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No matter how stunning your home looks, it’s hard to ignore foul odors. 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 Covid. Still, the process of removing the offending 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 before 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.
1. 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 work on the source rather than just 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.
2. Febreze Crisp Clean Air Freshener Heavy Duty Spray
BEST RUNNER UP PICK
Febreze has been an odor-removing champion for years, and it’s 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.
3. Amazon Commercial Dissolvable Odor Eliminator Kit with 3 Refill Pacs
This Amazon Commercial Odor Eliminator comes with three free pod refills. The solution is created by dissolving these pods in water, so you’re essentially getting three bottles of cleaner in one. A single pod creates 32 ounces of solution. This method is more environmentally friendly and still breaks down hard-to-remove odors. Buyers love the fresh but not overpowering scent and the fact that you don’t have to replace the whole product- just the pods.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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!
7. 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.
8. Angry Orange Citrus Pet Odor Eliminator Spray
BEST FOR PET OWNERS
There’s nothing more embarrassing than having guests over and knowing your house smells like wet dog, pet 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 neverending battle against pet smells.
9. Heinz Cleaning Vinegar
BEST ALL-NATURAL PICK
If you or other members of your household are sensitive to artificial 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 in 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. It’s also a great way to unclog drains.
10. 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.”
11. 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 it 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 decades.
12. AirClear Bamboo Charcoal Shoe Deodorizer Bags
BEST FOR SHOES
Are stinky shoes unavoidable in your house? Whether you sweat a lot, play on a sports team, or just deal with foot odor on a daily basis, these uniquely shaped inserts will get rid of odors naturally so that no one has to know. The outer is made of bamboo fiber-based fabrics, and underneath lies a micro-particle filtration layer filled with activated bamboo charcoal to root out odors in a non-toxic manner. Say goodbye to plastics and harsh air chemicals with this innovative, organic alternative.
13. Gonzo Natural Magic Natural Magic Air Purifying Gel
BEST GEL PICK
Rather than beads or sprays, Gonzo Natural Magic has found a way to purify the air and remove bad smells with a unique gel that traps and removes odors. Available in citrus, tropical, and vanilla scents, this gel is also commonly used to eliminate the odor of weed. It works by absorbing odors rather than covering or removing them, with one user recommending a helpful hack — place the gel under the bag inside your trash can to avoid rancid smells from escaping.
14. Munchkin Arm & Hammer Nursery Fresheners
BEST FOR BABIES
Babies are beautiful little creatures, but they can emit some shocking scents in the form of stinky diapers, vomit, and more. The solution? Arm & Hammer came out with these genius Munchkin Nursery Freshers in a lavender scent that will help lull your child to sleep. Available in 5-count and 10-count packs, these deodorizing discs use baking soda to nix odors from diaper bags, changing tables, hampers, and more. You can get over 100 uses out of them, and they can of course be used for non-baby areas like shoe closets and trash bins.
15. Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend
BEST DIY PICK
What’s better than your house smelling like a coffeehouse? Besides bringing a rich coffee smell to your home, coffee grounds absorb scents just like baking soda and vinegar do. For results, place tiny bowls or saucers of coffee grounds around your house. If the scent of vinegar is too powerful for sensitive noses, this is a particularly useful solution. Plus, many consider this variety by Peets to be the perfect dark brew, so you can always have a trusty 2-in-1 odor remover and caffeinated beverage on hand.
16. DampRid Moisture Absorber Hanging Bag, 3-Pack
BEST FOR MILDEW
Many of you might recognize this dreaded scent from old towels — mildew and mold have a damp, pungent scent that’s similar to dirty, wet socks. It’s also been compared to rotting wood. Long story short, mildew is a smell you never want in your home, and it’s caused by moisture. Mildew can even be deadly when inhaled too frequently. To avoid this, invest in the DampRid hanging bag, which effectively absorbs all that gross moisture with crystals. When all the crystals have dissolved, it’s time for a new bag.
17. Nawouk Anti Rust Stainless Steel Soap, 2-Pack
Weirdly enough, one of the most effective odor removers is a soap-shaped piece of stainless steel. Although it looks like some sort of sorcery on the surface, it’s a completely valid and science-based approach. Many foods cause odors due to sulfur, which then turns into sulphuric acid when you wash your hands. This steel soap binds to the sulfur molecules, removing them and the smell. We’re talking fish odor, that persistent garlic scent, and anything else you can think of. It has a cult following and the reviews to back it up.
18. Zero Odor Multi-Purpose Odor Eliminator, 128oz Refill
BEST BULK BUY
If you’re sick of running out of odor eliminators, this foolproof Zero Odor bottle comes in a 128oz refill. The huge jug is especially if a particularly pungent emergency comes your way. This product has a unique temporary “tracer scent” that allows customers to know where they sprayed, so they don’t waste any. It disappears after a couple of moments. It’s ideal for people with allergies, or with an aversion to bleach and chlorine. Just spray in the air and on affected surfaces to stop odor buildup in its tracks. It even works on skunk smells and is “worth every penny,” according to reviewers.
19. Gonzo Odor Eliminating Rocks
BEST FOR SMOKE ODOR
If smoke is the odor you want to remove, turn to odor-eliminating rocks, which are made from volcanic minerals. Reviewers vouch for these rocks when it comes to litter-box smells, urine, and the toughest odor of all: smoke. While cannabis smoke dwindles rather quickly, the stench of a cigarette tends to linger long after, and never really seems to go away. After one reviewer’s son ruined her BMW with his “cigarette stench” she said that nothing came close to removing the smell like these rocks, which were more effective than full auto detailing and Febreze application.
20. Febreze Unstopable Car Air Freshener Vent Clips
BEST FOR CARS
Febreze always replaces automobile stenches with laundry-scented goodness, and these car air freshener vent clips are no exception. If smells in your vehicle are the issue, these clips attach right onto your vents to blow out pleasantly scented air that’s “never overpowering or perfumey smelling”. Whether the culprit is fast food, spills, or pet odor, these clips get the job done and are much more low-key than those cheap artificial-smelling dollar-store air fresheners that swing from your front mirror.
21. Glad ForceFlex Protection Series Tall Kitchen Trash Bags, Fresh Clean with Febreze
BEST FOR GARBAGE SMELL
Garbage is one of the most common sources of bad smells, and you can’t exactly cover it up by spraying odor removers directly on the bag. This is often made worse by cheaply made bags that rip and let out even more odor. So how do you fix this issue? The answer lays in scented garbage bags that don’t leak. These Glad bags hold in all the stinky contents with dual-layer protection and release a steady stream of Febreze freshness that can cover up the most horrendous of smells.