Skip to main content

How to Refill Glade, Airwick, and Febreze Air Fresheners

I enjoy coming up with creative new ways to save money, including refilling air fresheners with essential oils or discount fragrance oil.

Air fresheners are great, but they can be expensive. Learn how to get the most bang for your buck while keeping your house smelling fresh with this useful refill hack.

Air fresheners are great, but they can be expensive. Learn how to get the most bang for your buck while keeping your house smelling fresh with this useful refill hack.

DIY Airwick, Glade Plug-Ins, and Febreze Refills

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 that 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.

How to Refill Scented Oil Air Fresheners

Many scented oil warmers and diffusers use glass or plastic refill containers, which are very simple to fill again. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Remove the empty oil container from the device, allowing time for the wick to cool if it is hot.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Carefully remove the plastic cap, but do not touch the wick.
  6. (Optional) Insert a small funnel (usually less than 1/2" in diameter) into the refill canister.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 that 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.

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.

This Elegant Expressions concentrated fragrance oil works well as an air freshener refill and is available at Walmart for $2-3 per 2-oz bottle.

This Elegant Expressions concentrated fragrance oil works well as an air freshener refill and is available at Walmart for $2-3 per 2-oz bottle.

Fragrance Oils vs. Essential Oils

Fragrance oils and essential oils are your main choices for use in an air freshener. But what's the difference?

  • 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 Hazard

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 flame oil burner.

Refilling this Glade Wisp Flameless Candle canister is as simple as removing the plastic lid!

Refilling this Glade Wisp Flameless Candle canister is as simple as removing the plastic lid!

Comparing Oil-Diffusing Air Fresheners

BrandMode of OperationPercent Savings (Home Refill Vs. Factory Refill)Notes

Glade Wisp

Battery-operated vibrator


No heat-related safety issues

Air Wick Scented Oil Warmer

Oil warmer


Flimsy wick

Febreze NOTICEables

Oil warmer (two scent canisters)


Long-lasting wick, two scents

Do you like to save money?

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.

Reader Comments

Opinion02122 on March 02, 2018:

You show in your picture a container you labeled Hawaiian mist. That is MY favorie and the only one I use. Do you know what essential oils I need in order to make it? I'm a disabled, retired teacher and money is scarce, so I can’t afford to keep buying the Glade refills. I'd buy their oil if they sold it! Now I only use the scents if I have company. Can you help me?

Ray Horton on December 20, 2017:

I simply add PineSol to the empty plug ins.

Samantha on August 29, 2017:

Can you add water to the oils inside the refill?

Kenisha on June 24, 2017:

How long does the fragrance oil refill last compared to when you first Buy the plug in oil? And does it have to be mixed with anything can you just put the oil straight into the plug in and plug it back into the wall?

Suzy turner on December 07, 2016:

Has anyone ever tried using pure vanilla extract to make a vanilla scent? Just curious how I could safely mix this

Diane on August 11, 2016:

Does anyone know of any inexpensive essential oils brands, I can buy that will work with Airwick plug-in's ??

1ntruder on May 15, 2016:

For plug-ins like Airwick,its 75% pure essential oil,25% base carrier oil like grape seed oil and a few drops of rubbing alcohol 70% strength. Only fill 3/4 of bottle with this mix. You can get replacement wicks from Amazon or use clean shoelace. Rubbing alcohol is flammable even at 70% strength so take care its not near any heat source including sunlight. Store essential oil bottles which come in dark colour glass bottles anyway in the fridge as they last twice as long. EnJoy.

contributor1 on May 03, 2016:

Someone is apparently figuring out a interchangeable bottle for both Airwick and glade.

Debbie Guenther on March 24, 2016:

The initial Airwick plug in smelled wonderful though out the whole house. I refilled it with water and varying degrees of essential oil and got very little scent. Tried 1/3 essential oil with the rest grapeseed oil got no smell. I poured it into my electric warmer in the small bathroom and it smells wonderful. Still trying to find a ratio and ingredients for the plug in that will be as strong as the oil that the plug in came with. Has anyone tried using coconut oil? Anyone have success with a strong scent with a plug in?

Laurie Heisler from Pasadena, MD on February 12, 2016:

This is another great article on your blog. I can't wait to tell my clients about this. They will love me for sure. Thanks.

Joe on December 12, 2015:

As far as the Air Wicks go, you can buy the wicks from Amazon. $4 for 5 wicks. That should allow you to refill almost indefinately as long as the glass bottle is not damaged right?

Joff81 on October 10, 2015:

Hi people

I was wanting to know if it's possible to refill these plug ins with reed diffuser oils ???

