Stop wasting your air freshener

air_hack

Airwick air fresheners come with an amazing feature. They spray air freshener every once in a while no matter what. It is extremely wasteful and obviously a marketing plan to force you to buy more. There is a solution though. You can hack them, to turn them back in to a manual release like they used to be.  Two cuts and two soldered wires is all that is necessary.

yes, we know you could just buy an aerosol, but many of us just come home and find them in our bathrooms since someone else in the house bought it. If you’ve already got it, why not hack it? This is also a great project for teaching beginners how to improve hardware.

[thanks Asmor]

Comments

  1. alexfox says:

    wow, that guy is really pissed off at airwick inc. :)

  2. barry99705 says:

    yea, that guys has issues.

  3. Jeff says:

    Hahah, I like the detailed pics, plain jane webpage, and the awesome attitude against money hungry corporations lol.

  4. Mythgarr says:

    It seems to me that the much better, slightly more complicated, and infinitely more useful hack would be to add a motion sensor (as can be found at you local home improvement or electronics store for a very modest fee, or I’m betting half of us just have laying around)

    Just sayin…

  5. AnarKIT says:

    Ahhh, it’s so very refreshing to not have to deal with an Instructables website.

    Real hackers write their own webpages like this.

    A better thing to do with the air fresheners is to add a microcontroller that only lets it operate during certain hours that people are home.

  6. O Mattos says:

    How on earth was the original circuit so complex? All it was doing was spraying on a timer with a button override – considering this was a mass produced device and cost should have been vital, wouldn’t you as the designer make it absolutely minimal?

    as a side comment, what was the actuator for the spray? It sounds like a small electric valve could be useful for little projects and this might be just the place to get one.

  7. Dittle says:

    I also noted the airwick would dry out within 20 days on its lowest setting. So the way i defeated it was put it on a digital timer and set it to have it turned on around noon every day.

  8. al says:

    forget manual, just combine it with the story above about a sound activated circuit. tweak this one to go off at fart frequency

  9. static says:

    Well if airwick could come up with a foul odor detector, they would have something. :) Of course the product hacked here, is designed not to last. All part of an economy based on consumption. While the possabilities are limited, it would be more interesting to see the circuit board re-purposed to perform another use. Hockaday or Instructables there is a contest possibility here, pleas do it.

  10. pov says:

    Depending on where you put it, it could really benefit from a light sensor that activates it after you switch the lights off (hint: bathroom). I smell (pun not intended) this as the perfect job for microcontroller and some very limited lines of code.

  11. paul says:

    there was an article in the latest “make” that hooks up an arduino so you can control it from a terminal:

    http://www.make-digital.com/make/vol16/?folio=161

  12. kyle007 says:

    Ok I know whats going on here but I belive I missed something… is it that you push the button pull the chain… just kidding but seriously.. do you push the button and then the circuit cycles once? Or will it spray for as long as the button is pressed. If it will cycle once then “Mythgarr” and “pov” are onto something. I think a cleverly placed Photo cell would do the trick. Now those two yellow wires, if you were to cut one of them in the middle and make two leads that use a photo cell to complete the circuit you would be in business… I would never buy one of these stupid things in the first place I think that they market to your wifey “all long with all the other gimiks wifey will waste money on each year…

  13. mohammed says:

    Thanks .

  14. James says:

    Motion activated (with a minumum time between sprays to prevent over-spraying) airwick type fresheners already exist, with an override button. And it seems a bit nuts to buy a fairly complex one and hack it back to the old type, which can still be bought for less?

    Not trying to be too negative, at least the write-up was good and there was enthusiasm! Better, but only just, than the “we added LEDs to our calculator” post lol.

  15. kyle007 says:

    just saw an add for the clapper on tv hmmmmm clapper in the crapper??? sry folks I had to go there…….\/

  16. doctorsound says:

    Or what about rigging up a foot switch? Because EVERYONE washes their hands, right?

    Or to add to the motion/light sensor, put it on a bit of a delay, I don’t want to get blasted sitting on the crapper…

    Or set it to receive tweets from twitter, lol.

  17. dan says:

    add a motion sensor and hook it up to a cs/pepper spray can! instant chemical warfare landmine…

  18. walt says:

    Mad props and thanks for posting. I love it when someone finds a way to stop companies from ripping us off with their wasteful marketing plans. MORE HACKS LIKE THIS, HACKADAY!

  19. Sol says:

    I’d like to combine a few of these (using various liquids) with my electromechanical one man band to add the dimension of smell to my performance

  20. barry99705 says:

    I’m still trying to figure out the Lysol dispenser for my germaphobic sister.

  21. barry99705 says:

    Crap, that was supposed to be installed to the top of her roomba….

  22. TheLucster says:

    I used to have a cheap supermarket branded version. When it was set to ‘off’ it could be triggered manually by using the button.

  23. D says:

    haha i read the whole thing in silence and then laughed out loud at the end…. “fuck you, airwick corporation”

  24. superlopez says:

    Enclosure for projects? Battery holder, led, button.. plus cheap and aesthecaly pleasing.

