We’ve all used an air freshener before, or at least smelled one at our friend’s house.
But did you know that there are several different types of air freshener that each function in a different way?
In this article I’m going to explain the different types of air fresheners that you can choose from, and the primary benefits of each type.
Let’s take a look at our first choice:
1. Spray Bottle Air Fresheners
- Use as much as you want, for a stronger effect.
- Instantly effective.
- Scent-less ozone sprays can remove odors without adding unwanted new scents.
- Scented spray bottles can add a pleasant new scent.
A spray bottle air freshener is extremely simple. You spray it where the bad smell is, and now you have a good smell there instead. Right?
Well, sort of.
There are actually two different types of spray bottle that you can use to freshen up your home.
The first type is called an ozone spray. This type does not add pleasant new scents when you spray it. But it is really powerful at destroying odor-causing particles in the air or on surface where you spray it. If you just want to remove bad smells and not add strong new scents, this should be your first choice.
The second type is probably what you’re more familiar with. It’s a scented air freshener spray bottle that often doubles as a cleaning chemical of sorts. These bottles usually advertise that they also destroy odor-causing particles. However, this doesn’t always work as planned.
Sometimes you end up with a mixture of the bad odor that you started out with, combined with a new chemically-smelling fragrance that doesn’t always smell appealing to everyone who tries it.
The main benefit of using spray bottles is that you get the immediate effect of it, and only in the location you want to spray it. You can also spray more or less to get more effect. The main drawback is that they do not provide long-lasting effects. If something in your home is causing a bad odor, you may have to keep spraying it every day if you are unwilling to properly clean out the source of the bad odor.
2. Plugin Air Fresheners
- Cheap, and easy to install.
- Lasts for weeks or months.
- Some models have adjustable settings to control the strength of the fragrance.
- Some models can be refilled.
- Our choice: Glade plugin air freshener.
We’ve all used or at least seen these before. They plug into your wall outlet and give off an aroma of your choice.
The benefits of plugin air fresheners is that they are cheap to use, can be used anywhere as long as you have an outlet, and often last for weeks or months before needing a refill.
Perhaps the most common use for these air fresheners is in the bathroom. Nobody wants a foul smell to greet their guests when they use the restroom, so they leave one of these turned on in one of the wall outlets.
3. Electronic Aroma Diffusers
- Lasts for weeks or months before needing a refill.
- Can use dozens of delicious fragrances.
- Keeps a continuous fragrance going throughout the room of your choice.
- Our choice: Electronic aroma diffuser with lighting options.
Aroma diffusers are a great solution for making your whole living room or dining room smell pleasant while also providing a large selection of scents to choose from.
You plug one into a wall outlet and set it on a coffee table or night stand of your choice. You add a scented oil that smells like anything you like, and the diffuser will warm it up and spread it throughout the room.
The best part about these machines that use scented oils is that when the current oil runs out, you can change the oil to a different scent. This lets you select from dozens of different fragrances to fill your home with. You can even choose a different scent for each season, or each month of the year.
4. Scented Potpourri
- Can last for months.
- Makes a beautiful dining room table decoration.
- All-natural and doesn’t have to be plugged in.
- Our choice: There’s too many great ones to choose from. You’ll want to look at them all and pick the one that best goes with the decorative style you imagine in your home.
A potpourri is a collection of strongly fragranced spices or plant carvings.
You’ve probably visited a friend’s house and smelled a wonderful bag of pine-smelling tree shavings that was displayed on their dining room table – that’s potpourri.
The main benefit of this type of air freshener is that not only does it smell great, but it looks great as well.
These are the only type of air freshener that you will commonly find displayed not just on a coffee table, but a dining room table where you invite guests to eat dinner. That’s because they can look absolutely beautiful and go well with almost any type of interior decoration.
5. Scented Candles
- Dozens of wonderful fragrances and colors to choose from.
- More formal than any other option – great for dinner parties.
- “I lit this just for us” – makes your guests feel special!
- Our choice: Scented candle 8-scent multi pack.
Everyone loves scented candles. A good smelling scented candle makes an affordable and delightful gift that says “I wanted you to experience the joy of this flavor” when you give it.
Scented candles, like potpourri mentioned above, make an excellent decoration to a dining room table or a coffee table. Lighting a scented candle before guests come over is the best way to give off a “fancier” and formal impression than any of the other options available for freshening up your house.
The potpourri says “I’m good at decorating my home” but lighting a scented candle for your guests says “I took this extra step just for you.”
6. Odor-Removing Gel Canisters & Activated Carbon Bags
- Can be used anywhere.