These are available cheaply and as the are already used for diffusing seem as though they could be ideal as long as they are not a fire risk.



Sue on April 09, 2015:

Any suggestions on refilling the clip on car vent fresheners?

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 26, 2015:

This is a great hub and it came in the nick of time. I'm down to my last Glaze Hawaiian Breeze air refresher plug-in. Any ideas on how to make the same scent?

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on January 10, 2015:

@jman a swelling wick sounds like a sign of adding water-based fragrance to a product that uses an oil-based fragrance or vice-versa. The combination that you are attempting may not work.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on January 10, 2015:

What a great idea. I don't like using supermarket air fresheners due to all the chemicals they spew in the air.

jman on January 09, 2015:

Can anyone tell me why all of my wicks are swelling after I refilled the bottle for the first time. I used lumin essence liquid potpourri

Joyfulcrown on December 29, 2014:

Thanks for the informative article. I am all about saving money. I only buy this type on air freshener, when it is on sale. I am happy to know how to reuse them.

Hannemarie on November 30, 2014:

Never would've thought about this myself! A great way save some money as well, thanks for sharing :)

ubrish ali from Pakistan(Asia) on November 10, 2014:

Wow! You shared smart tips to save money

Rota on September 05, 2014:

My kind of article! Sometimes the simplest commonsense things can be done to save money but people just accept what they are sold most of the time. Thanks.

Sharon from Perth on April 13, 2014:

Thanks for your tips on refilling fragrances. Some are very expensive then they no longer produce refills so this will definitely help.

Steve on March 19, 2014:

"Most important to this topic is the fact that essential oils are generally much more expensive than essential oils."

What does that mean. I think you might have meant something else, because that paragraph makes no sense.

AW Homade Holiday on December 07, 2013:

What bulk oil would be the closet match for Air Wick Homemade Holiday (2013)?

G on September 28, 2013:

Thanks a lot for the advice!!

Ima Lookers Cat on February 12, 2013:


Thanks for the article. Could you please reconcile this apparent conflicting content?

"If you have already refilled the canister once, discard it." ~ Article (point made several times)

"Febreze Noticeables ... wicks are sturdy and will stand up to many refills." ~ Article

And -

"...refilling ... with men's after shave" ~ Mamma Blogga

"Mamma Blogga, thank you for the advice," ~ fritteritter

Yet 9 months later you reply re: perfume use

"No, perfume would not be safe ... is generally alcohol based...could be dangerously flammable," ~ fritteritter

Judy on February 21, 2012:

All for refill with oils intended for incense burners... But using a filled plastic straw as a wick sub? Not sure that is so safe. The plugin type burners works with heat....

Suzie on January 09, 2012:

WOOHOO!!! Finally-someone has the answer I've been seeking (almost). I have been experimenting with replacement wicks for Air Wick...those little glass plug-ins with the wicks that fall apart after one use...MammaBlogga said use a straw to hold replacement wicks upright..I just tried the straw filled with cosmetic cotton that I cut and rolled to fit..I am not sure what kind of wick she is referring to...are those candle wicks? Cotton string or cotton pads should that she solved the problem about holding them upright through a straw. Thank You!

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on December 29, 2011:

No, perfume would not be safe to use in an oil warmer. Perfume is generally alcohol based rather than oil, so it could be dangerously flammable, would probably evaporate too quickly, and may damage the wick or warmer unit.

melissa on December 28, 2011:

Can you use perfume the same as fragrance oils in the febreze containers?

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on October 19, 2011:

Rachel, unfortunately it is not safe use a wick that has expanded in that way. The wick most likely expanded like that due to a difference in density between the original liquid and the liquid that you refilled it with. The biggest problem with an expanded wick is that the top portion could expand as well, causing the wick to touch the warmer and leak down the wall or into the outlet. If the wick expanded like that, it will likely become "clogged" with the old oil and not deliver much fragrance.

rachel on October 18, 2011:

I have alan airwick plug in and as soon as I refilled it the wick expanded I was wondering why that happened and what would happen if I continued to use it, if that's even safe??

paul on September 21, 2011:

I have a yankee candle and I am wondering if I can just buy refill air freshner for it?

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on August 02, 2011:

I am not sure whether you are asking about replacing the fragrance or the wick. Since the article discusses the fragrance, I assume you want to replace the wick. There is no safe and easy way to replace the wick in a commercial electric oil warmer, you should buy a new Glade refill if the old wick is damaged.

roxanne tiessen on May 24, 2011:

i like the plug in but way to expensive can never afford to fill all the ones i have

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on April 11, 2011:

Mamma Blogga, thank you for the advice, that's a very creative way to save money on air freshener refills. I have added a permanent link to your blog entry to the article.

