Why manufacturers should stop using ceramic wicks in plug-in air fresheners
Mar. 05, 2020
By Mirja Jackson, Strategic Marketing Director – Air Care & Cosmetics
The demand for high-quality, long-lasting air fresheners is growing. Experts predict the air freshener market to grow by 3.4% this year, with electric air fresheners seeing the biggest growth, according to Grand View Research.
As sales rise, many manufacturers are reconsidering the materials they use. Many air care devices contain ceramic wicks, but an increasing number of companies are switching to a more durable, reliable material that improves product performance.
Companies are seeking a ceramic wick alternative and are turning to sintered particles or bonded fibers.
The challenges of ceramic wicks
Ceramic wicks present a number of challenges to consumers and manufacturers.
New ceramic wicks release a lot of fragrance at the start and then taper off, causing homeowners to replace the air freshener sooner than anticipated. Ceramic wicks also tend to clog easily, which again, forces the consumer to replace it. Consumers get frustrated with inconsistent amounts of fragrance and the repetitive nature of purchasing them. Overall, this creates declining customer satisfaction and can have a negative effect on a brand’s reputation.
Ceramic wicks also pose a risk to children. If tampered with, children can access the wick, break it, and potentially ingest it. If this happens, it could open a company up to costly lawsuits and reputation damage.
On the manufacturing side, ceramic wicks are fragile and tend to break easily during assembly. Their fragile nature makes automated assembly a challenge.
The benefits of a ceramic alternative
To overcome the many challenges of ceramic wicks, companies can opt for wicks made from sintered particles or bonded fibers.
Both sintered particles and bonded fibers are a type of porous polymer material, which delivers a:
- More consistent release of fragrance over time
- Wick that doesn’t clog
- Safer product that’s resistant to child tampering
- More durable wick that can be used in assembly automation
- Customizable wick that’s suited to every product
Working with a partner in wicking innovation
The wick inside an air freshener is arguable the most important piece of the product. While ceramic wicks are an industry standard, there are alternatives that provide a wide range of benefits to both the consumer and the manufacturer. Wicks made from sintered particles or bonded fibers can enhance air care product performance, reduce manufacturing problems, and improve customer satisfaction.
To learn more about a ceramic wick alternative, read our tech brief that explores the benefits of creating a wick from sintered particles or bonded fibers.