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Febreze vs. Glade Air Fresheners: What’s the Difference?

It’s time to buy a new air freshener. But which brand should you pick, Febreze or Glade?

In this comparison, I break down the key differences between Febreze and Glade.

You’ll learn how these brands compare in terms of product offerings, how they work, scents, ingredients, and price.

Plus, I answer the most frequently asked questions about each brand.

So, if you’re looking to freshen up your home but not sure whether to use Febreze or Glade, keep reading.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Odor Eliminators vs. Fragrances

The primary difference between Febreze and Glade is that Febreze is an odor eliminator while Glade is a fragrance.

Odor eliminators use chemicals that bind to an odor and then get rid of them. Alternatively, fragrances mask odors by filling the air with a pleasant scent.

The active odor-eliminating ingredients in Febreze are sodium citrate, cyclodextrin, and duo PSB. Let’s break down these ingredients: 

  • Sodium citrate takes odor and balances out its PH level, neutralizing the smell.
  • Cyclodextrin is a circular molecule that traps odor.
  • Duo PSB is a polymer that attracts odors before trapping and eliminating them. 

Febreze also contains fragrances that replace the odors these ingredients eliminate.

On the other hand, Glade doesn’t have any odor-eliminating properties. Instead, it simply releases fragrances into the air, covering up odors.

Glade is a convenient way to cover up odors quickly, but it’s a temporary solution. Once the fragrance dissipates, the foul odors return.

That said, Febreze isn’t a permanent fix. To truly get rid of foul smells, keep areas clean and well ventilated and eliminate the source.

Product Offerings

While Febreze and Glade both offer a variety of air fresheners, Febreze’s product line is more extensive.

Let’s take a look at both brands’ products, starting with Febreze.

Febreze Plug-ins

Febreze Plug-ins are warm oil-based air fresheners that plug into the wall and release scent into the air. Adjust the level of intensity to control how often the plug sprays. The plug also has a low-level indicator light. It comes in 27 different scents.

Febreze Plug Refill
Febreze Plug Refill

Febreze Air

Febreze Air is ideal for any room in the house. Simply point and hold the trigger down, spraying in a sweeping motion. The spray eliminates odors and releases a fragrance. There are a total of 30 scents available.

Febreze Air
Febreze Air

Febreze Fabric

Febreze Fabric is a spray specifically for hard-to-wash fabrics. It works great on carpets, furniture, and bedding. It’s available in 30 varieties (including Touch and Antimicrobial).

Febreze Touch

Febreze Touch is also designed for smelly fabrics, but it features a unique formula that releases more scent when you touch the material. It works for up to 100 touches and comes in three scents.

Febreze Antimicrobial

Febreze Antimicrobial is another spray that, as its name suggests, eliminates bacteria on contact. It’s made for fabrics frequently exposed to germs like gym bags, toys, and bedding.

Febreze Pet

There are four kinds of Febreze Pet products made for animal odors. Two of them are part of the air spray lines, and the other two are a car freshener and a small space air freshener. Each product is specially made with pet odors in mind.

Febreze Small Spaces

Febreze Small Spaces is made for small areas of your home, such as closets and bathrooms. Instead of a spray bottle, it’s an oval-shaped dispenser with a button on the back to activate the freshener. It’s available in 19 scents (including the pet odor eliminator).

Febreze Small Spaces
Febreze Small Spaces

Febreze Car

The Febreze Car freshener is made to clip onto any car vent and comes with a dial to change the intensity of the scent. There are 27 products available (including the pet odor line).

Febreze Candles

Febreze’s candles have odor elimination technology, so they are more effective than traditional candles. They come in 11 scents and feature a simple design that goes with any home decor.

Febreze Wax Melts

The Febreze wax melts are compatible with any tea light or wax warmer. The melts eliminate odors while emanating a signature scent. Break off a piece of wax and melt it in the container of your choice. Sixteen scents are available. 

Now that you understand what Febreze offers, let’s review Glade’s lineup.

Glade Sprays

There are two kinds of Glade sprays: aerosol and automatic.

The aerosol sprays come in a steel can with a spray nozzle with 24 different scent options.

Glade Air Fresheners
Glade aerosol Sprays

The automatic sprays are dispensed via a battery-operated holder that you can set to spray every 9, 18, or 36 minutes. The sprays are available in 21 fragrances that come in a single or a two-pack. 

