Poo-Pourri Alternatives To Keep Your Bathroom Smelling Fresh

Poo-Pourri took the world by storm when it burst onto the scene in 2007 as a unique, effective way to trap those unpleasant bathroom odors. The before-you-go spray contains essential oils and other natural ingredients that create a barrier on the water’s surface, stopping stinky smells before they have a chance to escape.

While Poo-Pourri remains a popular product, some users find it doesn’t fully mask strong odors. Others may want to avoid certain ingredients or fragrances. And of course there’s the cost – at $10 or more per bottle, keeping your bathroom stocked with Poo-Pourri can get pricey.

Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives for those looking to replace or supplement their Poo-Pourri. Let’s explore some of the options, along with the pros and cons of each.

Alternatives To Poo-Pourri

great poo pourri reviews on most popular scent
Image Source: Poo Pourri

Let’s check out the list first:

  1. DIY Poo Sprays
  2. Automatic Toilet Sprays
  3. Baking Soda and Essential Oils
  4. Gel Bead Toilet Deodorizers
  5. Essential Oil Toilet Diffusers
  6. Simmering Potpourri
  7. Activated Charcoal
  8. Scented Candles
  9. Scented Trash Bags
  10. Air Purifiers
  11. Fragrance Oils

It’s time to talk about them in detail now!

DIY Poo Sprays

One of the most common Poo-Pourri swaps is a do-it-yourself essential oil spray. These are simple to whip up using ingredients you likely already have at home. Here’s a basic recipe:

  • 2 cups water
  • 20-30 drops essential oil(s) of your choice
  • 2 tbsp witch hazel or rubbing alcohol (acts as a preservative)
  • Spray bottle

Simply add the ingredients to a spray bottle, shake well before each use, and mist it into the bowl before using the toilet. The essential oils will create that crucial film on the water to contain odors.

  • Pros: Very affordable, customizable scents, all-natural ingredients
  • Cons: Takes a few minutes to make, essential oils can be pricey upfront, doesn’t last as long as commercial products
  • Ideal for: People who enjoy DIY projects, want full control over ingredients, use essential oils for other purposes

Automatic Toilet Sprays

Automatic Toilet Spray

Automatic toilet bowl sprays take the human effort out of the equation.

They mount inside the toilet tank and spray a mist of odor eliminator with every flush.

Popular options like Poo-Pourri’s Automatic Toilet Spray and Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Toilet Bowl Freshener contain many of the same ingredients as the manual sprays.

The main difference is the added convenience of an automated system.

  • Pros: No need to remember to spray, provides odor control with every flush
  • Cons: More expensive upfront, battery operated models require battery changes
  • Ideal for: Households with frequent bathroom use, set-it-and-forget-it convenience

Baking Soda and Essential Oils

For a toilet spray with just two ingredients, look no further than baking soda and essential oils. Baking soda neutralizes odors rather than masking them. The essential oils lend a pleasant fragrance.

To make a simple baking soda spray:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 15 drops essential oil(s)
  • 2 cups water
  • Spray bottle

Spritz before use for odor-trapping power. Give the bottle a shake periodically as the baking soda will settle.

  • Pros: Only 2 inexpensive ingredients, baking soda is a natural deodorizer
  • Cons: Need to shake before each use, may require occasional remixing
  • Ideal for: People looking for a super simple, affordable odor solution

Gel Bead Toilet Deodorizers

Gel beads are another passive way to keep toilet odors at bay. The color-changing beads sit in a basket or holder that suctions to the side of the toilet bowl. They work like mini air fresheners, releasing a fragrance as needed.

Some popular gel options:

Gel Bead Toilet Deodorizers
  • Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush Toilet Cleaning Gel Stamp: Provides cleaning action and fragrance
  • Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Odor Eliminating Gel: Contains Poo-Pourri’s signature essential oil formula
  • Clorox Toilet Bowl Foam: Offers extended blue or green fragrance

Pros: Convenient passive odor control, long-lasting, colorful options

Cons: Must replace gel beads when scent fades, potential toilet clogs if beads escape basket

Ideal for: Low-maintenance odor solution between toilet cleanings

Essential Oil Toilet Diffusers

Essential oil diffusers aren’t just for freshening bedrooms and living rooms — they can transform your bathroom’s scent too.

There are a few ways to make this work:

  • Manual diffuser: Place a small diffuser on the bathroom counter and run it when desired.
  • Automatic diffuser: Mount an automatic diffuser higher up on the wall where it will run as needed whenever someone enters the room.
  • Vent diffuser: Place several drops of oil on toilet paper and set inside the toilet paper holder or other vented surface. The airflow will diffuse the scent.

Rotate your favorite uplifting or relaxing scents. Peppermint and citrus oils are ideal for an invigorating bathroom boost.

Pros: Provides full room fragrance, therapeutic aromatherapy benefits

Cons: Need to refill oils, discreet placement needed for subtle effect

Ideal for: Aromatherapy lovers, set-and-forget convenience

Simmering Potpourri

For a classic odor solution, simmer a pot of water and citrus peels or potpourri on the stove while hosting guests. Keep an eye on it as prolonged boiling can evaporate too much water. The scent will greet your guests in the hallway on the way to the bathroom.

Slice peels from:

  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit

Or use a premade potpourri blend containing any of:

  • Rose petals
  • Lavender
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves

Pros: Provides full home fragrance, uses natural ingredients

Cons: Requires monitoring on the stove, effect only lasts while simmering

Ideal for: Quick scent boost before company arrives, traditional ambiance

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal offers another odor-absorbing option.

