We all like our home to smell pretty, but let’s face it: the plug-in type fragrances can get a little pricey. Luckily, I found a simple and inexpensive solution. DIY Plug-Ins!

What you need:

  • A plug-in of your choice (with an empty bulb).
  • An essential oil you like. 
  • Water 
  • A butter knife to pry off the cap on the plug-in bulb


Step 1: Remove the cap from the plug-in bulb then clean it out with warm water.

Step 2: Put about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil into the plug-in bulb. I used the scent of cloves because it reminds me of the upcoming holiday season, and it was one of the essential oils I had hanging around. You may also like vanilla, lavender, orange, lemon or cinnamon.

Step 3: Pour water into the bulb, but leave some space so the water doesn’t overflow when you place the wick back in.

Step 4: Put the wick back in the bulb. Be sure it snaps back into to place.

Step 5: Plug that baby in, and enjoy your fragrant home!

Mountain Rose Herbs has essential oils at reasonable prices. A 1 oz bottle should last you about a year, considering you will only have to refill the plug-in bulb about once every month. You can purchase a 1 oz bottle of the organic orange scent for only $4.00, making it only .33¢ per refill!

This has been a guest post by Jackie from Clifton Park, NY
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

Comments are closed.

47 thoughts on “Save Money By Making Your Own Scented Plug-ins”

This is a great concept but the water was not the best filler. I topped mine off with water and all it did was make the spongy wick absorb all the water and explode. The wick was them ruined and I had to buy new anyway. Good concept though!

This sounds like a great idea, I have some Glade plug in warmers, but purchased some from B & BW, along with some of their scented bulbs. Well, their warmers last maybe a month is all, so, I have multiple bulbs of B & BW left with no way to use them–now I do! They really have horrible warmers, my Glade warmers last years, theirs, maybe 3 months max, and they are expensive!

What about using 100 proof vodka instead of water? Vodka doesn’t have an odor and it isn’t flammable like rubbing alcohol. I use vodka with an essential oil when I make my body spray so I was thinking it might work for this.


Isnt there concern for the wick being used over and over? I feel like that’s a safety hazard…

Dennis asks: why no one answered your question about the wicks. I refilled my plug ind ,but the wicks are no good

OMG you are a goddess I have been spending $30 a month on plug-ins to make my house smell fresh and you have made my whole life so much better just this month alone I have saved $26 because I no longer have to keep buying those darn things I save the ones I have and just keep refilling them myself thanks so much

omg thank you. it is a great idea!

going to try this now I got an essential oil coconut at Walmartsqfq on clearance for 1.50!!

Can I use doterra oils? They’re natural oils used for health and wellness. I don’t have a diffuser and was wondering if this would do the trick.


My local Dollar General had two scented oils near the candle section, Vanilla and Apple…for only $1. I just filled my almost,empty oil containers today to see how it works!!! Thank you so much, KCL!!!

THANK YOU for this post! I got 9 of the febreze noticable warmers when they were free and I havent used any of them yet because the oils are so expensive!

OMGOSH!! Thank you! I just dug out two empty bottles from the trash!! Can’t wait to try it! YAY!!!!

*** Just a quick note*** When the wick wears out(which mine did) you can replace it with a wick made for oil lamps. Just cut it to size and roll it to fit into the lid :) (the oil lamp wicks are sold most anywhere they sell oil for the lamps.) I’m thinking a thick cotton shoestring would also work.

I’m a B&BW addict, They have sales on their essential oils sometimes for $5 a bottle and often you can get $10 off $30 purchase. I am so re-filling my plug ins as listed on here. Thanks!!!

Young Living oils are very pure & alot more reasonable Mountain Rose Herb.

Puritans Pride has essential oils. And sometimes you can hit their buy one get two free sale and it is super cheap. I have pepperment oil, and it reminds me of candy canes for the holidays.

I love this thank you so much for the tip!!!

I use a mixture made with my candle making oils, I make homemade candles so I have over 200 different scents I use to refil them!!!

