How does Febreeze work?

This stuff is amazing at getting rid of odors. However, the ingredients are rather vague, the active ingredient is titled “Odor reducer derived from Corn”. The fact that they don’t even give a chemical name makes me suspicious.

As near as I can tell, it’s just another odor-covering perfume, like pretty much any other deodorant. In the ads, the people refer to something smelling so “fresh” but as far as I’m concerned, it just smells like Febreze.


Interesting article, Squink
I love that their global D&D manager is called Mr Grime.


R&D, I meant.
Silly me

God knows what a D&D Manager would do. But if it involved keyboard skills, I’d be no good at it!

23 years ago, Cecil wrote Do air fresheners work by numbing out your nose?, in which he answers that some do while others just mask smells with other smells. So it seems Febreze uses more recent technology.

I would like to know what happens to the odors once they’re drapped in cyclodextrin rings though - do the rings slowly decay, do they stay trapped, or do they somehow fall out of the clothes?

From what I remember about other sequestering agents the cyclodextrin and odour molecule will form a whole new complex, which will not smell but will remain in solution. The Febreze I have seen is a spray which you squirt onto curtains and sofas and the like, so it is applied to the smelly material as an aerosol.

The odour-cyclodextrin complex will be in liquid droplet which then dries onto the fabric, where it will stay until the fabric is properly cleaned, or, once the liquid of the aerosol droplet has dried, the complex will become an airborne entity and float about until gravity gets the better of it and it falls onto the carpet and you hoover it up at a later date.

If I may be permitted a slight hi-jack, What’s the crack with Lenors new quick drying fabric softener? How can it make my clothes dry quicker after removing them from the machine? Does it coat my clothes in that stuff that comes from ducks beaks or something?

Anything which is marketed as being quick drying has generally been reformulated to have more organics in it than the previous edition. These organic compounds repel water, so the washing water is quicker to dispel and the remaining “wetness” is due to the organics. Organic compounds, by and large, evaporate at lower temperatures and as the water is quicker to go, having been repelled by the organics, the remaining organics, having a low boiling point are quicker to dry off than the equivalent weight of an aqueous solution.

Febreze is not for everyone! Some people, like myself, find the odor extremely offensive and what’s worse is that it sticks around. Here’s my first tragicomedic experience with Febreze:

I got into the backseat of a cab with vinyl seats. There was an odor which at the time I believed to be some perfume that had been spilled by a passenger. I was in the cab for about 20 minutes and then entered my apartment. I did some normal things like working on the computer and watching TV from the couch - after an hour or two I noticed that the smell from the cab was still lingering. I smelled my clothes and they smelled like perfume (a sickly sweet smell). I put the clothes in the laundry basket (the smell washed out fine next day) and put on some new clothes. I still smelled. Took a shower, o.k. that took care of that. Went back to watching the TV. Smell still there - the couch reeked. I had been smelling this stuff for about 3 hours by now and was getting quite sick of it. Also, the wooden chair I use for my computer reeked! I used some orange wood polish I had handy - that took care of that.

I went out to buy an odor remover for the couch, I heard about Febreze (I think I read about it in this forum of all places) and got that from Walgreens. I sprayed some on an old t-shirt to test for any smell - I didn’t smell anything so I proceeded to spray my couch with it. After an hour I realised my tragic mistake - the original smell WAS Febreze and now my couch was worse than ever!

Went out and got some Potpourri powder and spread that on the couch then vacuumed it. I covered the couch with a very thick old wool blanket I didn’t care for. This made the couch tolerable. After a few weeks I removed the blanket. This was a couple of years ago - I never dry cleaned the blanket and I can still faintly sense the horrible smell of Febreze.

Plus, I did some reading on the Net and some people thought that Febreze might be bad for cats - of which I have two - so to top all this off now I was worried for the health of my cats.

One of the Taxi’s passengers must have had an accident and the driver used Febreze to “cover” it up. I know I will get out of any Taxi with that smell in the future.

Disclaimer: I should add that I don’t care much for perfumes and don’t wear cologne - just deodorant. I’m also carefull to buy unscented shampoo. So, maybe I’m in the minority regarding Febreze.

**Disclaimer: I should add that I don’t care much for perfumes and don’t wear cologne - just deodorant. I’m also carefull to buy unscented shampoo. So, maybe I’m in the minority regarding Febreze. **

I’m the same way–can’t even read women’s magazines (not that I would want to anyway) because of the scented ads.

I would use baking soda before I used Febreze.

I’ve had the same reaction to Febreze as robo99 and Sarah23. They may indeed have some technology that “traps” odors, but they’ve added so much rank perfume to the stuff that I can’t stand to have it in the house.

Snopes says it’s not.

Febreeze smells HORRID- I personally much prefer the Clorox version which smells like fresh, clean laundry.

I find the spell of Febreeze akin to sweet tea. Pleasant, really. Somewhere I read that given any scent, 1/3 of the population will like it, 1/3 will be indifferent, and 1/3 will find it vile.