Glade Plug-Ins

Like Febreze, Glade offers scented oil warmers that plug into the wall. You can adjust the warmer to your desired intensity level and keep it plugged in to freshen the air in your home continuously. There are 24 scents sold individually, or you can buy two, three, and five packs.

Glade PlugIn Refill
Glade PlugIn Refill

Glade Oil-Plus is the company’s most energy-efficient plug-in. It comes with smart features, such as rest mode, auto shut-off, and a low-level indicator light. The fragrances that come with the Glade Oil-Plus plug-in include Aqua Waves, Clean Linen, and Hawaiian Breeze.

Candles And Wax Melts

The Glade candles are infused with essential oils and sold with either one wick or three wicks. The one wick candles have 24 available scents and are sold individually or in twin packs. The three-wick candles come in 18 fragrances.

Glade Candle

Glade also offers 2-in-1 candles that blend two fragrances.

Glade Carpet Refresher

Glade Carpet Refresher is a powder cleaner that sprinkles on carpets, rugs, or various upholstery to eliminate odors. Let the powder sit for a few minutes before vacuuming. There are five varieties available, including one specifically for pet scents.

Scents

Febreze and Glade both offer a variety of scents across all of their products. They also both organize their scents into different categories, making it easy to shop.

Febreze offers dozens of unique scents, which are organized into the following categories:

  •  Light
  • Essentials
  • Unstopables
  • Origins
  • Fragrance-Free
  • Heavy Duty
  • Holiday
  • Spring
  • Citrus / Fruity
  • Floral / Sweet
  •  Fresh / Airy

Febreze’s top-selling scents are Mediterranean Lavender, Hawaiian Aloha, Wood, Cotton Fresh, Forest, and Fresh-Baked Vanilla.

Glade’s fragrance categories include:

  • Fresh
  • Fruity
  • Floral
  • Warm
  • Seasonal

Glade’s most popular fragrances include Hawaiian Breeze, Cashmere Woods, Tranquil Lavender & Aloe, Apple Of My Pie, and Clean Linen.

While both brands offer lots of options, Febreze provides more choices, and its scents are a bit more nuanced.

Ingredients

Febreze is transparent about the ingredients that go into its products. You can see the complete ingredient list for every product on SmartLabel.com.

They also make it clear what they don’t put into their products, including ingredients like formaldehyde and PVC.

Here is a list of the ingredients in the Febreze Air Spray, the most popular Febreze product: 

  • Water: Helps stabilize and direct active ingredients.
  • Alcohol Denatured: A drying agent.
  • PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil: A stabilizer to ensure that the product remains effective.
  • Fragrances: The scents that Febreze uses to perfume each spray. 
  • Sodium Citrate: An odor eliminator that balances out PH.
  • Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin: Modified corn starch that helps lock away odors.
  • Diethylhexyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate: A spreading agent that evenly disperses the product.
  • Benzisothiazolinone: Commonly found in antibacterial soap, it keeps microbes from contaminating the product.
  • Nitrogen: A propellant that helps disperse the product.

Glade is owned by S.C. Johnson, which owns many other brands, including Windex, Pledge, and Scrubbing Bubbles.

Every ingredient in S.C. Johnson products is evaluated through a program they call Greenlist, a four-step process that determines the risks to the environment and humans.

The company partners with external experts to evaluate the safety of each ingredient, and it continually makes adjustments as new data and science emerge.

The ingredients in Glade Spray are:

  • Water: Gives the product a liquid base.
  • Sorbitan Oleate: Emulsifies and binds the product together.
  • Isobutane: A propellant that is compressed in the container to dispense the product into the air.
  • Propane: Another compressed propellant.
  • Fragrance: Perfume used to scent the product (made of natural and synthetic components).
  • Propylene Glycol: A stabilizer that evenly distributes the product and an odor eliminator.
  • Sodium Phosphate: Helps keep the product fresh and prevents corrosion.
  • Steartrimonium Chloride: A stabilizer that balances the PH of a product and encourages even distribution.

While Febreze and Glade are safe for household use, some of the ingredients are potentially harmful if you’re overexposed.

EWG (Environmental Working Group) reviews and rates household chemicals and cleaning products based on elements like skin allergens and environmental impact. Both Febreze and Glade receive a “C” rating for their sprays.

EWG Safety Ratings
EWG Safety Ratings

To minimize any risks, limit the amount of Glade and Febreze you spray, keep the area well ventilated, and always follow the instructions on the package.

