clean.

How you do it

Empty your herb or flower of choice into a your clean, dry rice cooker.

Cover said herb with water. Note: the directions I followed weren't very detailed, so I wasn't sure if the lavender needed to be covered or just floating. It turns out lavender just kind of floats around unless you stir the water into it, so I used my hands.

Turn on the rice cooker: I always turn mine on AFTER putting in whatever I'm cooking/aromatherapizing. You don't have to… it's just what I do.

Put the lid on the rice cooker. This may be a no-brainer to some, but I wasn't sure if I should do this with the lid off (maybe it would waft better?) or on. I tried it without the lid on first and not a lot happened, but after I put the lid on the cooker the water began to bubble and the scent of lavender filled the room around 10 minutes later.

When you're ready, take the lid off. I turned off my rice cooker after around 40 minutes — it got hot in my apartment, and I also wasn't sure if the thing would ever go off by itself. I took the lid off because it seemed like the logical thing to do, and it worked! The lavender scent lasted for around 1.5 hours, and this was with a fan on and the patio door wide open.

Enjoy the sweet scent! Mmm, lavender.

Things to keep in mind

  • As long as you wash your rice cooker afterward, this shouldn't make rice (or anything you cook in it after) taste like whatever herb you used
  • If you live in a small space (like a one bedroom apartment) this will heat up your area VERY quickly. If you also live in Alabama (like this girl) and it's 90+ degrees, be especially aware

My favorite thing about this little experiment is that you can get a similar effect to using an oil burner, but the aroma isn't as all-consuming and lavender seeds are typically way less expensive than essential oils.

Inspired by this Reddit post.

  1. This works with a crock pot also, and might not heat up your apartment so much. I like to put a couple of cinnamon sticks and a few drops of vanilla in my crockpot with a small amount of water and make it smell like I'm baking…lol, AS IF!

    Also they sell little tiny crockpots just for this, if I am not mistaken…..

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    • OOHHH! Tiny crockpots? So cute! We also use an oil burner (very similar to those) and oils to do a similar thing. I liked this because it was just so incredibly easy and you didn't have to keep refilling it with water. I'm intrigued by the tiny crockpot idea!

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  2. I bet if you didn't wash your rice cooker and just rinsed it, maybe the flavor of whatever herb you used to do this would get into the rice and make tasty rice. I guess as long as it's foodsafe it wouldn't be a big deal. I wish I had a rice cooker now!

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    • … Not sure I'd want lavender flavoured rice with my fish, personally! :P

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    • I was just thinking lavender rice sounds like it would be good!

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  3. I once repurposed a never-used fondue pot to heat scented oil in my house. Same general idea here, I guess.

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  4. I've done this with a combo of lemon peel, rosemary and vanilla, it smells like heaven and lasts for quite a while (with doors closed of course!)

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  5. Hi!

    Original Redditor here!

    The beauty of using a rice cooker is that it turns off automatically after a certain amount of water has evaporated (by weight). You probably shouldn't leave these things completely unattended, but it eases my mind to know that it's not going to boil the water dry and start burning.

    Thanks for featuring my post! IMMD!

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  6. Kind of off topic, but I have the same rice cooker! And it is awesome! The steamer basket makes cooking rice/quinoa and vegetables at the same time so much easier.

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  7. I'm off to college as a mature student in September, and this sounds like a great alternative to an oil burner for decongestant essential oils (not allowed candles in the dorm room).

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  8. I hate to be the party-pooper here, but I would personally probably only use herbs that are food safe. I know you wash the pot out after, but I'd still worry (especially with some of the scented oils) because some things never really wash out.

    The good news is that buying a second pot is often a option with a lot of rice cookers, so you could have your scent pot and your food pot. :)

    Cute idea! & I love that the original Redditor thought about the auto-shutoff that rice cookers have. Smart.

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  9. Another option is to use this method with lavender outside on the patio. The scent will keep mosquitoes at bay. If you want to keep the flies away too just add a couple of drops of peppermint oil. :)

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  10. You can do this by making lavendar tea on the stove, water, lavendar buds, voila

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