Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DIY Room Scents

I have a sweet friend who spent a year in Tennessee with her husband as a missionary couple. When they returned home she brought me the cutest little miniature cast iron skillet. I loved it instantly. It took me a little while to decide how to use it, but I finally went out and bought me a candle warmer and the little scented wax blocks from Wally world. I now have my own mini-cast iron skillet knock-off Scentsy warmer. I love how it makes the house smell. Granted...I'm still using the blocks I bought at Christmas so it smells like Christmas here still instead of spring, but oh well. 

While I love my cast iron skillet set up, I still like to put it away some days and go for a more "natural" approach. Today's post is all about that. I'll start first with a Pinstrosity we were sent, and then I'll show you what I like to do to get the house smelling good. 

Julie found a pin for DIY Scented Plugins that don't use all the chemicals. 

The Original Pin:

Julie says, "I was excited when I saw this post! The refills for the Airwick air freshener I use in my laundry room (and cat litter box room) are expensive and they don't last very long (even on the lowest setting). Today I finally made it to Michaels and the essential oils were all on sale! So I bought two and rushed home to refill the vial."
"I immediately ran into a significant problem.  I could not remove the top from the bottle! I tried and tried. Then, I just gave a small tug to the wick and it came right out. I thought I had won!! I rinsed the bottle, filled it part of the way with lavender oil added water then gently tried to put the wick back in. No going..."

The Pinstrosity:

The original site says to "remove the wick part (which ironically looks like a cigarette) empty and rinse out the bulb", but they don't give any tips for getting the wick out without mangling it. Perhaps the difficulty is due to the difference in brand of plugin air freshener? Who knows. 

"It just puffed out and collapsed."

"That is not going back into the top of the bottle! I tried again to remove the bottle top but only succeeded in getting oil all over my hands. I'm not sure if the wick is really necessary because I improvised and twisted a piece of paper towel tightly and used that instead... I might even remove it."

"It seems to be working... But, the scent of lavender is overwhelming!! It's making my eyes itchy. I hope the cats won't refuse to come in and use their litter box because of this!!"

While the paper towel definitely does wick the oils up into the air, it probably does so at a much faster rate than the original wick would. But, if you can't get the original wick out with out it becoming unusable, then  you definitely have run into a problem. From the looks of it the whole top needs to be removed, but these have been designed to be pretty snug and stuck. By getting out the entire plastic top piece, you should be able to keep the wick intact. But now...how do we get that pesky plastic piece out. For jobs like this, I usually grab a few butter knives and use them to pry the top of little by little...but that doesn't always work. 

So, if you can get the wick out and in again, this is a great way to get your house smelling good using safe and clean oils. What if you don't have the oils or the plugin? Here are some pins I have used and I love them!

The Williams Sonoma Store Spring Scent (this one is seriously so good, I love it!):

How to come up with your own Natural Room Scents:
Citrus Scents (add cinnamon for fall, vanilla for spring and summer, herbs for any time of year):
And a whole slew of Autumn Recipes:

Around Christmas time my mom always put a pot on the stove to simmer. She would add in various extracts and herbs depending on what she wanted. Some days we'd have a maple smell drifting from the kitchen. Other days we'd have the smell cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves filling the house. Other days we'd have herbs and vanilla for a real subtle but soothing smell. As far as getting a good smell, these are hard to mess up. The main thing that can go wrong is letting your pot get dry as all the water steams out. Keep an eye on it and add water as needed. 


  1. This is an awesome idea, if the kinks can be worked out. I wonder if a piece of cord, like an oil lamp wick would work better?

  2. As a massage therapist who's worked with essential oils I can tell y'all that part of the reason her eyes itched is because essential oils are the distilled directly from the plant. We, as a society, have become used to chemical "scents" like Pine Sol so natural scents can be hard to take, at first. My best suggestion, she needs to dilute it. And that, too, is inexpensive. Use Canola Oil from the grocery store. Yes, it says "cooking oil" on the bottle. No, it won't "cook" in the wick. I use it all the time as a massage oil and the body accepts it. She needs to fill the bottle juuuust slightly less than she did with the essential oil and then use only three to five DROPS! of the essential oil. Believe me, this is MORE than enough to scent your home. The heat from the plug in is probably what cause all her problems. For a good book full of essetial oil recipes, have her check out one I use all the time, Aroma-Therapy Through the Seasons. It's excellent. But, remember, ALWAYS dilute before using ANY essential oil!

  3. I have tried this and successfully gotten the entire top off (wick plus plastic piece) and back in. However, the essential oils still burn up really fast. They only last a day or two. While it may be better for you, that is far more expensive than the store bought refills. I have refilled them with the liqued simmering potpouri and that seems to last about as long as the store bought refills. However, the wick will only last a few times before you have to buy a refill again.

  4. I have removed those with needle nose pliers but they were a devil to get out. I also mixed the oils with mineral oil because it is thicker than water and feeds slower. Good luck next time!;>) I really love the natural scents, too. xo Diana

  5. Be warned, this is a HUGE fire hazard! I had a fire with the air wick plug in, and that was using it as directed from air wick. My living room wall is still slightly blackened after 3 coats of paint, it needs primer first, but that's a project for another day. I can't imagine taking it apart and filling it yourself would make it any safer. I'm not saying a fire will happen to everyone, but why take a chance? Use the other pins for making potpourri!

  6. I feel like the wick frayed in this airwick version because the original post was using a Bath and Body Works wall flower air freshener. I've done it with my empty ones from B&BW and they worked just fine as in the tutorial. Who knows what Airwick does to their wick!

  7. I've used this one several times successfully!

    I also add some vodka for added "keep the bugs outed-ness"


    I have a couple of jars which I (or my husband...) punched out some holes using a leather/nail/whatever it's called punch. It works really well!

  8. A paper towel soaked in oil? Are you trying to start a fire??

  9. Put marbles (or pennies, but marbles are cleaner, being glass) in your boiling pot of water. When you can hear them, it means your water is low. Tada!

  10. I have done this several times and love it. I have used glade plugins, airwick, and the B&BW wallflowers. You have to remove the entire plastic cap w/ wick not just the wick part. If you get lucky you can get it off with just your nails but pliers or a flat head screwdriver work well. As for the scent I put in a mix of scented oil and water. Once you shake it up (after you put the wick and cap back on) it blends up just fine and by adding water you can control how strong the scent is. I am also not using pure essential oils I found these little bottles of warming oils at walmart for .97 cents and depending on how strong you make the mix I have had one .85floz bottle make up 4-5 refills. I have never calculated how long it lasts but personally it seems to last just as long as the real refills. Of the countless times I have done this (I have several of these in my house, and one in my car) I have only had one wick break on me and I believe it was because I had let it sit plugged in for too long with nothing in it so it had changed to that lovely auburn/ burnt color. lol

  11. febreeze plug ins work really easily. i haven't gotten the essential oils yet, but the tops, along with the wicks pop right off. also, because they have dual chambers, you can combine complimentary scents.


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