Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • shelleywa
    • By shelleywa 15th Apr 19, 6:47 AM
    • 100Posts
    • 20Thanks
    shelleywa
    Any Chemical Buffs out there? DIY Plug-in refill for air freshener
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 19, 6:47 AM
    Any Chemical Buffs out there? DIY Plug-in refill for air freshener 15th Apr 19 at 6:47 AM
    Hi all,

    After finding many recipes online, I have recently been experimenting with refilling those nasty chemical air freshener plug-ins with my own (safe) scents, using essential oils and water. Damn site cheaper, too!

    But the wick inside them doesn't like water. At all! It poofs out, like some people's hair in extreme humidity and only really works for one refill. The next time, it's so soggy, I can't get it back in the bottle. I'm guessing the liquid inside the "official" manufacturer's refills aren't water because they don't behave like that There has to be another way!

    I make DIY air freshener for spray bottles and they contain Vodka. I wonder if something similar would work here. But I don't really want to blow the house to Kingdom come in the process. The ingredients for Air Wick Plug-in refill are this:

    Parfum
    Butylphenyl Methylpropional
    Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone
    Citronellol
    Limonene
    Citral
    Cinnamyl Alcohol
    Eugenol


    I'm no Chemistry buff but I can certainly see a few words in there that would suggest I could use Vodka. Are there any Chemistry Pros out there that can help me please?
Page 1
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 15th Apr 19, 8:36 AM
    • 24,466 Posts
    • 28,157 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:36 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:36 AM
    Biology is highly relevant in formulation, not just chemistry. If you don't know what you are doing please leave well alone.

    Using water as your carrier without an appropriate preservative but with gentle heat leaves you wide open to microbial growth (bacteria/ moulds).

    Vodka is not a neat alcohol, it contains water. It is not a safe carrier or solvent nor a preservative. Essential oils are not safe either. They contain numerous allergens and irritants, some of which become much more so when exposed to light/ air/ heat.

    That is not the complete ingredients list, as you might find on a skincare, cosmetic or pharmaceutical product. It is a list of the common fragrance allergens present in the proprietary 'parfum' blend, as required under EU law. The solvents/ base is not listed.

    HTH.
    Last edited by Fire Fox; 15-04-2019 at 8:40 AM.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • shelleywa
    • By shelleywa 15th Apr 19, 3:51 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    shelleywa
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 19, 3:51 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 19, 3:51 PM
    Fire Fox, thanks for your input.

    The essential oils I would be using are antibacterial/anti-fungal/antimicrobial. Also, I have found these DIY ones last only for 1-2 days when plugged in, hopefully not long enough for anything nasty to grow. The oils are 100% pure and natural, not the cheaper synthetic ones.

    Ref the carrier, I am at a loss, if the manufacturer does not (and does not have to) list the carrier they use. Whatever it is, it doesn't have the same effect on the wick that water does.

    Looks like it's back to the drawing board (oil burner), if that is the lesser of the 2 evils.

    Thanks for your help.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 15th Apr 19, 6:37 PM
    • 11,835 Posts
    • 31,854 Thanks
    suki1964
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 19, 6:37 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 19, 6:37 PM
    here'sa radical idea

    Open a window or three
    if you lend someone 20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 15th Apr 19, 7:38 PM
    • 3,612 Posts
    • 2,626 Thanks
    EssexExile
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 19, 7:38 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 19, 7:38 PM
    Agreed, open windows. Why replace one unpleasant odour with a new unpleasant odour?
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 15th Apr 19, 8:03 PM
    • 24,466 Posts
    • 28,157 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:03 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:03 PM
    The essential oils I would be using are antibacterial/anti-fungal/antimicrobial. Also, I have found these DIY ones last only for 1-2 days when plugged in, hopefully not long enough for anything nasty to grow. The oils are 100% pure and natural, not the cheaper synthetic ones.
    Originally posted by shelleywa
    Given the right conditions, bacteria can double in number every twenty minutes.

    If you don't know what you are doing please leave well alone, or take an accredited course on formulation. Or follow properly formulated recipes from one of the many reputable suppliers of pharmaceutical-grade and cosmetic-grade ingredients.

    Many allergens, irritants, toxins and poisons are completely natural. All bar one of the EU fragrance allergens are isolated from 'pure' essential oils. Many 'pure' essential oils are unsafe for pregnant women, babies/ young children and animals, even when well diluted.

    Essential oils are not a substitute for proper broad spectrum preservatives. Any anti-bacterial or anti-fungal properties are dependent on the concentration, distribution, pH of the finished formula, solvents/ diluent and other ingredients, the storage container ....

    HTH.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 15th Apr 19, 9:01 PM
    • 1,404 Posts
    • 2,445 Thanks
    rach_k
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 19, 9:01 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 19, 9:01 PM
    Given the right conditions, bacteria can double in number every twenty minutes.