Price

Air fresheners are relatively cheap upfront, but the cost can add up if you use them frequently, especially with always-on plug-ins.

So, how do the prices of Febreze and Glade compare?

Febreze is generally more expensive than Glade, and that’s because its products eliminate odors rather than simply masking them with a scent.

That said, prices vary by product type. For example, the sprays generally cost less than a specialty product like plug-ins or automatic dispensers.

An easy way to compare costs is to look at how many ounces come in the bottle. Febreze and Glade plug-in refills both last up to 50 days on the lowest setting.

Take a look at the pricing chart below to get a better idea of the cost of Febreze and Glade products.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

FAQs About Febreze and Glade

In this section, I provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about Febreze and Glade.

What soft surfaces can you use Febreze and Glade spray on?

Febreze makes products specifically for fabrics like carpets, couches, clothing, pillows, bedding, shower curtains, and shoes.

Glade doesn’t have a spray for fabric, but it has a powder that’s safe on carpet, upholstery, car interiors, and drapes.

What soft surfaces should you not use Febreze and Glade spray on?

Don’t use Febreze on fabrics that are water-sensitive like silk, suede, and leather.

Glade isn’t meant to be sprayed on surfaces directly. The only Glade product designed for direct surface contact is the powder cleaner which is made for carpets.

Do Febreze and Glade actually eliminate odor?

Febreze products are designed to trap and eliminate odors. Glade doesn’t eliminate odors; it simply masks them with a fragrance. Learn more about how Febreze works.

Are Febreze and Glade toxic to pets?

Febreze products are dog and cat-friendly but are dangerous for birds since their lungs are smaller and more sensitive. Read Febreze’s pet safety statement.

Glade doesn’t specifically address pet safety, but they have a statement relating to the general toxicity of their products.

Of course, never spray your pet directly and avoid overexposure. Always read the instruction label, and don’t let your animals on sprayed surfaces until they’re completely dry.

Do Febreze and Glade kill germs?

Febreze antimicrobial spray is the only product across both brands that kills bacteria. The other Febreze products and all Glade products do not kill germs.

Are Febreze and Glade flammable?

Febreze uses a nitrogen propellant that is not flammable. Glade has ingredients that, when compressed in an aerosol, are flammable. For safety purposes, keep both products away from fire or gas stoves.

Will Febreze and Glade plug-ins work with 220V?

No, both Febreze and Glade plug-ins are designed for a 120-volt outlet.

How long do Febreze and Glade plug-ins last?

Febreze and Glade plug-ins have settings that allow you to adjust the intensity of the scent. The scent lasts 50 days for both brands when used on the lowest setting and lasts between 10 to 20 days on the highest setting. 

Do Febreze or Glade plug-ins rotate?

Yes, Febreze and Glade plug-ins both rotate. But the product must be used in an upright position to be effective.

Who owns Febreze and Glade?

Febreze is owned by Procter & Gamble. Glade is owned by S.C. Johnson.

Bottom Line: Which Air Freshener Is Better, Febreze or Glade?

Febreze and Glade both offer plug-ins, sprays, and candles in a variety of scents. But which is better?

Before I reveal my recommendation, let’s recap the main differences:

  • Febreze eliminates odor and releases a fresh scent, while Glade temporarily masks odors with fragrance.
  • Both brands offer sprays, plug-ins, and candles, but Febreze features more products for specific surfaces and areas.
  • Glade’s product line consists primarily of air fresheners, while Febreze offers air fresheners and fabric sprays.
  • Both brands offer a variety of scents, but Febreze provides more neutral fresh options.
  • Glade costs less than Febreze products.

While both brands solve the same issue, I recommend Febreze over Glade.

If you’re looking to infuse a fresh scent into a room, Glade does the trick. It’s a reliable brand with a large variety of scent options.

But if you’re actually trying to reduce foul odors while also adding fresh scent, Febreze is the best option. For areas prone to nasty stenches, like bathrooms, cars, closets, kids’ rooms, basements, Febreze is ideal.

In addition, Febreze offers more products and more scents, so you can always find a solution for your specific needs.

Bottom line — if you want to remove odors, go with Febreze. If you’re just looking to add scent to a neutral-smelling room, Glade or Febreze both work great.

If you’re ready to buy or want to learn more, check out Febreze on Amazon and Febreze.com and Glade on Amazon and Glade.com.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s been studying consumer buying behavior for 10+ years and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn or via email.

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