Why You Should Leave a Cup of Rice in Your Closet

Although it’s a favorite part of meals everywhere, rice has also become more than just a dish on the table. We love to eat it, but we also use it to rescue phones, celebrate weddings, make heating pads, and keep salt loose.

Knowing all that, then it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise that the starchy staple can do more around the home. This time, you’ll want to try it out in your closet. Why? Because it can keep musty odors and mildew from taking over.

Think about it. If you drop your device into a toilet, sink, or aquarium, it’s become standard to dip it into a dry rice bath for the sake of survival. In a small space like a closet – which houses coats, footwear, and garments – funk and moisture can sometimes furl into an invisible haze with no clear origin.

To prevent that, rice acts almost as a dehumidifier, reducing the amount of moistness in the atmosphere while freshening the air, too. Add a few drops of essential oil and you’ll feel like you’re walking into a spa. Sachets are nice, but you can create your own scents and swap these out easily.

How can you make this work for you? By creating your own rice deodorizer on the cheap! Down below is one way to do it.

Rice Deodorizer:


  • ½ cup to 1 cup of uncooked rice (some prefer jasmine for its sweet smell)
  • Essential oil
  • Jar, dish, or other container of your choice


  1. Pour It

    Pour the rice into your container.

  2. Scent It

    Add 15 to 20 drops of essential oil to the rice.

  3. Mix It

    Shake or stir until rice and oil(s) have mixed.

If you’ve chosen a container like a mason jar, place a breathable fabric on top and secure it with the rim or a rubber band. Place your rice deodorizer in an area where small kids or pets cannot get to it. Pop one into the closets, the laundry room, or any other tiny space where moisture collects or sporting equipment lives.

This should last for a few months, but you can always refresh the oils or rice as needed. Some scents that work well include peppermint (which also repels certain critters), cedar, pine, or lavender. Combine them as you’d like!

Rather than buy an essential oil diffuser to put into each room, help knock out odors with the power of grains. If you’re really looking to save a dime or two, just mix these up inside of a plastic baggie and leave the top open to diffuse the scents.

Should you decide to use brown rice, keep in mind that its life span is shorter than white, and it’s possible that its smell will become rancid after a few months. Stick to plain white rice and you should be good to go.

What do you think of this DIY deodorizer? Would you try this in your closet? Are you interested in placing one of these in another area of your house?