    If you don't know what you are doing please leave well alone, or take an accredited course on formulation. Or follow properly formulated recipes from one of the many reputable suppliers of pharmaceutical-grade and cosmetic-grade ingredients.

    Many allergens, irritants, toxins and poisons are completely natural. All bar one of the EU fragrance allergens are isolated from 'pure' essential oils. Many 'pure' essential oils are unsafe for pregnant women, babies/ young children and animals, even when well diluted.

    Essential oils are not a substitute for proper broad spectrum preservatives. Any anti-bacterial or anti-fungal properties are dependent on the concentration, distribution, pH of the finished formula, solvents/ diluent and other ingredients, the storage container ....

    HTH.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    Exactly this!

    If you believe that essential oils are powerful enough to be beneficial (e.g. antibacterial), then you must also believe that they are powerful enough to do harm. Reading random bloggers sharing recipes doesn't count as doing research, because 99% of the time they're just repeating rubbish they've read from another blogger.
    • stragglebod
    • By stragglebod 15th Apr 19, 9:37 PM
    • 441 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    stragglebod
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 19, 9:37 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 19, 9:37 PM
    Get some houseplants - Aloe or spider plants are especially good for getting rid of odours.


    And yes, windows open.
    • shelleywa
    • By shelleywa 16th Apr 19, 7:03 AM
    • 100 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    shelleywa
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:03 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:03 AM
    here'sa radical idea

    Open a window or three
    Originally posted by suki1964
    Well yes, that is very obvious. But I want to keep the nice smelling aromas INSIDE the house
    Last edited by shelleywa; 16-04-2019 at 7:22 AM. Reason: More precise answer
    • shelleywa
    • By shelleywa 16th Apr 19, 7:15 AM
    • 100 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    shelleywa
    Exactly this!

    If you believe that essential oils are powerful enough to be beneficial (e.g. antibacterial), then you must also believe that they are powerful enough to do harm. Reading random bloggers sharing recipes doesn't count as doing research, because 99% of the time they're just repeating rubbish they've read from another blogger.
    Originally posted by rach_k
    Totally agree with this. I think the idea of DIY plug-in refills is a great idea because I find plug-ins to be more effective than any other home fragrance method. But those commercial plug-in refills are SO toxic. I find essential oils to be wonderful for so many things and feel that there must be a way to utilise them safely for plug-in refill recipes. I spent a few hours yesterday, trying to find a more reliable source but, as you said, just found many regurgitated recipes on different non-expert blogs. So I instead bought a plug-in specifically designed for just essential oils and water. It may not be the perfect solution but it's a good start, until I have more time to look into this subject more thoroughly.
    • shelleywa
    • By shelleywa 16th Apr 19, 7:18 AM
    • 100 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    shelleywa
    Agreed, open windows. Why replace one unpleasant odour with a new unpleasant odour?
    Originally posted by EssexExile
    What makes you think I want to get rid of an unpleasant odour? I like the different aromatherapy smells.
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 16th Apr 19, 8:30 AM
    • 3,612 Posts
    • 2,626 Thanks
    EssexExile
    What makes you think I want to get rid of an unpleasant odour? I like the different aromatherapy smells.
    Originally posted by shelleywa
    I just assumed. Why on earth would you want to cover up the normal natural smells of life with the disgusting stink of those air "fresheners"? It's nearly as bad as having smelly candles everywhere or (being a child of the 50s) joss sticks.

    Just an opinion of course.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • shelleywa
    • By shelleywa 16th Apr 19, 9:43 AM
    • 100 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    shelleywa
    I just assumed. Why on earth would you want to cover up the normal natural smells of life with the disgusting stink of those air "fresheners"? It's nearly as bad as having smelly candles everywhere or (being a child of the 50s) joss sticks.

    Just an opinion of course.
    Originally posted by EssexExile
    I LOVE Joss sticks! They remind me of Camden market in the 90's and my teenage Hippie phase But that smoke dust gets everywhere (including lungs). Opening the windows/doors to circulate fresh air isn't an option where I live, so we have to make do with wall fans. So the "normal natural smells of life" are generally shut out. The air freshener/essential oils help to bring some of the outside smells inside. It's better than nothing.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

340Posts Today

4,876Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Have a great Easter, or a chag sameach to those like me attending Passover seder tomorrow. I?m taking all of next? https://t.co/qrAFTIpqWl

  • RT @rowlyc1980: A whopping 18 days off work for only 9 days leave! I?ll have a bit of that please......thanks @MartinSLewis for your crafty?

  • RT @dinokyp: That feeling when you realise that you have 18 days of work and only used 9 days of your annual leave! Thanks @MartinSLewis h?

  • Follow Martin