Essential and fragrance oils require an emulsifier to make them water soluable. Different oils have varying flash points (temp at which the oil ignites into flame).
So what you are going to have with this method is oil floating on water. These devices don’t get very hot, but I would not take a chance on burning down MY house to save a little money on the inserts. Why not purchase a tart warmer, which allows wax infused with fragrance oils to warm, melt, and release fragrance. At least you are using the appliance for it’s intended purpose and it would be way safer.

I agree with you 100%, I make candles and tarts, but i dont even use wicks anymore, just put a candle jar on a hot plate, no fires

That is a great idea! I do the same thing with the No Touch Hand Sanitizers. When the soap container is empty, I pry of the lid with a butter knife and refill it with my own soap, rather than buying new soap containers each time for my soap dispenser. It has saved me money!

Great Idea, I’ll have to try this one day.

This is such a great idea. I want to try eucalyptis oil, that would be a great one to have going in your kids room when they have a cold!!! Thanks for the good idea!

Oh wow! I love this idea!

I tried this already with some oils I bought online, they smelled so strong when i used the oil in the oil holder & tealight candle thingy, so i thought hey ill rig up one my glade plug ins with this oil since its smells so great (it was birthday cake flavored) . After about a week I still didnt notice a smell, I even held the thing right up to my nose and didnt smell anything. Im wondering if maybe the oil was too thick so it wasnt traveling up the wick correctly. Id look for a scented oil on the thinner side next time, but I dont think I’d even go to all the trouble again…

Just wanted to say this is a great idea but I did take a course in aromatherapy and WATER should not be used as this will dilute the fragrance of your essential oils, defeating the whole purpose. Instead look up carrier oils to use and add a carrier oil along with your essential oil :)

I do something kind of like this for my Lysol touchless soap dispenser–I have one in my kitchen that I refill with my tons of cheap dish soap (I put the sponge in front of the sensor and it dispenses a perfect amount right onto my sponge!) and I have one in the bathroom that I use with regular hand soap in it. The lid IS hard to get off, I used a flat head screwdriver to get underneath it and pop the lid off but it’s definitely possible to do it without breaking it but they definitely made them to discourage people from doing this as it took a little figuring out, but you can make it work! :)

great idea, i am totally doing this!

this is the best idea ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i love these warmers but some of the scents are just not my thing…also who knows what is in these scents i ve heard they put something unhealthy in those etc
i m very into herbs …wow i m going to try it…….
i also prefer air wicks warmers then glade because You can set it on more levels

awesome tip KLC great job !!!!!!!!!!!

OMG, awesome! Refills are so expensive.

I have a ton of oils from bath and body works…so would those work to refill the plug-ins? or do i need something different?

i’m wondering the same thing – i have a gift set of 12 different oils from the body shop i’d like to try!

Are they “essential” oils? scented oil can have other things added to it…

What about using old cologne that you don’t want to wear? Even aftershave might smell better in your warmer than on your husband–lol.

Not all essential oils are that cheap on the Mountain Rose Herbs website. For example, their 1oz of cinnamon is $35 ($2.92 per refill) and their 1/8oz bottle of vanilla essential oil is $17, and a whopping $105 for 1oz ($8.75 per refill). This isn’t a super saver approach unless you are content with their cheapest oil scents. You’re better off just buying the refills from the store with coupons!

if You go on Ebay or browse around there is many different prices on scented oils some are very inexspensive …….and good quality …so much healthier then glade also You can do aromotherapy …

there is a difference between scented oil and essential oil. just fyi, for anyone

Glade now puts a stopper in at least some of theirs so you can’t do this without breaking the wick or being unable to put it back in. Opt for the cheap brand if you’re buying a new one.

I love this idea… I spend alot of money on refilling my warmers every month… Thanks for this great tip…

Thank u! That is awesome!

I never even thought to make my own. I have to hold my breath while I go past that aisle all the time.

ok this is totally cool Thanks for sharing!

Thank you so much for this idea. What a great way to have my house smelling good without spending a fortune. And besides this will save on all of the garbage this creates when we constantly have to throw out our old ones and buy new refills :) So excited about this idea.

I love this idea! I hope you don’t mind my sharing this with friends.

That’s great! I have a hard time finding scents that I like, I’m not really the big floral fan and love the ‘foodie’ smells! Thanks for sharing!

Great idea!