Do It Yourself Plugin Refills - Do They Work? | Scent Fill

by Mark Callison
Plugin Refills Information DIY Glade Air Wick

Do it yourself plugin refills – Do they work?

 There are an abundance of videos and how-to instructions on refilling your plug-in scented oil bottles with a variety of products from household cleaning chemicals to pure essential oils and water. Often these “money saving“ tips are well-intended videos or pins on Pinterest, but in reality, often leave the reader or viewer disappointed.  

Several conditions must be present for scented oil to work in your wall plug in warmer.

  1. Plug in scented oil warmers have a heating element, often ceramic heated to approximately 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The fragrance oil will take on different olfactory characteristic at different temperatures ranges i.e. it doesn’t smell the same at ambient room temperature as it does at 150 degrees. 
  2. While heated for prolonged periods of time, the scent will likely change characteristics or strength unless specifically designed for the purpose of plug in heated oil warmers. They may smell good for hours or a couple days but do they hold those aromatic qualities for several weeks? Often, while using essential oil blends one essential oil ingredient may lose fragrance before others. Losing the affect of your blend
  3. The scent must have enough throw or coverage to fill your area with fragrance. Is it to strong or unnoticeable?
  4. If the scented oil is not evaporating properly then chances are you cannot smell it. Evaporation is a type of vaporization which causes the fragrance molecules to enter the air where it noticeable.Without evaporation the fragrance would remain in your refill bottle unnoticed. Many factors affect evaporation, obviously the fragrance composition itself, temperature and ambient air conditions such as humidity. Unless you’re lucky, or have an advanced chemistry degree this will be difficult to figure out. This is why we’ve teamed up with some of the best aromists (yeah it’s a thing) and chemiststo help us develop our refills.  These are highly skilled individuals with extensive training and education.
  5. Several DIY post suggests mixing essential oil with water. The fact oil and water don't mix and will separate is chemistry 101. You must have a proper coupling agent or carrier mixed with scented oils that evaporates at a steady rate without compromising the scent profile of your essential oils or perfume blend.
  6. Compare the cost of your DIY refills with purchasing your own. Plug in refills typically hold 20 ML what is the cost of your 20 ML of essential oil?

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If you’re still asking yourself if this is something you should try at home, you should be aware of some of the dangers. You should not come in contact with many concentrated scented oils. These oils may cause irritation or an allergic reaction. Safety eyewear and gloves should be worn as a precaution whenever handling scented oils.

All of our refill blends are tested for flashpoint using a closed cup flashpoint detector. Flashpoint is the temperature is which the perfume is combustible. If the flashpoint of your DIY refill is to low you might have a serious problem risking combustion. Not a good idea, especially with a plug in warmers proximity to an electrical outlet  You could be literally playing with fire.

Even with talented chemists, and perfumers creating scented oil refills can be very challenging. For many of our "passing" approved scented oil blends we tested and failed 30 or more formulations.


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I can appreciate the contradiction to the DIY refill and you providing your own refill solutions, my question is do you have other solutions that would help/apply to those of us who would like to reduce waste? My reason for trying the DIY is because I don’t want to continually buy containers I have to throw away.


Thank you for this article. I was seriously thinking about mixing my own to refill some of my plug-ins. After reading this article, i will not as I’m worried about the danger of fire. While the cost might be more to get the plug-ins, the peace of mind is priceless!


Although your information regarding DIY plugins is helpful, there are so many grammatical and spelling errors in your article. If your intention is to seem very credible, proofreading for careless errors will definitely help with the company’s credibility.

Peter M.

I love your products and noticed a few typos on your website that are easy to correct.

“This is why we’ve teamed up with some of the best aromist (yeah, it’s a thing) and chemist to help us develop our refills. These are highly skilled individuals with extensive training and education.”

It should say “aromists” and “chemists”.

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