Summary: The best air freshener/purifier depends on your specific needs. See below.
- Air Freshener Spray Bottles – For removing odors and adding new scents.
- Ozone Spray Bottle – For destroying serious odors without adding a new scent.
- Odor-Destroying Gel Canisters and Odor-Absorbing Bags of Activated Charcoal – Display in your home to create an odor-removing effect. Can last for months. Do not combine with a source of new scents as it will remove both good and bad scents.
- Small Room Air Purifier or Large Room Air Purifier – For removing odors, dust, dander, and allergens.
- Ozone Generator – For serious odor problems only. Use to destroy odor-causing particles throughout your house. Often the only way to remove the deeply ingrained smell of indoor smoking.
We’ve all seen air fresheners before. Usually they come in the form of little plastic diddly-doos that plug into your wall outlet and spread a chemical-smelling scent throughout your room or house.
They can also take the form of scented spray bottles, scented candles, bags of aromatic spices, or colorful plastic beads that give off fragrances.
All of those options will add new scents to your house. But what if you don’t just want to spread out a new smell over the old one? What if you already tried that and it didn’t work, and the two smells just combined to form one nasty concoction that wasn’t appealing at all?
I’ve experienced that before and you probably have too. Which is why you need an air freshener that also purifies the air in your home.
Thankfully, you have a few options.
Get The Right Freshener For You
Most air fresheners claim to neutralize odor particles along with adding their new scent to your house. And admittedly, nowadays many of them are pretty good at that.
But some solutions are better than others for different problems.
For Immediate But Temporary Injection Of New Fresh Smells
For example, if you just want to freshen up your home for one day before company comes over, then a nice air freshener spray bottle is probably the best solution for you. It allows you to spray as much air freshener as you want, wherever you want, and it will only last about a day before fading away.
But what if you tried that already, and it didn’t do a good enough job of getting rid of the odors in your house?
For Immediate Removal Of Serious Bad Smells
In that case, you probably want to hit the source of the bad odors with a heavy duty ozone spray like this one. Ozone spray is a natural molecule that reacts with odor-causing particles, causing them to become “oxidized” – which basically means it destroys their odor-causing ability.
Due note that ozone spray will not add a new scent to your home. In fact, if you try to spray a new scent while also spraying ozone at the same time, the ozone spray will abolish both the bad scent and the new good scent. That’s because ozone spray abolishes *all* odor-causing particles, even particles that cause good fragrances.
For Long-Lasting Removal Of Lingering Bad Odors
What if your odor problems are long lasting, and you don’t want to keep spraying them with spray bottles every day?
There are solutions for that as well.
One popular solution is odor-abolishing gel canisters. The gel does not add a new scent to your home. instead, it works like the ozone spray by abolishing the particles in the local atmosphere (the air in your home) that cause odors.
The difference between these gel canisters and the ozone spray is that the ozone spray is effective immediately but quickly wears off, whereas the gel canister will take longer to be effective but can last for months before needing to be replaced.
An alternative to the gel-canister form is an odor-abolishing sack of activated charcoal.
The sack of activated charcoal is similarly effective at abolishing odors. Activated charcoal is a substance that is known for absorbing odor-causing particles. The stinky particles floating around your house will stick to the charcoal when they come in contact with it, removing them from the air.
Eventually, both the gel canister and the activated charcoal will need to be replaced in order to remain effective. However, these type of items can remove odors for months before losing their effectiveness.
Generally speaking, the worse the odor is in your house, the faster the items will get “used up” by all the odor particles they come into contact with.
It’s important to realize that if you are using one of these devices, you should *not* be using an air freshener that adds scents to your home at the same time. This is because the devices will get used up faster by filtering the pleasantly scented odor particles.
In other words, you need to choose: Do you want to remove bad odors and smell nothing, or add new fragrances but possibly also smell the bad odors that weren’t removed?
If you want to “have your cake and eat it too”, then you’ll have to use an odor-abolishing spray to kill the odors first, then introduce an aromatic air freshener to a your desired scent to your home.
“Heavy Duty” Solutions For Bad Odors
If your house has huge odor problems such as those caused by chronic smokers, stinky wet dogs rolling around on your carpet, the smell of mold, or a person who constantly cooks Indian curry in the kitchen, then you may want a solution that is more serious than the ones mentioned above.
The two very serious solutions that I would recommend are air purifiers with odor-removing carbon filters, or an ozone generator. Let’s talk about the air purifiers first.
Air Purifiers For Odor Removal & Allergy Relief
- Our Recommended High End Air Purifier (Filters Large Rooms) – Alen BreatheSmart Purifier
- Our Recommended Basic Air Purifier (Filters Small Rooms) – Winix 5300-2 Purifier
An air purifier is very simple in concept: It uses a fan to suck air through a filter. The bad stuff in the air gets stuck in the filter, removing it from the air in your house. Some air purifiers come with extra features, such as an ultra-violet light that helps kill bacteria that gets sucked through the fan as well.
While normal HEPA filters *do not* remove odor particles, most air purifiers on the market can also hold an activated charcoal filter instead of a regular HEPA one. The activated charcoal filter uses the same effect that we mentioned above while talking about the sack of activated charcoal.
This means that it will filter dust and allergens just like the regular filter, but also absorb odor molecules that pass through it as well. When buying an air purifier, make sure it specifically is labeled to remove the odors you want. Some air purifier filters are better at removing one type of odor, such as the smell of smoke, whereas another filter will be better at removing odors like pet smells.
Ozone Generators For Ultra-Serious Odor Destruction
- Our Recommended Ozone Generator – Enerzen Ozone Generator
An ozone generator is what you use if you don’t care about adding new fresh smells to your house, or getting rid of allergy-causing dust and dander. You just want the disgusting odors in your house to be gone, and you mean business.
I mentioned our recommended ozone spray bottle earlier, which you can use to get odors out of a single location of your choice. But did you know that ozone is a type of particle that you can produce constantly in your home with the use of a small appliance?
Ozone is a molecule made of three oxygen atoms stuck together, which is “unstable” and thus “freaks out” when it hits other particles, such as odor-causing molecules. It then chemically reacts with those particles, which breaks the ozone down into regular oxygen molecules while also breaking apart the odor molecules. This gets rid of the odor, but also gets rid of the ozone, which is why an ozone spray is only a temporary solution to bad odors in your home.
But with an ozone generator you can constantly produce new ozone with no spray bottle required. The ozone will spread out throughout your house and slowly destroy all of the odor-causing particles in your home.
Some people have reported that using an ozone generator is the only way to remove deeply ingrained smells in an entire house, such as the odor caused by years of indoor smoking. The smell of smoke may be emanating from the walls and carpet constantly, but the ozone from an ozone generator can get to those deeply rooted particles and destroy them permanently.
When using an ozone generator, be sure to heed the warnings in the instructions. Breathing too much ozone can be bad for humans and pets, so read the manual first to know how often it is safe to run it.
For de-smellifying an entire house, you may want to get your family and pets out of the house all afternoon and run the ozone generator for 12 hours straight. Do this a few days in a row and your entire house could be smelling like new in no time.