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The best automatic air fresheners – keeping your bathroom smelling fresh all day long

Glade Air Spray automatic air freshener

Keeping a bathroom smelling fresh can be tricky. Especially if it’s a busy household and you have different people using it. Not everyone has the same ‘standards’ when it comes to what stinks and what doesn’t. And even if you have a good air freshener, you can’t guarantee everyone will use it!

Automatic air fresheners take away the hassle and inconsistency of keeping a bathroom smelling fresh. I don’t see them in households very often, but they are increasingly common in public places like hospitals or airports. When you walk into bathrooms that use automatic air fresheners, they always smell fresh and you get an immediate feeling that this is a clean space. Why not have that same feeling in your home?

In this article we review some the best automatic air fresheners to keep your bathroom smelling fresh, all of the time.

What are automatic air fresheners and how do they work?

Air fresheners have been used to mask unpleasant smells for a long time. First you had aerosols, and then later liquid air fresheners like plug-in bottles and reed diffusers became commonplace. But you also have all kinds of other options like Poo-pourri and even that trusty old-school solution of lighting a match (one of my personal favourites).

What these all have in common is that you have to manually use them. If you’ve ever shared a house or apartment with a number of people, you will know that some people will use air fresheners but others won’t. If you have to manually use them, you might forget to, or maybe you just don’t care that much.

The beauty of automatic air fresheners is just that – that they are automatic. Just set it up in your bathroom and let it continuously fight bad odor. It works no matter who is using your bathroom or how often.

There are essentially 2 types of automatic air fresheners:

  1. Motion-activated automatic air fresheners spray when they detect motion near the air fresheners – they will usually have a ‘lock-down’ period though which means they will only spray once per that interval (say, 20 minutes) so as not to repeatedly spray when someone is in the bathroom.
  2. Automatic air fresheners can also have fixed timed intervals when the spray is activated. Depending on the model you could configure this anywhere from 1-60 minutes. With these air fresheners they dispense the air freshener spray throughout the day and at night, at those intervals, keeping the bathroom smelling fresh 24/7. More advanced, digital air fresheners allow you to also choose which hours it needs to be active. For instance, you could turn it off in the evenings or during the day, if there are times when the bathroom won’t be used much.

Automatic air fresheners are battery operated. The substance used for the sprays are usually essential oils.

As you can imagine, the advantage of motion-sensored air fresheners is that they preserve your air freshener refill. But, because they only spray when they detect someone nearby, they won’t provide a ‘constant’ fresh smell in the bathroom.

Automatic air fresheners with fixed intervals might use up your refill more quickly, but they also mean the bathroom smells great, all the time.

All automatic air fresheners give you a wide variety of fragrances to choose from. For spring seasons, floral fragrances are popular, and for cold winters, maybe more earthy fragrances.

Features to look for in automatic air fresheners

Refill longevity

Keep an eye out on the lifespan of your air freshener’s refill cans.

If you end up buying refills often, you will end up spending a lot of money. So look for air fresheners with refill cans that last longer. But this also depends on the intervals you set up. If you set up an automatic air freshener to spray every 15 minutes, that refill can would last twice as long if you changed the setting to 30 minutes.

Motion-activated or Fixed intervals

Do you want the air freshener to only be activated when someone is in the bathroom, or do you want a constant, consistent fresh smell in the bathroom?

Timer range

If you want an automatic air freshener to be activated at fixed intervals, what do you want those intervals to be?

If you have an air fresheners with a wide range of intervals, you’ll have more flexibility. You can use short intervals for busy bathrooms, and long ones where there’s less traffic.

Also, some models only have certain fixed intervals to choose from, but some digital models allow you to choose any interval.

Refill compatibility

It’s stressful when you are left with an empty air freshener whose refills are nowhere be found in your local store.

If you have a universal air freshener that works with any air freshener refill, you’ll have more flexibility.

In addition to that, you also get access to a variety of fragrances offered by other brands.

3 of the best automatic air fresheners on the market

1. Glade Automatic Spray

This air freshener lasts longest in the bathroom. According to their literature, a refill lasts up to 60, at a 36 minute interval setting. It has settings at either 9, 18 or 36 minutes.

Glade is currently one of the top dogs in the air freshener business. One important reason is that their air freshener is ‘universal’ and can work with any refill from other brands This includes brands like Airwick and Lysol.

There is a boost button at the back if you do indeed need to spray at a specific time.

The design is simple and you can stand the air freshener upright on any flat surface.

Glade offers you seven fragrances: Lemon Fresh, Deep Amber Hills, Icy Evergreen Forest, Peaceful Rose and Wood, Sparkling Citrus Sunrise, Toasty Pumpkin Spice, and The Holiday Limited Edition Collection. But since the air freshener is compatible with other refill brands, you have more options than this.

Pros:

  • Refill cans are widely available
  • Compatible with Air Wick and other brand refills
  • Easy to set up
  • Can choose from up to 3 interval settings

You can find out more about the Glad Air Spray on Amazon.

2. Air Wick Freshmatic air freshener

Air Wick Freshmatic automatic air freshener

The Air Wick automatic air freshener has a catchy brand name ‘freshmatic’ combining the word ‘fresh’ and the word ‘automatic’. Otherwise, it’s pretty similar to the Glade Air Spray.

It has 3 interval settings. The refill also lasts 60 days at the lowest setting.

It has a hole in the back which means you can hang it on the wall, but otherwise, it’s designed to stand on a flat surface.

They have a wide variety of fragrances to choose from such as warm, breeze, salty sea, sun-bleached driftwood, among many others.

The Glad and Air Wick refills for their automatic air fresheners both work with each other, so you can use Glad refills on this air freshener too.

Pros:

  • Refill cans are widely available
  • Compatible with Glade refills
  • Easy to set up
  • Can choose from up to 3 interval settings

3. SVAVO automatic air freshener

SVAVO automatic air freshener

This automatic air freshener is a bit more pricey, and that’s because it can do a lot more than the other air fresheners we reviewed.

This air freshener is digital with different setting options and a LCD display.

You are not limited to specific intervals – you can program whatever you want between 1 and 60 minutes. There are 3 ‘working day’ modes that can be configured to specific days. For instance, Monday to Friday, Monday to Saturday, and Monday to Sunday, The working period (i.e. the time of the day it starts and stops) can be set for any time. So while the actual days are set to 3 specific modes, the specific times can be set to any start and stop time.

This is clearly designed for public and commercial spaces, but there’s no reason you can’t use it in the home.

It’s unclear from their literature how long a refill will last at different intervals, so we can’t really compare this aspect to the other air fresheners.

It can stand upright and can also be wall-mounted. It comes with a screw set to help mount it on a wall.

The SVAVO air freshener also handles refills from different brands like Glade and Air Wick.

The SVAVO air freshener is built with high-quality ABS material. This also means it comes with a 1 year warranty.

Pros:

  • Can be wall-mounted and comes with a screw set to do this
  • Time intervals can be set anywhere between 1 and 60 minutes.
  • 3 working day modes
  • Compatible with other brands’ refills
  • Built with high quality ABS material

Cons:

  • A bit costly

Summary

If you have a busy bathroom, these automatic air fresheners are worth investing in. They cost very little and if you get the right fragrance, it can go long a way in keeping your bathroom smelling great, all of the time.

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