It doesn’t mask or neutralize odors exactly, rather it traps them within its porous structure.

Sprinkle loose charcoal chunks into the toilet bowl or tape a charcoal pouch to the underside of the toilet seat.

Replace the charcoal every few months.

An added benefit of activated charcoal is that it whitens and polishes the bowl with each flush.

But avoid using it alongside cleaners containing bleach, as the two don’t mix.

Pros: Absorbs wide range of odors, whitens the bowl

Cons: Doesn’t provide fragrance, needs periodic replacement

Ideal for: Effective odor removal, eco-friendly absorption

Scented Candles

A deliciously scented candle can set the mood in your bathroom with minimal effort. Opt for lighter clean fragrances that energize and refresh. Some popular picks:

  • Grapefruit – Bright and sunny citrus
  • Lemongrass – Fresh herbal zing
  • Eucalyptus – Cool and invigorating
  • Linen – Crisp and clean
  • Green tea – Calming aroma

Group several candles together for more scent throw. Be sure to keep burning candles away from flammable surfaces and never leave them unattended.

Pros: Light scent, easy ambiance, wide fragrance options

Cons: Doesn’t directly eliminate odors, potential fire hazard

Ideal for: Mood setting and light fresh scent

Scented Trash Bags

Don’t underestimate the power of a scented trash bag. It will contain all odors the second you drop waste in the bin.

Look for bags with fragrances like:

  • Citrus – Orange, lemon, lime
  • Floral – Rose, jasmine, lavender
  • Herbal – Eucalyptus, menthol
  • Fruity – Melon, strawberry, mango

Pros: Immediately traps odors, matches scent to bathroom space

Cons: Scent is limited to trash area, masks rather than eliminates smells

Ideal for: Containing unpleasant odors where they start

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers actively clean the air, removing odors and other contaminants. They use various technologies:

  • HEPA filter – Traps tiny particles like pollen and dust that carry scents
  • Carbon filter – Absorbs a wide range of smells and gases
  • UV light – Destroys mold, bacteria, and airborne pathogens that cause odor
  • Negative ion generator – Binds particles together so they drop out of the air

Place a compact purifier discreetly in the corner or under the sink and let it run whenever the bathroom is in use.

Pros: Eliminates airborne odors and particles, improves overall air quality

Cons: Higher upfront cost, requires filter replacements

Ideal for: People with allergies or sensitivities, thorough odor removal

Fragrance Oils

Looking for an extra potent scent boost? Fragrance oils are highly concentrated perfume oils. Just a few drops go a long way.

Add several drops of fragrance oil straight into the toilet bowl or dilute with water in a spray bottle. Limit it to one or two perfume scents.

Good fragrance oil options:

  • Fresh linen
  • Wildflowers
  • Apple cinnamon
  • Pine forest
  • Ocean mist

Pros: Very strong scent throw, variety of fragrances, a little goes a long way

Cons: Can be overpowering if overused, masks natural odors

Ideal for: Overriding tough bathroom odors, creating signature scents

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Still have some questions about choosing and using Poo-Pourri alternatives? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

What can I use instead of poo pourri?

There are many options that work similarly to Poo-Pourri, including: DIY essential oil sprays, Automatic toilet sprays, Baking soda and essential oil mixtures, Gel beads, Essential oil diffusers, Simmering potpourri, Activated charcoal.
The key is finding a product that allows you to spray or sprinkle a scent barrier across the toilet bowl before use. Or choose set-it-and-forget-it options like automatic sprays and diffusers.

What is the best scent to cover up poop smell?

The most effective scent options for battling bathroom odor contain essential oils such as:
Citrus – Orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime
Herbal – Eucalyptus, tea tree, mint, lavender
Spice – Cinnamon, clove
Lighter clean fragrances work better than heavy musky perfumes when you want to cover up poop smell. Stay away from artificial fragrances which can make odors worse.

Is poo pourri bad for plumbing?

When used as directed, Poo-Pourri is generally safe for plumbing. The ingredients shouldn’t cause any damage or build-up.
The same is true for most alternatives like DIY sprays and automatic aerosols. Just avoid pouring oils, gels, or thick liquids directly into your toilet.
Activated charcoal may be an exception, as the fine powder could potentially clog drains if spilled directly into the toilet. Use a bag or secure pouch.

How do you make homemade bathroom deodorizer?

These simple homemade spray recipes make great bathroom deodorizers:
Essential oil spray – 2 cups water, 20-30 drops essential oils, 2 tbsp witch hazel or rubbing alcohol
Baking soda spray – 1 cup baking soda, 15 drops essential oils, 2 cups water
Vodka spray – 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vodka or rubbing alcohol, 10-15 drops essential oils
Simmering potpourri – Combine citrus peels or dried flowers in a pot of water; simmer on the stove while entertaining guests
Spray the mixture into the toilet bowl before use. For potpourri, keep on low heat while company is over to perfume the air.


While Poo-Pourri holds the throne as the original before-you-go toilet spray, it has its limitations. The good news is there are tons of alternative products, DIY options, and techniques to keep your bathroom smelling fresh.

Finding the right Poo-Pourri swap comes down to your priorities. Seek all-natural recipes if you want to avoid certain ingredients. Go for convenience with automatic dispensers. Or get creative with essential oil diffusers and simmer pots.

With a little trial and error, you can discover the ideal replacement to maintain a pleasantly scented space and minimize embarrassing odors. Just remember – spritz before you sit!

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own ReliefInBath.com From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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