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- Stinky sneakers, pets, kitchen concoctions, forgotten gym bags: Our homes are inundated with unpleasant odors. What can you do to breathe more easily?
- Hamilton Beach TrueAir Room Odor Eliminator traps dust and uses three carbon filters to eliminate odors, sending fresh air back into your home.
With odors from cooking, pets, our bodies, and the environment in general, our homes can be really smelly places. There are scented air fresheners that temporarily mask odors, but what we really need to do is eliminate them completely.
Since most of us don’t want to get rid of our loved ones (well, not permanently) or pets, we’ve put together a list of some of the best odor eliminators on the market. I started my testing by having a very good (and very honest) friend come into my home and give it a sniff. We all become used to the odors around us and can no longer detect them, but an outsider will catch that whiff of the litter box, last night’s stuffed cabbage, or stale-smelling carpet.
Our sense of smell is powerful and causes many reactions. Some odors are pleasant and evoke good memories and emotions; others cause distress. Malodors come from a variety of sources including bacteria (spoiled food and body odor), fungus (mold and mildew), and volatile organic compounds or VOCs (paint fumes). The secret is to find a way to eliminate the bad smells and keep a balance of pleasant scents that are not overwhelming.
The definition of clean is "free from dirt, pollution, or pollutants." But maintaining a sterile home is impossible. Regular cleaning with disinfecting cleaners is the first step in maintaining an odor-free home. And, fortunately, there are products available that do a great job in eliminating odors. In my testing, I chose to focus on the toughest odors to control and the products that are the most effective, easiest to use, and offer the best value for your money.
Here are the best odor removers you can buy in 2019:
- Best home odor remover overall: Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04532GM Room Odor Eliminator
- Best odor remover for pet odors: Mister Max Original Scent Anti Icky Poo Odor Remover
- Best odor remover for carpets: Arm & Hammer Extra Strength Carpet Odor Eliminator
- Best odor remover for small spaces: Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag
- Best odor-removing air freshener: Renuzit Snuggle SuperFresh Gel Air Freshener
The best home odor remover overall
Why you’ll love it: Reasonably priced, small, and quiet, the Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04532GM Room Odor Eliminator will neutralize odors in a room automatically for three months.
I’m not a big fan of simply masking malodors with another scent. No one wants to smell lilac-scented fried fish. I want to eliminate the odors, and the easiest way to do that, I found, is with the Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04532GM Room Odor Eliminator. This little 8-inch cube is a powerful odor eliminator.
Just plug it in and using less energy than a 15-watt light bulb, the TrueAir fan pulls in air and puts it through three carbon filters to trap dust and malodors sending fresh air back into the room. I’ve been using the device for several months and my home is less dusty and smells fresh. There are two settings and I keep it on low, which makes very little noise. You can increase the speed if your home is really smelly.
The product claims to cover a 10-by-10-square-foot room for three months. After that point, the filters should be replaced. Changing the filters is very simple and if you don’t use it all the time, the filters are effective for more than three months. For strong scents, there are special filters designed for tobacco smoke or pet odors. It also comes with a fragrance cartridge, Green Meadow, that you can use or skip.
With more than 2,500 reviews on Amazon, 73 percent of buyers gave the product either 4 or 5 stars. Mr29 had a similar experience as mine: "We live in an old house next to a creek. I keep it very clean, but it constantly smells musty… My daughter has a kitten and therefore a litter box in her room. This air purifier eliminates the smell entirely. We have two large dogs who stay in the master bedroom when we are gone during the day. This really keeps the room smelling fresh. I am 100% happy with this purchase."
Pros: Continuous odor elimination, can be used with or without fragrance filter, low wattage, quiet, covers 100 square-feet
Cons: Replacement filters not readily available in all mass-market stores
The best odor remover for pet odors
Why you’ll love it: If you want to keep the pet but not the smells, Mister Max Original Scent Anti Icky Poo Odor Remover is your best bet.
Pets have accidents but even if you thoroughly clean after them, the odor often lingers in the carpet, upholstery, tile grout, and hardwood floors. And once the animal catches a whiff of that spot, it will return to the scene of the crime. Mister Max Original Scent Anti Icky Poo Odor Remover to the rescue.
I have a precious rescue pup that tends to urinate when startled or when she feels threatened. While her accidents have become fewer, there are still those moments. When it happens, I simply grab Mister Max and give the area a good spray. Thanks to the live bacteria and enzymes in the formula that destroy the odor molecules, there is no residual stench remaining that attracts the pup or her friends to the same spot.
Safe to use on all types of floors (it even penetrates concrete), carpets, and fabrics, the nontoxic Mister Max offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The product comes in both a light scent and an unscented formula, in several sizes. Here’s a tip for new parents: It also takes care of odors from diapers and up-chuck.
Of the nearly 650 reviewers on Amazon, 74% give it 5 stars. LunaandFamily said, "We used this stuff on spots we had [cleaned] three times over and with one spray, the stains that had previously appeared with a blacklight were gone for good … I would highly recommend this!"
Pros: Eliminates the toughest pet odors, environmentally safe to use around humans and pets, 100% money-back guarantee
Cons: Does not remove visible stains, not readily available in most mass-market stores.
Buy Mister Max Original Scent Anti Icky Poo Odor Remover in a one-gallon container on Amazon for $31.36
The best odor remover for carpets
Why you’ll love it: Simply sprinkle Arm & Hammer Extra Strength Carpet Odor Eliminator and vacuum it away for a fresh-smelling home.
Soft surfaces like carpets, area rugs, and upholstery are magnets for odor molecules. The fibers grab hold of the molecules and simply won’t let them go. This is particularly true for natural fibers like wool that are barbed, and synthetic fibers made from petroleum products that like to hold onto greasy molecules. Needless to say, with so many soft surfaces around, that’s why our home may smell funky.
Arm & Hammer Extra Strength Carpet Odor Eliminator combines baking soda and oxygen-based bleach to remove odor and leave your carpet and upholstery looking cleaner and brighter. Baking soda is a known odor fighter, and Arm & Hammer has been selling sodium bicarbonate (its scientific name) for more than 150 years, so it knows a thing or two.
To get the most benefit from this product, I sprinkle a very light dusting and then use a slightly-damp sponge mop to work it into the carpet fibers (use a damp sponge when cleaning upholstery) and then step away for an hour or so. When I come back and give the area a good vacuuming, it is amazing to see how much soil is trapped in the powder.
With nearly 300 reviews on Amazon, 77 percent give it a 5-star rating. One customer said, "This stuff gets the dirt and grime from deep within your carpet and will make your house smell amazing as well."
Pros: Eliminates odor from carpet and upholstery, brightens colors, helps remove pet hair, inexpensive
Cons: Scent can be overpowering if too much is used
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