No matter how stunning your home looks, if there’s a foul odor, it’s hard to ignore. But there’s no need to be embarrassed by funky smells. In confined indoor places, it’s only natural for smells to get trapped, and you are likely spending more time confined indoors than ever before thanks to the one-two punch of winter and a global pandemic. Still, the process of removing the notorious stink is a little more complicated. Sometimes, no amount of cleaning seems to be enough to get rid of bad smells in your home or apartment — it just masks the stench without getting to the root cause. In these situations, the best odor eliminators can help you get rid of those stubborn smells once and for all.
We’re far past the day of cheap plug-in air fresheners. Today, the best odor eliminators come in all sizes and forms, from deodorizing sprays to purifying bags of natural odor fighters.
So what are the best products for eliminating odors? We investigated all the options online for effectiveness. Some odor eliminators had their own offensive scent, while others only worked for a short time until the odor returned. No matter the culprit, these vetted odor-busting deodorizers can take care of pet smells, dirty laundry smells, musty carpets and more offensive odors. Check out the following options to see how to breathe fresher air into your home ASAP.
Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Stain and Odor Eliminator
BEST OVERALL PICK
It’s not the most commonly known brand, but this professional-strength odor remover by Rocco & Roxie gets the job done every day, and even multitasks on stains. Powered by enzymes, this scent remover uses a specific kind of bacteria that’s activated on messes to clean from the source rather than cover up smells. Its one-of-a-kind formula is also effective enough to lift stains. Another pro: it’s gentle enough to use on colorfast carpets. From removing pet urine to cigarette smoke, this mighty cleaner will save your sanity.
Febreze Crisp Clean Air Freshener Heavy Duty Spray
BEST RUNNER UP PICK
Febreze has been an odor-removing champion for years, and they’re famous for getting that fresh laundry scent just right. The Crisp Clean scent in. This heavy-duty spray is our favorite by far. It’s intended for freshening the air rather than fabrics and uses OdorClear technology to fill your house with the comforting scent of dryer sheets and freshly cleaned clothes. Ideal as a bathroom companion or closet freshener, but one reviewer notes that it also does a stellar job at covering up smoke of all kinds.
AmazonBasics Dissolvable Odor Eliminator Kit with 3 Refill Pacs
BEST BUDGET PICK
For just over $10, this Amazon Basics Odor Eliminator comes with three free pod refills. The solution is created by dissolving these pods with water, so you’re essentially getting three bottles of cleaner in one. Just a single pod creates 32 ounces of solution. This pod method is more environmentally friendly but still breaks down hard-to-remove odors. Reviewers love the fresh but not overpowering scent, which comes close to Febreze for a much lower cost.
Wonderful Activated Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags
MOST PORTABLE PICK
From baking soda to sprays, air purification isn’t always the most hands-free option to use around the house. These purifying bags are portable and convenient for use in your car, office, or around your home. They’re filled with activated charcoal, which controls odor naturally. A metal buckle and loop design on these biodegradable sacks makes them simple to use or remove. The ultimate choice for those who aren’t a fan of scented odor removers.
Febreze Fabric Refresher, Odor Eliminator Extra Strength + Unstopables
BEST FOR FABRIC
Cleaning upholstery can be a drag, and it’s expensive when done professionally. To get your fabrics smelling like brand new, this Febreze FABRIC duo is a spray option that’s hard to beat. Using a fine mist, Febreze FABRIC deep cleans with a fine mist, working out cigarette smoke, urine, and body odors. It can even be used on carpeting and curtains. If you’re addicted to this brand’s pleasantly light scent, you’re not alone. One reviewer loves how this spray lets her get more wear out of garments before laundry day.
Lumi Outdoors Natural Shoe Deodorizer Spray
BEST All-NATURAL ELIMINATOR
Stinky feet are a reality for the best of us, especially if you live with athletic people or teenage boys. This chemical-free deodorizer spray is marketed as a natural foot odor remover, but the eucalyptus lemongrass smell is so enticing, you’ll want to use it on everything else. Using essential oils, this all-natural Lumi Outdoors spray packs a punch. Multiple buyers on Amazon say they also use it to deodorize their trash cans, gym bags and as a general air freshener. De-stink those shoes, and the rest of the house, while you’re at it!
FunkAway Odor Eliminating Beads
BEST ODOR ELIMINATING BEADS
If sprays, liquid gels, and powder products are too messy for you, odor-eliminating beads are surprisingly effective in absorbing bad scents. FunkAway beads last up to three months and contain only non-toxic ingredients. One user liked how it removed the damp smell from his car, and another used it in his home gym. Multiple reviewers praised it for its ability to bust through teen B.O., which is as good as a testimony gets. If you’re not big on loud, flowery fragrances, these beads leave a more subtle aroma.
Angry Orange Citrus Pet Odor Eliminator Spray
BEST FOR PET OWNERS
There’s nothing more embarrassing than having guest odors and knowing your house smells like wet dog, urine, or a litter-box. Other pet odor removers can contain harsh chemicals that aren’t great for furry friends, or have an overwhelming scent. This natural citrus alternative makes your home smell like fresh oranges, and that’s because it’s made with real citrus fruit. Reviewers note that the smell fades pleasantly, and while you’re left with a citrus undertone, it really gets to the source and removes the offensive odor. That’s why this natural cleaning agent is one of the best odor eliminators for your home, especially for those fighting a never-ending battle against pet smells.
Heinz Cleaning Vinegar
BEST ALL NATURAL PICK
If you or other members of your households are sensitive to ingredients in cleaning products, you can’t go wrong with cleaning vinegar. This works on surfaces and upholstery, and while it doesn’t exactly smell like lemons, it’s one of the most effective DIY cleaning solutions that’s been getting the job done for years I an eco-friendly way. Just remember: that overpowering scent dissipates with time. and Lots of reviewers found that it cleaned just as well as store-bought options, especially when combined with baking soda.
Citrus Magic Solid Air Freshener
BEST SOLID AIR FRESHENER
If regular baking soda isn’t enough for you, this solid air freshener by Citrus Magic combines it with a fresh scent. Sold as a six-pack, buyers can choose between different scents like cedar, mint, lavender, or citrus. Place these packs in your bathroom, closet, or anywhere else that needs refreshing. They absorb odor for up to eight weeks – enough so that one ecstatic mom said it totally erased the scent of her kids’ basketball shoes, which smelled like “a smoothie made out of old gym socks.”
Arm & Hammer Fridge-N-Freezer Baking Soda Odor Absorber
BEST FOR FRIDGE ODOR
Fridges can harbor some pretty atrocious scents and nasty mysteries, but it’s nothing that’s baking soda can’t take care of. Cleaning regularly with baking soda can be messy, leaving powdery residue on your surfaces. But this Fridge-N-Freezer pack absorbs smells while containing that powder in a spill-proof package. Simply peel off the perforated from of the box, place it in your fridge door or shelf, and replace monthly. Reviewers found that this product stood up to fancy charcoal alternatives, and it’s a tried-and-true cleaning hack that’s been around for many decadess.