  25. mpare says:

    So if spraying every n minutes is wasteful, what would everyone think of it spraying when the light in say the bathroom is turned off? Going further why not require that the light be off for n minutes before spraying and re using the switch to select not to spray more than once with in x minutes. It’s kinda like that automatic kitty litter pan minus the robotic arm and all the nasty. How much additional logic would this require?

  26. politicorific says:

    I picked up one of these units before I saw this article the other day. Mine has a timer setting, the longest interval being 36 minutes. I wonder if there’s a way I can change it to once every 2 hours or something similar.

  27. John says:

    YEAH FIGHT THE POWER, END AIRWICK’S OPPRESSIVE MONOPOLY!!

  28. Frank says:

    I found a way, with the newer Freshmatic freshener, to make the unit light sensitive, using only a photoresistor and a 200kohm resistor as a voltage divider. There is a terminal on the switch that if you bring down to as close to ground as possible will disable the circuit. Bringing it to about 1.3 volts allows the circuit to continue normally. (I have yet to test anything besides the 36 minutes setting, and faster is too much IMHO) Using a simple voltage divider across one of the batteries makes this mod simple and easy, hardest part is mounting the sensor somewhere that makes sense. If one wanted, a potentiometer could be added to adjust sensitivity.

  29. Jonathan says:

    I,m really interested in a quick mod to disable the time release but retain the motion sensor features of the new Air Wick Freshmatic.
    Any suggestions?

    Cheers

    • MrRedHead says:

      I’m also looking for à mod to use only the motion sensor in THE newer units with à time delay to spray.
      I opend the unit and photographed it but have to little knowledge of electronics to pull this off.

  30. peter says:

    hi anyone know a way to use cheaper or smaller refils to work in this thing? can reuse plastic holder too was thinking about the small refils from the toilet “hand” sprayer is very similar but smaller

  31. Mr. Mom says:

    I googled my way here, looking for this EXACT conversation. Good stuff! It seemed to me there must be a practical alternative use for the technology, and the “fuck you airwick” is great. BUT… Part of paying my way as a Mr. Mom (read ‘Cast aside Dot Commer) is to save /- 80% at the grocery. Regular newspaper coupons reduce the cost of these to near $0. With 8 indoor cats (suckers for an abandoned litter in the dead of winter) I have 6 of these things spraying in my hoise right now. Hell… I want the to spray like every 9 SECONDS!

  32. Mr. Mom says:

    * from the tiny keyboard of my Palm Pre®

  33. Matt says:

    The max 36 minute setting sucks. Is ther any way to change it to spray once every 3-4 hours? 36 minutes is way too often.

  34. pixelwhip says:

    do i smell a spray can (graffiti) hack on the horizon?

  35. Ade peters says:

    I would also be Interested how to hack the unit so it retains the motion sensor but kills the timer. Seems like the best deal to me. Only sprays when your in the room. I bought the unit thinking that’s what it did. Rip off merchants.

  36. Ildado says:

    Exactly MATT , I want this thing to spray once an hour or as you suggested even less , a couple of times a day would be nice. What is it with these minutes they have “installed” in this device ? Very peculiar – please someone hack the timer so we can get the minutes we want – Minimum 90 mins !

  37. guyguy says:

    Yes! Please! Someone (with much more circuitry knowledge than me) PLEASE figure out a way to override the timer settings and have just the motion sensor activate the spray, as others have requested. Would be MUCH appreciated!

  38. digital_one says:

    I’m pissed about that, I’m not home for more than 12 hours and the dam thing keeps spraying. I guess the cockroaches are enjoying the aroma.

    I just want to hack it for only the motion sensor, and bypass the timer.

  39. silverbyte says:

    BRILLIANT and yes fuck you airwick corporation… and corporations with same mentality…

  40. silverbyte says:

    @ guyguy & Ildado: these circuits cannot be hacked, these epoxy type chips are fabricated to run code one way. japan makes these to lower costs of adding a real MCU

  41. Andy says:

    I had the same thoughts about the ethics of Air Wick Corporation. My hack was a simple on/off slide switch inserted into the battery red wire. The switch was mounted through the casing in the space above the battery compartment. Now you can turn it on and leave it puffing away at any of the pre set times. or via the “squirt now” button, and you just turn it off when you’re done. No messing with the batteries etc.

  42. Colecago says:

    I have the motion sensor and timer version, but my wife wanted a button as well because even the motion sensor was set so there was a certain amount of time between sprays. I ended up just using a button to short out the low side transistor on the motor, so that way it still has all its original functionality and has a button as well. If you want more info check out my blog where I’ll have pics and stuff in a couple of days

  43. smelly says:

    You can still buy those manual spray jobbies at Lidl. Great hack anyway. I would like a hack that lets me use cheaper refills in the Air Wick device. I have squeezed one into the plastic cage, but for some reason, no squirts!

  44. akylas says:

    You can make it less expensive if you use only the
    refill can, and throw the container to the dustbin.
    Now you don’t have to worry about batteries too.
    He he he.

  45. TheNickmaster21 says:

    If you really wanted to, you could add a photocell in the device to enable only during the day/when lights are on to automatically spray!

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