You Can Use Bath & Body Works Wallflowers in Your Air Wick Diffuser—But Should You?
The brand's popular Wallflowers are part of a TikTok hack. Here's what experts think about it.
In the world of air fresheners, there are two main players in the game—plug-in fragrance warmers like Glad PlugIns and essential oil diffusers that use water to disperse scent through your space. But a trick that's making the rounds on TikTok combines both of these technologies for an elevated aromatherapy experience. Users are taking Bath & Body Works' popular Wallflower plug-in refills and using them with an Air Wick essential oil diffuser. Thinking about giving it a try? Read on to hear from experts about whether or not this hack is worth the trouble—and if it's safe.
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Here's how the hack works.
It's pretty simple. Pick your favorite Wallflower refill from Bath & Body Works—popular scents include Laundry Day, Eucalyptus Spearmint, and Fresh-Cut Lilacs—which retail for $7.95.
They're intended to be used in the brand's Wallflower Plugs, which come in fun designs and seasonal shapes. However, TikTokers say the scent is even better when used with Air Wick's Essential Mist Diffuser.
This essential oil diffuser is a battery-operated, stand-alone gadget that sells for about $10 to $12. Just remove the top from the Air Wick refill that comes in the package, dump the oil out, and pour in the fragrance from a Wallflower (after removing that top, too)—as demonstrated by @itschelseajackson on TikTok.
What's the difference?
The main difference between a plug-in and a diffuser is that the latter is something you turn on and off. Once the water runs out, the device will stop producing a fragrance mist.
Plug-ins, however, remain in your outlet, with the goal of emitting a continuous scent until the refill is empty (at which time you're supposed to remove it).
"Each plug includes a built-in safety mechanism that automatically shuts off and disables the plug if it overheats," says Bath & Body Works on the Wallflower product page.
The Air Wick Essential Mist Diffuser runs on batteries and has adjustable frequency settings and can be set to a timer. Unlike traditional oil diffusers, no water is necessary. "Refills come pre-blended and ready to use," the company states on its website.
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So, is the hack safe?
Jon Sanborn, co-founder of SD House Guys, says there's a general consensus that this hack is OK, but the safety is still relatively unknown and there are some potential risks.
For his part, Dan Mock, vice president of operations at electrician Mister Sparky, advises against it. "Homeowners should use the same brand diffuser and plug-in for the item to work efficiently and properly initiate the heating element that allows for heating evaporation to occur, which leads to 'fresher' air."
And, of course, if a refill doesn't fit into a diffuser correctly, it could damage the device.
As far as Air Wick is concerned, on their website, they say, "Safety evaluation and toxicology reviews have not been performed on any other refills other than those designed and created by Air Wick, therefore it is not advised to use other refills with this diffuser."
But safety aside, Sanborn also notes that "while both products contain essential oils, the concentration of these oils may be different in each product, which could lead to an uneven scent when used together."
Here are some other mistakes you might be making with your plug-in and diffuser.
A common mistake with plug-ins and diffusers is placing them too close to furniture, as "the essential oils can cause discoloration and even damage the surface," notes Shaun Martin, owner and CEO of the Home Buying Company. He recommends keeping them at least a few feet away from furniture. This also allows for better airflow, so the device can emit scents properly.
If you're adding oil yourself—for example, swapping fragrance from one brand's refill to another—be sure not to overfill it. "If you don't monitor this, it could lead to an excess of essential oils, causing a strong smell and even fire hazards," says Martin.
For plug-ins specifically, many people forget to replace the refill when it's empty. The products typically have safety features in place, but you should only plug them into a regular wall socket, advises Mock. Using an extension cord or power strip is not safe, he says, as it can "lead to potential dangers such as fire hazards and shocks" when plugged in for a long time.