My favorite homestead tips are the ones that save money, improve health, or make life more enjoyable. This one does all three, so I was especially pleased to discover how well it works!
Did you know you can refill those electric air-freshener warmers yourself with essential oils, saving the high costs of refills as well as exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals? And you can choose your own scents, or even mix scents, to create the environment that pleases you most.
And it’s super-easy!
First, pull the bottle out of the warmer. This one has already been used so the wick is brown. In fact I’ve already refilled it once because I wanted to make sure it worked well before I shared it here. The wick gets darker when re-used, but that’s not a problem.
Decide which oils you want to use. I have a collection, and sniffed them, held the bottles open side by side (know which lid to put back on which bottle if you do this!), and decided on these three. I already knew I’d use lavender as the basis since this warmer is for the bedroom, so it was just a matter of deciding what I wanted to go with it.
From my collection I also considered Rose Absolute, Jasmine, Bergamot, Sandalwood, YlangYlang, and a couple of combinations. For a more “active” room, peppermint and related oils might be nice, and I am considering using one of my Pine oils in the living room for Christmas. In an area where mosquitoes might be a problem, Citronella might be worth considering.
Next, remove the plastic top that holds the wick from the bottle. I found a small file helpful the first time, inserting it under the lip and turning it to create a gap around the bottle, then simply popped it off. After the first refill, the top became easier to remove.
I originally followed someone else’s instructions that said I should remove the wick from the holder. That is NOT necessary. As a matter of fact, the wick broke in two when I tried to do that, and I thought I’d have to buy a new one and start over. But as it turns out, if you DO break the wick, just stick it back in. When the two pieces make contact, they wick the liquid up and it still works just fine.
Rinse the bottle. I also soaked the wick in water for several hours to remove as much of the chemical compounds as possible the first time I refilled it.
Begin adding your oil. It’s a good idea to keep up with your “recipe” … you’ll have a good idea next time of changes you want to make, and when you find a mixture you love, you’ll be able to recreate it. (Believe me, that’s important. I once made a WONDERFUL spray freshener for my car, and forgot to write it down. I never have been able to make another one I liked quite as well.)
This time I added 30 drops of lavender, 10 drops of sweet orange, and 6 drops of lime.
This was the level in the bottle once I’d added that amount.
Add water to the bottle. You don’t want to fill it completely to the top (the wick is going to have to go back in), but I could have added more water. At this point, I decided it might be a little “thin” and I wanted more essential oil.
So I added the same amounts again. In total I now had 60 drops of lavender, 20 drops of sweet orange, and 12 drops of lime.
And pop the top back on. Looks a bit more “substantial” now after swirling the water with the added oil. I could have added a bit more water, and probably should have.
At this point, pop the bottle back in the warmer and it’s ready to use! If your unit has one, dial the strength to suit you. I had to dial mine all the way down with the amount of oil I used.
I have to say the health benefits are most important to me. I like for a home to smell nice, but the chemicals in some of the air freshener refills have been said to cause cancer. All I know for sure is that they give me a headache. And my dear Crystal-Kitty has asthma, and anything can set off an attack, which can be life-threatening for her.
Speaking of which, essential oils can be dangerous to cats, so I was concerned about diffusing them into the air. But both of the cats will approach anything with essential oil on it, take a cautious sniff, and immediately bolt from the room. They don’t react at all to the scent from the air freshener, so it must not be enough to bother them. And it hasn’t affected Crystal’s asthma at all.
I haven’t calculated the cost, but the refills run almost $5 for a package of two, and I refilled two bottles without putting a noticeable dent in my oils. They run about $6 to $20 a bottle, depending on the oil (sweet orange is very affordable, and I buy large bottles of the lavender which is why it costs so much). I would guess I’m not spending more than 20 cents or so per refill.
And as far as making the place nicer, I have been really enjoying the scent. It’s a nice mix of feminine sweetness and masculine spiciness, and has a sort of clean, bright smell. When I uploaded the photos of the oils, I noticed they said calming (lavender), brightening (sweet orange), and freshening (lime). So I suppose I have a calm, fresh, bright atmosphere in my bedroom now!
What scents will you try in yours?