Mamma Blogga on April 11, 2011:

fritteritter ~ We have been refilling our liquid fresheners with men's after shave for well over a year and recently put together a video which has been added to our blog. You mention several times about discarding bottles that have defective wicks but it's so cheap and easy to simply replace them with 1/4" round wicks or rolling flat wicks and inserting them into the smaller size kid's straws leaving a short amount extended at each end. A plug-in air freshener is simply a warming device and the amount of alcohol in any type of cologne or after shave is minimal so there is no danger using it (otherwise smokers might set their faces on fire and freebase like Richard Pryor did years ago).

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on April 07, 2011:

You're welcome, thanks for reading :)

Kat on April 07, 2011:

Thanks for the speedy reply!

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on April 07, 2011:


You could take it to a store with you and match it up against the current models. If you can't find a match, it's best to just buy a new one. The warmers are very inexpensive and it is not safe (or worth your time and money if it doesn't fit) to try a refill container that is not made for the warmer.

Kat on April 07, 2011:

I have a semi-stupid question: I have a air freshener (that you can plug scented oil canisters in) but it has no logo and I forgot the brand... How do I tell if it's a Glade or Air Wick, etc?

Will any scented oil canister fit?



Robert Roehm on December 23, 2010:

I am able to refill the bottles more than five times. Clogged, you say? Not with mine. Here's the key: I pull the wicks out, and put them, along with the plastic top (not the glass bottoms) in a zippered delicates bag, then run through several loads of laundry- ONLY IN THE WASHER. When it's all done, the clothes and laundry smell great. When I pop the wicks out of the delicates bag, they are thoroughly unclogged, clean, and ready to use often again! (This works only on solid foam wicks. Case-wrapped fiber wicks do not survive laundering, but they'll make the laundry smell good the same. Just make sure you're not washing anything dark that'll show errant strings.)

Wally on November 03, 2010:

Dear The Queen of Air Fresheners, do not call people morons. People stop listening right after that word, regardless how important the message is. sad. sigh.

Mr.B on October 18, 2010:

Besides, these products are surely designed to the highest safety levels and tested within an inch of their lives to gain their safety markings, safety markings that cover the US, UK and Europe. One would think they were tested with their own oils, other oils and no oils just to make absolutely sure they do not set on fire under any circumstances. I'm happy to try the cheaper oils you mention, it's not like my printer ever died from not using original ink like they said it would, lol.

Mr.B on October 18, 2010:

More like she works for Glade, Airwick or Fabreze.

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on September 13, 2010:

Ernestine, your comment was removed. Please do not post your phone number in public places. Please read the article to learn how to refill your air fresheners.

Matt on September 09, 2010:

The queen of air fresheners must work for a government agency that has warped her mind into thinking they actually produce codes to protect the public. I am glad that there are people like her out there to pay the fees and high prices for consumer products to think they are protected so the rest of us can save money! She probably spends 80 bucks for her ink jet refills too!! What an idiot

The Queen of Air Fresheners on September 08, 2010:

My comment is in regards to the article suggesting the refilling of the scented oil refill brand name air fresheners. My friend, you are a Moron. You are not only endangering the welfare families through ignoring the rigours home safety requirements that the proper oils have gone through used in both battery and electrical devices, but you are also ensuring the improper performance of all devices by making such a suggestion. These products are structured in such a way to perform, and release fragrance at a proper rate into the home. By suggesting the re-use of a clogged wick (and they are all clogged to some extent after one use) and by suggesting the use of oils with improper solvents for each system you are by far wasting more money than people would spend on using a coupon and purchasing a proper refill. You give AF a bad name - as the ones that catch fire in the home are probably the ones refilled by consumers listening to your garbage and putting improper liquids with improper flashpoints into their electrical sockets based on the advise of someone who obviously has no clue what they are talking about.

I've never read anything so stupid and dangerous before in my life.

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on September 01, 2010:

Glade Wisp Flameless Candle air fresheners are currently on clearance at many Rite Aid stores for half price, making them about $4 each. Unfortunately the Glade coupons available for that product line expired quite a long time ago. That's the best base price I've ever seen... if yours has broken or you want to give it a try, it's a great time to buy one even without a coupon!

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on May 31, 2010:

Bob, I am not an expert in essential oils, but after some research I have a recommendation. The original oil in these products is very thin and it doesn't leave any residue in the container.

