How to Refill Glade, Airwick, and Febreze Air Fresheners
Air fresheners create an enjoyable atmosphere. But while air fresheners that diffuse scented oil may be a delight to own, they are anything but a delight to refill. Some refill packages cost more than $8.00 each in retail stores. Fortunately, there are better and cheaper ways to keep the scent going.
By choosing an air freshener which uses refillable scented oil containers, you can enjoy long-lasting freshness and fragrance varieties at an unbeatable price. This article will teach you how to refill your air fresheners and choose the best refillable air freshener products.
Purchasing Affordable Scented Oil
You can save up to 90% of the cost of a refill unit by refilling your scented oil diffuser with your own fragrance oil. Fragrance oils can be purchased for $1 per ounce or less. Most air fresheners can be refilled simply by removing a plastic cap.
Fragrance oils are sold at craft stores, on the Internet, and in some supermarkets, such as Walmart. Most high-quality oils are sold in 1/2-oz to 2-oz sizes. You may be able to find larger quantities of oil at a lower price, but consider first whether you would rather spend that money on a wider variety of scents.
Fragrance oil is sold at Walmart (usually near the reed diffusers) for around $1 per ounce, and unless you are a fragrance connoisseur this will make a great, inexpensive refill for your air freshener. Each 2-oz bottle will refill your favorite air freshener several times, since most scented oil refill canisters contain less than an ounce of oil.
Fragrance Oils vs. Essential Oils
Fragrance oils and essential oils are your main choices for use in an air freshener.
Fragrance oils are artificially produced and may include hundreds of artificial ingredients, resulting in a nearly limitless variety of fragrances.
Essential oils are derived from natural sources, many of which are said to have benefits for health or mood.
Essential oils are generally much more expensive than fragrance oils. However, it is also possible to make your own essential oils. It is also good to keep in mind that both natural and artificial oils, as well as factory air freshener oils, may cause allergic or other reactions in sensitive people.
Safety Hazards: Essential Oils
Some essential oils, such as pine, rosemary, and grapefruit, have very low flashpoints and could catch fire in an oil warmer. Avoid any oil that is not safe for use in a hotter-burning flame oil burner.
How to Refill Scented Oil Air Fresheners
Many scented oil warmers and diffusers use glass or plastic refill containers, which are very simple to refill. Before you begin, you will need a fragrance canister for your air freshener; you may want to stock up on refill canisters before refilling them yourself.
- If you have already refilled the canister once, discard it. The scented oil wicks are not designed to be used more than once, so refill only if you have understood the risks.
- Remove the empty oil container from the device, allowing time for the wick to cool if it is hot.
- Cover your work surface with a paper towel or cloth to absorb any spilled oil. It's a good idea to wear latex gloves while refilling to avoid contact with the strong fragrances.
- Use your fingers or a small screwdriver to remove the plastic cap. You will need to apply force to pry it off. Do not pull on the wick.
- Carefully remove the plastic cap, but do not touch the wick.
- (Optional) Insert a small funnel (usually less than 1/2" in diameter) into the refill canister.
- Pour in the fragrance oil and be careful to not overfill. Leave enough free volume for the wick, plus some air space to avoid over-saturation.
- Carefully re-insert the wick and plastic cap. The refill must be discarded if the wick is damaged in any way. Never rinse the wick in water. If the wick swells or breaks open, the air freshener could leak; such wicks must be discarded immediately.
- Write the name of the fragrance on a piece of masking tape and label the refill canister so that you won't forget which scent it is.
- Watch the air freshener daily for signs of damage to the wick. If the wick begins to expand the refill must be discarded immediately.
If your air freshener refill does not have a removable cap, do not attempt to refill it. Never attempt to refill a metal canister, gel pack, or other canister without a removable lid. These types of air freshener refills must be purchased from the manufacturer.
Possible Safety Hazards of Refilling Air Fresheners
Using the wrong type of oil, refilling more than once, damaging the wick, puncturing the refill canister, using the wrong type of refill liquid, overfilling the canister, and incorrectly positioning the wick are all potential safety hazards.
If the wick expands or is positioned incorrectly, the air freshener can leak. Leaking air fresheners which plug into an electrical outlet can catch on fire or cause damage to the wall.
Old air freshener units are more likely to malfunction. Replace your old scented oil warmers, or at least only use them in visible locations where you can keep an eye on them for safety issues. The warmers themselves are pretty cheap compared to the refills, so don't be afraid to replace them.
The safest type of air freshener to refill at home is the Glade Wisp. Instead of using heat, the Wisp uses vibrations to disperse fragrance into the air.
Oil-Diffusing Air Fresheners Compared
Mode of Operation
Percent Savings (Home Refill Vs. Factory Refill)
No heat-related safety issues
Air Wick Scented Oil Warmer
Oil warmer (two scent canisters)
Long-lasting wick, two scents
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What have you done to save the most money on air fresheners?
Deals on Manufacturers' Air Freshener Refills
If you want to stock up on refill canisters, keep an eye out for deals and printable coupons. Sometimes you can find manufacturer refills for less than the cost of a manual fragrance oil refill! As I find out about deals, I will update them here.