- Doesn’t require electricity or refills.
- Silently and passively absorbs the bad odors in the room.
- Great for putting into small confined spaces, such as a closet, kitchen cabinet, or even your car.
- Can last for months.
- Our choice of odor-absorbing canister: Fresh Wave odor-removing gel container.
- Our choice of odor-absorbing bag: MOSO NATURAL air purifying bag.
These are two different products but function in exactly the same way: You set them somewhere in your home that gets bad odors, and they sit there and absorb the bad odor particles, removing bad smells from the air.
The primary benefit of these is that they can be used pretty much anywhere, because they don’t have to be plugged in or refilled.
One canister or bag can last for several weeks or months – depending on how much odor there is for it to absorb.
These are also great options for putting into a smelly dresser, closet, or even a kitchen cabinet in order to get rid of the odors within.
7. Baking Soda
- Can remove bad odor from carpets and couches.
- Leave an open baking soda container in a fridge to neutralize strong food smells.
- Vacuum up a table spoon of baking soda to neutralize bad odors blowing out of your vacuum while you clean.
Our choice: Arm & Hammer baking soda.
Really, baking soda? That’s considered one of the best kinds of air fresheners?
Actually, it is!
The reason I list baking soda here is that it is very useful for removing bad odors from a few specific things: carpets, furniture, refrigerators, and even vacuum cleaners.
You may be familiar with putting baking soda in the fridge in odor to prevent bad smells from things like rotten food. All you do is open a box of baking soda, and leave it in the back of one of your shelves. The baking soda will sit there silently and passively neutralizing odor particles that come into contact with it, keeping your fridge smelling like a fridge instead of your roommate’s bad cooking.
Using baking soda to get rid of bad odors in carpet or furniture is just as simple. You just pour some baking soda onto the carpet or the surface of your couch, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up thoroughly. The baking soda will neutralize bad odors coming from dirt and filth near the surface of the carpet or furniture.
And finally, you can use baking soda to even freshen your vacuum cleaner. Do you hate the gross smell of dust and general “ickiness” that comes blowing out of the vacuum as you clean? That’s there because all the air passing through the vacuum is coming into contact with all the dust and other crap that you’ve sucked up into the vacuum bag.
To get rid of bad vacuum cleaner odors, just pour a table spoon of baking soda onto a hard surface, then vacuum it up! The baking soda will neutralize the source of bad odors within the vacuum cleaner bag, leaving the air coming out of the vacuum cleaner and not smelling so bad.
8. Activated Carbon HVAC Air Filters
- Can be added onto any home air conditioner filter.
- Filters bad odors out of your entire house.
- Lasts for months.
I mentioned in section #6 above that you can buy a small bag of activated carbon to place in a room of your choice. Well, it turns out you can also buy an activated carbon HVAC filter that can help keep odors out of your entire house.
The activated carbon filter sits on top of your regular air filter, where air gets sucked into your air vents. The regular air filter captures mostly dust and dander, whereas an activated carbon filter is specifically designed to trap odor-causing particles.
If your whole house smells bad, this can be a way to help clean out all the smells at once. Just add one of these, and your air conditioner will become an odor-eliminator any time it’s running.
9. Ozone Generator – For Serious Odor Removal Jobs
- Produces ozone particles that spread out and neutralize odor on every surface.
- Considered the only easy way to remove strong smoke smells from a home.
- Much easier than cleaning odor off of every surface in your home.
- Our choice: Enerzen ozone generator
I mentioned up above that you can buy a scentless ozone spray bottle in order to remove bad odors from a single spot of your choice.
But what if your entire house is the source of bad odors?
An ozone generator will pump out large quantities of ozone that will spread throughout your house. As the ozone touches odor-causing chemicals, it chemically reacts with them and neutralizes their odor-causing ability.
Most people won’t need an ozone generator. These are only needed for really serious odor removal jobs.
However, some people say that using an ozone generator is the easiest and most reliable way to get rid of the smell of smoke in a house. That’s because smoke particles typically spread out and cover just about everything. In a smoker’s house, you can smell bad odor coming out of the carpet, the furniture, the air vents, and even the walls themselves.
Cleaning smoke smell out of every inch of your home can be a monumental task. But with an ozone generator, it is dead simple. You just run the generator and let the ozone spread out throughout your home. The ozone will get everywhere that the smoke did, and chemically neutralize the odor-causing smoke particles.
When you need to freshen a home that is coated in badly smelling smoke particles, the solution is to clean them out with ozone particles from an ozone generator.