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Seven Air Fresheners That Actually Work

Illustration for article titled Seven Air Fresheners That Actually Work
Image: Mads Schmidt Rasmussen (Unsplash)
SqualorJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert and advice columnist. She’ll be here every week helping to answer your filthiest questions. Are you dirty? Email her.

Maybe your home is smelling a little smokier than usual this week/month/lifetime that we’ve been stuck at home? Yes, well that will happen! And, right, opening the window and running some fans will go a long way to bring fresh air in and send bad air out, but there are times, like the third week in April, for example, when stronger measures need to be taken. If your home could use some freshening up, these are the seven best products for the job.

When you need to quickly deodorize a room that smells like smoke, or cooking, or just, like, human, a spray odor eliminator is the thing to reach for. The downside to most spray odor eliminators is that they have a smell of their own that many people find unpleasant.

The best of the sprays is Ozium—but, fair warning, it does have a sort of citrusy, clove-y smell to it. The scent is strong when first sprayed but dissipates quickly.


Zep also makes a good smoke eliminating spray that, like the Ozium spray, has a scent of its own.

Canister-style odor absorbers have two advantages over sprays. The first is that they provide consistent, ongoing odor control without requiring any effort on your part. The second is that, while they are scented, the smell is much less overpowering than their spray counterparts. And, because they’re made of solid gel, they’re a great choice for use in the car.

The Bad Air Sponge is an old favorite, for general odor control and also for eliminating musty smells in closets and attics.


Our pals at Ozium make a canister gel odor eliminator in addition to their spray products; it does have that same Ozium scent, but it’s less powerful in gel-form than aerosol.


The Fresh Wave canisters are popular because the scent — a blend of pine and eucalyptus — is a bit less aggressive than other similar brands.


If you’re a regular smoker, investing in a smoke eater—a machine that filters and recirculates clean air—is probably your best bet for keeping your home from smelling like you’re a, well, regular smoker. Look for a carbon-based model, since ozone-based units aren’t designed for occupied rooms.


Also helpful to know: Hamilton Beach makes wall-plug versions that are perfect for smaller rooms, or for homes that have limited space.

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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