The best essential oil carrier I can think of for use in refilling scented oil air fresheners is sunflower oil. It is readily available, very thin, and looks similar in color to most of the original oils. There may be other suitable, more exotic base oils, but my guess is that sunflower oil will work well.

PM on April 10, 2010:

Hi fritteritter - Well, I like the look of the Febreeze Flameless Luminaries, but they are expensive for just being, as you mentioned, scented shades. I'll stick with the Wisp for now. I'm also going to try rechargeable batteries in my Wisps - a 4-pack of Energizers with the charger cost me $12.00, but they are rechargeable over 100 times which I think in the long run will save me over regular alkalines.

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on April 10, 2010:

I agree, I really wish they would make something new with the vibration dispersion system, it's very unique compared to all the fans, burners, and aerosol systems out there.

I had a portion of the disc crack off on one of mine when it was dropped. I had to open it up, resolder some of the wires, and figure out how to reposition the broken disc. It still worked but not as well so we threw it out a few months later when the glass bowl fell and shattered.

The Wisp is definitely still the most effective air freshener I've tried, mostly because the performance is consistent regardless of how old the refill wick is. Have you compared the Wisp Flameless Candle to the new Febreze Flameless Luminaries? I hoped to see a similar technology but they are nothing more than a fancy twist on the token pine tree freshener... thin fragrance shades last only 2 weeks and are expensive to replace - just a gimmick.

PM on April 10, 2010:

Thanks again, fritteritter for all your suggestions. I'm really happy with the Wisp candle, as it's not as overpowering as the plug-in oil warmers can sometimes be. I just hope the metal disc doesn't wear out; I noticed Wisp candles are no longer available in my area.

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on April 10, 2010:

PM, I think they are either $1.99 or $2.99, probably varies by region. The Sense & Spray Hawaiian Breeze sounds like the regular aerosol which is what I have, I haven't bought Wisp refills in a long time =)

Also try Tropical Citrus Tango if your Walmart has it - I think that might be close as well. Usually there is at least one bottle of each fragrance with the foil punctured so that you can smell it first, they're near arts & crafts by the incense and flower pots/vases.

PM on April 10, 2010:

Hey, fritteritter - thank you! I'm going to Walmart tomorrow anyway, so I'll try it. The strange thing with Glade's Hawaiian Breeze fragrance is that the oil version, in my opinion, has a stronger mango/pineapple scent, while the Sense & Spray version has a stronger coconut scent. I prefer the oil version. By the way, what is the price of Walmart's Hawaiian Mist? Thank you, PM

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on April 10, 2010:

PM, one of my photos above shows Hawaiian Mist which I found to be the most similar among the fragrance oils available at Walmart. They may have new fragrances now, but besides a strange hint of berry or something in the Hawaiian Mist, it is about as close as I've gotten to Hawaiian Breeze.

I haven't noticed anything that smells quite as strongly of coconut as the Glade Hawaiian Breeze fragrance, if you like that then maybe you can find some coconut fragrance and do some mixing? Good luck!

PM on April 10, 2010:

Hello, Great info here on refilling air fresheners. I have a Glade Wisp Candle, and my favorite scent is Glade's Hawaiian Breeze. Does anyone know of an oil similar to this scent? Thank you.

fritteritter (author) from Ohio, USA on November 26, 2009:


Thank you for the comments. I agree, I have been using these Elegant Expressions oils recently to freshen up the bathroom. They actually work better in our Wisp flameless candle than the original scents. Also I don't feel bad about cranking the air freshener to maximum strength! I changed the wording of the article a bit :)

Mary Lou Smith on November 26, 2009:

Using these oils as a refill for the Glade and Airwick item sis an excellent idea !! Thanks.

I have used the Fragrance Oils you suggest and show in the picture - Elegant Expressions Fragrance Oil - it is one the best quality fragrance oils in the market and is very strong. My mom's friends introduced these to me at a bunko party. These are stronger in fragrance strength than either Yankee Candle oils or the Oils sold at Bath and Body works, and are much much cheaper. I bought mine at Wal-Mart and also noticed recently that some new fragrance options are available at Michaels in a larger size bottle.

One correction to your article above ... these may be cheap in price, BUT I BEG TO DIFFER ON YOUR STATEMENT THAT THESE ARE "LOW END" ... They are anything but low end. In fact when I use these oils - they blow away anything else I have used before and compared these to... it is a very good quality product.

flameless candles on August 05, 2009:

great idea for the refills but real flameless candles are more wax and LEDs rather than an air freshener candle