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Woman warns about popular Bath & Body Works plug-in air freshener

Posted at 8:20 AM, Dec 04, 2017

It's a very popular product and gift at this time of the year, but an Ohio woman said be careful. Here’s what happened with her Bath & Body Works Wallflower plug-in air freshener and what the company has to say about it.

Theresa Donelan from Sheffield Village in the Cleveland area has bought dozens of Bath & Body Works Wallflowers over the years but just recently she said she had a problem. After putting her Wallflower under her kitchen cabinets, she said it somehow melted her nearby cabinet-mounted radio. Gray drips of plastic are left, drips that even went on the plug-in itself.

"I now am out a radio,” said Donelan. Unfortunately, other Bath & Body Works customers have had similar problems even posting their own damage.

Donelan said she called the company to complain.

"She said, ‘Well, you're supposed to have 12 inches (of clearance).’ And I said, ‘I never knew that.’”

Donelan's fresheners date back to 2015. We found nothing on the outside of the product about keeping it 12 inches from other items and nothing around the scented oils she bought either.

Bath and Body Works told us this about the Wallflowers:

            “Our Wallflowers are UL listed and have an exemplary safety record.  Because customer safety is our top priority, Wallflowers have a built-in safety mechanism that protects the unit from overheating. The label directs customers to keep a 12-inch clearance above the unit to allow the fragrance oils to disperse appropriately.  If sufficient clearance is not given, the fragrance oils can cause discoloration or damage to other household items.”  - Tammy Roberts Myers, VP of Communications, L Brands

The instructions include details about the 12-inch clearance.

In the stores, News 5 Cleveland reporters found all new Wallflowers had the 12-inch warning on the outside. The packaging changed since 2015. However, with a new unit colored black, it's very difficult to read the black print against the Wallflower.

"The lady I talked to said they could bring it to marketing to see if maybe they could change the packaging,” said Donelan.  “Well, that's not really helpful to consumers now. I said people need to know with decorating with the holidays."

Donelan had a suggestion for the company.

“Maybe when the cashiers are checking them out let the people know,” Donelan told News 5 in Cleveland.

After the TV station got involved, company reps talked with Donelan. They are replacing her radio and have given her a gift card for Bath & Body Works.